Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BrickTop's (Nashville)

Steph was in Nashville for Memorial Day weekend and filed this report. Thanks, Steph!

3000 West End Ave
Nashville, TN

BrickTop’s is famous in our family for two reasons: For one, they have an amazing veggie burger on the menu. But most importantly, it was the place where Connor wrote his name for the first time. I still have that corner of the children’s menu with the shaky “Connor” scrawled on it, tucked away in the baby book for safekeeping.

For some reason, we haven’t been back since that historic Chockley event. I’m guessing it’s because the place is pretty pricy. It reminds me a lot of Houston’s restaurant, only without the Stepford wait staff. According to their website, there are only four BrickTop’s locations (in Nashville, Charlotte, Naples and Atlanta), with three more “Coming Soon!” So yes it’s a chain, but it’s a small one! I still get points for that, right?

We went on a recent Sunday afternoon, and felt horribly under-dressed in the midst of the elegant décor and tables of post-church diners in their Sunday best. We were not treated as heathens by the staff, however, so that was good. We were offered a brunch menu (served Saturdays and Sundays, 10-3), in addition to the regular lunch menu, but no one ordered from it. We did drool over the selection of brunch cocktails, including the French 75, which has recently been added to my own person drink menu. And it took a lot of self-control for me to not suggest the homemade donut appetizer to my kids. With three dipping sauces! I was not surprised to find this same dish offered again on the dessert menu. That’s the problem with donuts. (And with PopTarts. Just sayin’- if you can eat it for dessert, it’s not a real breakfast!)

Two people at the table ordered the veggie burger, and they both could only eat half- partly because it’s massive, and partly because the fries are fantastic and it would be a crime to leave any uneaten, so they probably filled up a little on those. One person ordered the Ahi tuna burger, and to be honest I didn’t hear a lot of feedback. It got eaten, so that’s a good sign. Another diner ordered the fish tacos, were were said to be good. Again- the only thing left on that plate was some rice, so I’m guessing they were good tacos.

Chip ordered one of the day’s specials, a flatbread with smoked salmon, dill, capers and onions. It was HUGE. And it was gooooood. I got to sneak more than one bite. I ordered the Ahi tuna salad with mango and avocado, and it was delicious. The tuna was very high quality, and melted like butter in my mouth. I particularly liked that it wasn’t crusted in sesame seeds. For some reason, restaurants consider that a requirement of seared tuna salads, but I don’t think it’s always necessary. The dressing was great as well.

The children also had a great dining experience. I’ve already mentioned that the fries were awesome, right? That’s usually enough to earn high praise from my kids, ages five and almost-eight. It takes a little more than that to get a good review from me, however, and BrickTop’s (mostly) delivered. Here were the kids' entrée choices:
Corn Dog
Chicken Tenders
Mac and Cheese
Grilled Chicken
Fried Shrimp
Grilled Salmon
Grilled Mahi
I know, right? Mahi mahi? Who puts that on a kids’ menu? I was really pleased with these options, particularly since Chloe, my five-year-old, has recently developed a love for salmon. It was a good-sized portion- she couldn’t quite finish it. I was more than happy to help her with that, especially since she had stolen a couple of pieces of my tuna. Connor, of course, ordered the chicken tenders. They were really good, possibly breaded in-house rather than thrown directly from the freezer into the fryer.

The kids’ menu was a bit problematic when it came to the choice of side items: French fries or noodles. Now, I wasn’t actually going to order vegetables for my kids or anything (the horror!), but it would have been nice to see them as an option. They also got their choice of milk or apple juice with the meal, which I wish I had noticed before letting them order Sprite. Finally, for dessert they had a choice of vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, or animal crackers. They both chose chocolate ice cream, natch. And they both left very happy.

The bill for eight people for lunch was around $115 (food and soft drinks only), which as I’ve said is probably why we don’t eat there more often. We didn’t have an opportunity to check out the bathrooms, but if they are at all in keeping with the rest of the building’s atmosphere then I’m sure they are very nice and well-equipped. I would suggest BrickTop’s if you are in Nashville with money to spend looking for an interesting kids' menu and a terrific veggie burger.

Bricktop's on Urbanspoon

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