120 2nd Ave N.
Nashville, TN 37201
websiteThe District in downtown Nashville; it’s got some of the best character in the city, and this historic nightlife spot features many music bars, dives and venues where some of the most legendary Music City expatriates got their starts. In this environment rests Wild Horse Saloon, a converted warehouse which opened in 1994 to capitalize on the craze of line dancing, then expanding into a music venue. This three-story attraction gets busy early in the night, but for all it has to offer, I might say you’ll want to avoid the dinner menu.
Typical of a bar spot, this one has a lot of pub fare without a great deal of specialty on its own. Among the things I tried:
- Smoked wings: jumbo chicken wings topped with your choice of sweet or spicy barbecue sauce or buffalo sauce. The wings are fried, but they taste like they’re frozen, and the sauces really aren’t that great. Instead, they’re sort of a distraction because the wings are drowned in them.
- Pimento cheese: This is a southern thing; a kind of cheese spread made with sharp cheddar and topped with a bacon jam, then served alongside some fried “asiago crackers.” The cheese is a bit bland but the bacon jam spices things up a bit.
- Pecan pie: This was the best dish I tried; a deep dish pie topped amply with pecans and a nice bourbon-flavored filling and then topped with whipped cream and some caramel. The bourbon flavor is strong here, as I would hope it would be in a Nashville pie, and the caramel on top complements the pie well.
None of this is an indictment against the bar as an entertainment venue or a place to go line dancing. In fact, all of that is a lot of fun. And I would say the spot is worth going to for all of that. But there were signs of cracks in the system here that leave me thinking the food is not the first priority. We got the food with the hope of sharing it, but not plates to put any of it on, so we had to eat off napkins. We’d have complained…but we were never able to find our service again.
It’s understandable the place is a lot busier doing other things and so the kitchen is only part of the experience. That said, there are hundreds of great places to eat in the fast-growing Music City. You might plan to try one of them before coming here.
- Line dancing night is a major attraction here as is live music. These mean the spot picks up early in the night every night and stays busy.
- The spot is 18 and over (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult) though there is no cover.
- Try the pecan pie if nothing else.