110 Lyle Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
As downtown Nashville has exploded and vibrancy has spread to nearby Midtown, many new restaurants and businesses have found their way into the city’s core. This has been bad for some venues as the competition has stepped up, and some have folded entirely. But it has also shown some of the bigger and better places which have survived, and continued to serve Music City. The Row, a music venue and barbecue joint, is hard to forget. Even for a city known for its smoked meats, this one rises far.
Those country fried favorites like catfish, chicken and steak are to be found here, of course, and there is a lot in them to love. But this spot has attracted a lot of attention for its barbecue, so that’s what I’d try first. The menu is pretty simple; this spot is all about barbecue. Some of the things to try:
- Barbecue pork: There’s a reason you can smell the hickory smoke as soon as you walk in to this bar, that would be the meats like the barbecue pork. This stuff is fall-apart soft; smoky and salty but sweet with the barbecue sauce. This stuff is fantastic, and it’s served either as a sandwich by itself or in tacos with pico de gallo, avocado and slaw.
- Smoke stack burger: The signature burger this bar purveys is topped with barbecued pork and cole slaw and topped with a smokey bacon queso. The meat is cooked well done but the combo of creamy slaw, savory cheese and thick juicy beef make this burger a handful.
- Fried pickles: The appetizer fried pickles are breaded and served with a “white barbecue sauce” that has a bit of spice, I think from horseradish or something similar, to give it character. Best when eaten with a beer.
The bar has two sides, a music venue that has more of a packed bar feel, and a restaurant side which is much more comfortable and where groups eat. The two sides are pretty solidly divided though, so if you want a quieter meal, you can still get it here, even when a band is playing.
The restaurant is a pretty affordable place, in spite of the crowds coming in from nearby downtown, nearby Vanderbilt University and the fast growing Midtown nightlife itself, you will find the food comes relatively quickly and doesn’t cost too much more than average. That said, especially on weekends I recommend making a reservation beforehand.
It’s nice to see this restaurant continuing to thrive in fast-growing Midtown, and it’s a real pleasure to find that the food and experience stay top notch. The Row is a must-try for Nashville.
- This spot is well known and well loved for its barbecue, so you’ll want to get some of that before anything else.
- The music venue is great, and the restaurant side is quiet, either is a good experience.
- Reservations are recommended.