2706 12th Ave South,
Nashville, TN 37204
Now with three locations around Nashville, Edley’s brings the classic barbecue counter a little bit of new dimension with a modern bar and a nice selection of drinks for evening groups. But the main reason people come to this place remains the same: the barbecue! This spot has that classic, sticky and smoky meats cooked top-notch. I like the spot for that nice, welcoming feeling and a very convenient system that prioritizes good food over everything.
Like many barbecue counters the mission here is simple: walk up and order, then take a seat and let the food come to you. The barbecue here is Memphis-style; the pork is finely chopped and the meat is served with just a small amount of molasses-based sauce, to taste. Some of my favorite things:
- Beef Brisket: The brisket is cooked about medium-well, so the meat isn’t too chewy but still wonderful. It’s topped with pickles and a slight, sweeter barbecue sauce and served on a thick bun. Good with a bit of the vinegary cole slaw on top.
- Cornbread: The cornbread is extra thick, but what’s great about it is it’s grilled and left with a slightly crunchy outer crust. The bread almost looks like its grilled.
- Cole slaw: The classic slaw is cabbage-focused and very vinegary. It comes alone, but I highly recommend you top your sandwich with the stuff. I have always been a fan of this take on slaw, the flavor is based on those core ingredients.
There’s a great sense of balance to the place; the sweet tea isn’t inundated with sugar, the meat isn’t smothered with barbecue sauce. Too many barbecue places make those off-putting mistakes. This spot is a smarter take on a classic food that in no way takes away from that great, comforting nature of the food.
The service in the place is nice; it can get a bit crowded during the lunch hours, especially the locations on 12 South and in downtown where there is a significant working crowd to keep in mind. But the wait, I can assure you, is worth it for this spot.
Nashville has a lot of different kinds of people surging into it these days from all other directions of the country. So a lot of different tastes converge in this city. It’s nice to see a place like this that serves them food that marries the classic and the contemporary together well.
- Show up just a bit early if you can; the line gets pretty long right at noon.
- For evenings, there is a nice bar area where people like to visit.
- Lunch sandwiches are the best options to give the meat a first try; they’re less expensive than the typical options.