1554 Queen St W.
Toronto, ON M6R 1A6
The name will confuse you into thinking this is a restaurant that pays homage to the southern United States, but in fact the Tennessee tavern got its name from the building it’s in. This also allowed it to keep the name of the previous business, while serving up something new. In this case, the restaurant specializes in eastern European cuisine, specifically dishes near Portland, Germany, Austria, Hungry and the like. Playing blues music and other songs that might remind you of the American south, the restaurant is kind of an unusual play, really. Maybe it’s a little bit confusing, but the food isn’t bad.
A Couple of great things to eat around the menu:
- Pierogies: These classic Polish dumplings filled with potatoes are topped with chives and served with a little bit of chopped bacon and some sour cream. Thick and very filling.
- Kielbasa: The typical German sausage is made crispier by being specially cut. Not too greasy, but with that wonderful rich sausage flavor.
- Potato salad: Big chewy morsels of potatoes, what really brings this salad together is the ample chives that add a little bit of a spike of flavor.
- Yogurt soup: Generally served a palette cleanser, but featuring a bunch of ingredients. Added roasted seeds, chickpeas, and even fern have a snap flavor to neutralize some of those other heavy foods. Actually, it’s kind of a nice dessert.
- Lobio: Black bean dip. It serves as an appetizer with a side of flatbread, but it does not have too much grease or heavy flavor. It’s nice to get started with.
- Banana cream pie: A parfait with whipped cream, graham crackers and banana pudding. It’s one of the very small number of desserts here, but probably best when split.
The bar is definitely a place people like to socialize and have a meal. I don’t know that it’s necessarily a heavy spot just for drinking, but there is an extensive menu of spirits, cocktails, beer and wine. Price points here are pretty normal for a dive bar in one of Toronto’s many boroughs, And like many locations in Canada, this place has kind of a relaxed feel where your food comes quickly and it’s meant for you to spend a little bit of time there enjoying the company of your friends.
Toronto is the city of many cultures, so no doubt there’s an interest in eastern European cuisine in the city. This restaurant has gotten a couple of shout outs for its great food, and for good reason. It’s not bad at all.
- The name might confuse you, despite actually has very little to do with American food or American music.
- Moreso a food destination. But there is a lot of wine and beer to be had on the menu.
- Kind of a dark, little dive bar and definitely a dive. It has a very specific mood.