Farmer’s Markets + Family Style Eats at Monell’s

BY CAILIN BURKE

While in Nashville, we wanted to make sure we got a meal at Monell’s, because their whole dining experience is so unique and nothing like a restaurant we had ever been to!
Their concept is family style dining with the slogan, “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” But unlike typical family style, your group doesn’t get its own table with just larger portioned shared foods — you actually share a table with several other groups of people! I think there were about 13 people at our table and after saying hello to your new tablemates, food just starts coming around the table.

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Every dish was passed on from one person to the other and you could take what you wanted and then pass it on to the left! At first we thought we would need them to come back around with the same foods so we could get seconds, but after about 10 different dishes came to the table we clearly didn’t need anymore. It is one base price and then you can eat as much as you want! They even have dessert and really great sweet tea! We thought the best time to go was lunch, because the prices are cheaper but it’s still all you can eat.

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Some of our favorites were their biscuits with amazing gravy, insanely good fried chicken (served at every meal), and their special of the lunch – fried catfish! Along with that, there were tons of sides from mashed potatoes and cornbread to typical southern veggies!

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We actually ended up sitting with a bunch of Nashville locals, some on their lunch break from work and the other group just wanting a nice lunch out! They were really nice in telling us some of their favorite Nashville spots and asking quite a few questions about NYC! …Now that’s a subject we can always talk about! After eating, we headed to their outdoor area to hang out for a bit! Surrounding the whole restaurant is basically a garden, filled with flowers, a fountain, and even a koi pond! It was the perfect place to relax for a sec (because we really needed to digest all that unlimited food).

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When we were all ready to head out, we walked straight to the Nashville Farmer’s Market! It is a half indoor and half outdoor market which we thought was really cool. Inside was basically a food market with local eateries — and we were SO tempted to get a slice of pie or a few scoops from Jeni’s! Being too full, we ended up mostly souvenir shopping and stayed in this store Batch for a really long time! I ended up buying some gifts, so the whole market was a great place to look at for a few souvenirs to bring back (and if you didn’t stuff yourself at Monell’s), to grab a bite from some local businesses!

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