Monell’s in Nashville

So last week, my husband and I flew to Nashville. We took the trip after winning an online contest from Surgeon Revelation, maker of high-quality leather and canvas bags. They invited individuals to share stories of people making a difference in their communities and I shared a little about my hardworking firefighter husband - and won! I was so super excited. We had never been to Nashville before and had not flown anywhere together since our honeymoon 27 years ago. A couple of busy people raising five sons, this getaway was just what we needed.

We had a fun, whirlwind weekend seeing (and eating) as much as we could while we were there. We stayed at an Air BnB owned by country singer Adley Stump (you may remember her from The Voice), which had an awesome rooftop overlooking downtown and we enjoyed hanging out there while it was a warm 68 degrees on one of the days we were there.

On our final day, we checked out and took an Uber to a nearby spot called Monell's. Monell's has three locations and this was the original, located in a gorgeous house in the Germantown area circa 1880. Adley's boyfriend, Blake, had sent us some recommendations of restaurants and one was Monell's. We had intended to get breakfast, but got there too late for breakfast and had lunch instead - which worked out better than I anticipated. I had no idea what kind of feast was in store for me. 

I didn't have time to look up anything about the place. Hubby just had mapped it out and saw that it wasn't too far and said he planned on having a big hearty meal since he hadn't eaten yet (it was after 11 a.m. and he usually eats first thing when he gets up - and he's an early riser). So, I was unaware that it was family-style dining where you sit at a big table with strangers - which I totally loved. The place was also decked out for the holidays and was beautiful.

It was late morning on a Monday and we were seated right away at a large rustic table that seated 14. It was half full when we sat down and the rest of the table filled up within minutes. As we sat down, we noticed that in front of each place setting was a piece of pumpkin pie. How can you not love a place that serves you dessert first? Of course, it was meant to eat at the end of the meal, but if you didn't want to wait, you didn't have to.

Big pitchers of lemonade and sweet tea were set in front of us beside baskets of fresh biscuits and cornbread. My day was already made at this point - unlimited sweet tea, cornbread muffins and biscuits, but there was more to come. Much, much more. 

Next were a pea salad and broccoli salad and before that got around the table, the rest of the feast came at us quickly. Bowl after bowl that you were to take a scoop from and then pass to your neighbor on the left.

This was not a lunch. This was like a huge Thanksgiving dinner - at least the way we do it in our house - with so many sides you can't fit them all on your plate. And I couldn't love this more. Wherever I dine, I always prefer small tastes of several items rather than one big entree.

The sides included mashed potatoes, corn pudding, macaroni and cheese, Brussels sprouts, cinnamon apples and scrumptious flat green beans that remind me so much of the ones my mom always made. Entrees were fried chicken, meatloaf and chicken and dumplings. Again - those chicken and dumplings were just like the ones my mom made for us growing up and it just made me feel so warm and nostalgic. Served up to go on the biscuits were their homemade peach preserves, which were amazing.

Everything was served hot and faster than a drive thru and they were quick to refill a bowl as soon as it was emptied.

Behind the counter were t-shirts with their motto: "Help! I've eaten and I can't get up." Totally appropriate. I ate until I couldn't move. And I'd do it all over again. This is a place not to miss if you visit Nashville and want to partake in some wonderful southern cuisine.


  1. One meal there and you become a Monell's evangelist. I've had it 8 times at two locations and have recommended it to literally thousands of people.

  2. I've eaten at this one and it's everything just as you described. I to have recommended it to lots of people and hope to get there again one day!


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