Elliston Place Soda Shop
2111 Elliston Place
Beer selection: None.
Food: Delicious Southern cooking
Nashville gets a bad rap. But, frankly, it’s entirely deserved.
The city was founded on what used to be raw artistic expression. Now it’s been stripped down to a commercialized, one-size-fits-all product for the masses.
Here’s what happens when your entire brand caters to the lowest common denominator of hipster trendiness—the tradition, history, and true grit get kicked to the curb.
That’s why I always look forward to stopping by Elliston Place Soda Shop when I’m in Nashville.
The place is like an unchanging rock among a churning sea of bad taste disguised as music. Gross.
Nope, Elliston Place hasn’t changed a bit since the day it opened 70 years ago.
Those mini jukeboxes still have the same songs by George Jones, Johnny Cash, Hank Sr. and Hank Jr.
Their homemade biscuits are Southern-pride delicious every time, and went perfectly with my country ham, scrambled eggs, and grits.
The ham was great, not too salty—a surprising change from the country hams you’ll find further east of these parts.
Ever since my very first day of waiting tables at a Southern breakfast joint 30 years ago, I’ve marveled how well eggs, ham, and biscuits complement each other. It’s a match made in heaven. There’s no better way to start your day.
But the grits are the star here at Elliston Place.
I’ve developed a theory about grits the last 30 years I’ve been eating them.
Since grits aren’t normally known to pack much flavor (unless you get those fancy grits with cheese or ham or gravy like they serve at 4-star Southern restaurants at dinner time), I used to think it was all about the texture.
You don’t want your grits too clumpy. But you don’t want them too runny either.
You want them moist, but still fork edible.
Elliston Place achieves not just grit perfection on the texture scale, they score a ten on taste too.
If anyone tries to tell you grits don’t have any taste, you need to immediately bring them here.
These grits, while completely not gilded, do have a delicious hominy taste. No Yankee could taste these and ask that typical Yankee question, “Sooo, what are grits anyways?”
You notice that deep, earthy cornmeal flavor that only gets better with a dab of butter and a quick shake of salt and pepper.
Elliston Place Soda Shop is a great place for lunch too.
Come sit at the lunch counter and order your favorite “meat-and-three” and a chocolate shake or malt. They’re made the old-fashioned way – just like they’ve been for seven decades.
Yep. You can count on Elliston Place every meal, every time.
So no matter what kind of crappy pabulum the millennials around the corner on Music Row are churning out this week, at least you know there’s one place in Nashville that won’t leave Southern tradition behind.
Just don’t forget to throw a dime in the jukebox and play some George Jones for me.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!