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 Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing

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ctfrasier

  • Total Posts: 253
  • Joined: 3/2/2005
  • Location: nashville, TN
Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 12:40 PM (permalink)
The Belle Meade Cafeteria in Nashville is closing. I was not a huge fan but by no means hated the place. I do, however, hate to see a place that has been a local institution go under.

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061218/NEWS03/61218012
 
#1
    mayor al

    • Total Posts: 15062
    • Joined: 8/20/2002
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Roadfood Insider
    RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 2:10 PM (permalink)
    CTFrasier, I edited your title to include the BelleMeade reference. I think it will help draw attention to the sad news. I agree with you, I am not a big cafeteria fan, but the loss of another Roadfood Institution like this one is indeed sad news.
     
    #2
      Sundancer7

      RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 2:50 PM (permalink)
      I opened a business in Nashville in 1976 and I have ate there many times. It was very good then but I have no idea how it has been lately.

      Paul E. Smith
      Knoxville, TN
       
      #3
        Michael Stern

        RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 3:13 PM (permalink)
        Oh, this really is sad. In my mind, The Belle Meade was the queen of cafeterias: so polite, so civilized ... not to mention excellent food. Now we'll need to replace it with another place as the last stop on the morning Nashville Marathon Eating Tour in April. There are plenty of good places to eat in and around the city. I'm not sure if we all can fit into the Elliston Place Soda Shop or Rotier's, either of which I'd love to revisit. Sylvan Park is definitely too small as I recollect. We're open to suggestions. Paul? Any thoughts?
         
        #4
          Sundancer7

          RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 4:33 PM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by Michael Stern

          Oh, this really is sad. In my mind, The Belle Meade was the queen of cafeterias: so polite, so civilized ... not to mention excellent food. Now we'll need to replace it with another place as the last stop on the morning Nashville Marathon Eating Tour in April. There are plenty of good places to eat in and around the city. I'm not sure if we all can fit into the Elliston Place Soda Shop or Rotier's, either of which I'd love to revisit. Sylvan Park is definitely too small as I recollect. We're open to suggestions. Paul? Any thoughts?


          Michael, thanks for the thought but this is definately for Poverty Pete and Pogophiles.

          These two boys live in Nashville and they know it like a book.

          Paul E. Smith
          Knoxville, TN
           
          #5
            buffetbuster

            RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 4:35 PM (permalink)
            Michael-
            What do you think about Wendell Smith's, aka Booze & Biscuits. I think they would be able to fit 50+ people.
             
            #6
              mayor al

              • Total Posts: 15062
              • Joined: 8/20/2002
              • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
              • Roadfood Insider
              RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 4:40 PM (permalink)
              BB
              Tell us more about Wendell Smith's. I am not a Nashville expert, but would like to read about the place.
              Lot's of places can take in 50 folks at a time, the criteria for quality Roadfood is number 1 !
               
              #7
                buffetbuster

                RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 4:57 PM (permalink)
                Mr. Mayor-
                It has been in the last two Roadfood books, so I know Jane & Michael like it. I ate there about a month ago and even though it wasn't as good as some other meat & threes I have been to in Nashville (Swett's for example), it is still quite good. I really liked the vegetables, especially the mac & cheese and green beans.

                When it came to the dessert, I got the banana pudding and when I tried to order the chocolate icebox, the waitress leaned in to tell me it wasn't made there. Not a good sign, but I appreciated her warning me. The banana pudding was really good, though.

                 
                #8
                  rbpalmer

                  • Total Posts: 469
                  • Joined: 4/2/2003
                  • Location: washington, DC
                  RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 5:04 PM (permalink)
                  That's too bad. I ate there several years ago when I was in Nashville on business, and it was really good and inexpensive. Fortunately, there are still other great places in the city to eat, such as Sylvan Park and Sweatt's.
                   
                  #9
                    mayor al

                    • Total Posts: 15062
                    • Joined: 8/20/2002
                    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                    • Roadfood Insider
                    RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 5:20 PM (permalink)
                    Thanks for the updates!!
                     
                    #10
                      Poverty Pete

                      • Total Posts: 2266
                      • Joined: 8/16/2003
                      • Location: Nashville, TN
                      RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 5:30 PM (permalink)
                      Wendell Smith's could probably handle the busload, but I think there's much better food to be found. Are you settled on a meat&three or tearoom sort of place? If you're willing to explore beyond that, these is some great food in Nashville. I don't think Rotier's and the Soda Fountain combined could take on a busload on a Saturday morning.
                      Martha's at The Plantation serves wonderful food, but is probably more expensive than many people would be comfortable with.
                       
                      #11
                        Sundancer7

                        RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 6:20 PM (permalink)
                        Poverty and Pogo, I believe Michael is looking for a filler that would work for all. I think the two of you should put your head together and advise him.

                        Personally I am looking forward to the hot chicken.

                        Paul E. Smith
                        Knoxville, TN
                         
                        #12
                          Diner-Lover

                          • Total Posts: 246
                          • Joined: 7/23/2005
                          • Location: Philly Burb, PA
                          RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 6:44 PM (permalink)
                          That's a shame! I had it bookmarked based on a roadfood review here, if we ever got to visit Nashville.
                           
                          #13
                            ctfrasier

                            • Total Posts: 253
                            • Joined: 3/2/2005
                            • Location: nashville, TN
                            RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 12/18/06 8:16 PM (permalink)
                            Wendell Smith's is very good. Sylvan Park has a second location on 8th Avenue that is larger. That might be a good option. You might also look into Vittle's. They have three locations, the Brentwood or Hermitage locations should be big enough. I am also a big fan of City Cafe in Brentwood which would definitely accomodate fifty.
                             
                            #14
                              mr chips

                              • Total Posts: 4715
                              • Joined: 2/19/2003
                              • Location: portland, OR
                              RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 12:31 AM (permalink)
                              I'm sad my upcoming trip to Nashville will not include the Belle Meade.
                               
                              #15
                                Michael Stern

                                RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 9:18 AM (permalink)
                                Poverty Pete made the excellent suggestion that our last stop on the morning tour be for that vastly underappreciated local specialty, the hot fish sandwich. Sounds good to me!
                                 
                                #16
                                  mayor al

                                  • Total Posts: 15062
                                  • Joined: 8/20/2002
                                  • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                                  • Roadfood Insider
                                  RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 9:41 AM (permalink)
                                  I won't be on the morning tour, but the sandwich sounds like a good way to finish off a great ride.

                                  Thank's Pete for making a good suggestion!
                                   
                                  #17
                                    mayor al

                                    • Total Posts: 15062
                                    • Joined: 8/20/2002
                                    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 2:08 PM (permalink)

                                    Chris,
                                    Thanks for the link. I learned a lot about the "why" of the Fish Sandwich! Next visit to Nashville Jan and I will be looking for one...and walking around the Farmers Market too!
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Sundancer7

                                      RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 5:17 PM (permalink)
                                      The hot fish sandwich sounds like a real winner to me. It has been years since I had one but it was super.

                                      Nashville is famous for those.

                                      I am sure PP and Pogo knows the best.

                                      Paul E. Smith
                                      Knoxville, TN
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Poverty Pete

                                        • Total Posts: 2266
                                        • Joined: 8/16/2003
                                        • Location: Nashville, TN
                                        RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 5:52 PM (permalink)
                                        Pogo can probably tell us more about the route of the marathon that day, but my idea was to park the bus at the FArmer's Market, and walk to Kingfish, two short blocks away. If that doesn't work, a backup plan might be to get some takeout at TJ's, and drive to a local park for a picnic. Kingfish can seat about forty or fifty, but there are also benches and tables around the farmer's market. I predict the weather will cooperate.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Poverty Pete

                                          • Total Posts: 2266
                                          • Joined: 8/16/2003
                                          • Location: Nashville, TN
                                          RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Tue, 12/19/06 6:45 PM (permalink)
                                          So...the marathon course goes right past Kingfish. 8th st. will be closed. My alternate suggestion is to have the bus stop at TJ's. There is room for the bus to park. Get takeout and proceed to a local park between there and Loveless for a picnic.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            gbacounselor

                                            • Total Posts: 41
                                            • Joined: 11/23/2003
                                            • Location: Chattanooga, TN
                                            RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Thu, 12/21/06 6:12 PM (permalink)
                                            I saw Mr. Stern's message that the Belle Meade would be closing right away, and since we already had a trip to Nashville planned, we decided to eat there. What a neat experience! We didn't arrive until 1:30 and we had to stand in line for quite a while. For a cafeteria, I thought that the food was delicious, although I was disappointed that they were out of squash casserole. Being a "turnip green connoisseur," I have learned that you can tell a lot about an eating establishment from their turnip greens. The greens at the Belle Meade were very good...definitely not canned. The fried chicken was perfectly seasoned, and the chess pie was delicious. I talked briefly with a waiter who said that he had worked at the Belle Meade for 16 years. When I asked him why they were closing, he answered in one word: "Rent." The strip mall where the Restaurant was located didn't look all that fancy to me, but I guess the area dictates the rental price. At any rate, I'm really glad that we had the experience of eating there before it closes on Christmas Eve.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              ctfrasier

                                              • Total Posts: 253
                                              • Joined: 3/2/2005
                                              • Location: nashville, TN
                                              RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Fri, 12/22/06 11:16 AM (permalink)
                                              The Tennessean had a nice article on the closing of Belle Meade Cafeteria. It also speaks about the demise of Mom-n-Pop shops as a whole.

                                              http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061222/NEWS01/612220411
                                               
                                              #23
                                                mr chips

                                                • Total Posts: 4715
                                                • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                                • Location: portland, OR
                                                RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Sat, 12/23/06 3:28 AM (permalink)
                                                Thank you for the link. The article was an articulate summary of the pronlems facing mom and pop places. I'm so sorry this icon is closing.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  PepperPhil

                                                  • Total Posts: 335
                                                  • Joined: 10/2/2006
                                                  • Location: Pineview, TN
                                                  RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 01/1/07 12:59 PM (permalink)
                                                  Can I mention going the other way to hookup with the Homestead Restaurant in Centerville also on Hwy 100..... they serve a country buffet that is real reasonable....
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    buffetbuster

                                                    RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Mon, 01/15/07 10:31 AM (permalink)
                                                    I only made in to Belle Meade Cafeteria one time and that was in mid Novemeber. I am so glad that I was able to eat there as part of my trip, since the place closed so suddenly.

                                                    What I remember most was how nice the people were. When the woman working the cafeteria line heard us speak, she asked us where we were from and patiently answered some questions from my girlfriend, since it was her first trip to the South. Apparently, we don't sound like we are from Nashville!

                                                    The gentleman who took our trays to our tables also stayed and chatted and recommended some sights and other restaurants we might want to try. And then, an elderly woman who was in the cafeteria line behind us stopped at our table. She said in a thick Southern accent that she was from Wisconsin, which confused us at first. Then she explained she has been in Nashville for 60+ years and she just wanted to say hello and welcome us to her town. How nice was that?

                                                    The food itself was very good, but after eating at other places like Swett's, Sylvan Park, Wendell Smith's and Pope's Cafe in Shelbyville all in the same weekend, it seemed to just blend in with the others.

                                                    Two other things I liked: Above the cash register where you pay, was a sign that said "The most interesting people eat at Belle Meade Buffet". And painted on the glass above the entrance doorway, it said very simply "A Southern restaurant".
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      mlinkinhoker

                                                      • Total Posts: 183
                                                      • Joined: 9/13/2005
                                                      • Location: Brentwood (Nashville, TN
                                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                                      RE: Sad news, Belle Meade Cafeteria Closing Sun, 03/18/07 2:50 PM (permalink)
                                                      I think the Belle Meade Cafeteria was in institution but the food was really just fair - it was more the experience - true Southern culture!

                                                      I really don't think you are going to want to go to the Farmers Market quite yet (trust me - inside information here) because the renovations are giong to take a little longer. I will verify but not where I would suggest. Right now your choices are Swett's which you are already going to the original location, Jamaicaway, Mexican, and Gyros and maybe the Oriental place. Nooley's cajun/creole is going to open soon I hear and if it's the same Nooley's that was in Franklin for many years, I am excited - the food is good and it's the best genuine po-boy to be found around here. But they were never quick to get the food out. And the marathon route is so close.

                                                      There is another institution that has quite a few locations all around the area - Monell's - it's the community table concept - lots of food on big tables - sit with whomever they put you with, strike up a conversation and pass the food. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner. The location in Franklin is in a pre-civil war jail - REALLY cool. They have the original location near the Farmers Market. A location out towards Gallatin.

                                                      There is also the Sylvan Park on Franklin Road which is a larger location than the original location. For many years it was Dennison's (run by a Greek family - meat and three diner type place) and it's where a lot of the old time country music stars go - it's nothing to see Mr. Eddie Arnold sitting at the community table right as you walk in.

                                                      Vittles is upscale southern food but good - a little pricy but good. Brentwood location is the largest one that I know of but a bus would probably fill it up. The original location on Lebanon Pike is definitely too small.

                                                      City Cafe has several locations - the original being in a shopping center in Brentwood and probably most capable of handling a bus load. One of the newer locations at Harding and I-24 looks pretty large but I haven't been in it to see - it's close to work, maybe I'll make a run in there this week.

                                                      Tex's BBQ off Murfreesboro road is a VERY old standby and would be great - think they are closed on Saturday but a bus would fill it so they might be willing to accomodate. Not only bbq but great veggies - I could just eat a veggie plate!

                                                      Not sure about Maggie's Cafe in Brentwood - it's been around a LONG time and they make both 'ladies' tea room lunch type food and meat and three - they have a meat & three downtown (their son runs the Maggie's in the arcade and the Maggie's meat and three is the 'daughter's' place though dad is rnning it most of the time). They go to my church and run our kitchen and Brett always has great meat and three on the Wednesday night supper.

                                                      Puffy Muffin in Brentwood is another sort of ladies lunch place but with Southern foods - pimento and cheese on freshly made yeast rolls. Ham rolls. Chicken salad. Crunchy chicken casserole. Poppy seed chicken casserole. Congealed and frozen salads. Poppy seed bread. Baked goods that are to die for.

                                                      Bro's on Charlotte is sort of a Southern meat & three with a Cajun/creole twist and while it would mean splitting up into all the many little rooms, I think Bro could accomodate the bus.

                                                      I personally love Wendell Smith's and have even driving all the way across town on Friday nights to eat there. It's definitely old and reminds me of Angelo's in Jackson, MS where I grew up as a child. So it's part nostalgia but the food is good.

                                                      Hermitage Smorgasboard is an old standby and has a buffet of meat and three and has private rooms that can easily accomodate the bus.

                                                      They could probably accomodate the group at Belle Meade Plantation (Marthe's) by doing box lunches and then the might open up one of the areas that can be 'rented' to allow the group to eat there if the weather wasn't such that a nice picnic would be a change.

                                                      Now these suggestions will really throw you for a loop but - small 'chain' (4 locations) if you want to call it that, BB King's on 2nd Ave. has southern veggies that will make you cry - I swear these are the closest to my grandmothers of any restaurant. And an appetizer basket of fried chicken livers is a meal in itself. Catfish bites. The other recommendation is for Sobro Grill in the Country Music Hall of Fame - also owned by Tom Morales that owns Loveless, the menu is different than Loveless with a few of the same items. It's considered contemporary Southern cuisine - with fried green tomato BLT, or pulled bbq. B-side changes frequently to take advantage of what is fresh at the markets.

                                                      Caney Fork Fish Camp near Opryland has become a new favorite. The same owners also own a very upscale restaurant but this is some of the best southern style catfish I have found anywhere around here.

                                                      I've heard good things about the Copper Kettle which is about to reopen in it's original location after being burned out several years ago. I've never been there through.

                                                       
                                                      #27
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