Panclog #23: The Nashville Adventures
Brunch, bourbon, and buddies
March 18-21st, 2016
This fancy edition of Panclog will feature a review of 2 restaurants, Biscuit Love and Pancake Pantry. We will touch more on B-Love than Pancake Pantry but you will leave happy, I guarantee it. But first, I should introduce today’s guest reviewer. His name is Robb Friedlander. He is one of my closest friends even though he currently lives 1194 miles away in Brooklyn, NY. We went to high school together and grew close via endless battles of NCAA Basketball on PlayStation 2. Some bouts may have ended in tears according to a source that was jealous of our relationship.
This crew was in town for the fantastic event that was my cousin’s wedding.
How cute are they?!? The wedding happened to be during Robb and I’s birthweek. So we all decided to celebrate with a long weekend in Nashville. We had breakfast everyday before traversing the fine world of music, bourbon, and woo-girls.
Location/Environment: Pancake Pantry and Biscuit Love are both located in Nashville. Both have excellent parking situations. The environment at Biscuit Love is more modern and clean and crisp than its Pancake Pantry partner. Pancake Pantry seems to be more of a country staple than a upscale bruncherie.
Service: Service seems to be extradited in Nashville. Most restaurants we went to were order/pay first, then sit. This would make for a more organized and quicker process. This frees up servers to be more focused on keeping beverages full and tabled cleared.
Wait time for food: 6 minutes at Biscuit Love
Menu/Selection: The Biscuit Love menu is very simple, with everything fitting on a simple piece of paper that you can hold while waiting in line. This simple menu also serves to reduce the food prep and delivery time.
Food: Robb’s Double Round Biscuits of Spicy Love Hot Take
When one thinks Nashville a few things come to mind.
Drunk Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties, yes.
Dolly Parton’s ta-ta’s, absolutely.
Biscuit Love’s Spicy Chicken on a glorious soft biscuit trounced in an angelic gravy made by Dolly herself and a side of BoNuts? Your one darn tooting Yankee if the answer is no.
Biscuit Love is quintessential “new” Nashville, and everything we love about it.
Located in an ritzy millennial shopping center filled with faux-Irish pubs and bowling alley bars filled with bachelor parties, the outside of Biscuit Love isn’t what you imagined Nasvhille would look like while listening to that old Chet Atkins LP you found in your Mom’s basement. Until you see the line.
The line at 9am on a Friday wasn’t “too long” at least for Nashville standards. Every restaurant in this city seems to follow the same organization. Wait in lines that can range from “long” to “ahh-hell-nah” long, until you get inside, order at a counter and then take a seat. Needless to say, at my first introduction to this system I was skeptical.
But having the best company an eater can ask for with me (the owner of this beautiful Panclog) made the time go by fast. As soon as we got in and smelled what would be arguably the best meal I had in Nashville, that line in my memory seemed not so bad.
Our group found a table as soon as we ordered, received some MUCH needed coffee and prepared to begin.
Not sure who ordered them, but GOD bless whoever ordered the Bonuts. How to explain the glory of BoNuts. Biting into those bite sized, deep fried, sugar coated, Mascarpone filled creations of love I felt as if I were lifted out of my seat from this shopping mall in Nashville and placed in the middle of Bourbon St in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Is it possible for a deep fried food to create transcendental experiences? Not sure, but if the answer is yes, the Bonuts surely fill that hole.
I have heard a lot about this “Hot Chicken” of Nashville. Maybe some dumb KFC commercials or just travelers on Yelp, but I had to try it. Not too long of a wait later I’m brought back from my mental vacation to New Orleans and back to the literal mouth-feel of Nashville.
It has to be said, we had a few “Hot Chicken” dishes during our time Nashville. Some of them very famous for their hot chicken, but none of them lived up to my first love….Biscut Love.
The Chicken was Hot for sure, but it was a complex hot. More like a honey Siracha that didn’t force the eater to lose their taste but still sweat. And sweat I did.
The “Hot Chicken” sandwich known as “The Princess” sandwich comes on a soft, doughy and melty biscuit that tasted like some southern grandmother made in the back kitchen while teaching her granddaughters about the traditions of the south.
This melty biscuit, teamed with the complex spicy chicken breast (with no bones, yet still very juicy with just the right amount of fat on the chicken to give it a great texture) teamed with some pickles, mustard and a drizzle of honey and I was out of my seat yelling “Holy Jolene”.
During this meal surround by great company I felt like I traveled from a shopping center in Nashville, to New Orleans and back to a southern grandma’s kitchen…all for 12 bucks? Sign me up every morning.
Lily (Jared Scot-with-1-T Sova)
When walking to our table after ordering, Robb made a very bold prediction by stating, “We made a good choice.” He was stating that this restaurant is going to treat us well. But please let me take that quote out of context and put a nice spin on his words. I do believe he was not just talking about the delicious bruncherie that we happened upon, He was declaring that we made a good choice coming to Nashville together. That we made a good choice becoming incredible friends. That we made good choices being born 3 days apart and then married 3 days apart.
Robb was not wrong. We made a good choice with Biscuit Love being our introduction to Nashville cuisine. This place is good. I must say that Bonuts are fantastic. Those are exactly what they sound like. Donuts with a B. Biscuit donut holes. They were flaky and sweet with Lemon Mascarpone and a blueberry compote on top. When I think biscuits, I tend to think about some very dense and heavy bread objects. These biscuits are the opposite. Flaky and light to the core. Bonuts come in an order of 5. It is the perfect table-sharer. I would not pass these up.
The Lily is essentially the Bonuts all grown up and not fried. It is biscuit french toast with blueberry compote and a delicious dollop of lemon mascarpone on top. It was the same biscuit dough that made both. So this french toast was not as dense as you would imagine. The dough was deliciously caramelized to perfection. The syrup was almost unnecessary with the amount of compote on the plate. I may have asked for the compote on the side if I knew that most of it would end up under the french toast. This is a minor flaw that I found.
order of Bonuts: $7
Overall: A few days in Nashville and we weren’t sure if we had located the true heart/soul of the city. While Biscuit Love’s interior and neighborhood might feel manufactured, the love that you could feel, taste and see within the food is the closest to “real Nashville” as we got.
Robb: A (A+ without the wait)
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Pancake Pantry is well known for the best pancakes in Nashville. Check out this pancake page in their menu!
(Jared)Pancake Pantry had a 45 minute wait on a Monday morning. They have a more standard restaurant style with a sit-down, order, then pay style. I must say that I was knocked out by the sheer number of pancake options they had. The left pancake trio is called Sugar and Spice. They had a lovely cinnamon taste. They came with applesauce, powdered sugar and AMAZING cinnamon cream syrup. The middle pancakes are called Caribbean pancakes. They included banana, pecans, shredded coconut, a single maraschino cherry and powdered sugar. I think these cakes were a little over-the-top for my mouth. A lot was happening in these cakes. The pancakes on the right were ordered by Robb. Banana Bread Pancakes. I was slightly confused when these weren’t Banana Bread French Toast. But they are made with Banana Bread batter with pecans inside.
I would absolutely check this place out again, but I would make sure to get there before 8 AM. This is the only way to get in and out without waiting in an outrageous line.