"I'll Have What They're Having" is All You Need to Say at These 10 Spots
It is no secret that the food scene is pretty incredible around Franklin and all of Williamson County, Tennessee. There are lots of trusted voices saying it; I've read raving reviews just like you have, but for the visual learners in the group [raises hand] we still need to see it to believe it entirely.
That's why at a restaurant, while I look at the menu each time, I'm much more likely to glance at the tables around me, find something that catches my eye, and tell the waiter, "I'll have what they're having!"
Thanks to the wonder of television and all the different food shows, us visual learners get to have a sneak peek at menus from all across the globe, or even just down the street. The next time you are in Franklin and want just to say, "I'll have what they had," here are a few of the stops highlighted on your favorite food shows.
Guy Fieri, the blonde spike-haired convertible driver famous for hosting Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, has made 55 South one of his earliest visits. Guy loved the "wood smoke component" of the char-grilled oysters that are then topped with a garlic-lemon-butter and parmesan. Not one to disagree with the expert, I too can vouch that these are indeed, fantastic!
Five Daughters Bakery
Trisha Yearwood, one of the legendary voices of country music, is also quite the southern chef in her home kitchen as well. On her Food Network show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, she paid a visit to Five Daughters Bakery to gain inspiration from their famed 100-layer doughnuts for an entire doughnut-based meal! How amazing does that sound? Together the Five Daughters crew and Trisha created Green Onion Cheddar Doughnuts, Doughnut Grilled Cheese, and capped it for dessert with Five Daughter's purple-colored Galaxy Doughnuts.
This jewel of an idea started as a food truck slinging biscuit creations from an air stream trailer, so catching up to Biscuit Love's delicious concoctions was a bit of a moving target for Food Network's Guilty Pleasures and Cooking Channel's Unique Eats. The hosts from Unique Eats got a lesson in crafting the perfect Golden Biscuits and Banana Jam, while the Guilty Pleasures crew sampled "The Gertie" which is peanut butter, chocolate and pretzels all served up on a biscuit. (It is even better than it sounds!) Have no worries about chasing down a food truck though, with a newly opened location in downtown Frankin you can pull up a chair and just say "yes please" to everything on the menu!
Martin's BBQ Joint
It might be easier to say which shows haven't featured the incredible BBQ from Martin's BBQ Joint, than naming who has! Safe to say though, whether it was the TODAY Show, Iron Chef Eats, or Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, they all got to experience the "whole hog" process that makes Martin's famous. Each show got a little taste of the classic pulled pork, but Iron Chef Michael Symon was sure to save room for my personal favorite, the famed Red Neck Tacos. The perfect amount of BBQ and slaw piled over a fresh hotcake... come on, it's just not fair just how amazing these tacos are!
The Cooking Channel's Eat Street pulled into the beautiful mansion that houses Mere Bulles for an episode they appropriately called "Gold and Great." They featured one of the greatest accessories to any traditional southern meal - CHEESE! That's right; it was all about the incredible cheeseburgers, mac & cheese, and blue cheese chips at Mere Bulles. While the menu is full of incredible treats, filling your plate full of things known for being "gold and great" is never a bad plan!
Barbara's Home Cookin'
In the south, few things are as exciting or mouth-watering as pulling up to grandma's house for lunch on a Sunday. That is the same feeling you have with each trip to Barbara's Home Cookin'. Tennessee Crossroads, the PBS show that has spent the last 30 years highlighting gems across the Volunteer State stopped in for a visit to share the full experience. From the friendly faces that know regulars by name and happily greet newcomers, to plates full of fried chicken, dumplings, biscuits, and lots of gravy, you won't find a much more authentic southern dining experience outside of grandma's house. On the show they tried a little bit of everything, so your best bet here is undoubtedly just to have a look around and say, "I'll have what they're having!"
Cork & Cow
Kix Brooks knows the things he loves; music, wine, and a great steak. Everyone knows of his music with Brooks & Dunn, one of the most popular country duos of all-time, and his wine from Arrington Vineyards (right here in Williamson County!) is winning awards from coast-to-coast. Kix's third love, a good steak, is one he shares on the Cooking Channel's Steak Out with Kix Brooks. Kix and Franklin's Cork & Cow owner Jason McConnell spent time in the kitchen cooking up the perfect Sous Vide Strip Steak on the episode. Of course, they also paired it with a fine red wine from Arrington Vineyards to cap a perfectly Franklin meal!
Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant
Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant is no stranger to the spotlight. Their unique combination of being a grocery and a restaurant is novel enough but toss in the fact that you'll also hear incredible live music from the stage as you dine and you have a can't miss meal spot. Travel Channel's Food Paradise along with Burgers, Brew, and Que have both paid visits to Puckett's. Each took a food coma-inducing tour through the menu, sampling the classic platter of pulled pork and creamy mac & cheese.
One of the first food trucks on the scene in Middle Tennessee, The Grilled Cheeserie, is just what you would expect and everything my heart desires. The creative concoctions of gooey, grilled cheese goodness are beyond comparison, and when Cooking Channel's Eat Streets stopped by, host Vivek Surti found out exactly why. He took in a trio of samples ranging from their Caliente, the Pimento Mac & Cheese, and finished with the Tex-Mex Turkey Melt. The Grilled Cheeserie is currently building a location on Franklin's beloved Main Street! Dare I say a better union has never been made than the joining of America's favorite sandwich (I voted for you America, you're welcome), and America's Favorite Main Street?
Which place is going to be first on your Franklin food itinerary? Let us know in the comments below.