Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday July 7th 2010
Bro’s, 33rd and Charlotte, Nashville, TN
I’d noticed this place many times before, partly because of its dilapidated mansion appearance, and also because of its name; Bro’s, it’s a name that stands out. There were a lot of preconceived notions I had about the place that turned out to be incorrect. For example I thought that it might not be in business anymore. With the building set so far back from the road you could never get a look inside, and with all the cars parked in the back by the main entrance, it always looked like no one was there. I got kind of a creepy time share vacation lodge vibe from the place and never would have seen myself going in, but after receiving an invitation from my friend Bridget, their newly appointed waitress, again I thought about the blog and my readers, and decided to take her up on it.
Talking with Bridget about Bro’s I learned a couple things most diners might not know right off the bat. One being that the owners family name is Breaux, and they dumbed down the spelling a bit to make the restaurant more appealing, which in my opinion, as far as names go, works. And secondly I found out that one of the Breaux sons who works for the family business has a bit of a drinking problem and likes to stash whiskey in secret places around the restaurant to help him loosen up on the job. Good knowledge to have going into it I thought.
The place has many different levels and small rooms, kind of like a ship. It’s a little confusing to navigate, and all the tables are for parties of eight or more, so after wandering in one direction for a while, up and down various staircases, Val and I found ourselves at the far corner of one of the giant oval tables, right next to the kitchen entrance.
Noticing the Food Network logo placed next to certain dishes, Val discovered in the menu’s legend that the logo indicated a favorite meal of Guy Frieri, that obnoxious fat fashion biker dude from the television, from when he came to Bro’s for his little show. Coincidentally we had both ordered his recommendations, which made me not want to like it, but I couldn’t help it. Honestly I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it anyways, Cajun food is not something I’m very familiar with, at all, but my guess as to how it would be was pretty close. Actually the most surprising thing about it was that even though our table was literally right next to the kitchen, Bridget brought the food to us from upstairs.
We divided up our plates between the two of us, I having ordered Jambalaya and Val the fried catfish. My first time with Jambalaya surprisingly, but its generally a pretty familiar thing, spicy rice with roasted pork and homemade sausage mixed in, the meats were all excellent, but the dish could have been hotter temperature wise. The catfish was a little salty and my first bite too greasy, but once I got into it, I got into it. Bridget brought down a small bottle of hot sauce with a self adhesive sticker on it, where someone illegibly scribbled ‘jookla no’ on it, or something to that effect, and suggested I try it. Obviously I was being set up for a panic situation, but it would have been rude to decline the offer, so I extracted a microdot sized portion from the bottle and ate it on a fried potato. My suspicions confirmed. Hot sauce like that more closely resembles a physically and mentally crippling poison than a casual carefree condiment. It had me worried for a while there.
Bridget had been called upon to retrieve the substance abusing Breaux son from the “bank”, which was apparently his code word for liquor store, to conceal his addiction from the rest of the family. She seemed less than pleased and threatened to not go at all. This put a strain on the end of our meal, as she wanted to wait until we were done before getting him, but in fact the guy was out sitting on a curb somewhere baking in the sun dehydrating himself with alcohol. Taking everything into consideration, we wrapped it up, at this point far beyond full, secreting grease and spice in a steady stream of sweat, from a body eager to expel an overload of toxins. We paid under the watchful eye of an autographed Guy Frieri poster. “Now dats some good Cajun!” he had written next to his immaculately spiked bushel of bleach blonde hair.
“I just figured out why I cant ever remember your name!”, one of the cooks said to Bridget on her way out the door, “My best friend shot himself in the head right in front of me over a girl named Bridget. I must have gone and blocked it out of my head!”
Also, it says in the menu they have the capability to fry 70 turkeys at once here.