Downtown Nashville is just one of those places that is stuck in identity purgatory. There’s the historic and beautiful Ryman Auditorium…right next to what is soon to be the epitome of kitschy—Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Tourist havens like discount boot shops and memorabilia stores line Broadway and the glitzy arena can’t even keep the same name for more than three years.
Suffices to say, downtown Nashvegas doesn’t exactly conjure up images of local, neighborhood eateries. But such a place does exist. Safely tucked away from the main street bustle, 417 Union is one of downtown’s true treasures.
Pierce: Sweet Tea ($2), Omelette 417 ($8.95)
Kristen: Lemonade ($2), French Toast Platter ($8.95)
Service time: 16 minutes, 15 seconds
First impression: We parked on 5th street and hung a right on Union to get to the restaurant. The entrance was small and the ambience inside was pure local. A few couples chatted at tables, while guys at the bar laughed heartily. It felt like we were in a…city. The bartender was doubling as our waiter and he quickly brought us our drinks. “The lemonade was squeezed 60 seconds ago,” he said, while gesturing at the rack of lemons behind the bar. The taste proved it.
The Main Event: The menu included many breakfast and lunch items, but since it was just past 10:30 am, we went with the breakfast (as is usually the case). Pierce’s Omelette 417 was a tightly packed mix of eggs, herbs, mushrooms, and bacon. The plate was simply bursting with fresh aroma from the seemingly just-picked vegetables, as well as the seasoned potatoes. The attention to detail certainly paid off with this dish.
Kristen ordered a French toast platter with bacon, eggs, and vanilla maple syrup. The toast wasn’t overloaded with sugar—a refreshing break from the coma-inducing product that some restaurants produce. That being said, the vanilla maple syrup was about just as good as it sounds—which is amazing.
The Aftermath: The prices for both items were certainly reasonable—even though the outing cost close to $30 after tip. But even so, it was well worth it. The food, the atmosphere, and the service were all top-notch. All in all, this was our best brunch outing yet—and in downtown, of all places.
4.75/5 Syrup Crocks