It’s always been a mystery to us how the real food critics of the world work. (We’ve only been going at it for four months.) A recent Tennessean review of Burger Up found the writer, Nancy Vienneau, commenting on nearly every item on the menu. So do they just bring her a little bit of everything? Does she go back several times over the course of a month? A week?
We usually don’t have that kind of luxury—which is why we tend to focus on the experience rather than the distinct ins and outs of the food. Our approach has its ups and downs. For one, we present a real, upfront, unaltered look at a restaurant. But on the other hand, multiple trips certainly do give a better overall look at an establishment.
Regardless, sometimes we just sit back and wish “Man, that would be awesome if we could just go somewhere and sample a little bit of everything.” Today, that wish came true—courtesy of an old Nashville brunch buffet favorite.
Copper Kettle – Downtown Nashville
Pierce: Brunch Buffet ($16.25), Mango Sweet Tea (included)
Kristen: Brunch Buffet ($16.25), Mimosa ($6.00)
Service Time: Um, N/A?
First Impression: Copper Kettle’s downtown location, perched on a hill just south of the city, is a bit odd. The place advertises an excellent view of the city, but it isn’t all that spectacular from indoors (although the outside seating would be fantastic if the weather wasn’t so humid). The indoor décor is pretty standard and the tables are a little close together.
But the most enduring feature is the long, winding buffet. In fact, on Sundays, the $16.25 buffet is the only thing on the menu. This might surprise a few by-passers who just decide to drop in, but the higher-end price is well worth it.
The Main Event: The Copper Kettle’s buffet layout is quite extensive. The line starts with a selection of baked breakfast goods like muffins and donuts. Then, it weaves into appetizer fare like fruit salad and cheese bites (the balsamic soaked mozzarella was fantastic).
The main course aisle had biscuits, bacon, and sausage for the breakfast side of the things. The bacon was crisp and flavorful—some of the best we’ve had. For lunch, there was freshly cut ham which was perfectly textured and succulent. A chicken rice pilaf dish was also very satisfying.
In addition to the buffet offerings, we also had the option to request waffles or made-to-order eggs and omelets. Pierce went with a customizable ham, cheddar, and mushroom two-egg omelet that succeeded in all areas. The special peanut butter cream and Oreo waffles were tempting, but after a couple plates, we were already full.
The Verdict: The final check clocked in at just under $50 after tip, which was in stark contrast to last week’s outing. That being said, the food at Copper Kettle was really good—but we’ve had comparable tastes for much fewer dollars at other locations around town.
We’ll have to take ourselves back down to the minor leagues.
4/5 Syrup Crocks