The day between Carb Day and the Indy 500, we decided to spend exploring part of Indiana. Before we left on our trip we consulted “1000 Places to See – in the USA and Canada – Before You Die,” cross-checked it with an online search and settled on Nashville . . . Indiana, that is.
Nashville is only an hour from Indianapolis and is purported to be an artists’ colony with more than 300 galleries. A perk, according to our book was that a foodie must – “Gnawbone Tenderloin” – is on the way there, in the town of, yep, you guessed it, Gnawbone. We decided to lunch there on the way to Nashville . Our plan hit its first snag on Route 46 while looking for Gnawbone Tenderloin. We slowly drove through the town of Gnawbone – where flea markets are apparently very popular – looking for Gnawbone Tenderloin. It was supposed to be right on the highway in a former gas station. We didn’t find it. We circled back and decided to inquire at a gas station as to its whereabouts. Its whereabouts we discovered were nonexistent. It had gone bust and was no longer.While disappointed, Nashville House had also been mentioned in our book as a worthy place to dine so we had a back up plan in place. We drove on.
When we arrived in Nashville we quickly realized that the downtown was about ten blocks and that it was a TOURIST destination. Although the Ocean is no where near by, saltwater taffy abounds in the gift shops as do folksy crafts and souvenirs. As for the promised 300 galleries? We only found about 5. Maybe they were in another part of town? It was time for Nashville House.
Nashville House is ½ country store, ½ dining room. The menu is purely southern with Indiana ham and fried chicken featured prominently. A specialty of the house is fried – yes, fried – biscuits with apple butter jam and let me tell you, they are dee-licious.
For our lunch, Jim opted for the fried chicken and I opted for the smoked sausage and Sassafras Iced Tea.
We tried to control ourselves with the hot out of the oven/fryer biscuits while we waited for our food. We also busted out Jim’s camera to take pictures which led to quite the commentary from the neighboring tables. (How do all you food bloggers do it? I wanted to crawl under the table in shame.)
When our meals arrived we discovered that Nashville House does not skimp on the food. Our plates were filled to overflowing with meat, mashed potatoes, a river of gravy, a mountain of corn and a bread plate size side of coleslaw. The corn, I’m sorry to say tasted frozen – not a complete tragedy and probably seasonally appropriate, but I fresh would have been so much better. The coleslaw was a strange consistency – almost pureed – but it still tasted very much like cabbage. I’m not a slaw fan in general, and this did not convert me.
Jim and I swapped sausage and chicken so we could both sample everything and then we got down to business – mashed potatoes, meat and gravy.
The mashed potatoes were creamy and the gravy was thick. The chicken had the perfect fried consistency – a thin, stick to the skin layer that melted in your mouth. The sausage was moist and robust with spice. Verdict: the basics have never tasted so good.
We were too full for dessert at lunch but we did take a piece of Nashville House’s Pecan Nut Butter Pie to go. Alas, we have no photo because the nutty, yet creamy consistency guaranteed that it disappeared rapidly once we got home 😉