When I was in Chile, I remember going to the little Peruvian restaurant 4 blocks from the hotel. It quickly became my favorite restaurant in the world because of the variety of absolutely perfect food I could get there. It was my favorite place I have ever eaten. Until tonight.

I had heard about Monell's from my team. They explained the food and environment, but little could prepare me for the experience. When we walked up to the building in Germantown, the flowers and small coy pond caught my attention. The garden these sat in was just to the right of the circa 1880 old brick home that had been renovated into this establishment. Above the door going in was a sign that read "Come in as strangers, leave as friends". The four of us (Jodi, Blanca, Mike, and I) waited about 20 minutes before we were led to our table. There are only 8 tables in the dining room. But each one seat 12-14. We sat down, and 8 people we had never met before sat down with us. A man with his pregnant wife, accompanied by her mother. 3 music teachers in for a convention downtown, all from eastern Tennessee. And 2 tourists from New Jersey. Add in Jodi and I from Ohio, Blanca from Atlanta, and Mike from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and we had a myriad of people and no shortage of conversation. The table was very boisterous. Until the first course started. We found sweet tea in pitchers on the table. Beside them, we had serving dishes full of pickled beets, red potato salad, and coleslaw. Next they brought out the cornbread and biscuits, with home made peach preserves to go on them. Then the macaroni and cheese, corn pudding, and turnip greens. Follow that with (anyone hungry yet?) bbq spare ribs, southern style fried chicken, and smothered chicken, and end it all with banana pudding. I have never seen so many people so full. Not only was the variety of food unbelievable for one meal, but it was so good, just as if we were on someones farm in the south and they had prepared the meal for us right there.

I would drive back to Nashville just to go to Monell's. If you are in the Music City, or ever find yourself there, do yourself a favor and drop by for dinner. You will not regret it!

Back to Ohio in the morning, to stay. Guess it is time to find my pillow..........


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