Good Eats

Wildhorse Saloon @ Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee. Country Music of the World. Home of the hot chicken. Wildhorse Saloon is one of the establishment in the old section of downtown, and it was a great stop for dinner.

The Food

Sorry the food photos are a bit reddish, because the lighting in the Wildhorse Saloon was tinting the photos to purplish hue. No amount of photoshopping was able to remove the hue.

Starters

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Low country crab cakes

Low country crab cakes, Chef Adam’s family recipe, pimento remoulade, mustard, celery sprouts

Unlike crab cakes that you get in traditional steakhouse, which can be a bit too big and heavy for a starters, these were just the right size and packed the flavours and umami to start the meal. The crab cakes were pan fried and put on a bed of remoulade that added a bit of heat and tang which was good.

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World-famous fried pickles

World-famous fried pickles, dill and sweet pickles, buttermilk, house seasoning blend, herb ranch

Only the Americans. Anything tastes better when battered and deep fried. And here, they took a lowly ingredient that we sloppily dumped in a burger and elevated it to the same status as French fries. The pickles were coated with a crispy and savoury crust, and when accompanied with the herb-infused ranch sauce, it was a very popular snack on the table. You would not even noticed the sour dill and pickles that one would usually remove from your MacD cheeseburgers. I never had so much pickles in one sitting.

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Award-winning smoked wings

Award-wining smoked wings, jumbo wings, blue cheese, celery, award winning sauce

Of course it has to be award-winning. The house smoked wings with the “award winning” sauce from the 2015 Music City Hot Wing Festival was really tasty. The wings flew off the plate in ten minutes. Of course nobody touched the celery and blue cheese dip, haha.

If you were wondering who won the 2019 competition? Nobody, they discontinued the festival after 2016.

Entrées

We wanted to order sides (which they called fixins in the South) but remembering that the American portions are huge and the entrées came with fixins anyway.

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Char-grilled ribeye

Char-grilled ribeye, house-blend steak seasoning, peppercorn shallot butter, country-style fried potatoes, seasonal vegetables

This is not a steakhouse, so the steak was really just slightly better than Denny’s. Big, chunky cuts of potatoes that were spiced with paprika(?) and a really boiled to death chopped beans.

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Buttermilk fried chicken

Buttermilk fried chicken, house seasoning blend, mac & cheese, chow-chow coleslaw 

The Southerners really know their fried chicken. Besides what we know around the world (KFC, Texas Fried Chicken, Popeye’s), many restaurants made a mean, juicy, tender fried chicken with a crust that’s out of this world. I was surprised it was the same here in a saloon.

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Nashville hot chicken

Nashville hot chicken, fried chicken, house seasoning blend, spicy B7B pickles, rustic white bread, mac & cheese, chow-chow coleslaw 

Here’s a take of the origin of Nashville hot chicken. Once upon a time, a cheating man came home to his wife and asked for fried chicken for dinner. The wife decided to seek revenge by spiking his chicken with lots of heat and spices. And when the man ate it, instead of throwing up, he exclaimed, “Woman, this is the best chicken I have eaten.” He opened the first Nashville hot chicken place called Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and he remained loyal to his wife ever since. His name? James Prince.

OK, this is not the original, but ever since, everyone claimed to have the best or the hottest. This is the first time I tried this, so I am not expert, but it appeared to me that it tasted like KFC Hot and Spicy in Singapore. Sorry, Prince, I will definitely try yours if not that your restaurant was closed for renovation when I was in Nashville.

BBQ

Everything was smoked low and slow in-house over hickory lump charcoal with Wildhorse BBQ spice blend.

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Pick 3 with two fixins’

BBQ Pick 3 served with choice of two fixins’ – chopped pork, sliced brisket, chicken thighs, seasonal farmers’ market vegetables, caramelised onions

A really hearty dish of BBQ. A bit (actually quite a lot) of everything in the Pick 3 (except smoked sausages) and sides that would be a meal on its own. It needed a big appetite to finish everything. My friend didn’t managed to.

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Hickory smoked ribs

Hickory smoked ribs, 8-bones, Wildhorse BBQ spice blend, served with brown sugar baked beans, chow-chow coleslaw 

Your run-of-the-mill BBQ ribs with a sweet and sour sauce very much like a sourish charsiu. The meat fell off the bones so easily, but I could do with a lot more sauce. The highlight was the baked beans. Not your Heinz beans out of the can, but a much more flavourful version with a more complete flavour profile. Maybe I should try to add a bit of root beer next time to my baked beans to see if I can achieve the same.

The Saloon

More than 1.5 million music lovers and catering groups stampede through their doors annually to catch the hottest in live entertainment, learn the newest dance steps and dine on their award-winning Southern smokehouse cuisine and fan favourites like their signature fried pickles and hot chicken.

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Music city

Every night, three or more bands would take the stage and play their own creations or cover hits by other artistes. Mostly country music, sometime rock, but all good music. And then between sets, they would pause and start teaching people how to line dance.

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World-famous Wildhorse

The service was a fine example of Southern hospitality. They were attentive but in a good way. The atmosphere was relaxed throughout. But I was quite surprised that they closed much earlier than the rest of Broadway.

Recommended if you are in the area.

Wildhorse Saloon
120 Second Ave North
Nashville, TN 37201
Tel : 615-902-8200

http://www.wildhorsesaloon.com/

Date Visited : May 2019

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