another food field trip

Sometimes I think all I post about is food.

Before leaving for Florida, I went out for drinks and dinner with some friends before our campus minister went home to Poland for the summer.  We decided to be daring and head over to the river to a side of town we usually don’t visit – East Nashville. (Although I just posted about going to East Nashville for the food trucks, so you probably don’t believe me.  But it’s true, I don’t get over there very often.)

Our destination was The Pharmacy, a soda fountain – beer garden.

Yes, a strange marriage.  But it somehow works.  My review might differ had the weather not been unbelievably gorgeous – I’m not sure what they do in the winter, but I’m sure it’s a different (and more crowded) experience.  Unless there was a large inside area I missed, I would say their outside seating is at least four times their inside seating.  I walked through the pharmacy, with its wooden bars and stools, and headed out onto the back porch and into the large back yard.  The entire yard was full of long tables and benches with lights strung up all around.  It was just asking for you to sit down and have a stein of beer.

For the pregnant woman, they had real ginger ale from the soda fountain:

For the rest of us, they had a large variety of beers:

And for all of us, they had burgers and fries.  (Well, except Father Jacek, who got a chicken sandwich.  But we tried not to hold that against him.)

I followed a friend’s advice and just got a bacon cheeseburger, even though the menu was chock-full of crazy burgers, like the Farm burger (which features the taste of several local farms: Tripp Farms country ham, Glen Farm bacon, a Willow Farm fried egg and house-made maple mustard), the Mission burger (with black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and horchata crema fresca) , or the mushroom-Swiss burger (mushroom béchamel sauce, Swiss cheese and sour cream).

Admittedly, The Pharmacy had a lot to live up to for me.  Not only had I heard a lot about it from various people, a group of us have been on a quest since last summer to find the best burger in Nashville.  So I bit into that hunk of ground beef only after tasting many other good cheeseburgers around this city.

In regards to the burger, it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it was good.  I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype, but I should probably go again to make sure.  It wasn’t as juicy as I was expecting and I think it was a bit overcooked.

The service was pretty lousy.  Our waitress seemed easily distracted by the squeaky wheels around us, leaving us to try fruitlessly to get her attention.  It became a joke how often Paul would ask for something and she would completely ignore him.  Our food took awhile to arrive, which wouldn’t have been a problem if the burger had been the juicy incredibleness for which I was waiting (and if my beer hadn’t taken equally as long).

But the atmosphere made it all worth it.   The backyard was really fantastic — especially with the beautiful weather– and it provided a great laid-back setting after a long work day.  It would be a great place for big groups, since the tables were long and even were pushed together already in some areas.  It was a great option for families, since Dad could drink beer and the kids could play in the grass and get phosphates.

I will definitely be going back.  There was an “orange creamsicle” drink I wanted to try (I’ll have to go without those guys who peer-pressured me into getting beer…) and I’d like to give both the service and the burgers another chance.  And although there aren’t many 75 degree nights left for awhile, I’m pretty sure that backyard is calling my name.

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