Burger Up- Best burger in Nashville, in my humble carnivorous opinion! There's a location in 12 South (a trendy Nashville neighborhood) and one in Cool Springs. They have unlimited fries, homemade ketchup, and gourmet burgers; I had the Woodstock, with bacon, Tennessee white cheddar, Jack Daniel's maple ketchup... and I added a fried egg to it. Phenomenal!
Sambuca- I ate lunch at this Gulch restaurant, and it was great! The Buca Beignets are a must-order appetizer, and the Shrimp & Crab Dip was good too. I had a personal-sized pizza, the Cosmo topped with vodka sauce, gouda, portobellos, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, and goat cheese. Um, yum! I would love to go back and try their cocktails, as well as perhaps some of the other small plates and entrees available in the evening.
Copper Kettle- Southern food has certainly grown on me. (And caused my waistline to grow.) But this restaurant was top-notch. It wasn't until I came to Tennessee that I learned what a "meat & three" is, but for this working lunch I had the phenomenal Monte Cristo sandwich. OMG. Amazing. We also sampled their desserts; the coconut cake was my favorite. I can't eat this kind of heavy, rich food often, but at least I know where to go!
Porta Via- If you like pizza that is more European-style, this place is great. One of their locations is right by my office, and it came highly recommended by a coworker. I tried their namesake pizza, and it was great! Fresh mozzarella and toppings really made it a unique pizza. It's not the normal thick, American-style slice covered in cheese and sauce, but I loved it nonetheless. I would like to try dinner there, and one of their pasta dishes sometime. Though they did give me a gelato sample!
J. Alexander's- Everything here tastes amazing. From the drinks to the salads to entrees... I try something different every time, and it's always good. I think the Flirtini is my favorite drink, and the Croque Madame my favorite dish. Even though it's a chain, it doesn't feel that way.
Bricktop's- Another chain without a zillion locations, you can't go wrong here. I've been for both lunch and dinner (there's a location around the corner from my work), and prefer the dinner menu. You have to try the flatbread, since it's basically a signature. And get a cookie skillet for dessert!
Urban Flats- Love this Gulch restaurant! Went there for lunch, because you can choose things that aren't too heavy. My friend LD got me hooked on flatbread, and the options here are great! Drinks too... prime location in 12South and worth stopping by.
I'm sure this is only Chapter 1 of many as I eat my way through Nashville/Franklin. I'll let you know what I find!