The meat-and-three - three as in three side items, for the ill-informed - remains Nashville's most native of cuisines. Kingpin caretaker of the genre, longtime Arnold's Country Kitchen owner Jack Arnold has handed the reins to his talented son Kahlil, who oversees the daily activity at this unassuming eatery just south of downtown. Vivacious wife Rose Arnold handles the tea, the lemonade and the cash register. Shake a hand, make a friend at this place: You and your tray may be sharing a table family-style in the cozy confines. The menu varies somewhat from day to day. Would-be dieters would best head on down the road, or at least choose the unsweetened tea. Signature dishes: fried chicken, fried oysters, smothered pork chops, chicken-fried steak, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, greens, fried okra, stewed apples and chocolate pie.
James Beard Foundation: America's Classics winner, 2009
"We piled our trays with hunks of fried chicken, whipped potatoes and gravy, turnip greens, corn muffins and slices of lightweight but heavy-flavored chocolate pie as well as classical Dixie banana pudding with vanilla wafers in the custard. Delicious, from first bite to last! Arnold's has since become one of our favorite places to eat in Nashville and a definitive meat-and-three eatery."
- Michael Stern, Roadfood.com