Welcome to East Nashville. Budget Travel Magazine as “Nashville’s version of New York’s East Village”. This is a historic, eclectic and kitschy neighborhood filled with old style southern homes called Antebellum style architecture. Sprinkled throughout the neighborhood are homes that have been converted into antique stores, galleries, bars, restaurants and various other businesses. It’s bright with color and has a great artsy feel to it. It has a personality all its own and you tend to forget that the neon lights of Broadway are only a 5 minute car ride away. It really is a hipster, hippie, artsy style ‘hood that I could easily see myself settling into.
Now, we had tied a few on the night before strolling from Honky Tonk to Honky Tonk the night before. Mouth to mouth resuscitation of a bottle of Whiskey kind of night if you get my drift. The cure all for us was a Southern brunch and some good Bloody Mary’s. Thanks to Yelp, the Food Network (Heat Seekers-they came for Habanero Mac & Cheese and ghost chili-pepper-infused Vodka of Doom. Yes, Vodka of Doom) and the Nashville scene we were directed to Mad Donna’s. http://maddonnas.com/
This two story Antebellum provides the cozy comforts you seek when a little red eyed on a cold Sunday morning. (Ok, it was more like afternoon but I was still on Pacific Time.) This place had rave reviews and the crowd waiting here confirmed we were in good hands. We strolled up the tall staircase to the bar upstairs and found the BYOBMB. They offer the Bloody Mary’s cure all cousin the Mimosa in a variety of flavors from Pomegranate, Cranberry, Peach, Pineapple and Black Raspberry. All of which looked very delightful and refreshing.
Now, onto the selections for your BYOBMB. There are were the usual suspects and then some that I have never heard of or tried before which tends to enable my OCD/ADD side and add far too many into one glass. Here is a small sample of the different hot sauces that were offered: Jalapeno Tabasco, Melina’s Scotch Bonnet Sauce, Melina’s Habanero Sauce, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Texas Pete Garlic Hot Sauce, Siracha, Cholula, Nawlin’s Red Pepper Sauce, Nawlin’s Garlic Pepper Sauce and many more. The most unique one that was found was Frostbite Hot Sauce which is actually a clear liquid. Really strange. It’s called a white hot sauce that is water soluble. http://www.hotsauce.com/Frostbite-Hot-Sauce-p/1794.htm. There were half a dozen more but these were the ones I gravitated to. Very interesting! The fixing’s were pickle slices, cornichons, pickled peppers, celery and olives.
The mix left something to be desired but since it is a BYOBM I didn’t expect it to be much of anything although the staff said their mix was really good on its own. I like the concoction I made and tried it with their Bacon Vodka. Admittedly, I was excited for the infused Bacon Vodka but its flavor was lost and nothing I could discern when I consumed my Blood Mary. For round two I did try the Basil infused Vodka. It was not an overwhelming flavor by any means but I could taste the hint of it. Certainly a complement to the flavors and if infused longer I would imagine it to be a great addition to a drink.
I did NOT try the Vodka of Doom! I did inquire about it and it lives up to its name as one gentleman tried to brave it and was brought to his knees whimpering for milk. I get the food challenges, spice challenges that are rampant these days but this was not to be messed with. It is GHOST CHILI INFUSED. Ghost chili=instant pain. I cannot even imagine. I like spice but do not need my senses blown out and my insides incinerated.
The service was a little lacking at the bar area. It could be due to the overwhelming flock of people congregating while waiting for a table. The BYOBMB certainly distracts you and keeps you occupied as you await and the food is well worth the wait! There is a limited Sunday menu but the choices are epic in portions. I indulged in the “Fancy Ham Sammich” which was AMAZING! It is Black Forest Ham slightly grilled with Swiss with Dijon mayo inside Parmesan encrusted fresh Tuscan bread (which was as thick as Texas toast) topped with a fried egg with a side of gooey, cheesy grits. You cut into the Sammich right through the middle of the runny egg and it’s deliciously messy, warm and amazing. The perfect answer to a night of out and day drinking on a chilly 18 degree afternoon.
My friend had The Big Don. And it lived up to the name….it was BIG! Grilled Provence Tuscan bread stuffed with eggs, bacon, pepper jack cheese, tomato, and Dijon mayonnaise with a side of Rosemary potatoes. I will never have breakfast potatoes the same way again. It must have Rosemary.
The rustic interior of the place made you feel at home with local art adorned on the walls. The table service was a “180” from the bar service which made up for the whole experience. I would absolutely return to this place because of the food and the attractive old school setting of the establishment. I do know why people are mad for Mad Donna’s.