Posted tagged ‘nashville area’

Bombay Bistro

January 24, 2012

My experience with Indian food in the past has always been very negative.  The Indian cuisine in Bowling Green is very limited, there is only one restaurant.  In the past everything I ordered was insanely hot.  There was no flavor just intense heat.  So, with trepidation I agreed to eat at the Bombay Bistro with my wife’s coworker who is originally from India.  He told me that he wouldn’t even eat at the restaurant in Bowling green, but that I would enjoy this one because it was better than his own mother’s cooking.

Full disclosure, I am not an expert in Indian food, and I cannot even remember the names of half of the things I tried.  So, I do not know how authentic this restaurant is.  What I do know is, my restaurant guide on this excursion told me that it is the most authentic restaurant he’s found, and he willingly drives the hour and a half from Bowling Green, Ky to Franklin, Tn, just to eat at this restaurant.

I really enjoyed the buffet style of Bombay Bistro.  This setup works great for curious eaters like myself, and food freshness was not an issue due to consumption rate.  I went through the first time and tried a little bit of everything that they had to offer.  The Tandoori Chicken was my absolute favorite dish, the cooks here applied just the right amount of spice to give it a spicy flavor but not be entirely too hot.  Another favorite was the Masala Chicken, which was reminiscent of Chinese food.  I was told that it was actually an Indian adaptation of Chinese food, much like General Tso’s chicken is an American adaptation.

I don’t usually talk about drinks because for the most part it’s the same thing everywhere you go, carbonated beverages, water, tea, etc…  At the Bombay Bistro I ordered the Mango Lassi.  Which is almost like a mango flavored milk shake.  I know, when I say it like that it sounds kind of gross, but it was very creamy and rich and most of all it balanced the spices in the food very well. It is a very enjoyable drink that if you visit, you must have.

The atmosphere is very classy.  Most times when I think buffet, I think Shoney’s or a run of the mill greasy spoon restaurant.  However, the buffet was blended into the atmosphere very well, and the food was such that if the waitress had brought the food to me, I would not have known there was a buffet at all.

Overall I give Bombay Bistro a 4 of 5 stars.  The food was excellent, and I would definitely eat there again.   The only reason why I wouldn’t give it 5 of 5 is personal taste.  I wouldn’t eat there weekly.  However, the food is fresh and done exceptionally well.   I highly recommend Bombay Bistro if you are curious about or love Indian food.

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Puckett’s Grocery and Cafe

January 18, 2012

Recently I have noticed that most of my favorite restaurants are not five star restaurants where you will get rich and succulent foods.  Rather, they are small, side of the road places that I can afford to eat at regularly and might make the same food that my grandmother would cook for me if I were there on a visit.  Something I like about this style of restaurant is, I don’t have to behave.  For those of you who know me I enjoy myself everywhere I go.  I enjoy kidding with waitresses and telling jokes and stories while I enjoy my food.  At nice restaurants I feel highly constrained.  I know I must be on my best behavior and mind my manners or else my mother might swoop in from out of nowhere to give me an old fashioned switching.  In most of my favorite restaurants I feel at ease and almost like I’m home.

At Puckett’s, the minute I walked through the front door, I felt as if I had visited this particular restaurant a million times.  I caught myself looking for my favorite booth over in the corner.  I was surprised to find this general store atmosphere so faithfully recreated in downtown Franklin Tennessee.  When I say recreated, I really mean faithfully copied from the original.  I did not know this when I found this restaurant but there are actually three Puckett’s in the Nashville area.  The one in Leiper’s fork has been a working grocery store since the 195os.   The other two are recreations of the original.

If all of this were not enough to make me feel at home,the menu did the trick.  As soon as I looked at the menu I knew I had chosen the right place to eat lunch.  Right there on the page was one of my favorite comfort foods of all time, smoked bologna.  The best part, you could customize it.  I got mine with fried egg, bacon and grilled onions.

My only complaint with most general store/restaurant combos is that the menu size is usually very limited.  At Puckett’s it is very clear that the restaurant is the focus of this general store.  The menu is large and anyone can find something to suit their needs including a sizable dessert menu.  As a matter of fact the Franklin location is almost exclusively a restaurant, with a few sundries around the store such as a few canned goods and glass bottle beverages that can still be purchased.  Meanwhile, it is my understanding that the Leiper’s Fork location is still an operating general store complete with a gas station out front.

Overall I give Puckett’s a 5 out of 5 and have added it to my list of all time favorite restaurants.  I will be returning for more great atmosphere and great food.

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