Firstly, you have to know the source of this idea. Lewis Grizzard once had a similar contest nearly 40 years ago.
Several months ago, I asked for nominations for the best beer joint in the state of Georgia and named it for Lucille, who sold me my first beer. There were contest rules. The juke box had to be all-country, there couldn’t be any mixed drinks or cheeseburgers on sale, wives or girlfriends of regulars weren’t allowed, neither were smart-aleck college students, and a bottle of imported beer within 30 miles of the place would be grounds for automatic disqualification.
Let it be said that my definition for a great beer joint is different than Lewis's. Part of what makes Nashville a good bar scene is that women are allowed in such places, and people of all sorts flock here on the weekends. The jukebox? Whatever. I'm with him on the local beer though.
But why limit it to just beer? Why not tweak the rules and allow for our food scene to show off? That's what we did. Here are our parameters:
- We imported the Eater 18 for Nashville. Eater is awesome.
- We also added in our own choices, but have room for a few more.
- We were picky about what types of places we're allowing in:
-No chains, except those based in Nashville and have over 50% inside the Nashville Metro Area.
-Places that serve local beer are given preferential treatment. (tie-breakers)
-No non-native food to Nashville allowed. This means no Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, etc. The exceptions are that on the Eater 18, and Soulshine because they're not an Italian pizza joint at all. It's not Chicago's tomato soup in a bread bowl either.
- We slotted the Eater 18 towards the top of the list to start. We trust Matt. In fact, we'll be asking Matt questions about these places as this goes on.
- If you have suggestions for stuff we missed, put them in the comments. We'll consider adding them to the list.
This list will run for a week. On Friday, August 14th, we will be closing the list and trimming the options.
- It's all open to your interpretation. If you're voting for Martin's BBQ, it's a vote for them as a whole and not just their awesome Belmont location.
- As member's vote up or down, the rankings will rise and fall. Check back frequently to make sure your choices survive this first round.
- Rather than do some really long NCAA-style tournament, we're doing it like Formula 1 qualifying.
Cut off for the first round will be Tuesday night. The next round will appear on Wednesday. Be sure to vote to make sure your choices survive the first round; at least 20 choices will be eliminated.