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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 37 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 16, 2013

The expert’s advice: Hot chicken, Wendell Smith's, Urban Grub

By Brad Schmitt

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So where does Jody Faison, the one-time Restaurant King of Nashville, send his friends for dinner these days?

“I haven’t been to a really good restaurant in a good while, actually,” Faison says.

Faison hasn’t eaten at The Catbird Seat near Music Row, for instance, but he did help get a law professor a reservation there once.

“He said it was excellent but overpriced, and that’s all I can say about The Catbird Seat,” Faison says.

In fact, Faison has been to very few of the new trendy places that have opened recently, like Rolf and Daughters in Germantown, or Husk or Etch Restaurant in the downtown/Rutledge Hill area.

Still, people do often ask Faison for recommendations.

“Look for the things we’re known for – meat and three’s and Southern cuisines,” he says.

When pressed, Faison recommends:

Hot chicken. Any hot chicken.

Wendell Smith’s Southern/soul food restaurant, 407 53rd Ave N., off Charlotte.

Urban Grub in 12th South. “That’s creative. I haven’t been there, but I’ve seen the menu.”

Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Cool Springs, in part because Faison can use the tabletop crayons to draw flies on the paper tablecloth for his young sons, ages 7 and 4.