Tenn Sixteen Food & Drink Co. serves Southern food with New Orleans flair

Written by Nancy Vienneau  For The Tennessean

Much busyness for the enterprising folks behind The Red Door and 3 Crow Bar: They have added a third to their roster of East Nasty drinking and dining establishments: Tenn Sixteen Food & Drink Co.

The casual eatery and watering hole is housed on Woodland Street — at 1016, as you might have guessed. Street number or state abbreviation (were we not the 16th to join?), its concept is Southern, with strong leanings toward Louisiana.

A breezy evening sees the huge front windows open, bringing the fall-tinged air and sidewalk bustle of Five Points into the place. Walls are painted in NOLA colors — purple, green, yellow — and hung with brightly colored paintings. Huge fans and Mardi Gras beaded chandeliers are suspended from the rafters.

Tables and booths are set with bottles of Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce. A large horseshoe-shaped bar, its counter finished in an exotic wood, commands the room. It features a staggering array of beer (more than 100 bottled brands and 17 drafts) along with a full bar’s usual suspects. As is the norm, there are multiple flat-screen televisions. Here they hover over the bar in plain view, but are avoidable should you not want the distraction.

Chicken and waffles are among the offerings at Tenn Sixteen Food & Drink Co. Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean

Chicken and waffles are among the offerings at Tenn Sixteen Food & Drink Co. Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean

The menu offers some creative takes on Southern-style pub fare, where you’ll find Nashville favorites interspersed with Cajun accents. Deep-fried pickle chips, deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes and skillet cornbread are all familiar offerings these days, and Tenn Sixteen has its interpretations. Eggs are stuffed with bacon-jalapeño, peppadew pimiento cheese, and one traditionally filled yet encased in beer-batter. Triangles of jalapeño-laced cornbread have pleasing texture and zing; the accompanying crock of white beans is sparked with bits of onion and ham to spoon onto the bread. Fried Green Tomatoes arrive thinly striped with béarnaise sauce and a few flakes of lump crabmeat. While the idea is worthwhile, the dish needs more sauce to define it.

The Crawfish Cake makes an excellent start, the pan-seared round is chunky with mudbugs, seasoned with a kick of cayenne. Roasted red pepper aioli and corn relish bring more dimension to the dish. The humble freshwater crustaceans appear again in the housemade gumbo. Glossy chocolate brown roux forms a rich base for the stew of crawfish, andouille sausage and roast pork. The gumbo encircles a mound of rice, and is spiced with judicious hand. It makes a quick, satisfying meal — especially for lunch, when time is pressing.

Entrées

Tenn Sixteen touts its Po-boys, but we were drawn to the Meatloaf Sandwich. Also available as an entrée, the meatloaf is a creative meld of ground beef, onion, peppers and gorgonzola cheese. Lean yet moist, the hunk is gently seared then stacked with peppered bacon, avocado, tomato and smoked tomato relish on a toasted Read Full Article…