Edley’s Bar-B-Que, Nashville TN

I had planned to stop here on a long trip in 2015 but time got away from me. Marie and I finally got to visit a couple of months ago and enjoyed some really good chopped pork.

We had a little time to kill after our lunch at Swett’s, and so we made our way to the Hillsboro Plaza Shopping Center and looked around at a terrific toy store called Brilliant Sky for a little bit, and then walked to Parnassus Books. Holy moley, what an amazing store. If you like bookshops, you absolutely need to add this place to your to-do list. We were there for a reading by John Scalzi, who was on a tour to promote his latest novel The Collapsing Empire. We talked to some people who’d traveled from Huntsville and St. Louis to see him, and we put in a few hours on the road ourselves. Clearly Mr. Scalzi needs to consider longer tours with stops in smaller markets if this crowd was any indication.

After he finished and Marie got her copy of the book signed, we drove over to the 12 South neighborhood to finally sample Edley’s, which I first read about in 2013 and have wanted to try. The restaurant, which calls itself “A Tribute to All Things Southern,” opened in 2012 and has become one of the anchors for this busy and popular neighborhood. A couple of chains that we know from Atlanta, bartaco and Taqueria del Sol, have also set up along this street. There’s a cupcake vending machine at Sprinkles, and every student from Belmont or Vandy who wants their belongings monogrammed shops at Draper James before getting their picture taken at the I Believe in Nashville mural.

Just as a brief but heavy spring shower started, we joined the mob at Edley’s and got one of the last available tables after placing our orders.

Edley’s, as you might expect from a newer business with an eye on expansion – there are three locations around Nashville and one coming to Chattanooga sometime soon – has a busy, modern menu with lots of sides and rotating daily specials. They have a full and very busy bar, with what looked like a good selection of local beers. It’s a place where the design team has put a lot of thought into how to make everything very appealing and draw in the big crowds. It’s been many years since Marie and I visited the original Martin’s in Nolensville, and I was reminded of that. Broad appeal will get people in the door, but it’s the food that will keep people coming back.

Since Edley’s has such an interesting array of sides, I didn’t ask for baked beans and slaw as I normally do at barbecue restaurants. Instead, I had bean salad and some beef chili. They were both pretty good, but completely overshadowed and left behind by this amazing chopped pork. Man alive, this is just fabulous. It’s so smoky and just moist enough for my preference, easily one of the standout plates of chopped pork in middle Tennessee. Marie and I both wanted the same thing, so although we probably should have tried something else, we’ll happily wait until their Chattanooga location opens to check out their ribs and chicken.

Eventually, the rain stopped and we enjoyed a nice walk up and down the neighborhood, checking out all the cute boutiques and restaurants. I had originally thought to make a third stop in Nashville and visit one other restaurant, but the two where we ate completely satisfied us, so we called it a day and drove home, looking forward to Edley’s arrival here with some considerable anticipation.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que
2706 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204

Other blog posts about Edley’s Bar-B-Que:

Old Red Boots (Oct. 4 2013)
Experience Nashville (Feb. 3 2014)
The Barbecue Fiend (Sep. 16 2014)
You Care What We Think (Jan. 9 2015)
Work it, Berk (Oct. 16 2015)

Are you planning a barbecue road trip? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog (more than 430 !) on this map, with links back to the original blog posts!