So I had my friend Chicago Meg in town for the weekend. She's Chicago Meg because there's already Sister Meg and Aunt Meg and Restaurant Meg and Gallery Meg and Meg the Homeless Lady and honestly when I meet new people now and they say "Hi, I'm Meg!" I say, oh gee, thanks but no thanks, I'm out of identifiers. Chicago Meg likes fun, authentic things so when we were trying to come up with a place for dinner on Saturday, I remembered the old Cherokee Steak House over on 109 between Gallatin and Lebanon. I used to go there occasionally with my parents and back when I was a teenager I thought it was the lamest place on earth but now I think it's kind of fantastic. It's a steak house that's part of a marina; you can boat right up to it, get out, and then go in and eat ten pounds of red meat. It's BYOB (but no beer!) so it's always funny to see who's drinking what and who's wishing they had remembered that it's BYOB. And it's all normal people, you know, people who don't listen to iPods or have memberships to the gym or ever have the urge to talk about the subtext of, well, anything. Just normal steak-eaters.
Anyway, we drove up listening to the new Porter Wagoner record and that was fun and then when we got there, we waited an hour and a half outside, where it was 100+ degrees. We had stopped at the world's worst liquor store for wine and there really weren't many options, so we just picked up a bottle of Yellow Tail, along with some other options, fully expecting to be shamed by the choices we had made. Uhhh, not so much. We had the classiest wines in the joint by far. So that was funny. We sat outside and drank our rapidly-warming wine out of classy plastic cups and finally they called us just as we were actually and literally about to die.
The menu has to sort of be seen to be believed, though I have to love any menu that features the line "Order a platter of sirloins .... for 2, 3 or 4!" Or one regulation-sized DG, they should have also said. You order your steak and you also get to choose your potato option (I regret to say that French fries are still Freedom fries here, though German fries are also avaliable so I wonder exactly what the French had to do to get bumped while the Nazis got to stay on the menu). There were also fried mushrooms (contradictorily called "French-fried"; apparently Freedom doesn't apply to mushrooms.)
I selected a gigantic ribeye and a baked potato; Sister Meg chose a petite filet and Chicago Meg picked the bone-in ribeye, described as "the most flavorful steak on the menu." I think they were right; hers was the best.
We all were a little tipsy so we laughed way more than all the other people in the place but maybe they were laughing at us too because we seemed so amaaaazed at every little bit of silliness, like when the butter showed up in little packets marked "whipped spread." I ate like five of them though so I ain't complaining.
It was a great choice, the opposite of chic, so of course, the chicest thing imaginable, like Doris Duke banging around town in that beat-up station wagon. Dinner for three was seventy dollars and between us we had about fifteen pounds of meat. I'll be putting it on the list for all future Nashville visitors.