Like everyone else, we’re mourning the missed opportunities to travel and explore as we remain close to home as the COVID situation persists. While we may not be sight-seeing on foreign shores or lounging on island beaches just yet—one facet of traveling that we aren’t missing out on is tasting authentic flavors from faraway destinations. Luckily, Music City’s dining scene is surviving the pandemic for the most part, and some of the most beloved spots offer a taste of something exotic to satisfy our wanderlust. Follow along as we visit a few of the most notable local haunts serving up destination-inspired cuisine that will instantly transport your palate and your mindset.
As one of M Street’s premier restaurants, you can guarantee a sublime dining experience every time. For Saint Anejo, their area of expertise lies in elevated Mexican cuisine and mixology (not to mention their acclaimed and extensive tequila and mezcal selection). The crowd is always vibrant, the food is superb, and the beverage options tee up anyone looking for a good time. Though tempting, try not to fill up on the appetizers because you won’t want to miss out on their incredible take on Tres Leches.
Regardless of your choice between brunch and dinner, the crowd, music, and attire typically remain the same. The interior is refined and industrial while the decor subtly nods at traditional Mexican motifs like sugar skulls and tasteful sombreros. Attire airs on the side of a “fine casual”, as many guests enjoy the opportunity to dress up a smidge for an evening or brunch downtown. The music inspires lively conversation as the typical Saint Anejo patron enjoys the opportunity to try a variety of tequilas while waiting for food to arrive.
Speaking of beverages, there are certainly a few worth naming. Our table opted for the Jalisco Flower Margarita and the Pink Paloma cocktail, but there are a few others both the GM and our team would recommend. The house favorite happens to also be our Director of Partnerships and Events, Lacey’s favorite as well: The Casa Perfecta Margarita. In Lacey’s words, “It is the go-to.” As far as brunch goes, rumor has it Saint Anejo makes a mean Bloody “Maria” and can be found on nearly every table on Saturdays and Sundays.
Our team certainly didn’t hold back in this area, and decidedly tried nearly every appetizer, four kinds of tacos, fajitas, street corn, and some of the aforementioned Tres Leches cake (topped with strawberries)! However, if we had to pick just a plate from each section, the crowd-favorite starter “por la mesa” (for the table) had to be the “Nachos Especiales.” We asked for the nachos plain, but they also offer them topped with carnitas, hot chicken, brisket, or chicken tinga. Despite none of the team being vegetarian, Saint Anejo’s Crispy Potato taco is delicious, savory, and doesn’t leave you missing any sort of fish or meat (should that normally be a personal entree requirement). Lastly, to satisfy the sweet tooth in true Mexican fashion, round out your next Saint Anejo experience with their Tres Leches cake.