Indulge in a Taste of Local Restaurants
By Lee Rennick
Smyrna offers a wide variety of restaurants, from classic American to Salvadorian. There are many great chain restaurants that are community favorites, like Cheddar’s and Hickory Falls, but it is the locally owned restaurants that make meals special. Here are a six that are well worth a trip.
301 Sam Ridley Parkway West, 615-223-8858
Started in Murfreesboro, the popular eatery has become as popular a place to go for great wings (from honey barbecue to napalm), and their number one best selling fried pickles after the game as the original location. There is something special about Toot’s. It appeals to just about everyone, from families to business people. And, of course, sports lovers. They have recently added new items like the Avocado Southwestern burger or chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and BLT sliders. They received a 2017 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.
618 South Lowry Street, 615-459-4870
Omni Hut is an institution. It was established in 1960 by James F. Walls, a retired air force major, whose hobby was Poly-Asian cookery. Walls states on the website that he didn’t expect it to last five years. Anyone who has gone is happy that he was wrong. The family continues the tradition. The restaurant has won countless Ruthie Awards for being the best restaurant in Smyrna. It offers traditional Poly-Asian foods, like Crab Ragoon and Chow Mein, as well as a few traditional favorites, like a hamburger.
119 Front Street, 615-220-1231
Since 2002, Breaking Bread has been offering home-cooked Southern-style meals while making anyone who enters feel like friends. Also located in the Depot District, they also do catering. Lunch is served in a classic buffet style, offering three options: meat and two sides, meat and three sides, or entrée only. One of their most beloved specialties is chicken and dressing, and every day they offer meatloaf, plus an assortment of sides like macaroni and cheese, apples, and turnip greens. There is always an assortment of desserts.
Massimo’s La Tavola Ristorante Italiano
114 Front Street, 615-984-4771
Massimo Esposito, the owner, began his interests in cooking at this mother’s side, and continued his studies under executive chefs in Italy and Germany. Eventually he came to the United State to continue the pursuit of his love of cooking, settling in Smyrna. His hard work has paid off, La Tavola is another multi-year Ruthie Award winner. Just looking at the menu will make your mouth water. Esposito offers an assortment of traditional fare, like Manicotti and Picatta, that is sure to satisfy any gourmet or gourmand. Just make sure to leave room for the Limoncello Mascarpone Cake. They also offer calzones and pizza. It is located in the Depot District next to A Fuse Salon.
Karin’s Kustard and Hamburgers
470 South Lowry Street, 615-220-0440
This little spot is a quick stop on the road from Murfreesboro to Smyrna. Very much the old fashioned classic walk-up drive-in. There is no custard here, but they do carry ice cream, soft serve, and something they call Southern Snow (flavored ice). Described on-line as a great place to go for a quick bite, they have hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, chili, and tater tot pie.
115 Front Street, 615-984-4040
Breakfast casserole, breakfast casserole, breakfast casserole. And cinnamon rolls. Yes there are lots of great items on the menu, but these are a must try. They also have sandwiches, salads with homemade dressings, and soups. They also have flatbread “pisas.” The café is part of the arts movement in Smyrna, a place to enjoy the art of food, and works by local artists, new and those with more experience.