As Good as You Don’t Exactly Remember
February 6, 2009
Of all the quotes falsely attributed to Churchill, I bet I can guess your favorite. “Traditions of the Royal Navy? The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash.” Yeah, mine too, on account of what it says about people’s attachment to so-called tradition.
And now let’s discuss Browns’ Diner. Been nearly a decade since I visited but I’m thinking about it lately. I’ve been researching Nashville streetcar lines (who doesn’t?), and Brown’s Diner, the old part, is one of the two remaining streetcars in Nashville (the other being the Nashville Trolley Company trolley). Blair Boulevard at 21st Avenue was the end of that streetcar line.
The menu hasn’t changed. Daphne the fantastic server with the photographic memory — unchanged. The crowd: even Daphne says it hasn’t changed, except that Big Fella hadn’t been there in 7 years, and there are more kids since they went smoke-free.
The food: only thing that’s changed is that tortilla chips have replaced Fritos in the Frito chili pie. I can’t say I support this innovation — the greasy Fritos were an important part of the flavor profile of the Frito pie.
I understand tradition. I love neighborhood eateries, especially those so near you can knee-crawl home if needed. The graffiti in the toilets was legendary. There’s not a better server in town than Daphne. You can’t beat the price.