“Just about the very best meat-and-three … wildly popular with lawyers, Music Row notables, and working stiffs,” is how Arnold’s was described to us many years ago by a correspondent. We took the tip seriously and found ourselves in a short cafeteria line one day among a crowd of hungry locals pushing towards the food. On the wall were signed photographs of local and national celebrities singing the praises of Arnold’s roast beef, meat loaf, fried oysters, and cream pies.
That day we piled our trays with hunks of fried chicken, whipped potatoes and gravy, turnip greens, corn muffins, and slices of lightweight but heavy-flavored chocolate pie as well as classical Dixie banana pudding with vanilla wafers in the custard. Delicious, from first bite to last! Arnold’s has since become one of our favorite places to eat in Nashville, and a definitive meat and three eatery.
It’s a funky little joint that doesn’t look like much from the outside – just a squat cinderblock building now painted red. But at high noon, expect to wait for a seat (and perhaps to share a table with strangers). To Music City eaters who know good food, this little restaurant is a country star.
Note Arnold’s very limited hours of operation: lunch only, Monday through Friday.