Elliston Place Soda Shop

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

Little changed since it opened in 1939, Elliston Place is a soda shop and more. Yes, you can get wonderful milk shakes, malts, and sundaes, but this also an opportunity to enjoy the ritual midday meal known as “meat and three.” Choose sugar-cured ham, salt-cured country ham, southern-fried chicken (white or dark meat), a pork chop or liver ‘n’ onions, then select three vegetables from a daily roster of at least a dozen. If you want to skip the meat altogether, have a four-vegetable plate, accompanied by hot bread. The vegetable repertoire includes whipped potatoes, turnip greens, baked squash, fried bite-size rounds of okra, black-eyed peas, baked squash, and congealed salad (the local name for Jell-O).

For dessert, if you can resist a banana split, there is silk-smooth chess pie or a frosty wedge of the simple and nearly breathtaking Dixie classic, lemon icebox pie. Banana pudding is outstanding.

Breakfast at the Elliston Place Soda Shop is good, too. Expertly made biscuits are a given, and the country ham is superb. Many apparently blasé locals ignore the ham and choose fried bologna as their meat of choice!

A handsome, well-weathered place: green upholstered booths, red and white décor, and a crisp-outlined tile floor. Tables are equipped with their own juke boxes, and the musical selections are, suitably enough, country classics.

Directions & Hours

6:30am - 8:30pm
  • Monday: 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Thursday: 6:30 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Friday: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

country ham

DISH
Ham & Egg Biscuit

DISH
Banana Pudding

DISH
Key Lime Icebox Pie

DISH

Elliston Place Soda Shop Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Elliston Place Soda Shop?

3 Responses to “Elliston Place Soda Shop”

Robert Clark

January 28th, 2013

I was in Nashville visiting relatives and wanted to check out some of the Roadfood/Chowhound/DDD/Holly Eats-type places. So my wife, her sister and husband, and I went downtown. When we got to the Soda Shop, my wife’s sister looked at it and said it was a place she went to while she was in nursing school in the 60s.

We got there early afternoon and there was no one there but us. We took a table against the wall. The bench seats had no stuffing and were extremely uncomfortable. The table was unsteady and rocked whenever someone put their arm on it. There wasn’t enough room under the table for me to sit across from my brother-in-law unless we hit knees (we are six feet tall). OK, the place is old and classic so I am trying to overlook these issues.

The menu is very limited so we all had the BLTs. We waited quite a while for this simple order. When they arrived I was shocked at what I saw. For the price, I expected a classic BLT. We got limp lettuce, nasty bacon, tasteless tomato, and terrible fries. The sweet tea was good. Bottom line: the food was terrible and cost way more than it should have.

The place itself was not being cared for and it was hard to overlook this and get into the old soda shop vibe. The topper was when I went to the unisex bathroom as we were leaving. You have to walk by the kitchen. Ugh; dirty pots and pans all over the place, greasy looking floor. Stains all over the walls. And then the topper, the bathroom itself. Not to go on and on, but if I was a woman I would not enter. Gross.

Maybe if you go and have a milkshake at the counter your experience will be satisfying. Unfortunately ours was completely negative.

Reply

Brent Kulman

December 18th, 2005

Until recently, I hadn’t been to Elliston Place for many years, and I did have fond memories. So it is with much disappointment that I have to report about the very ordinary ham and egg biscuit and less than mediocre service I experienced on a recent visit.

The biscuit on the Roadfood webpage bears about as much resemblance to the one I got as those photos in the fast food joints compare to the actual food one receives. To me a biscuit should be light and airy, but still buttery and flavorful. In order to combine those virtues, they need to be fresh. I cannot say whether the Elliston Place biscuit I was served was fresh or not, but it was very ordinary. Unlike the photo, my ham and egg biscuit only featured one slice of ham. And it sure didn’t taste like country ham, which I thought I would be getting. On the plus side, the egg was well cooked.

My waiter managed to screw up an order for a cup of coffee and a ham and egg biscuit, bringing out only a ham biscuit. Normally, when an error is made, the correction takes place almost immediately. After all, how long does it take to fry an egg, particularly when at 7:00 AM, there are only two other tables occupied in the restaurant? If 10-15 minutes sounds about right to you, then you would have been happily satisfied.

I’ll give Elliston Place another shot someday, as I do have good memories and any place can have an off day. But to me, a ham and egg biscuit is 85% about the biscuit and 10% about the ham, and I was disappointed on both of those fronts.

Reply

Lynne Vogt

December 14th, 2003

Elliston Place is kind of an oasis in a small, funky strip of business very close to downtown Nashville.

Unassuming from the outside, it has just enough neon to beckon small town folks looking for a bite of home.

The decor is classic soda fountain with just enough dirt to turn away more highbrow eaters. And the food echoes the atmosphere…funky, and just like home.

I first spotted the place as a homesick college student. I missed the soda fountain in my hometown’s drug store so much I just had to get a shake. I stayed so long I missed a class.

The turkey plate is terrific. But I have to admit, the cheesburgers and fries are what kept me going back. And the chocolate shakes are textbook: creamy, thick and very chocolaty.

The burgers and fries were what I’d expect: hand-pattied and fried with onions…and fries from the store, sizzled up in a big vat of grease. They’re excellent.

When I was there, there treats were served on oval plates with the usual lettuce garnish. To top it off, the banana splits were sensational, with hot, hot fudge melting a gooey drool into the ice cream. The best part: it’s not soft-serve that melts when you look at it sideways, it’s great traditional ice cream (Breyers?) that holds up well under the toppings.

I have since moved away and really miss the place and am sad I never had a chance to sample a breakfast. It’s just another good reason to head back to Nashville!

Reply

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