by Sean Maloney
Episode 19: Bar-B-Cutie
Address: 5221 Nolensville Road
Before anybody else calls me on it, I know that Bar-B-Cutie is a chain and that the whole point of this column is to review non-chain spots — I even say it in the intro! — but in my defense, Bar-B-Cutie is a local chain and has roots in this town that stretch back for generation. And they have breakfast, which regular readers will note, is kind of this column's white buffalo: I'm always on the hunt for more breakfast options on The Road. Lastly, the breakfast at Bar-B-Cutie was a reader recommendation, and if I've learned anything from doing this column, it's that when you guys recommend a place, I need to listen. And there you have it — I've totally rationalized the fact that I went to a chain barbecue restaurant for breakfast!
I haven't been to Bar-B-Cutie in ages. In general, I don't seek out barbecue — as much as I love it, I know that barbecue will always find me when the time is appropriate. We live in Tennessee for crying out loud, we're pratically swimming in pulled pork. Also, I'm a bit of a pork-magnet — people just bring me big piles of pork. It's glorious. So ya, I hadn't been to Bar-B-Cutie in some time, but I feel like rolling in there at 7 in the morning on a Friday was good timing. There were a handful of regulars — who all speak English, which is sorta weird for this column — the staff were bright and cheery (weirdos) and it was a perfectly chill breakfast environment.
Not gonna lie, I totally didn't need to order a BBQ-and-cheese omelet with "cutie home fries" and a biscuit with gravy — it was a purely gluttonous decision that involved little-to-no self-restraint. I mean, pulled pork on/in and omelet? That's just a ridiculous idea. A ridiculous idea that I love. Da Cutie cooks their omelets thin, with the egg more of a filling delivery device than the heft of the entree, but I can dig on that. Mine was loaded with veggies, cheese and pork that balanced nicely with the egg. The "cutie home fries" are — just in time for Hanukkah — basically latkes! I can't tell you how stoked I am now that I can get some tasty potato pancakes without heading to Noshville. And the biscuits and gravy were spot-on, with fluffy, buttery biscuits and thick, peppery gravy.
Maybe it was the time of day — I was clearly the only person there who doesn't show up on the regular — but the vibe was much more family-run-joint than chain restaurant. I'm not one for talking in the morning — I'm not really one for morning, period — but everyone was really friendly, and I managed to end up a part of a rather pleasant conversation with total strangers, which ... is just weird. But nice! The restaurant was clean, and the decor leans toward the more tasteful end of kitschy Americana, more homey than corny, which is a nice attribute in a barbecue joint. Overall, not a bad place to start the day, even if I did get wrapped up in a pleasant conversation before I finished my coffee.