Nashville Reviews: M.L.Rose

Stoney Keeley finally got a table at the brand new M.L.Rose in Mount Juliet, and HAD to write about one of if not the best burger in Nashville.

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I’ve had M.L.Rose several times before – I don’t care what the haters say, I still love the stroganoff burger at The Pharmacy, and I love, to the full extent of my being, the burgers at Brown’s Diner. But, since the first time I had it, I’ve thought M.L.Rose absolutely belongs in the conversation for Nashville’s best burger. Finally, the stars aligned, and I was able to grab a full meal with a chance to take some pictures, take some notes, and ultimately, add it to our catalog of Nashville Reviews.

They recently opened up another location in the old Logan’s Roadhouse building out here in Mount Juliet. My fiancé and I were enjoying a nice, peaceful, and quiet Sunday when we decided to venture out for lunch. The parking lot has been PACKED ever since their opening a little less than two weeks ago – I was certain that we wouldn’t be able to get a table, and that they’d tell us the wait time was north of an hour or so. But, what the hell? It was an easygoing Sunday – let’s at least shoot our shot. Lo and behold, the wait time was only 30 minutes. So, we agreed to wait. Before we could even leave the stand, another hostess came up and said we could sit outside on the patio, but warned us of the heat, and couldn’t guarantee any shade. I didn’t give a shit – I grew up here. I’m 6’2″ and 280 pounds – I’m sweating in the middle of January for no fucking reason. I’ve accepted that, so I was willing to tough it out, knowing full and well what I was getting into. The fiancé…well, I had to ask her several times if she was sure she was up for it. Did I leave that table with a massive case of swamp ass? Yes – but spoiler alert: I was completely unbothered. We were seated right away, and little did we know that we were in store for one of the best meals we’ve had in this city.

For more on M.L.Rose, check out their website here.

Pics

Big happy belly.
A little Tiki Tonik action
Officially calling it: the best pretzel bites I’ve ever had in my life.
The Belgian, from M.L.Rose’s website: “two smashed patties, smoked gouda, crispy onions, chopped bacon, lettuce, garlic peppercorn aioli
Get up IN THERE!
The fried chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries.
Bury me in this breading.

Ratings

Food: 9.3/10 – I mean it – the best pretzel bites I’ve ever had. They came out hot and fresh, light and buttery, with just the right amount of salt. The horseradish sauce was amazing – creamy without the overbearing sting that some similar sauces have. I grabbed that shit off the plate so I could dip my fries in it later on. And, the queso was so good I could’ve sucked it out of the cup with a straw.

Then, the burger came – The Belgian – and I just about did the same. The quality of the beef, the flavor, the texture….everything about this sandwich was perfect. PERFECT! Smoked gouda on a burger is a little different, but I would say that, with the garlic peppercorn aioli, made this one really stand out in the best way. The crispy onions and chopped bacon gave the burger a nice little crunch to go with the soft and savory texture of the bun and the beef. With every bite, a burst of juicy flavor, cooked to perfection. The waffle fries were warm and fresh to boot – cooked just the way I like them – with a little bit of a crunch.

I tried a few bites of the fried chicken sandwich (have to get a full and complete review, right?), and I found it to be a nice, but unique, homage to a southern classic. The breading was unreal – just thick, crunchy, and the right amount of oily. The jalapeno slaw is what this sandwich really stand out as different. Like my regular fries, the sweet potato fries were cooked to perfection. I said, at the table, “this is going to be one of the best meals I’ve ever reviewed.

Booze: 8.86/10 – What a strong, STRONG, beer list. I tried Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc for the first time (shout out to Brittany Fernandez for calling it to my attention), and it was wonderful. Nice and smooth, with a complex flavor that didn’t lean on being heavy. It was surprisingly refreshing on a hot summer day. My fiancé had Diskin’s Tiki Tonik (a sweet pineapple cider), which is easily my favorite cider on the market today. “This is like juice,” were her exact words if I’m not mistaken. But, they have any style of beer you could ask for, and the menu is organized by style, so it made it relatively easy for me to narrow down what I wanted. I dare say it’s the best beer list in town.

Value: 7.1/10 – Look, I’ll level with you guys – I spent $77, tip included. That’s not exactly cheap, y’know? But, to get the quality of food you get and the variety of beer you get, it’s well worth it. Not to mention, that $77 got us four beers, an appetizer, and two entrees. That’s not really all that bad if you consider what that would cost at some of the trendier joints around town. That’s why, despite the price tag, I’m still calling this a damn good value.

Atmosphere: 7.5/10 – We sat out on the patio, and hot damn did it feel good to drink beer on a patio again. It was well-kept, clean, and the service was top notch. Not only is this location a great spot to just chill and enjoy a burger and an ice cold beer, but it’s good to know you’re going to be taken care of too. I’m eager to vibe out at the bar some time when we don’t have to worry about driving home.

Overall: 8.19/10 – It’s been awhile since something cracked the top five on our Nashville Reviews series, but hot damn – this was a meal for the ages. It was one of those meals that just nourish your soul – beyond the satisfaction of a full stomach, you’re just left sitting there, feeling whole, appreciating the sunshine and the wind blowing through the trees….that type of spiritual shit. M.L.Rose is like a fucking natural high. I could not have asked for a better burger, better pretzel bites, any possible beer desire I had could be met with that beer list, and the vibe and service was impeccable. They deserve every compliment they get, but one thing I think they do particularly well is putting a creative touch on their menu while also doing the basics right – they’re different, yet classic at the same time. A little bit of something different for everyone.

CURRENT NASHVILLE RESTAURANT RANKINGS

  1. Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)
  2. Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44/10)
  3. M.L.Rose (8.19/10)
  4. Von Elrod’s (8.17/10)
  5. Catch 22 (Mount Juliet) (7.125/10)

I’m always looking for new spots to try – don’t be afraid to hit the comments with suggestions!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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