When a new restaurant opens I like to let the dust settle before I make my first visit or at least make up my mind. So much hype surrounded the opening of Emmy Squared that I really wasn't that interested in trying it out. Rarely does a restaurant live up to all that gushing. I'm a food blogger but I'm not a blogger that gets invited to have a free meal. I pay for all these visits with my hard-earned money and the more I do this the more particular I'm getting about who I give that money to.
From the food community, I heard nothing but praises about Emmy Squared but from my friends who are like me and pay to eat, I heard nothing but negative things. It happens all the time. I don't think food bloggers are not being honest, I just think they get a different experience than the person who walks in off the street. I didn't decide to go until a friend sent me a DM (thanks Amy!) and said I had to try the broccoli at Emmy Squared. It was amazing!
Wait, broccoli at a pizza place? That got me interested.
We went to lunch on a blazing hot day in Nashville. We were sat next to a couple around our age as they were finishing their meal. We asked what they thought. "The burger. The burger is the best thing." Again, I was interested. It's a pizza place and so far people have raved about everything BUT the pizza.
First, the broccoli. It's raw and in a miso dressing with cashews and local blue cheese. My expectations were probably too low because I was shocked at how much I loved this salad. They did the most difficult thing when it comes to salads, made it something Goldilocks would love; not too tart, not too sweet, not too dressed - just right. This is something I could eat once a week and still not be bored with it. I still can't figure out why a pizza place would have a miso dressing but it works. We have had this salad since and it has remained consistently good.
The burger! There is only one burger on the menu, Le Big Matt, so you won't get confused and this is The One Burger to Rule Them All! This burger comes in at a whopping $19! We have shared it every time we've had it so I guess you could say it's a bargain. Yes, I said "every time". This is THE best burger in Nashville and I'm not the only one who says so, it was declared by the local newspaper. so that make it official.
This has everything that makes a burger great but there is one thing that I feel is the hardest to accomplish: the meat to bread ratio. There are the ones with too much bread and you have to remove one side of the bun so you won't fill up on bread or to actually taste the burger. Then there are the ones with too little or flimsy bread so that as you bite, the toppings and burger slide out the back so you have a drippy mess on your hands and have to bring out the knife and fork. The Le Big Matt burger gets it just right (Goldilocks again!). In every bite, we got bread, meat, cheese, and toppings. It's accompanied by seasoned waffle fries which are fine. I have to say, even though they aren't outstanding, those fries arrive at our table piping hot every time which is a dining miracle.
Now the pizza. Emmy Squared is Detroit style pizza which means it has a crispy almost fried crust. It's all about the crust. We ordered a Roni Surpreme which the server said was a favorite. It was spicy, painfully spicy. We found the culprit (Calabrian Chilis) and ate around it. While I was eating I got a feeling of deja vu. I've tasted this before. Then it hit me- Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza! The reason why this is so significant for me is that in high school and college I ate a ton of Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas because they would run a 99 cent special on them and I had no money. I'm not saying that this is equivalent to Pizza Hut. I'm sure today if I put it side by side with the Emmy Squared the Emmy Squared would be better, but the texture totally takes me back.
We haven't ordered the pizza since. Not that it wasn't good, but that other things are just better. That happened to us at Folk, as well. A menu where half is dedicated to pizza but the pizza is not the main attraction.
I haven't mentioned cocktails and that is usually the first thing I address. We are making our way through the list but we haven't found anything that stands out as a favorite. Lord knows we'll keep trying, though! I'll update this space or my Instagram if we find one.