I can’t remember ever eating matzoh ball soup in my 30 years of living in NYC. But it’s my standard order at Noshville here in Nashville. And it’s delicious.
Here’s the sad part. Noshville on Broadway in Midtown is closing by the end of the year. A high-rise is going to push over the popular, busy, comfort destination– grabbing its footprint, and the rest of the buildings on the block, including Manuel’s former design headquarters, and JJ’s Market (a cafe full of relaxed people gazing at their computers while sipping coffee or beer amidst the eclectic collection of tables and chairs).
Do I need to mention that Midtown is already overly-jammed with businesses and cars (without parking spaces)? And now more opportunistic landscape transformation will wave bye-bye to history and old friends. They do say that Noshville will return in the new grand 17-story tower– but it will take about 3 years. I’ll believe it when I see it. Noshville in Green Hills will still thrive– 1/3 the size of its more bustling sibling. Here’s what I’ll miss: I’ll miss sitting at the counter hearing the latest from one of our favorite servers, Linda. At that counter we’re usually elbow to elbow with Vandy students and professors on a Sunday afternoon sipping mimosa’s or bloody mary’s with eggs over easy, toasted bagels, and reuben sandwiches.
I’ll miss that standard order of mine: Noshville’s “soup & sandwich”…matzoh ball soup (small bowl comes with 1 large matzoh ball) and a half tuna sandwich on rye toast. It’s a perfect meal.
I’ll miss the mini potato pancakes that accompany eggs (mine, scrambled soft with Canadian bacon). And Duane and I have a new favorite: the “salad sampler” with scoops of coleslaw, tuna salad, chicken salad, or egg salad.
Another of Duane’s regular orders is the chili dog. My mom goes for the hot pastrami sandwich. My sister, the open turkey sandwich with gravy on the side (French fries for her, instead of mashed potatoes). I’ll miss the “amuse bouche” pickles that we always feel funny troubling our server to bring us, until we discovered a couple of months ago that we can go get them ourselves from the huge bin of pickles with stacks of bowls and tongs nearby. We crunch and slurp up a bowl of these once-barreled-on-Delancy-Street favorites.
I’ll miss the wall photos of the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Sinatra and Sammy and Dean, and NYC-centric movie posters.
I’ll miss the slabs of lox and the carousel of cakes. I’ll miss our usual hang. Our comfy place. Our old reliable. When Noshville is reborn in a new modern building in some year in the future I wonder if (and hope) it can bring back all the spirit and personality it has naturally originated over the years.
Yes, we like the food. But it’s the atmosphere, too, that makes us want to be there.