Prescription for fun: Get your fix at the Pharmacy
Sometimes a burger is just what the doctor ordered. OK, that’s not true; it’s actually tater tots. At least that’s what I’ve been craving since my visit to the Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, Nashville’s newest prescription for fun.
As the latest neighborhood hotspot, the Pharmacy provides a modern day trip back in time by taking an old concept and adding that metropolitan flair we’ve come to expect from our city’s local eateries. Owned by Terrell Raley, who brought us Holland House Bar and Refuge, The Pharmacy is located in East Nashville, right behind its cocktail producing cousin.
In the 1920s, every drugstore had a soda fountain. Thanks to the dark days of prohibition, would-be bar goers turned to phosphates during social hours. Luckily, we live in an era where soda and beer can commingle, so step up to the counter and order a house-made soda and a specialty beer. It may be a burger joint, but the Pharmacy’s menu also offers German fare. The soda shop may have been a great idea, but then again, so was the beer garden.
I visited the Pharmacy on a Saturday, and while it was packed, I managed to find a seat at the bar. Waiting for good food is never a problem when good beverages are involved. Once spring hits, the huge backyard and beer garden will be the perfect place to perch, but for now, you’ll appreciate the heated patio for its comfort and its added dining space. I ordered a Yazoo Gerst Amber from the list of draft beers, but was tempted to try one of the phosphates from the old-school soda rail in flavors like Maraschino cherry, chocolate and Kentucky mint.
The menu, designed by Trent Raley, executive chef and brother of owner Terrell Raley, includes nine specialty burgers, a section of sausages and a few chicken sandwich options. All are served with your choice of fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots, German potato salad or pasta salad.
I ordered the Falafel Burger made with a chickpea patty, Raita and Noble Springs goat cheese. I confess to eating every bite, realizing after I’d finished that I hadn’t even offered my husband a bite. Though I’m usually pretty faithful to sweet potato fries, I predict the tater tots will be a crowd favorite at the Pharmacy, especially when you dip them in curry ketchup, one of the many toppings you can add to your plate for just 15 cents each. Make an ordinary burger better with wasabi aioli, beer gravy or Jalapeno mustard. You may have to start a condiments tab!
Now, if you’re skipping ahead to the meat of this article, you’ll be happy to learn the Pharmacy serves 100 percent Tennessee beef, which you’ll taste on items like the Farm Burger, topped with country ham, bacon, egg and maple mustard or the Stroganoff Burger, made with mushroom stroganoff béchamel, sour cream, caramelized onion and Swiss cheese. If you’re looking for something more classic, you have the option of ordering a basic burger with your choice of cheese. Vegetarians will be happy to find a black bean burger option, in addition to daily fish burger specials.
If you’re looking to try the German fare, try the Currywurst, a standard brat topped with curried paprika and tomato sauce, or the Jagerwurst, which has a hint of ginger. Better yet, order the Biergarten Platter and choose any three brats. What’s the wurst that can happen?
You can’t have a soda shop without your share of floats, milkshakes and malts. The Pharmacy sweetens the deal by using ice cream from East Nashville’s Pied Piper Creamery.
Though I expect the Pharmacy will stay busy, the service was excellent and the food arrived quickly after we ordered. It’s a great place for a group or a date and is kid-friendly. I recommend ending your evening with an after dinner drink at Holland House next door.
Enjoy beer, burgers and brats at the Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden at 731 McFerrin. As an East Nashville resident, I plan to make myself a regular!
Jennifer McCloud always wanted to be a mom. That's why, after difficulties getting pregnant, the native Nashvillian was elated to discover she was pregnant. With triplets!
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