Earlier this summer, equally beloved and hated bro-country pair Florida Georgia Line announced they would soon become restaurant owners. FGL House in downtown Nashville hastily opened during the massively popular CMA Music Festival. Naturally, fans flocked to the brand new dining spot, causing lines to form around the block hours before the restaurant and bar opened its doors.
But what is it really like to dine in one of the weirdest food spots to open in Nashville? Well, I made the journey and documented all my thoughts, from the decor to the dishes. Here’s what happened.
Walking in, I was pretty surprised at how tame the interior of the restaurant was. Maybe it was my fault for expecting the design to follow the rather confusing fashion choices of FGL. But the interior had the somewhat predictable mix of wood, neon and old gas station signs. It’s sort of a mix of Cracker Barrel with a modern sports bar, and weirdly, that’s not a terrible thing.
There are a lot of cool elements, including the main bar area and the blue guitar chandelier. But let’s be real, this is still their bar. You shouldn’t really be surprised that you’re greeted by a goofy giant moose head upon stepping foot inside.
When I sat down at my table on the main floor, I found myself staring into the massive video wall placed behind the stage. Shockingly, FGL House is one of the few places in Music City (or anywhere, really) where you can actually watch an endless stream of country videos. I’d love to talk about how depressing that is, but that’s for another article.
Let’s get to the food!
Appetizer: Dirty Kettle Chips
Aside from the weird name, I was intrigued by this app’s mix of pulled pork, bacon and queso. I expected a heart attack on a plate, and that’s exactly what I got.
Overall, the giant pile of Southern nachos were solid, but the pork itself was pretty mediocre. Nashville is a barbecue town, so you’ve either got to keep it off the menu or go all in. They opted to teeter in the middle, which left me wanting something more.
RATING: 6 out of 10 cheesy rap verses
Dinner: FGL House Burger
(I was too hungry and forgot to take a “before” photo, oops!)
This was advertised as one of the featured items on the menu. I mean, it has the restaurant’s name on it, so it has to be good. Yeah? Actually, yeah.
This was by far the best thing I had food-wise, and although it wasn’t the best burger I ever had, it was plenty tasty. The fries were also hot, crispy and flavorful. My server apologized for the “long” wait (which I didn’t even notice) as they ended up recooking my burger since the first was overdone. Even after I assured her it was no problem, they still ended up taking the dish off my check. Props to them for excellent service.
RATING: 8 and a half out of 10 jacked-up pickups
No Joke Mac & Cheese
Although I wouldn’t call it a “joke,” this was definitely the most overall disappointing of the bunch. The pasta and sauce were plenty tasty, but the added grilled chicken tasted straight-up bad. I’m not sure if it was the seasoning or the meat itself, but I was done after one bite. The garlic bread was chewy and covered with butter, but not in a good way. Do you know how much it pains me to hate a bowl of mac and cheese?
RATING: 3 out of 10 tribal tattoos
Drinks: “Sippin’ On Fire”
This mixture of Los Altos Reposado, lime, cayenne and pink grapefruit soda seemed like a regular margarita after the first few sips. That was because I was an idiot and didn’t stir my drink before gulping it down. About midway through, I was hit with a wall of cayenne that burned down my throat. Still, it was pretty darn tasty.
RATING: 7 out of 10 cheesy electric guitar solos
“Tip It Back”
Much more enjoyable than the song it was named after, “Tip It Back” mixes FGL’s own whiskey brand with black cherry, lemon and Sprite. Pretty tame, but also pretty delicious.
RATING: 7 out of 10 backwards baseball caps
“Tennessee Old Fashioned”
This twist on an old fashioned adds a lot of sugar and fruit flavors, but also has a fourth more whiskey than the traditional version. If you want whiskey and you want to get a fast buzz, this is the drink for you.
Bonus thought: where is the “Get Your Shine On” mixed drink with flavored moonshine? Y’all are missing out on some prime bachelorette party business with that one.
RATING: 7 and a half out of 10 boy band dance moves
If you’re a tourist or a local looking for good food on or near Lower Broadway, there aren’t that many amazing choices. Everything is annoyingly expensive and you’re not going to get anything too surprising. I’d align FGL House’s food with a nicer sit-down chain restaurant. It’s nothing out of this world, but it’s a good option if you’ve spent all day touring the city and just want some delicious carbs.
The drink menu was overall delicious, but be prepared to spend at least $12 on each cocktail. But hey, you might need it after hearing “Cruise” for the fifth time during your meal.
All kidding aside, FGL House is worth a visit, even if it’s just to walk through and say you’ve been there. I’m not sure it has the staying power to become a downtown Nashville mainstay, but FGL has proven their fanbase are among the most dedicated. With multiple bars and restaurants backed by country stars popping up this year, FGL House will likely set the pace for a rapidly changing tourist district.