Nashville Exchange Restaurant Review

By Abbey Foucart, 2017

To say that the downtown strip of Nashville is slow on weekends would be an understatement. When my group visited in late October, there were hardly any cars to be seen, besides a few odd ones parked outside shops. Hungry, we walked into the first restaurant that was open: The Nashville Exchange Steakhouse & Café. The whole front half of the place was empty of people, just rows of tables in the center and bookshelves lining the walls. Beyond that was a cashier standing behind a glass case full of desserts. Brownies, cookies, assorted pastries: the Nashville Exchange had it all. We learned that the restaurant also served sandwiches and had a salad bar, although neither were out at the time.

Noticing that Portuguese bread was listed as an option for sandwiches, I asked the cashier about it. In my four years of living in North Carolina, I had never seen any Portuguese products sold, like they were in my Massachusetts hometown. Not very talkative, the cashier told me that he did not know the reason they carried it. He seemed reluctant to answer any other inquiries we made, so I paid for a giant brownie drenched in hot fudge and we perused the books on the shelves. Although there was a variety, there seemed to be a religious theme to most of them: religious detective work, religious poems, religious suspense thrillers, etc.

In short, is Nashville Exchange worth the visit? Certainly anything lacking in atmosphere and service can be explained by the absence of customers when we visited, perhaps typical for a Saturday. The books were charming. And the brownie was gooey, delicious, and almost as big as my hand for only a couple of dollars. In the future, I hope to come back to the small town of Nashville to experience the Exchange on a good day, to make a more informed judgement.

Snapshot of Nashville, NC

By Kyle Lynch – 2014


When you drive into Nashville, North Carolina, you are immediately greeted by a large, intimidating brick building. A quick glance and you can read the sign for the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, directly across the street from the criminal court. Although both imposing structures, they do not properly represent the town of Nashville.

A slow drive down Washington Street showed you all the staples of an old-time town. A local tool shop, a florist, a library, a furniture store. All the shops looked old and weathered, yet not run-down.

A block off the open main road and you found the street covered in large trees, draping over the curbs providing some shade from the setting sun. Large Victorian houses lined the streets, their front lawns covered in autumn leaves. Just one block from the main town and you became engulfed in a quaint little suburb.


Doug Sauls’ Bar-B-Q & Seafood

By Mia Brady

When searching for BBQ restaurants to eat at in Nashville, NC, the researcher cannot avoid Doug Sauls’. Urbanspoon, Google Plus, Yelp all give it rave reviews. The BBQ joint’s Facebook page has 750 likes, and comments such as, “Sauls is the VERY BEST BBQ we’ve ever eaten…anywhere!!!!”. We knew this place was not one to simply drive by. So when planning our Highway 64 adventure, we marked down Doug Sauls’ for lunch on our way back, and stuck to our plan.

Directed by a massive sign, we arrived at Doug Sauls’ on Saturday afternoon, ready to have some much anticipated, delicious North Carolina BBQ. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed that to our right was an outdoor smokehouse, which led us to believe that the little blue building on the right would have some authentic, fresh-cooked BBQ.

As we walked in, we immediately noticed that the atmosphere was pig-centered. Pig stuffed animals on shelves, signs with pigs on the walls. Even the curtains had pigs on them. It was pretty clear that these people were passionate about their BBQ. We were excited to get to the front of the long line and order, but once we did, we were faced with the task of actually choosing from the massive list of sides. Green beans, Brunswick stew, yams, rice with gravy, cabbage, collard greens, roasted red potatoes. And the list goes on and on. Deciding what I wanted to order for sides (you received 3 with your meal) was a task, as I’m quite indecisive. But after much deliberation, I decided on yams, green beans and cabbage to go along with my BBQ pork. Two of my fellow travel companions ordered BBQ pork as well, while the other ordered fried shrimp to try out the seafood, with sides including green beans, Brunswick stew, yams and roasted potatoes. Needless to say, as we sat down and waited for our food, we were highly anticipating this authentic BBQ.

As we chose our seats, we were surprised to see a plate full of steaming hot, hole shaped hushpuppies was delivered to our table. Our first thought was “who ordered this?!” but then we realized that they were complementary. Deliciously complementary, with hints of honey, and perfectly crispy. They were a great start to the meal.

When our food was delivered by the smiling waitress, we were all very excited to try this authentic Eastern BBQ. Based on our research, we were certain of one thing- vinegar would be the base ingredient of the BBQ. From the very first bite, I was overwhelmed by the taste of vinegar; overwhelmed in a very good way. This meat had a strong taste of vinegar with tastes of spicy red pepper in every bite. When paired with the delicious cinnamon seasoned yams and flavorful green beans, this meal was a great introduction to Eastern BBQ for me.

After we finished the meal, we were lucky enough to meet with Steve Sauls, the current owner of Paul Sauls’ BBQ and Seafood. Steve was extraordinarily accommodating. He was more than willing to chat with us, and even gave us some free t-shirts. He shared with us about the start of Paul Sauls’. It was originally opened in 1977 by Steve’s parents, and since then, has been a popular destination for locals. Steve notes that about 80% of business comes from locals, but that business has expanded in the past few years as a result of the Internet, supported by the fact that when searching for BBQ in Nashville, Doug Sauls’ is all over the web. And there is no question why. This spot is not to be missed for a friendly place to enjoy some authentic BBQ.