Saturday, January 25, 2014

Another Burger Coda + Sushi Starter: PM Restaurant

    A few months ago, I came very close to starting a post titled, "How I Found Sushi — Or It Found Me," to join my quest for the best burgers in Nashville but scratched it, because I'm still such a sushi neophyte that I felt it would  look beyond pompous to try to review Nashville's offerings. Especially when there are so many decades-long addicted adherents. But ... so what? I've decided that rating sushi is actually a lot easier than rating burgers: either the food tastes fresh or it doesn't, and it's memorable or it isn't. If it's memorable for the right reasons, it goes to the 'good' column.

    This afternoon I managed to combine both burger and sushi at PM Restaurant, one of the Arnold Myint family in Nashville. The sushi was an uncomplicated Spicy Tuna. Rice; tuna; cucumber and various sauces. It was very enjoyable but to be honest, I can't remember much what it tasted like, flavorwise. The amount of tuna in the roll was fairly small. What I remember most was how the cucumber gave it some crunch. That I bit my own tongue about 3 pieces in, didn't help. I mean, it really didn't help. So I'm just going to have to go back there ...

     The burger was more memorable. On the menu it's listed as "Char-Grilled Buger" and it is; what it wasn't was the medium-rare I ordered, but it was so interesting that I opted to finish (most of) it rather than send back to the kitchen. Here's how it rated:

Juiciness: 5. When it came out, I saw a splash of red on the bun and thought "oh, this is going to be awesome," but it turned out to be an anomaly. The unevenly-cooked, but mostly medium-well burger was comparatively dry except for that one little almost kinda pink section.

Attractiveness: 10. It's gorgeous, though, isn't it? A totally charred, beautifully rounded patty. The bun's soft, sweet and chewy, has enough "give" to show it's not factory-made perfection, but also enough body to keep it from looking like someone sat on the bag.

Flavor: 7 Hmmm. A mixed bag, this one. The innards of the patty tasted like what I've come to think of as typical Angus. A lot of places use it for the brand specialty but honestly, what it gains in texture is offset by the bland flavor. What separates the PM burger from, say, Hard Rock Cafe's or Ruby Tuesday's is the marinade (brown sugar-based bbq sauce?) coating, more caramelized than charred.

Atmosphere: 8. Like most of the other Belmont bungalows-turned restaurants, PM has character and instead of being in one big box of a room, the tables are spread about in several difference sections. It adds a feel of casual intimacy to the dining.

Digestivity: 9. No trouble with sluggishness, beef pangs or all-day-burger-taste in my mouth. But it was probably about an ounce larger than needed (okay, the sushi didn't help), so I was left with a little bloat. Side note: one of my dining companions noted that Americans are the only people in the world who complain portions are too big. The UK is the only place I've ever been outside the US and except for one colossally huge steak at a Rick Stein restaurant, the portions everywhere there WERE smaller — so of course no one complained. And who's going to moan about having to bring home a helping or two of marbled Prime? The problem is, no educated eater wants to bring home a box of leftover frozen Sysco nuggets.

Overall: 7. Pretty good. You could do a lot worse for burgers in Nashville, but with all the other interesting items on the menu, it's not the first thing I'll look forward to when I return. If I have it again and it's overcooked, I'll definitely send it back next time. By the way - the fries on the side were wonderful.

PM on Urbanspoon

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