Nearly Native Eats: The Pharmacy

The hamburger is an edible American pastime. Let’s be honest, it basically IS America. Like macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip cookies, the hamburger is the reward that your parents dangled in front of you after you did your chores or finished soccer practice. It’s a savory treat that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Whether you prefer it classically plain, topped with veggies or a fried egg, loaded with bacon and cheese, or lathered in mustard, the hamburger can be your very own craving creation. The hamburger is so universal that for a restaurant to attempt to master it is a considerable feat, one not for the faint of heart. In Nashville, one such restaurant is heard time and time again among the locals as having taken on the challenge and won: The Pharmacy.

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Extending beyond the typical golden-arched fast food chain or backyard grill to prepare this meaty entrée, the hamburger has become its very own art form in recent years. No longer just a quick stop for a mass-produced fix, “handcrafted” and “homegrown” are words use to describe the artisanal style that has taken the burger world by storm. The Pharmacy, not to be confused with your standard corner drug store, is East Nashville’s very own embodiment of this new age burger craze. On any given night, the wait to try a Pharmacy burger can be epic, spilling out onto McFerrin Avenue. Just assume you’ll have to wait. So why spend your night waiting on a hamburger? Because The Pharmacy doesn’t just make the burger we remember from childhood, it creates an experience so sensational for your taste buds that afterward you’ll be left wondering why you ever complained during the hour wait you spent drooling over everyone else’s food. Even if you cringe at the thought of the cow’s face when someone mentions a burger, The Pharmacy’s homemade black bean or falafel burger are equally as satisfying for vegetarians and burger-lovers alike. And for those of you who prefer something different, sausages and chicken entrées are created with care by The Pharmacy too. Beyond the plethora of meat (and otherwise) options, the beers are many and the wine is available for the wine-o who just can’t give it up for one meal. Let’s just say this will likely be one of your most favorite “cheat-days” ever. Heck, go for the sweet potato fries or the tater totes (with garlic aioli, thank me later) while you’re at it.

The Pharmacy’s menu has a reputation that extends far beyond locals and stands on its own as a reason to pay a visit, but just because it’s serving up burgers rather than caviar doesn’t mean that the atmosphere and ambience is anything to balk at. On warm summer nights (and for the brave, the cold nights too) the beer garden acts as a major extension to seating, lit with strings of lights overhead that seem to give everyone and everything a welcome glow. Inside, masses of people huddle around a dimly lit mix of beer hall-style tables and booth seating, or belly up to the bar to grab a beer while they wait for their table. As a casual date night or group dining spot, The Pharmacy is easily appropriate for almost any type of entertaining. However, if you’re trying to catch a game, you’ll want to go elsewhere. Patrons are focused on their food and their friends.

The glory of the hamburger has been revived and revamped at The Pharmacy and is considered as one of the top must-dos by locals on the ever-expanding Nashville restaurant list. This ain’t your momma’s hamburger. Once you’ve visited this East Nashville establishment, your outlook on one of America’s favorite foods will forever be changed. Trust us, The Pharmacy is well worth the wait.

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Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!

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