by Kat Robinson
The downside is if you’re going to a weekday night concert and your date doesn’t get off work until after 6pm, it’s a scramble to get down to the area and have dinner before the show. Most of the area restaurants are clustered from the Peabody and Capital Hotels down to and through the River Market. If you’re wearing heels and aren’t used to them, that’s a bit of a walk.
This sort of reasoning led us to a place we hadn’t been in a decade, the restaurant in the Doubletree Hotel. It’s now known as the Plaza Grill.
Back during the 2000 ice storm, I ended up staying there so I could be close to work. The hubster was at the (then) Excelsior — and the only restaurant open within walking distance those three days was said restaurant at the Doubletree Hotel. I remember it as being a very reasonable priced buffet.
We found ourselves there recently for the John Prine concert… and because of his job, we were in that situation. Eschewing the ease (and potential mess) of a drive-thru along the way, we parked under the hotel and went in to see what Plaza Grill had to offer.
The two of us were seated at a small bench-side table and given our drinks. Others attending the concert (we’re assuming, of course) were already there and consuming their dinners for the evening. What sort of food goes well with John Prine? We looked over the menu, full of ideas like the 18 ounce Bonus Angus Rib, a small plates menu that included Delta Catfish and Fried Green Tomatoes and a nice selection of salads and realized, if you’re going to listen to raw, honest lyrics you need something honest (but not quite raw). So we went for burgers.
We passed on dessert, though I noted that there’s a Bourbon Spiked Bread Pudding on the menu as well as the Doubletree Banana Pudding.
I suppose next time I’m in the area at lunch I’ll have to stop by and see if that lunch buffet’s as good as it used to be. I did overhear our waitress tell another table that there’s usually a buffet available at dinner as well — just not that night because of the concert. It might have been a better option if available, because then we could have eaten and left a lot quicker. It’s all right — we got to the concert on time.
If you want to give Plaza Grill a shot, it’s located in the Doubletree Hotel right next to Robinson Center Music Hall. (501) 372-4311. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.