Before winning its Music City moniker in a 1957 fiddle contest against Kalamazoo, Nashville was known by the less-melodic but more-palindromic name of Grubburg. Rediscover G-Burg's food foundation with today's Groupon: For $15, you get $30 worth of classic American cuisine and drinks at Mad Donna's in East Nashville. This Groupon can be used for dinner, brunch, and—back by popular request—lunch.
Mad Donna's is an equal-opportunity eats provider, vaunting a variety of vittles for both meat lovers and vegetarians on its brand-new dinner menu. The Donna's Mac & Cheese ($13) dresses bow-tie macaroni in a cheese sauce and then bakes it with sun-dried-tomato-and-spinach cufflinks for a stylized spin on the turophile's favorite, while herbivores can substitute a veggie burger for any of Mad Donna's half-pound burgers, including the jalapeño and pineapple-tinged Hawaiian ($9), for an additional $1 charge.
Patrons seeking to complement their wine and beer order with a vitamin A chaser can opt for a side order of Mad Donna's beloved sweet-potato fries ($4). Mad Donna's also offers breakfasteers an extensive brunch menu with two-for-one mimosas on Saturdays and Sundays ($6) and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar ($6). Mad Donna's has also recently re-opened for lunch.
Located in the space formerly occupied by the Radio Café, Mad Donna's environment and event calendar reflect its eclectic East Nashville surroundings. The restaurant's loft includes a dance floor, DJs, two granite-topped bars, and six flat-screen televisions, with entertainment throughout the week including drag bingo on Tuesdays, live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays, dancing on Fridays, and trivia on Sundays. Mad Donna's is closed on Mondays for confetti cleanup. Reservations are recommended for large parties, so call ahead or send up a smoke signal.
Mad Donna's took third in the vote for Best New Restaurant 2008 in Nashville Scene. Yelpers give Mad Donna's four stars, six Citysearchers give three, four TripAdvisors give 3.5, and 78% of Urbanspooners like it:
- The atmosphere is down to earth & unpretentious. Very fun… – cray31, Citysearch
- …go for Sunday brunch. it's [sic] the bomb. I recommend the captain crunch french toast. – elicash, Urbanspoon
- Don't miss the Mac and Cheese and THE best burger on the East side. The sweet potato fries are to die for. Service is always friendly and efficient. – Brian C., Yelp
The meals at Mad Donna's always manage to be both familiar and completely unexpected at the same time. For instance, enchiladas are dressed in the usual fixings (jack cheese, black beans, sour cream), but they're filled with sweet potatoes. And their family-recipe meatloaf is stuffed with smoked gouda. They bring this same inventiveness to their menu's two staples: burgers and mac 'n' cheese. Variations on the burger include the popular B.A.S., which is topped with bacon, avocado, and swiss, while their half-dozen macs include white truffle, which is blanketed in a creamy four-cheese bechamel, truffle oil, and herbed bread crumbs. Of course, dinner isn't the only draw here—there's brunch on weekends, and every night there's live entertainment and free displays of gravity upstairs in the loft.