Dining in Franklin
We finally made it into Franklin proper for dinner Friday night. The downtown is super walkable, and we could have picked any number of places, but we happened into 55 South, a flavor-forward American eatery. We would have been just fine with the spicy NOLA Cheesesteak and savory brisket tacos, but we went ahead and made a caloric splurge for the Garlic Parmesan Crab Fries, figuring we’d burn off the excess on the walking tour.
The next night, we visited perhaps Franklin’s best-known restaurant, the Red Pony, for their signature shrimp and grits. We’ve had (and love) a lot of shrimp and grits living in the south, but Red Pony’s were distinctively different with complex brown sauce instead of layers of cheese. The waiter talked us into dessert – Crème brûlée with candy cap mushrooms. Mushrooms for dessert, you ask? This extremely rare mushroom fits perfectly with notes of caramel. Of note, both 55 South and Red Pony had excellent COVID protocols, including a temperature check of every guest before seating.
Apart from dinner, we had breakfast at Biscuit Love and McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions. Both were solid and delicious, but lunch at The Factory at Franklin stood out. Once a stove factory, it’s now a mixed-use space with restaurants, stores, and music venues. The tacos at Mojo Taco were legit, and we couldn’t pass up Jeni’s Ice Cream and Five Daughters Bakery.