Friday, February 12, 2016 09:00 AM


Nashville's restaurant scene has exploded in recent years, but the place rising to the top of Yelp's rankings was around long before the hype began.

Monell's, a Southern-style catering company and cafe, was ranked No. 67 on Yelp's 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2016. The list is based on reviews by local eaters and Yelp ratings since its launch in 2004.

On Sixth Avenue North in Germantown, Monell's advertises family-style dining that includes skillet fried chicken, green beans, cheese grits and cornbread, among other traditional Southern fare.

"I'm always grateful because there are so many great restaurants in Nashville," Monell's owner Michael King said.

King said while he pays attention to the reviews, his restaurant tries to impress all its customers, including those who may never visit Yelp. He will sometimes choose to not respond to negative comments, but tries to thank those who offer positive feedback.

"There can be a lot of emphasis placed on people's reviews and I'm always grateful," he said. "I'm more grateful that we maintain consistency."

Monell's, founded in 1995, faces a competitive restaurant landscape, especially in its Germantown neighborhood. Rather than chasing the latest food trends, the restaurant has maintained a growing customer base by doing what it does best — good, Southern ...

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