Thanks to a recent "Our Favorite Fried Chicken in America" article from the friendly people of Serious Eats, I learned of Bailey & Cato, and in good timing(!) just a week before leaving on my quick two-day business trip. (B&C is on the second slide.)
Like many Meat and Threes and few family run barbecue joints Bailey & Cato was a small former dwelling looking spot off McGavock Pike in the quiet Dalewood town of Nashville, TN.
There are a few tables inside but most of the orders I've seen were to-go. In fact many were call-ins and picked up through the cute drive through window. I had to get the Fried Chicken of course but choosing the two sides were a bit difficult with all the choices. Ended up with the candied yams and green beans. They turned out excellent choices but before I get into them, the chicken which is fried to order takes 15~20 minutes (I was warned in the SE article).
Even with my iPhone the time felt like forever but the friendly staff would pop up now and then to remind me as a countdown, "five more minutes..," "will only be another two...," etc. :)
I thought I'd try a sampling of their ribs in the meantime which they were kind enough to charge me for a kids portion which was only about a couple of bucks.
For the choice of sauce and bread went with hot and plain white.
These were very tasty baby backs, smokey and flavorful with nice bits of rendered fats here and there. The sauce was a lighter molasses flavored with a nice heat kick. The portion was a good four~five bones.
When the fried chicken was finally ready it came piping hot (my choice of dark meat leg portion). Waiting for it to slightly cool I had a bite of the yams which were pleasantly sweet and very cinnamony excellent. Reminded me of Christmas. The green beans were tender and flavorful as well and served as my much needed vegetable on the plate. Hushpuppies were still warm from being previously fried.
The chicken was indeed heavenly, easily one of the best I've had. Perfectly seasoned with that nice thicker crust marinated with buttermilk. Juices were flowing, fingers were burning, lips and tongues scorched. Amen and definitely worth the wait.
I got my stamp card and can't wait for my next visit. Meanwhile I scour their photo lunch specials menu with very active salivary glands. Drool.
Bailey & Cato Family Restaurant, 1307 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37206