SERVING DELICIOUS BISCUITS, LATE NIGHT AND EARLY MORNING
NASHVILLE SINCE BIRTH
As the Nashville food scene continues to flourish, a Music City native with a strong lineage in the restaurant world gives a Southern staple a modern twist.
Greer Watkins comes from a long line of restauranteurs in Nashville. “My grandfather and dad both kind of paved the way for me in the sense that they had their own restaurants,” she says. She developed her work ethic in their restaurants through high school and college. “I kind of always knew that hospitality and that kind of thing was my passion, but didn’t know what avenue I’d go down to get there.” After school she lived in D.C. and traveled before returning to her Music City home.
“In D.C., street food was really prominent, everything you wanted you could get on a cart,” she says. “Here the food truck industry was booming, but I noticed the only thing you could get on a cart was hotdogs. That struck a chord in me and I started thinking about what else you could do.” She wanted to appeal to both late-night crowds leaving bars as well as businesspeople passing in the mornings. “Biscuits seemed like a good medium,” she says. “It all went from there.”
Greer operates the Bertie’s Biscuits cart downtown by the Ryman Auditorium, at Fifth and Commerce. The name was inspired by her great grandmother Bertie Greer, whose recipe inspired the traditional buttermilk biscuit Greer serves. Along with the buttermilk, she serves two flavored biscuits she created herself: a rosemary goat cheese biscuit and a cheddar and chive biscuit.
“I’m the one that’s always out there so I get to hear good and bad news,” she says. “Even someone saying, ‘This is the best damn biscuit I’ve ever had’ is gratifying and makes em realize why I’m doing it, even when I feel discouraged about it.”
“It’s exciting,” she says. “I think anytime anyone puts something out there, whether it’s food or their art or whatever their passion is, you wonder how people are going to perceive it. To hear positive feedback or even constructive criticism is exciting.”
The biscuits have taken off with Nashville dwellers and visitors alike. “People are very excited and surprised – and maybe confused,” she says. For some visitors who aren’t from the south, it’s not just that they’re expecting a cart to have hot dogs, they may have never had a biscuit before. That confusion quickly turns to enthusiasm. “That’s been exciting,” she says, “to know that it’s working.”