The Gambling Stick

Starring Matt Russo. Photo by  @jasonmyersphoto

Starring Matt Russo. Photo by @jasonmyersphoto

TAKING A GAMBLE. Burnt out on New York City fine dining this accomplished chef poured his passion into his smoker to create a new classic BBQ.

Nashville since 2010.

What may appear to just be an unassuming trailer on the side of Gallatin Avenue is actually filled with culinary wonder. An experience that is rich in flavor, technique and years of high-end training. Making a simple plate of BBQ a titillating sensory adventure.

True. The word Matt Russo uses to best describe himself, his craft and his food.  The inspiration to start his own restaurant The Gambling Stick, was to create “food as true as it can be, and make good food for good people.” A well-educated chef from fine dining restaurants in New York City, he crafted this new classic BBQ by utilizing traditional recipes and applying classic techniques to foods such as his “pigsket,” burnt end baked beans and the cornbread bowl.

I kind of got burnt out in the fine dining world. I found myself making BBQ for my friends and for gatherings as my ‘go to,’ and people always seemed to really enjoy it…it’s a passion of mine and really more my style.

“We use all local ingredients…and that is one of the reasons that our food comes out the way it does,” shared Matt, “good ingredients create good food, and I just like creating simple, good food.”  So it is no surprise he created this BBQ wonderment in Nashville. All of the food is locally sourced, and Nashville provides incredible ingredients to allow The Gambling Stick maestro that ability to simply do what he does best.

Featured Hat: NEW Poly-Wool Blend hat with Versa Visor & Leather applique. 

Featured Hat: NEW Poly-Wool Blend hat with Versa Visor & Leather applique. 

Although a simple operation by appearance, The Gambling Stick had a near breaking point last year.  Within a small window of time, they were broken into and robbed, the smoker was stolen, and their tent caught on fire.  Faced with this adversity, Matt was far too passionate about his love for this food, so his entrepreneurial spirit carried on and he rebuilt.  One year later they continue to perfect simple, local BBQ - really well.

Earlier this year, this gem of a food experience was featured in Thrillist as one of the Best BBQ Joints in Nashville. It’s worth the extra buck and will have you coming back for more…you can bet on it.

Follow them @thegamblingstick

The Gambling Stick serves locally sourced meats smoked with cherry wood along with scratch-made seasonal sides Tuesday-Saturday 11-8pm in front of Porter Road Butcher East.

Check out their menu at