The Food Biz: A humdinger of a restaurant

South African-style flavors come to Brentwood

A Memphis-born restaurant specializing in grilled fish has been making a splash with its new location in Brentwood.

Humdingers Grilled Fish and Chicken opened in Brentwood in March, a sister restaurant to two Humdingers in the Memphis area. The new joint is located in the strip across from Kroger at 330 Franklin Road — taking over the former Fred Astaire Dance Studio space and turning the modest strip into an almost uninterrupted lineup of restaurants (including Five Guys, Peter’s Sushi & Thai, and Chile Burrito).

Humdingers isn’t a franchise; it’s a restaurant concept dreamed up by a group of Memphians to put a healthy and moderately priced spin on fish and chicken. The chicken has a kick of its own: It’s inspired by piri-piri chicken traditional to South Africa. Humdingers sells its own line of sauces and spice rubs formulated with the piri-piri chili pepper.

According to Sunshine Post, the catering manager at Humdingers in Brentwood (her husband Trey Post is the general manager), there’s no MSG in the seasonings.

The menu features the aforementioned piri-piri chicken in various levels of spiciness, plus five or six different grilled fish, crispy fish-and-chips, crabcakes, shrimp skewers and more. Fish and chicken can be ordered as a platter with sides, as a sandwich, in a salad or in tacos.

In the Humdingers setup, customers order at the counter, then their meal is brought to their table. The decor is colorful, with an open kitchen providing diners entertainment (or reassurance). Post says they hope to eventually secure licenses to serve beer and wine.

Post adds that catering has already proven pretty popular, especially in corporate or party settings where relatively healthy menu choices are a plus.

Humdingers Grilled Fish & Chicken is at 330 Franklin Road, Suite 906D, in Brentwood. The phone number is 835-3201. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mon- day through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

 
• Speaking of Williamson County restaurants, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, a barbecue chain with roots in Colorado and Alabama, opened April 27 in Cool Springs. Moe’s serves “Alabama barbecue” (including pulled pork, smoked chicken and turkey, ribs and wings) and Southern sides. (The menu mentions something about “banana puddin’.” Can we consider that a vegetable?) The restaurant also offers a full bar.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que is at 9050 Carothers Parkway, Unit 104, in Franklin.

 
• Looks like May is going to be a momentous month in the Nashville restaurant scene. The hotly anticipated Nashville sib- ling to chef Sean Brock’s Husk has finally announced its planned opening date: Monday, May 20.

My Scene colleague Chris Chamberlain got the skinny on the opening date, and he notes that staff training is in full swing, and Huskers have been working on new Nashville recipes in the kitchen at the original Husk in Charleston, S.C. “Chef Brock and his team have been visiting some of their favorite haunts and markets around Nashville and doing some serious hot chicken research,” Chamberlain reports. Husk Nashville is opening at 37 Rutledge St., and the online reservation system is expected to go live soon.

Meanwhile, we have word of another opening date: Thursday, May 9, when the new restaurant Mason’s will launch full service in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on West End, with chef Brandon Frohne at the helm.

The hotel says Mason’s will be “a Southern brasserie offering food infused with modern creativity and a reverence for traditional regional cuisine brought to life with classical French execution and locally sourced seasonal ingredients.” Also new will be Mason Bar, located in the lobby across from the restaurant, “a public house-style bar featuring an extensive selection of beers, wines and spirits.”

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is at 2100 West End Ave.