Table Talk: The Pharmacy changes the eating game

Photo by Tayhlor Stephenson / Lifestyles Editor

The food’s too spicy, the bill is overpriced, the ambiance lacks personality: finding that go-to eatery can become burdensome — especially when your tastebuds are paying the undying price of tolerating less-than-satisfactory food more often than not — but that all changes today.

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, the heaven-sent of all Middle Tennessee burger joints, serves suitable patties, suds galore and so much more. It’s the go-to place everyone must know about, but what makes this place THE place?

Although the menu is full of mouth-watering dishes, it doesn’t come on too strong. It’s like a cool drink of iced-lemonade on a smoldering summer day — both refreshing and well-appreciated.

Wurst links, burgers and specialty sodas all nestle their way to The Pharmacy’s menu as featured items, but none are served ordinary. The wurst links are thick and juicy, the abnormally large burgers are both delicious and fully loaded and the sodas incorporate a special Pharmacy flare. If it’s the fizz that calls you in, there’s an entire half of a menu of tap and imported beer for you specifically.

The enclosed, indoor portion of The Pharmacy is its own adventure. It’s dim-lighted, homey and pop-folky music blares from the speakers. Benches and tables line the walls, but it’s the bar that consumes most of the restaurant for beer-enthused customers.

Outside introduces a whole new vibe — one that definitely targets a millennial crowd. Shade-bearing trees and low-hanging lights hover the outside patio full of 18 six-person picnic-styled wooden bench seats. It’s an entirely different dining experience, and it’s where I chose to give the place a go.

The “Mission City Burger” comes with guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo and horchata cream fresca. (Tayhlor Stephenson / MTSU Sidelines)

After a deliberated debate between my head and my heart — and I chose to go with my heart, which will always belong to Mexican-influenced food– I ordered the “Mission City Burger.” And I ordered right. The burger was served overflowing with guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo and horchata crema fresca. I savored every bite of the tender burger, and even that’s an understatement.

I also tried the “Stroganoff Burger,” a brilliantly created combination of mushroom stroganoff bechamel, sour cream, caramelized onions and swiss cheese. To top off the perfect — and I do mean perfect — meal, I sampled both the sweet potato fries and the German-inspired potato salad: delicious.

Not only does The Pharmacy please in its mind-boggling, satisfying flavors, but the food is practically priced as a steal. I paid $10 for a burger and plate full of fries, and it may very well be the best $10 I’ve spent on food.

The Pharmacy’s service proved to be fantastic. My glass was always full, and everything I requested came in a timely manner. I also walked right in and was seated, but I think I just got lucky on that one. Regardless, The Pharmacy exceeds every expectation.

If you’ve yet to try The Pharmacy, plan a visit soon. I can guarantee it will lead to follow-up visit.

On a five-star rating system, The Pharmacy far exceeds five stars.

Follow Tayhlor Stephenson on Twitter at @tayhlor_s.

Table Talk is a foodie’s paradise where you can find true, honest opinions on the most talked-about places in town. For more Table Talk coverage, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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