V&V Seafood Market
4021 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211-4515
(615) 832-6214

Monday-Saturday: 11-9
Sunday: 12-8

SE Asian entrepreneurs have been spreading Cajun love and food in various American cities…and now in Nashville:

V&V Seafood Market occupies the old Las Chivas location on Nolensville.  It’s run by a family from Atlanta, that saw an opportunity to bring Gulf seafood to Nashville.  Needless to say, their plans were derailed due to the oil spill, and they’ve had no choice but to shift the balance of their business to the food-service aspect.  (This is not to say that they’re not selling seafood.  They offer everything from whole tilapia and shrimp to red snapper and frog legs.)  The menu is a melange of Vietnamese cuisine and Cajun seafood.

They’ve brightened the place up and given it a paint job.  The place is austere and manages to convey that it’s serious, a propos of its name, about seafood–particularly of the Cajun boil variety.  Besides the crawfish, they boil up blue crab and white shrimp–as well as snow crab leg and mussels.  All of the cajun boils are sold by the pound.  We had some of the crawfish, and it was tastefully prepared, with some of the spices coating the firetruck-red shells.  The crawdads were a good size, and the spices weren’t overpowering–subtly layered with different tastes of cayenne, pepper, onion, and garlic.  (The corn and potatoes that often goes in crawfish boils were not offered to us.)

We also had fried shrimp and tilapia po-boys.  Pickled thought the shrimp sandwich had a good balance between fried-goodness, fresh lettuce and tomoto, and sauces, while I found my tilapia sandwich a bit cumbersome.  The zigzagging lines of mayo and sauce were off-putting to me.  Nashville’s lack of bread varieties and quality has been a challenge for V&V.  After trying a number breads around town, they settled on baguettes from, believe it or not, Sam’s Club–which they claim to have the best texture.  We thought that V&V worked well with the bread–toasting and serving it at the right temperature.  But it proved a bit thick for our taste.

I had the Vietnamese iced milk coffee.  They did not use condensed milk, and the drink came out diluted and distastefully sweet.  This led to distrust in their pho, egg noodle soups, and home-made wonton soup.  We’ll be back for the seafood, and to give the soups a try.

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A few months ago, we blogged [here] about SE Asian restaurateurs spreading their interpretation of Cajun seafood to the rest of the country.  Well, Nashville now has such a place:

V&V Seafood Market
4021 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211-4515
(615) 832-6214

It’s an actual seafood mart that also dishes up boiled crawfish and blue crabs, as well as traditional beef pho and, of course, seafood pho.  [Go here for a photo of their combined offerings, plated and tabled.]  They just opened last Monday–not exactly the best timing due to BP’s underwater geyser, butV&V are working things out and sourcing their products from elsewhere.

We’ll definitely be writing more about this place.