Puckett’s Reveals Winner of “Name That Smoker” Contest

Since its downtown Columbia addition to the Puckett’s family of restaurants this past March, the Southern-style eatery has been serving its trademark down-home recipes to the Maury County crowd—and carrying on several traditions, including its “Name That Smoker” contest.

The contest began June 3 and extended through June 17. The restaurant has since announced that Columbia resident David Paul won the $100 gift and bragging rights for his “Cherry Underwood” submission.

“We thought ‘Cherry Underwood’ was a great play-on-words: our barbecue is smoked slow ‘n’ low over cherry wood,” said Max Stephenson, Puckett’s general manager. “It put a grin on all of our faces immediately when we saw it.”

Puckett’s has won numerous accolades for its unique BBQ preparation over the years. Puckett’s Owner Andy Marshall, who has long been a competition pit master, has said he prefers cherry wood over any other fuel because it imparts a sweeter, richer flavor that only fruitwood can bring to the table.

The restaurant said it received more than 200 prospective names through social media submissions, and that they were impressed with the creativity of the batch. Other forerunners included the “James K. Pork,”  “Dwight Smokem,” and “Conway Ribby.”

This is the fourth naming competition for a Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant in-house smoker, this one a stainless steel unit that holds up to 1,200 pounds of meat. Other Puckett’s smokers are known as Sweet Smokin’ Sadie, The Hog Father, and Hoss & Lil Joe.

Puckett’s also enlisted the public’s help in naming its trolley food truck, which now goes by Ms. Trolley Parton.

“These naming contests are among our favorite Puckett’s traditions,” Stephenson said. “We want the community to be involved in as much as possible, and there’s always a sense of online camaraderie among folks vying for the title.”

The winner was announced on June 18 through Puckett’s Columbia Facebook page, www.facebook.com/puckettscolumbia. For more information, visit its website at www.puckettsgrocery.com.

An Empty Box & What It Means To Us

“This box formerly contained the Chicken Cordon Que, grilled asparagus, and smashed sweet potatoes–the special of the night at Puckett’s Columbia. As you can see, I cleaned my plate. Now I’m seriously contemplating eating the box.

This crew down here is doing an awesome job! Thanks again for coming to Columbia!”

-James Lund, Old Curiosity Bookstore on the downtown Columbia public square


It’s kind words like these (passed along straight to Andy) that give us a passion for what we’re doing! Thank y’all for being such good friends to our Puckett’s family. We so appreciate you.

Get To Know The Puckett’s Family: Autumn Friese

Autumn Friese was born to be in the hospitality industry. Growing up, she spent her summers working in her mother’s restaurant learning the ins-and-outs of the business.

When she first visited Nashville she fell in love with the people and the Southern culture. So, (despite her self-professed musical inabilities!) she packed her bags and set out on a journey to make Nashville her home. Autumn is now our beloved General Manager at Puckett’s in downtown Nashville–the one located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Church Street.

Below, we asked Autumn a few questions so that y’all can get to love her a little bit more!

Where are you from? I grew up in Northern Michigan enjoying the great outdoors. With four sisters and three brothers, my family was big on camping, snowmobiling, skiing, and boating.

How did you end up in Nashville? I had some close friends who lived in Nashville and I visited them often. I fell in love with Tennessee and decided to give it a whirl!

What did you do before working at Puckett’s? I started out as a server/bartender at Ruby Tuesday and quickly found my calling as a manager. In that time, I also met my husband Adam. We loved the area so much that we decided to buy a house and settle in Murfreesboro.I worked for Ruby Tuesday for about five years, before a friend told me about Puckett’s Grocery.

What was your impression of Puckett’s on your first visit? I stepped inside and immediately felt at home. I loved the concept and the down-home feel. My first impression was that it reminded me of my home- minus the sweet-tea. I already loved the atmosphere, but when I tasted the food, I fell in love.

When did you first start working at Puckett’s? They were opening a location in Nashville and I decided to go for it. I was hired in 2010 when the Nashville location opened its doors. My life quickly changed, I was introduced to all kinds of southern cookin’ that I didn’t know about.  What is a corn cake and what do you do with it? I fell in love with everything. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of culinary cuisine.

If you could only order one thing off of the Puckett’s menu for the rest of your life, what would it be? That is such a tough question…probably the fried chicken.

What makes Puckett’s unique from other Nashville restaurants? Puckett’s is very special to me because it reminds me of home, I feel like I am hanging out with my family when I am at work.  You get to know the locals, your staff as well as their families.  You feel a part of the Puckett family right away.

What is your favorite Puckett’s memory? One of my favorite Puckett’s moments are around the holidays and through all of the hustle and bustle of the city; when you walk into Puckett’s, its like sitting at your own kitchen table, surrounded by friends and family.

Next time you’re at Puckett’s on 5th and Church in Nashville, make sure you say hello to Autumn!

Homemade Pickle Recipe: goodness of the Deep South in your kitchen

If you’ve ever tasted those fried pickles at the Puckett’s Boat House, you know it’s a total explosion of “South in your Mouth.” And if you’re nice (we’ll take your word for it), we’ll tell you our secret……

The reason they are so good is because our pickles are made-from-scratch via a homemade recipe. With a lot of taste testing and the addition of a spicy spin, we think we got the perfect pickle (which is fun to say 10 times fast).

That Cajun kick you’re tastin’ comes from a perfectly concocted mix of sugar, vinegar, horseradish, and cayenne. And since we love our customers and want them to be happy all the time (not just when they are visiting) we have decided to graciously share this recipe that is very near and dear to our hearts–and stomachs.

So make ’em and put them on a burger (June’s Burger of the Month is coming soon, so stay tuned), eat them out of the jar, or better yet fry them up and dip them in our BBQ sauce. Either way, we hope they bring all the goodness of the Deep South to your kitchen.

Puckett’s BoatHouse Quick Homemade Pickles:

½ gallon whole refrigerator pickles

1 cup of sugar

1 cup white vinegar

4 cups water

½ cups horseradish

1 tbsp. pickling spice

1 tsp. cayenne

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions: Cut pickles into desired thickness. Place cut pickles into a container. Combine ingredients into a mixing bowl and pour over pickles. Ensure pickles are fully covered. Place pickles into refrigerator. Turn pickles every couple hours. Allow pickles to marinate 48 hours for best results.


Boat House Spices Up Summer With Weekly Events!

Puckett’s Boat House, our soulful seafood eatery on East Main Street in downtown Franklin, has launched a series of community-focused events—just in time to celebrate our one-year anniversary in June! In recent weeks, the Boat House has kicked off an outdoor corn hole tournament, a weekly “Ladies Day” event and a scrumptious weekend brunch.

And on June 4, the restaurant hosted its 18th season of Puckett’s Rising Star, a singer-songwriter, open-mic contest that began at Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant five years ago. The competition, which moved to the Boat House last season, is unique to the area because the audience plays an integral role in the selection of winners each week.

It’s the perfect summer hangout spot!

More info about the events:

It held its first two-day brunch over Memorial Day Weekend, a buffet that is now offered each Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You better believe the brunch menu is gonna be good, with Chef Carlos behind the helm. It’ll be an ever-rotating smorgasbord of 15 to 20 items, with selections ranging from baked tilapia and beer-battered cod to biscuits and gravy, French toast casserole and home-style potatoes. The brunch buffet is $15.95 for adults, and $7.50 for kids 12 and under.

In addition to the weekend event, they’ve also established a weekly “Ladies Day” event on Wednesdays. The all-day special includes exclusive dishes geared towards the feminine set, and deals such as half-price wine by the bottle and glass.

Manager Stacy Wray (you know how we love her!) came up with the idea. Here’s what she had to say’ bout it.

“I love the heart behind our restaurant and its community relationships. My hope is that our friends feel a connection with us here, and that they begin to feel that it’s an extension of their own kitchen. That’s why we started this particular event, to build on that family environment. We would love to be a part of a long-standing tradition among friend groups.”

To wipe out the Monday blues and attract another customer base, the Boat House also began hosting the PBH Corn Hole Tournament, a double-elimination game that includes 10 teams each week.  The tournament, which asks a $10 entry fee, begins at 6 p.m. and includes weekly prize money.

Here’s why General Manager J.T. Ward loves it:

“Corn hole is a game that I associate with friends, family and warm weather. I think that good-time feeling, and a little healthy competition, is a great fit for the Boat House. I hope it becomes a seasonal tradition, and something that locals can look forward to.”

The restaurant also has a weekly Boat House Blues Night, presented by Nashville artist and musician Billy Block.

WHEW. That’s it for us. It’s a lot, ain’t it? For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit Puckett’s Boat House at 94 E. Main Street or its website at www.puckettsboathouse.com.