This past weekend, we found ourselves in New York City for a wide array of fun activities. As part of our day, we were invited* to check out the newest restaurant that calls Times Square home. Let me preface this with a disclaimer–I don’t typically care for  restaurants in Times Square.  In my experience, the restaurants typically are over- crowded, over-priced and over-hyped. But, we decided to give Opry City Stage a try.  The theme of the restaurant is basically bringing a bit of Nashville to New York City.

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Walking into the restaurant, you can hear music playing,  photographs of country musicians, records, and memorabilia line the walls.

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The space is hip and welcoming.  There are four levels to the space, a gift shop on the bottom floor, two floors of seating and tables, with a bar and stage, and then the top floor can be used for private events.  We were seated on the second level with a clear view to the stage, where a live band was playing.

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I should also admit something to you.  I am not a fan of country music.  In fact, it’s never been something I’ve liked to listen to.  So, this seems like a weird place to visit given that fact, right?  Yeah…..I know……but, I was willing to give something new a chance.  I’m so glad I did!

Although I am not really a fan of the country genre, I can appreciate good talent.  The band playing live music was really entertaining.  The music was very enjoyable and they did throw in a cover of “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, so you have to love that! In between sets from local talent, large video screens played music videos from artists like Shania Twain, Taylor Swift, and Tim McGraw.  Several times a week, big headliners come to the Opry City Stage to perform, as well. You can see the schedule here.

Our server was very attentive and friendly and presented us with a lunch menu that looked really good.  There is a heavy influence of Barbecue and Southern specialties on the menu, so we were excited to see how the food was.

We ordered nachos for an appetizer and they were really delicious. I loved that the chips were freshly made (not out of a bag) and loaded with great toppings like their own pulled pork.  So good!

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We quickly learned that their chicken dishes were a speciality, so we ordered the hot chicken and waffles, chicken tenders and fries, and pulled pork.  All three were amazing.  If you order the chicken and waffles, know that there is a serious kick to the chicken.  But the sweet maple syrup is the perfect complement to it atop fluffy waffles.  This dish was tantalizing! The chicken tenders were actually the best chicken tenders I have ever had at a restaurant.  Trust me, with four kids, I feel like I am an expert on the topic!  The chicken tenders were huge and very juicy, with the perfect crispy coating.  The seasoned fries were hot and crunchy. We had gotten a taste of the pulled pork on our nachos, but the lunch portion was topped with a spicy barbecue sauce, paired with coleslaw and traditionally, grits, but the fries were so good we substituted them this time.

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Each serving was very generous and delectable.  So much food we couldn’t finish by any means.  But, we had to save room for dessert.  Boy were we glad we did!  We ordered the house favorite–monkey bread!  It comes in a large enough portion for everyone at the table to share.

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Sweet, sticky goodness topped with vanilla ice cream is a great way to end a meal at Opry  City Stage.  We were so pleased with our choice!

So, I learned a couple of things this weekend.  1. Not all Times Square restaurants are created equal. 2. Live Country music and BBQ make for an incredible dining experience.

I’m so glad that I dismissed my preconceptions and tried Opry City Stage because we had an amazing time.  I will definitely be coming back here again for great food and entertainment.  I highly recommend giving it a try yourself when in the city!

*we were invited to visit to facilitate a feature, all opinions are my own.