Thursday, February 13, 2014


Do you associate certain friends with certain things? I do. And i just so happen to associate our Raleigh Friends with food. They know how to eat and i mean that in the nicest way possible. They know the best restaurants to visit. They always try new things. They never skip dessert. On menus with ingredients i can't pronounce, they can usually say it, define it, and tell me if i am going to like it or not. And they ensure you gain approximately 15lbs in one weekend. Which is why i purchased a pair of new pants for this trip.

Not kidding, actually. I went to the gap last week with intentions of purchasing pants one size up. This has nothing to do with the fact that i may have gained a few pounds of "winter weight" but solely on the fact that i knew i woud be eating my way through Nashville. And i did. In fact, Mr. B said to me on monday morning when we were packing up, "are those your big girl pants?"

Nashville has been at the top of our "must visit" list for a few years. So when our raleigh friends suggested a few months ago that we visit together, we didn't hesitate.

I do however understand why southwest was running a deal through the earliest months in the year - because NO ONE wants to visit nashville in February. It was freezing. A bone-chilling-damp-cold that we really aren't used to in Colorado. I know, i know, everyone says, "but you're from colorado - what do you mean you aren't used to the cold weather?" Colorado gets cold, don't get me wrong, but we have a different kind of cold - a dry cold that doesnt make your bones frigid. Visit in the winter and you'll understand what i mean. Nonetheless, we bundled up from head to toe and toured the home of country music.

I've had a few people reach out to me since learning we spent the weekend in nashville and asked for a list of things to do. We didn't see it all, but we saw a lot. Here's what we ate saw:

The Southern: For their southern style oysters (order more than six and thank me later). If you like ribs and a lot of them, get those too. In fact, you can probably find my leftovers in the fridge at our hotel. Mr B insisted i take half of my 19inch rack back to the hotel. The ribs, not my rack.

The Patterson House: For their speak-easy like atmosphere, a hostess that tells terrible whale jokes, and ice cubes that are the full length of your glass.

The Pharmacy: For their wursts and burgers and home-made soda. the orange dreamcicle was a table favorite and it just so happened to come in the coolest glass. This would be a summertime favorite with their grassy patio area.

Country Music Hall of Fame: Because you are in nashville, not because you want to see the reba exhibit. While you are there you can also get a tour of the famous Studio B. I was the only one in our crew that enjoyed it, but i think that's because i associate some of my favorite childhood memories with elvis albums. If you do too, then you'll like Studio B.

A Show at The Grand Ole Opry: Because it's what made country music famous. We saw a show and skipped the tour. If you make the same decision, you'll get to see a variety of performers and hear unlimited family dollar ads. Mr B and i now have a new date planned on friday nights -drinking wine and listening to WSM on 650AM radio. For the show, not the ads.

The Pinewood Social: It was the highlight of our weekend and might be yours too. The atmosphere is an old warehouse. You can eat, drink bloody mary's or man-mosas, sip Crema coffee and bowl all in the same building. Call and make reservations for this one, including a lane! If you're lucky you might walk away the bowling champ. Suckas!

Yazoo Brewery Tour: To drink. The man in my life is a beer snob and obsessed with getting badges on untapp'd, so he never lets me get out of a new city without going to a brewery. We'd recommend the Hefeweizen - it won our taste test. And remember, one beer kettle equals 12,000 beers. That might win you a free beer at the end of the tour! It did for me.

Broadway: To listen to local musicians and toast your beers to "holler and swaller". The musicians (good or bad) expect tips and are not afraid to ask, so bring your cash. Or don't.

Union Station Hotel: To roam the halls of an old train station (later turned hotel), not to go to the bell tower.

Arrington Winery: A good way to see the Nashville country side and get a taste of some local grapes. Again, this is another place that has way more potential in the summertime with picnic tables and swings surrounding the grounds. But then again, i suppose the cozy fireplace wouldn't be lit in the middle of July. Bring a pack of cards against humanity and grab a bottle of wine and it really won't matter what season it is.

Barista Parlor: To sip some really good coffee (nothing local), to eat some of the best homemade macaroons, and to find worldwide dark chocolate. We were in a hurry, but this place is really, really cool (trust me) and hard to find.

Loveless Café: For the best breakfast you'll ever eat. The service, the biscuits, the jams, and the ham. It's worth the 20 minute drive outside the city. It was an old motel in the 50's that was renovated is now home to the cafe and a few small shops.

Some others that we visited and didn't take photos of: Jacks BBQ: to soak up the alcohol and to get a cheesy noodle in your boot. It's on broadway and a good pit stop between bars. Margot Cafe: small, but a lovely little place to get brunch on the east side of town. Side note, don't show up late for your reservation and don't expect it to cure your hangover. Just ask my husband. and Husk: home to the award winning chef, Sean Brock. The menu changes daily and it might break your wallet, but it sure was good.

What we missed: did you know there is a Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville? We learned that the first night, but we skipped it. Shame on us. We also tried to get a reservation at the Bluebird Cafe. It has always been famous for their singer/songwriter performances, but the show Nashville has made it even more so. We sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes waiting and when we realized our only other option was visiting the massage parlor next door, we decided it was time to leave. If you want to ensure you get a place, call weeks in advance! And lastly, another big tourist location that we should have visited was the Ryman Auditorium for a tour. It was home to the Grand Ole Opry for thirty-one years. Can you believe we missed it? Dangit!

Nashville was a blast, but next time i am going when i don't need a winter coat.

Holler and Swaller, y'all!

[coming soon: a nashville video made by mr. b.]

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