I was in Nashville this past weekend with friends for a little vacation. This summer, roomie and I made a list of all the places we wanted to visit in our lifetime. Nashville was on it. I assumed I would visit for a race or something but when our friend Maggie mentioned she was going for fun two weeks ago we decided to book a last minute flight and tag along.
Based on our research, I was nervous I was going to have literally no option but to eat fried chicken at some of the places my travel companions wanted to visit. Prince’s Chicken was our first stop and the WORST experience. The menu literally was just fried chicken. That was it. Sides included cole slaw, mac and cheese, fries and pickles. I knew we were going somewhere afterwards for a beer and I knew they would have more options. Little did I know it takes an hour and 15 minutes to fry a piece of chicken! Do not go to this place whatever you do, despite the food network and travel recommendations. Hatty B’s next to our hotel was 1 million times better. This place is 20 minutes outside the city in a terrible area. About to flip out after learning our numbers were skipped for a half hour, I saw a peanut M&M machine. I put in my quarter, turned the knob and out came ONE SINGLE PEANUT M&M. I had some pickles while my guests ate their Hot Chicken. Ninety minutes later, we were on our way to 12 South Tap Room. We didn’t realize it, but our second stop was in a hipster area of Nashville, THANK GOD. They had quinoa tabbouli, brussels sprouts and grilled veggies which I put together for a $10 vegetarian lunch. Everything was delicious. I tried a fun beer which I can’t remember the name but basically drunk after it since I was so hungry. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to check out other local coffee shops. I spotted the frothy monkey on the way to 12th Street and requested we stop.
To my surprise, the Frothy Monkey not only had Unsweetened Almond Milk but also stevia! This is my coffee shop gold star status! If you have one of these, I usually give you a good rating but to have both, you are a rock star. I got a regular hot coffee and picked up a bar of local chocolate bar that was AMAZING. I think I may have to order it from Boston. Despite a terrible first experience, our second two were perfect.
For dinner, we ate near our hotel at a place called Tavern
. It was perfect for what we were looking for. Of course, I only take pictures of the dessert. We ordered a kale, currant and parmesan salad which was amazing (and solely enjoyed by the females), shishito peppers, sweet potato fries, angry chicken nachos, and pork tacos with soy caramel and green apple kimchi. We ended the evening with s’mores over a flame serves with chocolate and peanut butter cups.
Afterwards, we hit up the iconic Tootsies. It was so much fun! I loved dancing to my favorite country songs. It was a little crowded and one girl wearing an Auburn T-Shirt was putting on a show, basically giving her man a strip tease in front of the crowd and flashing us all. She was up on the stage/speakers that usually are reserved for bachelorettes and birthday girls. She climbed up with one group and just never got down. I bet she woke up with the “Oh Shits.” Ya know when you wake up and are like, “Oh shit, what did I do last night?”
I have never seen so many Bachelorette parties out and about. We left Tootsies and visited a bunch of the other Broadway bars. All were a good time, but I liked the music at Tootsies the best. There are so many bars very close together and all of them are packed! It was crazy to me. We waited in a few lines that moved really quick and never paid a cover. People were so friendly as well and drinks were fairly easy to get.
Saturday morning, I wanted to go to Barry’s Bootcamp in Nashville but woke up with a cold and minor hangover. I was not a happy camper. Instead, roomie and I went for a 30 minute run to the Parthenon and back. It was snowing out but the snow never stuck to the ground. The Parthenon in Nashville is a full size replica of the one in Greece. It was pretty cool. We didn’t go inside but were glad we got to see it up close. Afterward we headed to Brunch at The Southern Steak and Oyster.
There was a band playing in the entry way! It was a bright and crisp atmosphere. I ordered a salad with romaine, hearts of palm, artichokes, roasted beets, pepitas, goat cheese, grilled chicken and balsamic herb vinaigrette. It was delicious. I also ordered a Bloody Mary and coffee to hopefully kill the hangover and cold.
Afterwards, we went shopping and bar hopping. I didn’t buy a cowboy hat but I did get 2 pairs of Cowboy Boots! There is store that features a buy 1 pair, get 2 free so Maggie snagged a pair and I grabbed two for a total of $189. To fit in with the Nashville crowd, I put them immediately on and didn’t take them off for the rest of the night.
We sang karaoke, danced and hung out on Broadway street for Saturday night as well. We enjoyed our dinner at The Merchant, especially their Moscow Mules made with homemade ginger beer and a garnish of candied ginger. I ordered the sole with sweet potato hash. For dessert, we tried the peach cobbler. I was not expected to enjoy the food this much I must admit!
Our last stop before flying home was to the famous Pancake Pantry. The line was insane at 10 am. We waited for 45 minutes and were happy that we did. I love ham and kept seeing Tennessee ham on the menus. The boys had their friend chicken and I had to try Tennessee ham and this was my last chance. I ordered egg whites with the ham and it came with a side of pancakes which I upgraded to the Sweet Potato. We ordered a half serving of french toast for the table per a recommendation and were not disappointed. The french toast was better than the pancakes in my opinion. It was a sweet and unhealthy ending to a fabulous vacation. I’m not going to drink green juice and eat like a vegan for the next 10 days which is when I leave for another pleasure weekend vacation to Miami. I guess I like to travel.
On the way to the airport, we stopped at The Grand Ole Opry. I wish we could have taken a tour but didn’t allow ourselves enough time. The Gaylord Opry Hotel was MASSIVE and worth checking out but we didn’t get out of the car. The big draw back is that it is not close to downtown. I wish we had been able to see a concert there or the Ryman Theater. When I come back, I will be sure to plan ahead!