Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Eating your way to the heart of Nashville

Every other year since we've been married we pack up and head to Nashville for an Anniversary getaway. See, we got married in Nashville (well Antioch, TN to be exact) so we like to go back and celebrate in the heart of where our marriage began. We live less than 2 hours away and I have family there, so we go fairly often for visiting, concerts, date nights, etc. Every time we go, we find more we want to add to our list of "What to do in Nashville". So here's a little recap of our weekend away...

I've got a few childhood friends who live in Nashville giving me tips on the go to places based on location, price, tastes, etc. Some of these we found on our own, some are thanks to the food network and others to my sweet friend Olivia! (thanks O!)

We began our trip on Friday morning with a stop at our favorite coffee shop in town, Big City Market. Seth gets an Americano with Milano Chocolate Peanut Butter, and I tried a Honeysuckle Latte. Always, and I mean always take recommendations from your Barista. Branch out my friends, that Honeysuckle Latte was one of the best things i've ever had. Thanks Molly and Jenny for the picture!

Next stop was a very "romantic" lunch per Seth's taste was Chipotle in Clarksville. It was so delicious as always. But my word is it necessary to give me enough for 4 meals? I ate my burrito for lunch, supper and still had leftovers. I've tried the tacos though, and they are not the same. Maybe I should opt for asking for a kids menu. Has anyone done this? I enjoyed a Pork Burrito with brown rice, black beans (yes katie, black beans) pico, corn salsa and more guacamole than they give you in a single order at a mexican restaurant. Seth got... well, I was too busy eating this monster! 'Til next time... 

Friday afternoon and evening we spent with my sweet grandmother, listening to stories, giggling, going to the grocery for her and eating hot donuts. It has become a tradition for us that our first night in Nashville during our Anniversary weekend we spend with her. The next morning we say our goodbyes and hit the road. 

Once we got downtown we did a little shopping and lunch. Seth had some Christmas money and early Valentine's money to burn and Vineyard Vines was having a "whale of a sale" (wish I had come up with that one on my own).  
Then we headed to the restaurant we were most excited about this trip, yes we are foodies, no we don't care. You may or may not have heard that Nashville is known for its Hot Chicken. The originator of Hot Chicken (seen here) is where we usually go, but had heard about a newer place in Midtown (where we spent most of our time this trip). We have been scouring the menu for Hattie B's for months, so excited about what we planned to get. Mild Chicken? Hot Chicken? Damn Hot Chicken? One of each? How do you choose?!!! The few days before we left I saw a facebook link about "Things you must do in Nashville" with eating at Hattie B's being number one.  Needless to say, it was excellent. Mine wasn't as juicey greasy as Prince's, so my bread didn't soak up as much juice grease. I did like however that there were more options for cut of meat (breast, leg, tenders) better side dish options and beer. Check it out, go eat, enjoy. Hattie B's Hot Chicken
pictured: 3 Jumbo Mild Chicken Tenders atop bread and pickles, Pimento Mac and Cheese, Greens

After a little more shopping and perusing some of my favorites like West Elm and Bink's Outfitters, we headed to our hotel for a few hours. Of course, I needed a nap as our dinner reservations weren't until 8:00 that night. Party girl in the house! We watched TV, enjoyed a bottle of Dom Perignon in our bride and groom tervis tumblers and got ready for dinner!

I made reservations at a swanky little restaurant (in the gulch) Sambuca. I had seen mixed reviews about the food, most said it was too pricey for the quality. But everyone still seemed to be giving 4 or 5 stars. It can't be that bad, right? After going, I completely understand. Now, let me be the first to tell you, get the Buca Beignets! Ammmaazzzing! We got those as an appetizer then ordered our dinners. I got Fettucini Carbonara which was fine. For $25 I would typically be upset that I didn't enjoy it more. But the atmosphere made up for every difference in the world. We had a huge, intimate private booth but we were still close enough to hear the live band. We would have danced but were too caught up talking and drinking champagne. It was seriously so incredibly romantic, wonderful service and the perfect atmosphere. I loved every minute of it! Our hotel was close enough we could walk right down to the restaurant and didn't have to fool with a cab. Such a wonderful night!

Our last day in Nashville we went for an early lunch and then ice cream. We headed back down to Midtown to Two Boots Pizza. We got in just as they opened up, so i'm sure a little later in the day they would have more options. We were so happy to be able to try slices of different pizzas without having to buy a whole pie. It was some of the best pizza i've ever had, I had two slices which aren't listed on the menu. My favorite was a slice with a white sauce, ricotta, sun dried tomatoes and a jalapeno pesto. If I were to go one place in Nashville again out of the 3, this would be the place. The atmosphere was fun, they had a porch (screened in with heaters for winter) and plenty of tables and tv's. GO TRY IT!

Our last stop on our journey was Jeni's Ice Cream. I have always wanted to go since I saw a clip on the Travel Channel about her unique flavors. We got my dad a food tour in Columbus which involved going to her original ice cream shoppe. So many flavors, so little time, as we were headed home. But we got a cone to satisfy our sweet tooth (teeth!) and it was so different.. and good! I got the Yazoo Sue Rosemary Bar Nuts (made with Nashville brewed Yazoo beer). It had cayenne, rosemary, lots of nuts and beer.. definitely not for everyone but I love the spicy/savory/sweet flavors together. There are many  Jeni's all over the country now, if you think you like Coldstone, you'll like this better!

This concluded our food journey of our trip (which was mainly what we did). Instead of going to many downtown shops, or Green Hills Mall, or Country Music Hall of Fame, we decided to try to fit in all of these yummy places we have wanted to try. If you are headed to Nashville soon, try something new! I love chain restaurants as much as anyone else, but I really enjoy local restaurants with fresh food and flavors. 


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