Gerrit and I spent this past weekend in Nashville having a great time and (as usual when we travel) eating too much food. The entire weekend was a bit of an early birthday surprise for Gerrit (he knew we were going somewhere, but not where), mostly because we wanted to take some kind of weekend trip together this Spring and I had seen that Phantom of the Opera was touring in Nashville (which he loves). So I declared we were going to have a surprise weekend.
We left of Saturday morning and came back on Monday morning (because our tickets to Phantom were Sunday night). Here are some recommendations for our favorite places we ate/things we did. (Although our favorite might be having the time to take a nap on rainy Sunday afternoon.)
Puckett’s Grocery–we ate lunch in Franklin on our way into Nashville and had a delicious meal here. I had a chicken sandwich, Gerrit had a hot chicken sandwich, and we just thought it was generally a great lunch spot.
Margot Cafe–this was our nice dinner out on Saturday night. Our meals were both good (I had chicken, Gerrit had a whole fish), but what really blew us away was the homemade bread we got as an appetizer and the dessert. In fact, we loved the bread so much that the next day we went to their sister restaurant/artisan food store Marché, where we found that they sold loaves of their homemade focaccia. We bought two.
The Patterson House–a perfect spot for after dinner drinks. It is a speakeasy style bar, with a huge menu of specialty cocktails. It has a fun fancy feel and you have to wait to be seated and the whole bar is in a room behind a curtain. It was a fun experience and my updated Old Fashioned was the best drink I’ve ever had. (Gerrit got the bacon old fashioned, which he enjoyed.)
Yeast Nashville–a great bakery for breakfast. They are apparently known for their kolaches (I had cream cheese) and we shared a giant cinnamon roll.
Burger Up–probably my favorite meal of our trip. This is a delicious gourmet burger restaurant. I had the mushroom swiss burger which had truffle aioli on it. Amazing.
Jeni’s Ice Cream–this is a Nashville classic and with good reason. Their ice cream is perfection and they have so many handcrafted flavors. I had chocolate (of course) and salted peanut butter with chocolate chips. Gerrit had churro ice cream and bourbon pecan and some kind of coffee flavor. It’s a all a bit more expensive than your traditional ice cream shop, but with good reason.
Fido–they have breakfast, lunch, and dinner; but we just ate breakfast here before we left town. Lots of variety, from pancakes (mine we delicious) to huevos rancheros to bagel sandwiches. And Gerrit had a coffee that he really enjoyed.
As far as things we did go, the main event was going to Phantom of the Opera. To be honest, we aren’t at all in to country music, so some of the traditionally touristy things didn’t hold a lot of appeal to us. Mostly we just wanted to drive around (when it was raining) and walk around (when it wasn’t) to see Nashville. We’ve both been to Nashville multiple times before, but usually for specific events and really never downtown.
Parnassus Books–Ann Patchett’s bookstore, which I basically wanted to live in.
Frugal MacDoogal–a liquor store (which is much less expensive than our liquor stores here). We stocked up on a couple of things, mostly things to be able to make chocolate martinis again.
Honkey Tonk Row–this is the main part of downtown Nashville that you always see in movies and TV shows. Since we didn’t really care about going at night, we decided to wonder down there when we had time on Sunday morning. What we didn’t realize is that the SEC basketball tournament was going on, so there were throngs of Kentucky fans everything. It definitely made the atmosphere more exciting than it would have been otherwise and I’m glad we finally saw such a classic part of Nashville.