Tuesday, September 8, 2015

nashville


after dreaming of a trip to nashville for what seemed like ages, justin and i finally went for our anniversary. we left feeling full (stomachs and hearts) and seriously inspired. it's such a cool city with a so many different neighborhoods to explore. if you're curious about what to do and where to go, read on...



our first stop was hattie b's hot chicken, and we could not have timed our arrival better. we still had to to wait in line for about 10 minutes, but the queue that formed behind us wrapped around the building. i had no idea what to expect from hot chicken - i guess i was imagining something akin to buffalo sauce - so this totally blew my mind. the heat is actually baked into the breading and spice mixture, so no messy sauce! as a lover of spicy food, i went with a mid-level heat, and that was probably as far as i would safely venture. if you've survived the 'shut the cluck up', i would love to talk and hear about it. also, i have to mention that potato salad because it was perfect.



next up was third man records, jack white's flagship, which had all the panache you would expect his establishment to have. i know the black and white pictures don't do it justice, but everything in the shop was black and yellow, so it was a little tricky to get the lighting right. anyways, they had all of of the third man albums from the white stripes to stephen colbert and all sorts of old-timey fun machines, like a photobooth and a voice recording booth that let you make your own vinyl.


of course we had to stop by the ever-popular barista parlor for an afternoon coffee break. i got a bourbon barrel vanilla iced latte and justin got the shoeless joe, espresso and mexican coke with lime juice and black cherry infused simple syrup...casual, i know. we had just as good of a time watching them make a few shoeless joes in old coke bottles as we did drinking them. that place is 50% chemistry and 50% magic.


and because we hadn't had enough spicy food at lunch, we went to chauhan ale & masala house for dinner. we went through a major chopped phase a few years back, so we were stoked to learn that this was none other than judge maneet chauhan's restaurant (!!!) it's a mashup of traditional indian with british influences and southern ingredients. we got the garam masala pork belly to start, then i got the lamb vindaloo and justin got the meat and three of the day, plus some garlic and traditional naan for good measure. the family across from us ordered about two of every dessert as well, and they all looked amazing. maneet would definitely not be chopped - the food was so flavorful and not something you could find in greenville.


after a night seeing what the honky tonks were all about (bachelorette parties, apparently), we snagged a table at st. anejo for breakfast. this was the best breakfast burrito i have ever had. sometimes people phone it in for brunch, but these eggs were just perfect and not over cooked. 


after that, it started drizzling. we did our best to to walk around the 12 south neighborhood, but it was hard to snap as many photos as i would have liked. imogene + willie was pretty cool, but definitely smaller than i expected. (if you're in the market for some quality denim or glasses, this is your place though.) across the street was craft south, and that was more up my alley. fun fabrics and walls of colorful yarn...i was in heaven. i picked up some jumbo knitting needles and a weaving kit. still full from brunch, we didn't make it to jeni's ice cream but i would love to next time we are in the neighborhood. we grabbed a lavender and mint latte at the frothy monkey instead though. and of course, we had to snap a photo of the famous nashville mural :)


not pictured: the vivian maier exhibit at the sherrick & paul gallery, a very beautifully renovated loft featuring the work of a nanny, whose photos from the early 20th century were found and made famous after her death. her subjects were so interesting, but i loved her selfies the most. we also popped over to grimey's for some records and magazines. after a nap back at the air bnb, we headed over to the hillsboro village area and walked around. we poked our head into a few shops, like bookmanbookwoman and pangaea. then, we grabbed some shaved ice from the retro snow truck because the sun had some out again. the pina colada was so refreshing in the humidity. later that night, we ended up back in the neighborhood to catch a movie at the historic belcourt theater. they play foreign, independent and classic movies, some that you can't see anywhere else. 




and last but certainly not least, we had dinner at husk. justin and i have been trying to go to the charleston location for about a year, but they never have a table when we're at the beach, so we decided to beat the system and go in tennessee. wow is the only word that really comes to mind. the whole experience was amazing from the free glasses of champagne for our anniversary to the cheerwine on the drinks menu. we got the crispy chicken skins in white bbq sauce to start, which totally blew our minds. it was chewy like calamari but crunchy and spicy. nashville really knows how to do chicken and not have anything be boring about it. we also got the charcuterie plate and i was obsessed with the head cheese, which really surprised myself. justin got the beef with roasted potatoes and dilly beans, which he says was very good, but i wouldn't know because i was trying to work my way through that massive serving of pork with pepper relish and charred eggplant. the jalapeƱos on top were like a personal gift to me from sean brock and that farro salad on the far right was in fact the best thing i have ever eaten. i wanted to run into the back of the kitchen and take home a quart of it.

all in all, nashville was so inspiring. from the neighborhoods to the music, the handmade goods and the food, i came home feeling ready to cook, make and do. i can't wait to go back and get to know the city better. if you have any suggestions about where to stay, eat or shop next time, please let me know!

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