Nashville, TN – November 2018
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking… Tara, you don’t even like country. And you’re right, but I never turn down an opportunity to travel — or an opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes. *Google searches ‘Valentino cowboy boots’* — so I agreed to join my friends in the Country Music Capital for a few days.
The only plan for the weekend was to eat and party… Or if you ask Rebeca, it was to find me a cowboy boyfriend (aka the man of her dreams — despite the fact that she already has a husband.) Regardless of the real agenda, I got to work on learning the 5 country songs Reb required me to know before leaving, and off we went.
Our hotel was located right on Broadway, so we were able to walk to and from all the live music and bars — that is, when we weren’t trying to avoid frostbite — and since that was our main focus, it was the perfect location to stay. With not a long list of tourist spots to check out in the city, most of my recommendations for this trip are going to focus on what’s really important: tasty BBQ and dranking.
Party Fowl – If you’re looking for hot chicken while in Nashville, this is the place to be. Chances are you heard to go to Hattie B’s, but after asking locals about it, they described it as if we went to Philly for a cheesesteak and ate at a fast food restaurant. Therefore, Party Fowl is where it’s at. Great drinks and amazing food.
Bakersfield – All I had to hear was they had tacos, and I was all for it because if there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that tacos is my favorite food group. And if you add a great queso into the mix, then please pinch me because I’ve gone to heaven. If that wasn’t enough, they make some pretty killer spicy margaritas, and if you haven’t caught on, I clearly was all about the dinner we had here.
BBQ Barrelhouse – Some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. This little joint isn’t located in Nashville, but if you head to Lynchburg for the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, then this place is a must-
see eat. Home to the “Grilled Cheese on Crack” and owned by the friendliest man, who sat and talked with us during our meal. You don’t want to miss this spot.
Jack’s BBQ – Any place that is gonna consider mashed potatoes a vegetable is gonna make it on my list. Located right on Broadway between all the bars, this is a good stop for food to refuel before a night of drinking. Big portions and lots of options, this place doesn’t disappoint when it comes to BBQ… or “vegetables.”
And if my review wasn’t enough:
“Bro! This coleslaw is f*cking amazing!”
-The drunk guy yelling as soon as we walked in the door.
Pretty sure that’s a 5-star review from him too.
Another Broken Egg Cafe – A great brunch spot — for the days you manage to wake up early enough to even get breakfast, which only happened once for us… And only because check-out was at 11am. Oops.
Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar – If you’re looking for live music, you can find that on the 2nd floor, but once you get through the long line to enter the rooftop bar, you’ll find yourself amongst one of the younger crowds we found in Nashville dancing to a mix of country and the top hits played by a DJ. And since someone in our group wasn’t the biggest fan of country — ahem, me — this was a good spot for the whole group to enjoy. And also to potentially find that man of
Rebeca my dreams.
Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink – You already know when your girl heard 50Cent coming from inside a bar, she searched high and low to find exactly where that music came from. We may have been 2 of a total of 10 people on the 2nd floor of Luke Bryan’s, but, boy, did I enjoy some of my usual dance floor twerking for part of the night. (FGL House also played some hip-hop, but we only stopped in for a few minutes before moving on to find more country.)
Honky Tonk Central – It only feels natural to visit Honky Tonk while in Nashville. Three floors of live music, good vibes, and drinks are why we spent a portion of every night here.
Tin Roof – Live music, but tons of tables available to sit down and enjoy drinks.
Tequila Cowboy – Also with live music, but they have a huge dance floor, unlike most bars we came across in Nashville.
Places to Go:
Jack Daniel’s Distillery – Does it really come as a surprise that the one tourist thing we did involved whiskey? Where the real surprise was was finding out it’s located in a dry county. Ummm. What? The Distillery is located in Lynchburg, about an hour and a half outside of Nashville. We happened to have a rental car, so we were able to drive ourselves. So if you’re planning on taking an Uber to avoid drinking and driving, save yourself the extra cost. The tour only includes 5 samples that don’t even equal a full shot. And don’t even think about sharing your tastings. You will be yelled at. So chances of catching a buzz are completely off the table. The grounds of the distillery are absolutely stunning, and the tour takes you around outside to see the natural spring cave and inside how all the whiskey is made. The little town near the distillery is worth walking around and checking out. Especially the BBQ place I mentioned above.
Spending the weekend in Nashville was greater than I ever expected. I knew I was going to enjoy this city — I enjoy any destination that requires me to party — but what I was expecting was bars filled with people line dancing everywhere, and no amount of booze will make me comfortable enough to enjoy that. Instead, what I found was a city filled with live music, good people — that weren’t line dancing at all — and such good food that I came home with an extra 5lbs, and that combo always makes for the best experiences. Well, maybe not the extra pounds part.