I just got back from 6 days in Nashville. I hadn’t been there since 2008.
We did not do the Ryman or Grand Ol Opery as I’ve done that before. They wanted $20 to see the Johnny Cash museum. I ain’t paying that to look at a bunch of pictures. We went bike riding on the Shelby Bottoms Greenway which was awesome, and the Cumberland River Greenway which was not. Would have liked to ride more but the weather was just too hot and unsettled.
Had some great food there. Some of the better places:
Peg Leg Porker. BBQ y’all!
Puckett’s – Southern style home cookin’. Had Meatloaf and Chicken Fried Chicken.
The Stillery, Midtown – Awesome pizza.
Nashville Hot Chicken
It’s a thing now. I don’t remember it being a thing 10 years ago. It certainly is a tourist thing. I’m guessing appearances on food networks increased interest. The mayor of Nashville had announced that August 1st was “Nashville Hot Chicken Day” because Pringles had a Nashville Hot Chicken flavor in Dollar General Stores. Uh, no to both of those.
FYI – Kroger has had Nashville Style Kettle Cooked Hot Chicken Potato Chips for a while and they are awesome.
I’ve done my share of super hot food and my innards just can’t take it anymore, particularly the next morning… I made the mistake of eating at two of those places for lunch and about 9 o’clock that night my stomach let me know it was not pleased with my decision. If you think it is a test of manhood to torture yourself with that stuff go ahead. When your done and in pain I can introduce you to several lovely women who eat that stuff with a smile. I know a few that went toe-to-toe with Adam Richman when he was in town. Anyway, I ate at four places for Nashville Hot Chicken. Hattie B’s was tops for me. It had actual flavor as well as heat. The aforementioned was fried in, not sprinkled on like many places. I wasn’t going to go there. There was a line with many dozen people waiting in 90+ degree sun. There is always a line there. I mentioned this to a bartender and he said, “Local’s tip, phone it it or order it on the internet. Then just stop by and pick it up.” Brilliant! That is exactly what I did.
“I’m not complaining or anything but #Nashville Hot Chicken can be a three day commitment. #FuelAirExplosive”
Went to several. Some standouts:
Southern Grist Brewing Co – Nations Taproom. Try the Fluffernutter if it is on. The Fire N Smoke food truck was great too.
Tennessee Brew Works – Great music too.
Music and The District
The District is what the Nashvillians call the popular strip. Home of the famous Tootsie’s and Legends it also hosts new bars from new country artists like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean. It’s where the tourists go. The more famous the bar the more packed it is. They are all packed on the weekend. Shoulder to shoulder packed. There are a lot of…not good performers playing. I mean hurts your ears not good. There are also some good ones. I would stand outside and listen for a minute to decide.
The District has also become Bachelorette party central. There seems to be several dozen going at any given time. These ladies are there to have their party on and are seemingly an annoyance to the staff of, well, everywhere. The one bonus for onlookers is many of them are sporting Daisy Dukes.
We went to The District on a few nights. Gotta say that other than people watching it wasn’t all that. Enjoyed the music at Whiskey Bent Saloon and believe it or not, Margaritaville.
We probably had the best time at a little dive called Losers Bar and Grill. It is away from The District and there is nothing special about the place other than they had a DJ doing some incredible Rock / Country mixes.
The entire area containing Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and Antique Archaeology (American Pickers) is a time wasting tourist trap.
Nashville is a city in transition. Other than “bigger” I cannot tell what it is transitioning to.
There is construction everywhere. It makes driving difficult and you will absolutely want Google or Waze to help you out. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 dozen hotels being added to the downtown area. All this construction makes much of the city look and feel dirty.
New condos and apartments either have been or are being added, most quite pricey. The hot area seems to be The Gulch, as one bartender put it, “that’s where the rich people live.” It looks like it.
All this transitioning has a negative side effect, the cost to live in the area has risen dramatically. Reports on the news while I was there indicated the cost of living has and is pushing out the lower and middle class. GoBanking’s 13 US Cities Where You Need at Least $80K a Year to Live Comfortably lists Nashville at number 13 costing $80,548 a year.
Then finally, there is the homeless. In Nashville they are ubiquitous. In the open and not, on benches, in doorways. You have to maneuver around them on the sidewalk, some sleeping, some panhandling. During a trip to Nashville’s East Side I saw a large encampment located in a grassy area under and between overpasses. It could be the one pictured in this article. “Local advocates estimate there are 20,000 people in Nashville living on the streets, in cars, camps, motels or in shelters.” All this is part of a larger problem in America and it desperately needs to be seriously addressed. The reasons people are homeless are numerous and sometimes complicated. Unfortunately, I have no solutions.
“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”
Pearl S. Buck
Taken from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in panorama mode on Galaxy S7. Click for full size (14192 × 2048).
Peg Leg Porker