Wednesday, August 26, 2015

40th Birthday to Nashville...

For my 40th birthday, I have decided to go to Nashville with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law.  With my love of both country music (and food!) I have always wanted to venture to this colorful, energetic city.  I am excited to explore and soak up its southern charm.

First things first, where to stay?

Friends have recommended the new Omni Hotel with a fun rooftop pool, The Hermitage Hotel (historic landmark), or the Hutton Hotel (newer, boutique hotel)....


The Hermitage Hotel
231 6th Ave N, Nashville 37219 615.244.3121
The Omni Hotel
250 5th Ave South, Nashville 37203 615.782.5300

The Hutton Hotel
1808 West End Ave, Nashville, 37203 615.340.9333

UPDATE - Most hotels booked out due to country music awards, so we booked a room at Hutton Hotel - nice, quaint, good service, but rooms a bit small and not in walking distance...but overall, a nice stay!

The coffee shop at Hutton Hotel

With cowboy hats galore, my husband, Bob, was in shopping heaven in Nashville!



Puckett's Grocery
500 Church Street, Nashville 615.770.2772

UPDATE - We ended up here for breakfast Saturday morning and LOVED it! Such a cool, authentic spot with great food, service, and tons of character! My husband and brother in law ordered from the buffet and went back for several rounds!

"The Puckett's roots go way back to the 1950s and a little grocery store in the village of Leiper's Fork, TN. Ever since, Puckett's has been focused on providing friends new and old with great food and Southern hospitality. When it comes down to it, Puckett's is a community kitchen, with live pickin' performances just a few feet from your table. Authentic comfort food, barbecue smoked slow 'n' low over cherry wood, the home-cooked sides, even a few upscale dishes, is what we aim for you to remember."

My husband, Bob, at Puckett's - we loved this place! So yummy!

Biscuit Love Brunch
316 11th Avenue South, Nashville 615.490.9584

Food truck-turned Airstream Trailer-turned brick-and-mortar spot serving Southern menu breakfast goodies...

The Pancake Pantry
1796 21st Ave S, Nashville 615.383.9333

A Nashville tradition, family owned and operated

Loveless Cafe,
8400 Tennessee Highway 100, Nashville 37221 615.646.9700
Spot with tons of history, famous local landmark, amazing biscuits, fried chicken, southern fare...


37 Rutledge Street, Nashville 615.256.6565
Located in Rutledge Hill, just south of Historic Broadway, award winning chef, Sean Brock, Southern Cuisine, a "must go"

UPDATE - We made reservations way ahead, and had dinner at Husk Friday evening. Fabulous, unique menu, wonderful service and great food and service! Highly recommend.

The Southern
"In the heart of downtown Nashville, The Southern Steak & Oyster is a unique and animated eatery that offers an authentically southern adventure with a twist"

Image result for the southern nashville
The Southern

UPDATE - We ended up at The Southern for dinner our last night.  It was pretty good overall, but seemed like a typical place you might go for a work dinner...had that corporate steakhouse feel...I'd opt for a more authentic local spot next time around.

Rolf and Daughters
700 Taylor Street, Nashville 615.866.9897

"Industrical-Chic Restaurant in Century Old Factory" in historic Germantown

Rolf & Daughters

5th and Taylor
1411 5th Ave. North, Nashville 615.242.4747

"Homage to the American family meal, inspired by Sunday dinners from Chef Daniel Lindley's childhood"
5th and Taylor

City House
1222 4th Ave N, Nashville 615.736.5838

"Trendy mid-priced Germantown rustic Italian" - favored by local chefs from other Nashville restaurants

City House

201 3rd Ave. South, Nashville 615.522.0970

UPDATE: We ended up at Bakersfield for lunch, and highly recommend! Loved this place, and they were playing the movie Three Amigos to boot, LOL!!

Mexican: "Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey"

Bakersfield for Lunch

Inside at Bakersfield
Salt and Vine

2316 12th Ave. S, Nashville 615.292.7766

"Refined American Farmhouse Cuisine"


Bartaco - 12th Ave South area - new taco place
2526 12th Ave South

Image result for bartaco nashville

Burger Up
2901 12th Ave South 615.279.3767

Burger Up

Kayne Prime Steakhouse
1103 McGavock Street, Nashville 37203 615.259.0050

"Modern/Rustic/Chic Boutique Steakhouse"

Kayne Prime is a boutique steakhouse with a chef-driven menu.
Kayne Prime Steakhouse

401 Broadway, Nashville 37203 615.254.1892


Bars/Music Dives...

The Patterson House
1711 Division St. Nashville 615.636.7724 -

"A place where we could bring the processes and thoughtfulness of a great kitchen into a bar" - owner Benjamin Goldberg of their speakeasy-style hand-crafted cocktails.

UPDATE - although this was on our list of final go-to spots, sadly, we never made it here, but will have to try it next time!

Patterson House

Patterson House

The Bluebird Cafe
4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville 37215 615.383.1461

UPDATE - I tried REALLY hard to get reservations, and although I waited in the on-line queue and got very close, sadly we didn't get in.  Will definitely be back!

We discovered this famous local venue, as a predominant setting location in the NBC drama, Nashville.  According to its website, The Bluebird Cafe is a "songwriter's performance space where the heroes behind the hits perform their own songs, songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Located in a strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on this stage. Our reputation as a listening room is based on the acoustic music that is our signature style."  As lovers of country music, my husband and I have been dying to go there ever since!

Roberts Western World
416B Broadway, Nashville 37203

UPDATE - We went to Robert's and LOVED IT!! Highly recommend for the country music fan, esp if you love the old authentic stuff!  We have friends who also love Tootsies, so we will have to try that next time!

Sign outside Roberts - love this!

Waiting to get in (not too bad a line)
Inside at Robert's - Loved this place!

Inside at Roberts - listening to awesome music!

Evidently, this is the real deal in terms of local music dives...As mentioned in the below Garden & Gun article, Holly Williams (daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.) states, "Robert's is the most authentic of all the downtown bars. Cheap beer, good music, and lots of people dancing. It's the real deal. It's where my grandfather used to hang out in the 40's. All the artists head down there."

According to its website, "Robert's Western World is located on Lower Broadway in the famous historic district of downtown Nashville...From the late 1950s to the early 1980s - the heyday of country music - our building served as the home of Sho-Bud Steel Guitar Company. Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons, two of the greatest steel guitar players in history, manufactured and sold some of the best steel guitars and other musical instruments ever made.... By the early 1980's, the Lower Broadway district was falling on hard times. The Grand Ole Opry had moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the Gaylord Complext at Opryland U.S.A., dealing a devastating blow to the downtown merchants who relied heavily on the traffic of fans, tourists, and music business folks who attended the Opry. As a result, Broadway saw its darkest days since the Great Depression. What was once a haven for country music stars and fans was now a flourishing district of adult bookstores and rundown honky tonks....In the early 90s, Robert Wayne Moore opened Rhinestone Western Wear, a western boot and apparel store. Having been in the honky tonk business for many years, Robert soon decided that selling western apparel alone just wasn't enough' soon, a jukebox, beer, and cigarettes were incorporated into the store. Shortly thereafter, live solo entertainers and a grill replaced the jukebox....By 1992, the concept grew in popularity, influencing Robert Moore to change the name to Robert's 3 Doors Down, later Robert's Western Wear Bar & Night Club, and later Robert's Western World."

OTHER BROADWAY SUGGESTIONS - The Stage, Tootsies, Legends, and other Honky Tonks on Broadway

Pinewood Social
33 Peabody St., Nashville 37210 615.751.8111
Part coffee-shop, part bar, part bowling, karaoke, bocca court, pool, outdoor lounge...all in one spot..

Image result for pinewood social nashville


A few articles I have found along the way with various Nashville travel tips and recommendations...

And, I just stumbled upon an article from Garden and Gun, about Holly Williams' (daughter of Hank Williams, Jr.) suggestions for a fun weekend trip to Nashville...This all sounds like a perfect weekend adventure to me!!

My Town: Holly Williams' Nashville, Tennessee

By Elizabeth HutchisonNovember 13, 2014

Singer-songwriter Holly Williams—the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. and the granddaughter of Hank Sr.—has called Music City home nearly all her life. “When I was growing up here there was really just downtown—not all these other amazing areas,” Williams says. “The change that has taken place in the city in the last five, ten years has been incredible to watch.” No mere bystander but an active participant in that growth, Williams opened high-end boutique H.Audrey andWhite’s Mercantile, a modern general store with everything from beautiful soaps to linens, cookbooks, and a grab-and-go grocery. And in just two weeks, she’ll launch White’s first e-marketplace. Somehow, she still manages to find time for her music. And when she does get the occasional day off, she walked us through exactly how she would spend it.

9:00 a.m.
Hot off the Skillet: “My perfect day starts at the Pancake Pantry. It might be cliché and you might have to wait in line on a nice day, but the sweet potato pancakes are awesome. I dream about those pancakes.”

10:00 a.m.
Shop ‘til you Drop: “I’d head to 12 South. The area has been completely renovated and it’s one of my favorite spots in town. First I’d stop by my store White’s Mercantile (there’s plenty of parking) and then walk down the street, where there’s everything from a great little gift shop called Cadeau(homegoods, lighting, bedding, etc.) to Hero a women’s boutique and Emerson and Grace, which I like for men’s clothing.”
“I’d hit Imogene and Willie too. They make their own candles that I love. And there are a couple of great galleries nearby. Just wander.”

11:30 a.m.
Snack Time: “Grab the fried pickles at Burger Up for a snack before driving out to Leiper’s Fork. It’s a beautiful drive. Lots of rolling hills. Little traffic.”

1:00 p.m.
Get Out of the City: “Serenite Maison in Leiper’s Fork is my absolute favorite store. It’s filled with French antiques. The owner Alex has these vintage couches up front with banjos and guitars all around. There are often people playing music. And there’s a great porch out back with Harpeth River running by. I’ve even written a few songs sitting there. It is my favorite place on the planet.”
“Across the street is the Copper Fox—you’ll find everything from old men making brooms to handcrafted pottery. It’s full of Southern artisans. And David Arms gallery housed in a renovated old barn/garage is just beautiful.”

2:30 p.m.
Rest and Refuel: “Have lunch out at Joe Natural’s. The menu is all local and organic with produce from the farm run by the owner—a Wall Street guy who came down for a visit and promptly sold it all in Manhattan and moved south. Everything is made to order. So slow down and find a seat in the backyard while you wait.”

4:30 p.m.
Hit the Road: “Take Southall road to Franklin. It has been written about a hundred times but the charm never gets old. Great Main Street. I love antiquing, so I’ll usually go to bothCity Farmhouse and Scarlett Scales Antiques. It’s about a fifteen-minute drive over to Franklin but it’s worth it.”

8:00 p.m.
A Seat at the Table: “I would go to Rolf and Daughtersfor dinner. I love Italian food and their handmade pastas. The feature a few signature pastas each day. And they have a great bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine.”
“Or I might do City House, depending on my mood and order the margarita pizza with an egg on top.”

10:30 p.m.
Hit the Town: “I would definitely stop at Robert’s Western World. Robert’s is the most authentic of all of the downtown bars. Cheap beer, good music, and lots of people dancing. It’s the real deal. It’s where my grandfather used to hang out in the 40s. All the artists head down there."

1:00 a.m.
Night Cap: “Finally, Patterson House for a cocktail and the incredible cinnamon sugar doughnuts. I have been known to go here in my pajamas.”