Category Archives: eat drink

5 nashville water cooler conversations for february

2016 was a big year for nashville. 2017 is being set-up for even better.  here are a few take-aways:

fullsizerender1 •the housing market continued on its record setting pace in 2016. median price of a home was $266,408, up from $242,945 in 2015. we saw 38,954 closings, up 5.6% from 2015. also, bucking the trend that it typically slows down near the holidays and in the winter, nashville had the strongest fourth quarter in home sales we have seen in a decade.  continuing the trend, zillow.com named nashville the #1 real estate market in the country to invest in 2017.  emerging trends in real estate puts the city at #6.

2 • the nashville zoo set new attendance records with almost 900,000 visitors in 2016, up 10% from 2015. the zoo is celebrating 20 years at grassmere this year. they have plans to open a white rhinoceros exhibit (march), an andean bear exhibit (may), an expanded tiger exhibit (july) and a new spider monkey exhibit which will feature an elevated boardwalk for guests to enter a treetop viewing platform.nashvillezootiger_exteriorviewing_sm-web

3 • our auto industry is killing it. nissan, who’s north american headquarters is in nashville, had sales of more than 1.5 million in 2016, a company record, up 5% from 2015. also, GM announced plans today to invest $27 million in their spring hill plant to assembly a right-hand version of the acadia to export to australia. the spring hill plant employs almost 4,100 workers. in 2015, 6.3% of all US-made cars, light trucks & SUVs were produced in tennessee.The_Mockingbird.0.0

4 • USA today named nashville’s local foodie scene #3 in the country and zagat has us at #6 on their list for america’s next hot food cities. from adele & justin bieber 2016 middle of the night sightings at east side’s dino’s to a flurry of new much-anticipated openings in 2017 like our third james beard award-winning chef rj cooper’s henley in midtown or top chef maneet chauhan’s mockingbird (both spring 2017), our options for good eats show no sign of slowing down.

fullsizerender5 • the nashville convention & tourism announced last week an estimated 13.9 million tourists visited music city in 2016, up 400,000 from 2015.  that number is up 45% in the last decade. we continue to receive accolades from being one of conde nast’s top five friendliest destinations to being one of travel+leisure’s top places to travel in 2017.

 

 

 

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6 dining spots shaping the gulch this fall

The_Mockingbird.0.0from celebrity chef maneet chauhan, the mockingbird promises to be “a classic diner with a global spin.” in a north gulch space long known for its late night music scene as anthem, mai and before that catatonic, mockingbird will sweep in offering something different to the spot, like frozen cocktails and adult milkshakes. | 125 12th avenue north

top chef maneet chauhan continues to gamble big on the nashville food scene: tànsuŏ, which means “to explore” in cantonese, will open later in 2016. sitting next to the mockingbird and maneet’s chauhan ale & masala house, the new asian eatery will offer up contemporary chinese cuisine at its best and she’s recruited brooklyn’s east wind snack shop chef/owner chris cheung to be in the driver’s seat. | 121 12th avenue north

texas-based del frisco grille will set up shop in their first nashville location in the next couple of months. sitting in a prime 10,000 sqft space on the street level of the new 15-story office building at the corner of 12th and demonbreun, del frisco will offer classic american bar & grille fare. due october 2016.  | 1201 demonbreunCornett_Map_16.08_vs2-01

fin-and-pearl-nashville-gulchlocal restauranteur tom morales, known for the southern and acme feed & seed downtown, has plans to open his newest concept, fin & pearl, in the twelve twelve high rise later this fall.  there will be a focus on seafood and steak as well as offering veggie and sushi options. similar to the southern, fin & pearl will be open for breakfast, lunch & dinner and will have an outdoor patio space. | 1212  laurel street

the 12-story, 224-room thompson hotel will open its doors in a few weeks. james beard award-winning john besh will put his fingerprints on a gulf-to-gulch concept called the marsh house. the seafood-driven, southern cooking will be helmed by chef brian landry, formerly of besh’s new orleans-based borgne. besh will also oversee the hotel’s rooftop bar/lounge.  | 401 11th avenue south

static1.squarespacenot a new name to the nashville food scene really but east side’s pop-up restaurant little octopus will land a permanent home in the former ru sans spot later than anticipated but still this fall.  offering global small plates and everything from pan-roasted chicken to you guessed it, octopus. | 505 12th avenue south

 

 

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21 nashville hot spots for brunch

having a hard time thinking of brunch places for the weekend?  wanting to try something new?  start checking these 21 places off your list as you go:

DOWNTOWN

pucketts grocery serving up southern hospitality since 1950, pucketts offers a breakfast buffet on the weekends.  the breakfast menu is served until 11am which includes chicken & biscuits, country ham & eggs, and cornbread waffle with slow smoked brisket.  | 500 church street 615.770.2772,  saturday & sunday

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courtesy of the southern

the southern  these guys make killer bleu cheese biscuits so i would probably run with their steak & biscuit benedict, served with a poached willow farm egg and hollandaise, mixed greens & griddled potatoes. complimentary valet parking. | 150 3rd avenue north 615.724.1762, saturday & sunday starting at 9:30am

pinewood social  i recommend whipped mascarpone for a starter (fresh macerated strawberries + mint) and then it’s hard to go wrong with their menu from short rib hash to bacon and avocado omelets to chicken & biscuits.  it just depends on what you’re in the mood for but you have options.  they also serve breakfast everyday so you have that menu to choose from as well.   | 33 peabody street 615.751.8111, saturday & sunday 9am-3pm

husk  with an ever changing menu, this may be the only place on the list where you can get a fried softshell crab monte cristo or cornmeal dusted catfish with zucchini and squash. the restaurant prides itself on its low-country charleston fare.  chef sean brock is no stranger to the james beard foundation winning best chef in the southeast in 2010 and being an  “outstanding chef” finalist in 2013, 2014, & 2015. | 37 rutledge street 615.256.6565

kitchen notes – situated on the street level of the omni hotel (complimentary valet parking), they have a pretty unbelievable buffet for $25, extra $5 for bottomless mimosas. | 250 5th avenue north 615.761.3700, sunday only

MIDTOWN

adeles named as an ode to jonathan waxman’s (bravo’s top chef masters, recipe for deception) mom, adeles has quickly established itself as a force in the nashville food scene.  starting this weekend, they will be adding a saturday brunch menu and changing up sundays to only feature a breakfast buffet. | 1210 mcgavock street 615.988.9700, saturday & sunday (buffet only on sundays)

tavern one of the more popular destinations on this list so expect a wait.  it’s worth it for such unique offerings as pretzel pancakes or red velvet waffles with cream cheese drizzle. 2 for 1 brunch libations as well. | 1904 broadway 615.320.8580, saturday & sunday 10am-3pm

two bits you can choose to play from a collection of vintage arcade games like ms pac man and galaga or newer ones like xbox & playstation 4 on a 52″ screen but they also serve up a mean brunch on the weekends. $4 mimosas plus they offer breakfast shots & beermosas.   | 1520 demonbreun street 615.750.3536, saturday & sunday starting at 11am

saint anejo  huevos rancheros, hot chicken + waffles, or even the gringo (2 eggs, potato hash, your choice of meat) if you’re not feeling that adventurous.   the egg white uno comes scrambled with feta, spinach, cherry tomato, avocado, & a side of fresh fruit if you need to go on the lighter side.  2 for 1 mimosas & bloody marys.  | 1120 mcgavock street 615.736.5301, saturday & sunday 10am-3pm

biscuit love they got their start as a local food truck in 2012 working local farms and has only blown up from there.  i tend to favor their gertie from the “to share” menu.  it’s a biscuit, chocolate gravy, peanut butter, banana jam with a pretzel crunch.  some of my favorite things.  my only negative about this place is they use “sonic” ice which i normally love but it doesn’t really work in a bloody mary.  | 316 11th avenue south 615.490.9584 

Gertie-Biscuit-Love

biscuit love’s gertie

SOUTH SIDE

the sutler-their bluegrass brunch on sundays is the authentic music city experience. live bluegrass music 10am-3pm combined with smoked brisket, chicken & cornbread waffles, biscuits & gravy all pair well with $15 bottomless mimosas or their bloody mary bar. | 2600 franklin pike 615.840.6124, sundays only 10am-3pm

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sutler’s bluegrass brunch © ispeaknashville

josephines i have such a sweet tooth but their pistachio sticky buns are what i think about during the week.  | 2316 12th avenue south 615.292.7766 

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sinema former food network top chef dale levitski knows how to make a brunch.  apple bottom french toast served with spiced poached apples, brandy creme anglaise, sweet & sour apples, brown sugar oat crumble is a must.    | 2600 franklin pike 615.942.7746, sunday only 10:30am-2:30pm

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courtesy of sinema

WEST SIDE

bricktops maybe the only chain that makes our list but with lump crab benedict, poached eggs over cheddar grits, or even a california benedict (spinach, avocado, tomato, hollandaise served with home fries) are all contenders on their menu. | 3000 west end avenue 615.298.1000, saturday & sunday

house: a social eatery  sitting in the former stone fox location in the nations, house doesn’t offer a terribly extensive menu but with options like shrimp & grits and corn beef hash as well as various spiked coffee beverages (as well as the traditional fare of mimosas and bloody marys) you’re sure to leave satisfied. | 712 51st avenue north 615.678.8773, 10am-3pm saturday & sunday 

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house: a social eatery

fifty first kitchen & bar located in the emerging nations neighborhood on the west side, its hard to not get the bread pudding french toast…add a side of porter butcher road bacon. | 5104 illinois avenue 615.712.6111, sundays only 11am-2pm

EAST SIDE

margot cafe & bar has sat in historic five points in east nashville since 2001. with a brunch menu that’s ever changing, you won’t be disappointed with anything margot whips up. time recently named her the “alice waters of nashville.”| 1017 woodland street 615.227.4668, sunday only 11am-2pm

marche artisan foods  hard to go wrong with their crepes, frittatas and quiches, their bread baskets with nutella, or their homemade granola with fruit.  a nashville brunch favorite on the east side.  | 1000 main street 615.262.1111, saturday & sunday

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courtesy of marche artisan foods

GERMANTOWN

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monkey bread courtesy of 5th & taylor

5th & taylor | hard to beat their chorizo omelette with an avocado salad.  get the monkey bread with the cream cheese glaze as a starter.  i mean, if you’re eating an avocado salad, come on, allow yourself the monkey bread.  | 1411 5th avenue north 615.242.4747, sundays 10am-2pm

germantown cafe the classic brunch experience. frittatas, breakfast bowl, shrimps & grits or if you need a little more kick try the steak benedict (english muffin topped with beef tenderloin, poached eggs & cayenne hollandaise, served with pepper jack grits). | 1200 5th avenue north 615.242.3226, saturdays & sundays 10:30pm-2pm

the mad platter celebrating 27 years this year, the mad platter was germantown before germantown was cool. sitting in the old neuhoff family’s meatpacking building from the late 1800s, they offer up everything from crab cakes to steak & eggs and apparently the city’s best reuben which i have yet to try.  | 1239 5th avenue north 615.242.2563, sundays only 10am-2pm

 

 

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top 5 nashville need-to-knows for march

need five more things to be excited about this month?  ok here we go:

1-mangia opens off 8th avenue south

IMG_7780what started as an italian pop-up restaurant in franklin on the weekends, mangia became a fantastic word-of-mouth culinary experience almost over night.  i remember traveling down there for a friend’s birthday and sitting next to people i did not even know, passing around huge bowls of food as they came out.  that’s the case especially if you were in a smaller party. with chef nick pellegrino at the helm, singing as he cooks, servers came out of the kitchen dancing and singing as well, serving up their family-style dishes. it became quite the italian dining experience.  for me at the end of the day, it was little further than i wanted to travel for dinner so i was pretty stoked to hear they had secured a permanent space off 8th avenue south last fall.

mangia opened this past weekend (friday and saturday family-style dinners only right now). they will open during the week for lunch & dinner in two weeks, serving more italian street foods during the week (paninis, pizzas, sandwiches).  | 701 craighead street 615.538.7456

2-nashville zoo’s soaring eagle

Soaring Eagle - Amiee Stubbs

photo courtesy of amiee stubbs

next week, the nashville zoo unveils the soaring eagle zip line.  a new family friendly (of course) zip line ride that glides through the zoo at 110 feet in the air.  there are only a few requirements:

  •  you must be 42″ tall
  • riders 42″-47″ must be accompanied by an adult
  • the 2 riders combined must weigh under 450 pounds

the ride costs 8 tokens ($1 each) and begins march 18th.

3-wedgewood houston secures a bongo java concept

bongo javathe finery, a new mixed-use residential development going in the wedgewood-houston (weho) neighborhood, has landed a new bongo java concept on the street level.  bongo bob told the nashville post he and his team are excited “to be part of another emerging neighborhood and that we’ll be creating another establishment that will be unique for this area.”

no word yet on the concept’s name or when it will open.  the first phase of the finery is scheduled to be completed late summer. | 610 merritt

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the upcoming 610 merritt in wedgewood houston

4-thompson hotel announces new gulch restaurants

recently named the #5 sexiest neighborhood in the country via thrillist, the gulch is ever growing.   james beard award-winning chef john besh has partnered with the thompson hotel to oversee three new concepts in the gulch: the marsh house, a seafood restaurant which will be a tip of the hat to john’s southern upbringing, killebrew coffee, a fast casual breakfast & lunch spot, and a to-be-named rooftop bar.

nashville’s thompson hotel will open later this year.

5-old glory opens in edgehill

IMG_7723sitting in the former boiler room of the old white way cleaners, a new speakeasy called old glory has inconspicuously emerged in edgehill village near music row.  a black door in the alley behind taco mamacita gets you inside.

the concept was created by sister alexis and britt stoler (who started east nashville’s no. 308) and their vision was carried out beautifully.  with 60-foot ceilings, a huge smokestack in the corner, artfully painted touches by alic daniel, and the craftiest cocktails around, you will not be disappointed.

 

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20 things to eat & drink in nashville

your parents are headed to music city for the week and you can’t think of one place to take them.  here are 20 suggestions from nashville’s culinary scene you should consider.  how many can you check off?

1-sweet potato pancakes at pancake pantry-with cinnamon syrup, bacon and scrambled eggs & cheese, hard to beat. | 1796 21st avenue south

2-prince’s hot chicken shack – be warned.  it is hot…it’s in the name. | 123 ewing drive

3-jeni‘s salted caramel ice cream or a close second for the ispeaknashville team is brown butter almond brittle.  available in to-go pints as well. | 1819 21st avenue southSpring_Break_Collection_WEB__56273.1362147475.460.504

4-you’re probably most familiar with manueet chauhan from her involvement on the food network. i love to make my own dish at chauhan ale & masala house.  desi fare on the menu gives you the option of one protein (choice of chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish, paneer or veggies) and one sauce (hot means hot) with freshly steamed basmati rice.  get naan (oven-baked flatbread) as well.  | 123 12th avenue north

5-grilled cheese & bacon from m market-grilled cheese, bacon, jalapeno preserves, served on sourdough bread. | 209 tenth avenue south/cummins station

6-puckett’s grocery‘s deep fried brownie sundae.  i promise i’m trying to think of healthy options but i have a sweet tooth.  winning the blue ribbon at the southern fried festival, they mix brownie batter with a triple threat cookie dough (chocolate, peanut butter & butterscotch chips), batter & fry it, and top it with vanilla bean ice cream and spiced pecans. | 500 church street

7-okay, i’ll try to redeem myself with tavern‘s tuscan kale and parmesan salad.  simple and light, made with toasted almonds, currants, lemon, olive oil, and angel tears.  | 1904 broadway

Kale Salad (5)

tavern’s kale salad

8-jack brown’s beer & burger joint-a complete hole in the wall in germantown.  their greg brady burger (topped with house made mac & cheese and martin’s bbq potato chips) is a must. | 1123 3rd avenue north

9-fire crunch roll at virago.  tempura crunch, shrimp, spicy mayo, cream cheese, sriracha.  sriracha and cream cheese tend to make everything better. | 1126 mcgavock street

10-for an afternoon snack, maybe a goo-goo cluster or two.  the goo goo cluster celebrates its 103 year birthday this year and they are made right here in music city.  they have a gift store downtown. | 116 3rd avenue south

loveless cafe biscuits

loveless cafe biscuits

11-loveless cafe‘s made from scratch biscuits-your grandmother would leg wrestle someone to get this recipe. | 8400 highway 100

12-a glass of wine at rumours wine bar east-i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, one of the best patios in this town.  | 1112 woodland

13-pizza at bella napoli-made from scratch pizza, cooked in a brick oven in the edgehill district.  add prosciutto to it…because dry-cured pork heals. | 1200 villa place

pm's famous burger

pm’s famous burger

14-pm‘s hamburger-top chef dc contestant arnold myint serves up an asian-infused, mouth watering burger like no other. | 2017 belmont blvd

15-las paletas mexican-style homemade popsicle-they come in a wide range of diverse flavors from avocado, hot chocolate, watermelon to spicier options like jalapenos & chili cucumber.  menu changes often but something for everyone on any given day. |2905 twelfth avenue south

16-arnold‘s chocolate pie-a meat & three on eighth avenue south near the gulch, arnolds serves up veggies all day for lunch but the chocolate pie is really what caps the meal.  | 605 eighth avenue south

17-the kitty-two boot’s pizza made with hattie b‘s hot chicken, blue cheese dressing served with pickles. if for some reason you can’t get in there, donato‘s opened recently (1915 broadway) in midtown and also serves up a mean hot chicken pizza.  you’re in nashville. you’ll need to experience hot chicken in some form. it’s our thing. | 1925 broadway

 

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donato’s hot chicken pizza

18-elliston place soda shop‘s chocolate milkshake-a nashville institution for over 75 years, they have had time to perfect a good milkshake.  |2111 elliston place

19-monell‘s fried chicken in the heart of germantown is hard to beat.  everything is served family style at big tables.  cornbread, green beans, cheese grits, chocolate pie…get ready. | 1235 sixth avenue north

20-martins bbq joint-sometimes i dream about their brisket tacos during the day.  they’re topped with cheese, cilantro & jalapenos and i get their white alabama sauce to dip them in.  on an unrelated topic, they have a pretty fantastic recipe on their site for sweet dixie stuffed peppers too you may want to try at home. | 3108 belmont boulevard

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martin bbq’s sweet dixie stuffed peppers

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