Friday, January 11, 2013

let's do some honky tonky

just got back from nashville, tn last night after taking a look at Vandy (what the locals call Vanderbilt). here's the low-down on the city

(10.5 hours from Central MD to Nashville)


Day 1 (arrival)
·        arrived early in the morning, went to Hermitage Café (71 Hermitage Ave, 24 hours); food was so-so, but watching locals and getting entertained by staff is worth it. Got great recommendations on where to eat in town
·         explored Vandy
·         shopped at Pangea (eclectic mix of clothes, jewelry, postcards, etc. bohemian kind of fun)
·         lunch at Provence Breads & Café (1705 21st Ave South) right by Vandy campus. We were still waiting for check-in time to start at our hotel (Knights Inn in East Nashville, ~$45/night for the two of us including taxes, breakfast and HBO). Got a picnic spread of their Tuscan bread (good, get their smaller loaf), mild cheddar, and their artichoke pesto spread (be warned, this stuff is garlicky, like kill vampires just by breathing)
·         walked to and around Centennial Park (2500 West End Ave) to see the Parthenon (to scale)

·         picked up Cuban food at Calypso café at Vandy location (2424 Elliston Pl)
o   got the beans and 3 option- w/ bean and corn salad, coleslaw and cornbread muffin w/ coconut (best part of the meal! Really tasty)

Day 2
·         morning spent at Vandy open house
·         lunch- provence leftovers
·         The Hermitage- Andrew Jackson’s home (4580 Rachel’s Ln); free day, tour house and grounds w/ museum

·         Lunch: Swett’s (2725 Clifton Ave) for southern food
o   Fried chicken very good
o   Baked cornbread good
o   Chess pie very sweet
o   Candied yams really sweet
o   Banana pudding good if you like bananas and the now-and-later kind of taste
·         To listen to live music, Commodore Grille (2613 West End Ave) in the Holiday Inn has singer-songwriter night Tues- (we got there at 8, perfect timing, try to find a table with a view); spinach and artichoke dip not that great, but drinks are a good deal; stayed through open mic

Day 3
·         Shopping

·         Lunch at PM (2017 Belmont Ave) (, which is asian inspired cuisine. Heard good things about the veggie burger from the guy who worked at pangea. We split:
o   coconut calamari w/ cucumber salad: very good, comes w/ a hot sauce and a sweet and sour sauce, the breading is nicely fried and crispy
o   veggie burger with a wasabi mayo and with sweet potato fries: the burger was marinated in a teriyaki kind of sauce, best veggie burger I’ve ever had

·         walked around downtown Nashville, The District and explored the state capitol building (free)
·         dinner: La Hacienda Taqueria (2615 Nolensville Rd); got the fish taco (not impressed at all), and a vegetarian combination platter (the rice was really good, beans were pretty good, chalupa and enchilada were so-so); didn’t get to take endless chips up to use; would not recommend except for the fact that it is cheap- so to make up for a kind of crummy dinner got mcflurrys at the mcdonalds down the road from the restaurant (it was icy and perfect)

Day 4 (departure day)
·         left around 4:30 am
·         stopped at a Cracker Barrel in TN (it was originally founded in TN!), everyone was really nice and friendly; split
o   Country Morning Breakfast- two eggs over easy (this is important, if you like your eggs like this of course), sawmill gravy and homemade buttermilk biscuits (dip your biscuit in the runny yolk, it cuts back a bit on the saltiness and is just plain delicious!)
o   Buttermilk pancakes with Montmorency cherry topping and whipped cream: don’t bother with the whipped cream, it’ll just get too melted from the warm pancakes and slide off, the cherry topping made the top pancake too sweet so see if they will put it on the side. The middle pancake (there were 3) actually tasted the best

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