This past weekend, Jay and I headed to Nashville for a quick 24 hour trip. While we planned the trip around the afternoon Vanderbilt vs Kentucky football game, we managed to pack a ton of other activities into our schedule. We’ve both spent considerable amounts of time in the city and certainly have our favorites that we like to hit when we’re in town. Because Nashville is booming right now, it’s always a tough to decide whether to check out a new hot spot or stick with our favorite hangouts. Since we were in the city for such a short amount of time, we decided it would be easier to revisit some of our well-loved establishments.
Mas Tacos: Mas Tacos is in the revitalized East Nashville neighborhood, and there are LOTS of great dining options nearby. Mas Tacos is in an unassuming building across from Pharmacy Burger (another favorite), and it was the perfect place for us to stop for a quick lunch on our way into the city. The hours are somewhat limited, so I recommend making sure they’re open before you get there. The chicken tortilla soup is a MUST!
Rotier’s: Rotier’s is restaurant we like to visit near Vanderbilt’s campus. It is a hole in the wall, and you’re only going to see locals and a few college kids here. We were really hungry after the game, so we stopped by for their French bread burgers, which is what they’re known for, sweet potato fries, and a chocolate milk shake. If you’re looking for comfort food and a reprieve from Nashville’s trendy scene, this is the place to stop.
Puffy Muffin: Popular with Brentwood and Franklin’s older ladies-who-lunch on the weekdays and families on the weekends, the Puffy Muffin has a terrific lunch and brunch menu as well as outstanding baked goods. We popped in for a couple of cookies to enjoy as an afternoon snack. The worst thing about this place is trying to pick just one baked good.
Tavern: Tavern is a gastropub that has a lunch, dinner, late night, and brunch menu. I think their food is decent, but with so many other great restaurants in the city, it isn’t my first choice for a meal. When we come to Nashville, we typically spend at least part of our trip in the West End near Vanderbilt’s campus, so we frequently stop at Tavern for a drink before a Vandy football or basketball game or to grab late night snack after a fun night out. The vibe here is casual, so I didn’t feel like too much of a schlump wearing my game day attire when we stopped for a pre-game beer.
The Patterson House: The Patterson House is in Midtown, and it is the place to stop if you are looking for a quality craft cocktail. Their offering are extensive, and truth be told, I’m not sophisticated enough to recognize many of them. The crowd at The Patterson House is definitely not who you’re going to see dancing the night away at a honkytonk on Broadway. It is set up like a speakeasy with a very intimate setting. My favorite seat is at the bar because it is fascinating to watch the bartenders assemble the intricate drinks. Be prepared to wait for a little while if you come after dinner, but it is definitely worth the wait. This was our last and favorite stop on Saturday night, and the boys both ordered bourbon drinks. You can take the boys out of Kentucky…
My mom, sister, and I frequently make trips to Nashville specifically to shop. Opry Mills is an indoor outlet mall next to the Opry Land Hotel, and we like to go to the Green Hills area if we are looking for slightly more upscale stores that we don’t have in Kentucky, like Nordstrom or Restoration Hardware. We didn’t do much shopping on this trip, but I convinced Jay to stop by Draper James, the new flagship store for Reese Witherspoon’s new apparel line. The first detail I noticed upon entering was the smell of magnolia blossoms. Jay was escorted to the “porch” area and read basketball blogs on his iPhone while I swooned at the clothing and accessories. The store is crisp and fresh, so the clothing really stands out. Here are a couple of my favorites.
We finished out trip with Sunday morning at Radnor Lake. After griping about my feet during a strenuous 10 mile hike in Pisgah National Forest on our one year anniversary trip last month, Jay made me purchase a pair of real hiking shoes. Not pictured because they are NOT CUTE. I tried them out on our morning hike at Radnor Lake State Park, which is a really amazing oasis just south of the city. We saw lots of deer and wild turkeys, and there were still some trees with leaves turning before the winter. Take Granny White Pike to get there from the city. You’ll have major house envy, and you may get a glimpse of a country music star walking to their mailbox.
Where are your favorite places to visit when you're in the Music City?