After returning from Houston we were home just long enough to reassure Sammy we hadn’t abandoned him, water the plants, do some laundry, repack our suitcase and head out to Nashville to see Jordan. Family weekend has become an excuse to spend some time with Jordan’s classmates’ families. Jordan has made some great friends at school and its always a good time getting together with them. When we all roll into town, checking out Nashville’s food and music scene is a highlight. This trip found us trying some of the stalwarts in Nashville including Arnold’s Country Kitchen, the Pancake Pantry and Prince’s Hot Chicken.
I have a couple of quirks I should tell you about, well I call them quirks..you be the judge. During crunch time games, like yesterday’s Giants versus the Mets wild card game, you will not find me comfortably planted on my couch with the TV on (that’s Wes). You will not find me at a sports bar or at a “I just jumped on the bandwagon” viewing party, sipping wine and eating finger food. Nope. I will be sitting in my car, possibly parked on the side of the road or more than likely in my driveway, listening to the radio broadcast of the game. I will be nervously hanging on every pitch or play called by Fleming, Miller, Krup and Kuipe. Too nervous to watch, too interested to not know what is happening, that is my compromise. Back in the day I pulled over to listen to Dave Dravecky’s comeback game and I ran out to my car in the driveway to listen to Will the Thrill lead the Giants over the Cubbies in the NLCS. Yep just me and a radio, thats all I need.
I also have a routine for flying, especially long flights. Travel mug for coffee, yes the blue one only. My pink metal water bottle when going to a regatta (its so beat up it doesn’t even stand up anymore) in my suitcase. An audio book downloaded on my phone. A magazine to look at because I can’t possibly DO NOTHING for the 2 minutes we can’t use electronics on board. I gotta have my laptop. You may be thinking, whats the big deal? A lotta people have their laptop or iPad on the plane. Yes, but my laptop is an old school 17 INCH MacBookPro that weighs the same as a nine month old baby and whose screen cannot be pushed to an upright position on a funky Frontier or Spirit flight due to minion sized tray tables. I have toted it everywhere imaginable, hotels, subways, trains, planes, and ferries so many times I have a permanent dent in my right shoulder from the carry strap. But I can’t let it go.
So there you have it. On our flight to Nashville my magazine of choice was Sift, the King Artur Flour Magazine and as luck would have it, featured an article on bakeries in Nashville. Hum baby!
Naturally first stop when we arrived:
Just a few minutes from Vanderbilt in an industrial looking area…we stopped for coffee, scrumptious cookies, a yummy blueberry muffin, chocolate croissants and a Kouign Aman (meh, I think I come from the mecca for great Kouign Aman at Manresa Bakery or B. Patisserie is SF). Dozen Bakery is definitely worth the stop when in Nashville. Next time I’m trying their breads and sandwiches!
The next morning, with my partner in food crime, Debbie (Jordan’s roommate’s mom) we headed to the iconic Pancake Pantry in Hillsborough Village near campus. Would love to have been there before the lines but a nearly impossible task with college kids that start their morning at about 11AM. So we stood in line and waited for the best damn sweet potato pancakes I have had. Now don’t get me wrong if you are looking for cutting edge, hipster trendy food that will make your tastebuds stand up and do the hula…this ain’t it. This is just down home solid simple cooking that’s been around for decades, there’s nothing wrong with that. Part of the fun is being there.
Next stop…..lunch (happy dance although the bounce in my dance step was a little less springy after a plate of pancakes)
Yep, time for a Meat and three. Cafeteria style, stand in line, order your meat (fried catfish or roast beef was the special of the day) and three sides. I went healthy on the sides, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and fried green tomatoes so I could have banana pudding for dessert. Seriously.
and for the trifecta of iconic places to eat in Nashville we went to Prince’s for Hot Chicken.
Fried Chicken, super crispy and crunchy, moist and doused in their secret sauce to the hotness of your desire (I am a wimp as evident by the lack of red on my chicken, I opted for mild). Drop the mic, done. Whoops, don’t leave without getting their banana pudding, the bomb.
Yep, all in a day’s work.