I took a couple of weeks off from my southern education to go hang out in LA and Hawaii. But I’m back at it, and the air is just as humid and the bugs are just as real. So here’s what’s new now that I have 3 months under my belt:
- Whiskey is from Tennessee, bourbon is from Kentucky. Period. Just like actual champagne can only be from the Champagne region of France, and anything else is just sparkling wine. This was all explained to me the other night by a horrified waiter with a vague look of disgust. Something about mash and rye and WHAT AM I EVEN TALKING ABOUT.
- Hush puppies are fried pieces of bread. See above for what the waiter’s face looked like when I asked what this was.
- There is a CPK IN NASHVILLE! There are also many, many, many excellent restaurants nominated for James Beard awards – but let me tell you – seeing California Pizza Kitchen brought me to tears.
- We have about 13 deer that live somewhere in the woods behind our house. Also, we have woods.
- Darius Rucker – you know, Hootie, from Hootie and the Blowfish – is apparently a really legit country star now.
- My new friend (they are all “new” friends) Kristen, has a working theory that 1/3 of Nashville is left-handed. Way above the national average. We are in the process of getting to the bottom of it, so I’m sure you will remain on the edge of your seat until we have this mystery solved.
- I have more vegetarian friends in Nashville than I do in Los Angeles. I mean, can you even believe that? I can’t. I feel like I’m lying as I type this, but I know I’m not.
- In the Nashville Metro area… Red doesn’t necessarily mean stop, and green doesn’t necessarily mean go.. Those are just suggestions, really. If you want to live to see the next day, it’s advised to wait a beat when the light changes.
- The state bird is the Crane because NASHVILLE SKYLINE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION at all times. Get it? Tip your waitresses on the way out.
- I have one friend who thinks I live in Texas and one who thinks I live in Kentucky. Nashville is in Tennessee just in case I didn’t do a good job of explaining that in prior posts. I know it’s confusing, because Connie Britton is in Friday Night Lights which is in Texas, AND she’s in the show Nashville… which is in Nashville.. so I can see how it would be hard to keep straight. And I used to be one of those people on the right or left coast that thought everything in the middle was just a 6 hour plane ride of like, grass. But low and behold, there are real live cities ALL OVER! And even this dude from London was able to get the state of Tennessee right (sorry people in…North Middle?).
I’m from California.. we take Mexican food seriously. And while the good people over at Chipotle are well intentioned, they have no idea how to make a proper taco. So you can imagine how excited John and I were to try Mas Tacos in East Nashville. We have been hearing about since we got here (seriously, even our electrician said we needed to go) and we finally made it over to the east part of town.
Upon approach, the giant DELIcious signage leads me to believe the owners are putting all their hard earned money into the amazing corn tortilla’s and not paying a dime to paint over the former tenants roof. Once you get inside, your mouth starts watering because nothing has ever smelled so good. Then the food. Holy guacamole. Just kidding, they are too hip for guacamole, but the TACOS are everything. Each taco is $3 which includes “onions, cilantro, and tax.” Usually, I only enjoy 1 out of 3 of those, but I’m sure glad I made an exception. I opted for 1 cast iron chicken taco with salsa verde and 1 spicy carne molida taco. And the Mexican street corn because obviously. It was all delicious, and if the line hadn’t been out the door and down the street, I would have ordered seconds.
PS: Guy in green shorts below for the win.
For mother’s day, John got us tickets to see The Rolling Stones and have dinner at Rolf & Daughters. At the time, we still lived in Los Angeles so this was going to be our first night out in Nashville. Just us, no kids = just the way night outs should be. To be honest, I would have been thrilled to go ANYWHERE without children, but it so happens that I was dying to try Rolf & Daughters. It’s one of the restaurants that everyone talks about so I had high hopes.
The restaurant is in Germantown which is a cool, but small, area of town comprised of about 5 square blocks. Walking up to Rolf & Daughters (which may or may not have the intentional acronym R.A.D) is like being transported back to Brooklyn. And I think the entire serving staff might actually BE from Brooklyn. Anyway, the fact that they gave me a giant loaf of sourdough bread, seaweed butter, and a pile of salt, makes them A-okay in my book. The rest of our meal was delicious too (the carbonara was beyond), but we didn’t have time for dessert since we needed to get to the show!
John and I actually consider The Rolling Stones show we saw in 2005 to be the starting point of our relationship, so we make a point to see them whenever they roll through town. I swear I didn’t even mean for that pun to happen but I’m leaving it. We had floor seats and cold beer, but I’m sorry – we are old and tired and it was hot out. Real hot. 97 degrees and humid hot. So we left after an hour.. Kind of just wish I had gotten dessert.
When my mother called tonight, I said, “we just got home from our first crawfish boil!” And she said, “what’s a crawfish boil??” To which I replied, “I still am not 100% sure but it’s tables and tables of things that look like little shrimp-lobsters and people stand around eating them.” I actually think that’s a pretty good description. Maybe not an EXACT description, but it paints a picture. Our friend and neighbor, Ryan, taught me how to open the shell and eat it… It took a couple of tries, but I sort of got the hang of it, and actually liked it. He also got me a styrofoam cup of beer from a keg so i could pretend I was normal. And I liked that too! Who knows, I might end up fitting in here after all!
The ONE time I visited Nashville before moving here (which was to buy a house – so not too long ago…) we went to Puckett’s in Downton Franklin. I have to say, it sold me then and it sold me now. It was the first moment where i thought, “Okay, I can live here.” The food is ridiculous and the live music is the cherry on top. Even at 1 year old, Sutton sat there mesmerized by the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles. We had to force him to turn around to eat! Good thing he eats like a medieval viking and put away an entire plate of pulled chicken and pork.
Can’t wait to go back, but after the mess Sutton made, our picture is probably posted in the back….
I’m going to consider this my first weekend. Last weekend was spent at Target and Home Depot getting things like box cutters.. So this was our first real Saturday in Nashville. My friend from LA set-up me up with her cousin who has kids the same age, and she invited us over for brunch today. That’s right – I’m blind dating moms. I DON’T CARE. But thank goodness for the setup because it was my first moment of “maybe I can live here.”
My new mom friend (yay I have friends) had just returned from New York with a suitcase full of bagels and lox on dry ice – so naturally I feel like we are meant to be. I honestly can’t believe that my first week in Nashville included bagels, lox, and whitefish from Russ & Daughters.