Friday, March 31, 2017

Back on the road in Music City

After a long but not too bad winter I was able to get back out and continue my Triple D quest.  I did some research on different cities to visit and decided on Nashville.  This would be my second Triple D trip to Music City, my first being in 2011.

I left on a late afternoon nonstop  flight from Dulles and arrived a few minutes before 6p, there was a threat of bad weather but it never materialized.  After getting my car I headed to Franklin, Tennessee to meet with my high school friend Stephanie.  After about a 30 minute drive I arrived and met up with Stephanie, her husband Denny and two of their best friends who had already gotten a table at "55 South".  The place was very busy and is divided into two rooms to give it an intimate feeling.  They had already ordered some appetizers and we decided to share them so we could all try different things.  I also ordered an appetizer. 

55 South in Franklin TN
We ordered the Grilled Oysters, which are very much like Oysters Rockefeller, finished on the charcoal grill, a cheese Queso style dip finished with barbecued pork and I ordered the crab fries.  All of them were awesome!

I have never seen oyster that big and they were covered with a spinach and cheesy sauce, you could cut the oyster with a knife that's how big they were!

Grilled Oysters Appetizer, HUGE Oysters

The Queso was unreal with shredded pork barbecue and came with pita chips which just added to the dish.
Pork Barbecue Queso Dip

The Crab fries were the best!  Fresh cut fries topped with a Garlic Mayo and then a large amount of lump crab meat.  Stephanie and I ageed that you could just go to 55 South and get the fries and a dink and be happy!

Crab Fries topped with Garlic Mayonnaise

We all then ordered main dishes and I chose the Fish and Shrimp Po Boy sandwich.  The sandwich came out with the spicy remoulade sauce on the side and with house made potato chips.  The others ordered the fish tacos which were served with rice on the side.  Everyone enjoyed their meals. I think I liked the roll on the Po Boy best it really made the sandwich good.  The fish and shrimp were fried and were really good..
Fish and Shrimp Po Boy

It was a great night of old and now new friends.  Great people and great food is the best you can get!  We said our goodbyes and then I headed off to continue my Nashville adventures after night of rest.

I set out the next morning to try a few more places.   My first top was great place called "Arnold's Country Kitchen" it's unusual for me to revisit a place when there 's a lot of new places to try os it must be great!  Arnold's is on the outskirts of the downtown area.  I arrived there about 15 minutes before they opened and by the time they opened there was about 10 of us waiting and I ended up being first in line. 

Arnold's Country Kitchen in Nashville

The place seemed larger than on my last visit.  It is a cafeteria type of set up where you go down the line and select the food you want and pay at the end.  I picked the "Meats and 2 plate" which is  meat main dish and 2 sides.  I chose the Roast Beef with Sweet Corn Pudding and Mashed Potatoes on the side.  The meat was fresh cut from a huge steamship round roast with a huge layer of bark.  It was delicious with the peppery bark just making it even better.
My "Meats and 2" plate

As I was eating the owner, who I recognized from their episode, came by and signed my book.  Arnold's is a family run place with most of the employees in the family and everyone is friendly and engaging with all of the diners!  After signing the book he brought out small potions of their Cherry wood Barbecue and Bread Pudding out for me to try.

Taste of Cherry wood Barbecue

Bread Pudding

The barbecue was very good and would have made a good choice, but the roast beef was even better but it was nice to be able to try it.  Now I must admit that I am not a huge fan of Brad Pudding but Arnold's version was phenomenal!  It tasted like a Cinnamon Bun, one of the best ever!

I was the first in line and by the time I got through there was at least 20 in line and the line grew the entire time I was there.  Arnold's is open from 1030a to 245p Monday through Friday which I calculated at under 22 hours a week and they are a Nashville Institution!  The line is there all the time, good food and good service brings it out! 

I headed out to my next stop and because of bein stupid and putting the wrong place into my GPS I ended up changing my plans and headed o a place that specializes in vegetarian and vegan menus, but they also have meat dishes.  "Phat Bites" was built in what seems to have been a garage in a past life.

Phat Bites Deli and Bar in Nashville

I spent a long time trying to decide what to try but in the end I decided to try the side dish portion of one of Phat Bites unique and house made hummus.  I chose the spinach and feta hummus that came with pita bread. 
Phat Bites Feta and Spinach Hummus

I have always believed that hummus is fairly bland but can be delicious when it is mixed with the right ingredients and Phat Bites proved this belief!  The hummus mixed with the salty feta and spinach was very tasty!  This is a very eclectic place!  I saw all types of people there from military men to young people to elderly and they were all enjoying the unique salads and sandwiches that are served there.

I then headed up to the town of Hendersonville which was about a 20 minute drive and is northeast of Nashville to a popular and famous barbecue place called "Center Point Pit Barbecue".  As soon as  got out of the car I could smell the barbecue and coal smoke wafting in the air.

Center Point Pit Barbecue in Hendersonville, TN

Not too far off on that statement

I got a table in the back and decided to try the Little Pig Combo, after seeing then sign out front telling me that Center Point is the home of the 3 Little Pig Combo.  The 3 Little Pigs are three sliders, one smoked turkey, one shredded pork and one shredded brisket.

My Three Little Pigs Center Pint platter Left- Pork; Center = Beef ; Right Turkey

Since I was already pretty full I decided to forgo the rolls and just eat the meat.  The turkey was good at first bite but was a little dry for my taste.  The pork as very good and the brisket was awesome with a really good peppery bark flavor.  I was really surprised that the sauce was more of thin vinegar based sauce like you might find in North Carolina vs the thick Kansas City style sauce.  Center Point is a very good barbecue place, I wish we had more of these kinds of places in Northern Virginia!  I headed back to the hotel to relax before heading out later in the day to finish up my Triple D visit in Nashville.

I headed out for my final few places in Nashville. My first stop was a place that was not directly featured on the show, the restaurant was built because of the huge success of the food truck,  Today both the restaurant and food truck are successful sister restaurants.  Welcome to the "Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop"!  The place is very airy and popular.  They feature all kinds of different and unique grilled cheese sandwiches and also feature eclectic alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and even have a milkshake bar!

The Grilled Cheserie Melt Shop born from a food truck

An homage to their heritage

Where the magic happens!

They even do gourmet milkshakes!

I chose the basic sandwich on sourdough bread and white cheddar cheese, when it come to grilled cheese for me I like it pretty basic. The sandwich came out and it was really good with a nice sharp cheddar.  The cheddar was melted and molten hot!  I had taken a seat at the milkshake bar which gave me a good view of both the kitchen and the milkshake maker.  I would call him the "Milkshake Master" this was intense! It was really cool to watch him make those great shakes!  Just before leaving I met the manager who was expediting the food deliveries and he was gracious and stopped to sign my boom and also gave me a dessert cookie to take for the road!

My Grilled Cheese sandwich

Molten hot cheese!

I headed out to my next stop in an area of Nashville where there are a number of eclectic restaurants and bars.  "Caffé Nonna" is a Italian Restaurant and Brick Oven Pizzeria.  The menu for each side of the place is available to everyone and although Guy got the lasagna I decided to try a pizza as I knew that the lasagna would be too much for me. 

Caffee Nonna in Nashville

Caffe Nonna's Pizzeria area

My personal sized pizza had prosciutto, arugula, balsamic vinegar and fig jam.  I know it might not sound good, but it was!  The sweet jam combined with the balsamic vinegar made for a very tasty combination.

My Caffé Nonna pizza

I headed out to last Nashville stop.  "Mas Tacos Por Favor" is a very eclectic place.  Its loud and crowded.  There was literally a line "out the door".  You go to the window and order your food.  Of course they feature tacos but also feature items like Mexican soup, spicy cheese corn on the cob and various types of plantains.  It was so busy that I was unable to get my book signed!  I must admit I was disappointed with the other patrons as they seemed to be pushy and kind of rude.  The staff was hard working!

Mas Tacos Por Favor in Nashville

We'll See!

Inside the very eclectic place with the Guy Ate Here Sign

The Menu

I ordered a chicken taco with shredded chicken, cabbage and sour cream and it was ok, but to be honest, this is not my favorite style of food so I am not a great judge of it.  If you like spicy Mexican style food then this might be your place!

My Chicken Taco

I headed home having spent only a short time in the Music City but being able to get to a number of great places and seeing Stephanie and Denny again after 6 years made this a very fun and successful trip.  I returned home with my Triple D count at 535!

Looking forward to my next trip to Music City!

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