Nashville, Tennessee is having a moment. A big moment. Coming from country and western music, glittery Nudie suits and honky tonks on Broadway, Nashville has grown up quite a bit. It's now the epitome of cool - and that country music, those glittery Nudie suits and honky tonks on Broadway are cool now, too. And at the epicenter of it's coolness is it's food scene. Hot chicken, barbecue, bonuts (Biscuit Loves cross between a biscuit and a donut), tacos, burgers and everything in between, Nashville is on fire right now.
I recently took a walking food tour with WalkEatNashville tasting at six different restaurants in the SoBro neighborhood of Nashville. (south of Broadway) The company's owner, Karen-Lee took us on our three hour tour which started in the heart of SoBro at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Cherry Street Eatery and Sweetery
Our first tasting was at Cherry Street Eatery and Sweetery, a small and quaint cafe tucked inside the Schermerhorn. And we started with a Southern classic, pimento cheese. We had a pimento cheese panini sandwich with just the right amount of tang - and a bit of uniqueness with it's olives and capers mixed in. A side note - if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Broadway, Cherry Street is a delightfully quiet oasis inside the Schermerhorn.
Our next stop was Bakersfield Tacos - Tacos. Tequila. Whiskey. Named after the Bakersfield Sound by such artists as Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam, Bakersfield hand squeezes all it's own limes for their margaritas and has a selection of 100 tequilas and whiskey. We started with a shot of margarita and then moved on to the out-of-this-world short rib taco. From the menu: Braised short rib, queso fresco, crema, white onion, radish and cilantro. Order this if you eat at Bakersfield. Seriously. Don't question it. You'll be glad you did!
We took a short walk down Broadway with Karen-Lee telling us some history of the city and ended up at The Farmhouse. The head chef , owner and local Tennessee boy, Trey Cioccia, took the time to greet us and give us a brief overview of the restaurant. Local farms create local plates is their tagline and everything served in the restaurant is sourced locally - including the dishes which are made by a local potter. The menu is traditional southern cuisine with a modern flair. We were served bratwurst in beer cheese grits with tomato relish(Grits are a southern staple and are ground hominy) I can honestly say it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Incredible. If you are in Nashville, make a reservation at The Farmhouse right when you arrive so you can experience it!
Next we headed uphill to the famous Husk. Set in a historic mansion in Rutledge Hill, Husk Nashville is the second restaurant (the first is in Charleston, South Carolina) headed by James Beard winner and rock star chef, Sean Brock. Reservations are almost impossible to come by and all food must come from the South." If it doesn't come from the South, it's not coming through the door." We tasted pimento cheese on benne wafers and deviled eggs before we headed to the bar and enjoyed The Calm Before - a non-alcoholic (and very refreshing) drink with Blenheim Ginger Soda, cucumber, mint, lime juice and ginger cordial.
Steadfast Commons, a coffee and cocktail establishment, was our next quick stop. We tried their signature flash brewed coffee with orange peel. Served cold, it had a very different taste and I wasn't a fan but most of our group enjoyed it. Serving coffee and breakfast in the morning they then segue to cocktails in the evening.
The Goo-Goo Shop
Our last stop of the day was for dessert at The Goo-Goo Shop. The Goo-Goo Cluster was the first combination candy bar in the US and was developed in Nashville in 1912. It contains marshmallow nougat, caramel and roasted peanuts covered in milk chocolate. The Goo-Goo Shop is a store to buy Goo-Goo merchandise, a candy factory where you can see Goo-Goo Cluster's being made and a dessert bar where they use Goo-Goo's to make different desserts. We tried a Cluster, a specialty Cluster and a brown butter blondie with goo goos baked right in. Delicious and decadent, The Goo-Goo Shop is unique to Nashville and a very popular place to visit.
I highly recommend taking one of WalkEatNashville's tours - it was three hours of walking, tasting, history and fun. Karen-Lee is very prepared and organized - she offered us sunscreen, fans and bottled water to beat the Nashville heat - and she gives a fun tour with lots of little known facts. Now I just need to go back and take the East Nashville and Midtown tours!
WalkEatNashville offers three different walking food tours in Nashville. Tours are capped at 12 people each. Visit their website for the tour calendar.
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections En Route and The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond!