Nashville Highlights and Recommendations

Back in October, I went to Nashville for a work conference. I was excited, since I’ve had two wonderful trips to Nashville in the past that combined work and after-work fun. Maybe someday I’ll only travel with a laser-like focus on work like my consultant friends, but I really do an enjoy a fun activity or two!

I stayed near the downtown. I know a few years have passed since I’ve been there, but it’s more developed and definitely a little trashier at night. People are on their best worst behavior. I had fun scootering around to places, although I was always a little nervous that I would break my face because that would be professionally embarrassing to have facial trauma at an ENT conference.

Ok, now for some Nashville recommendations!


Some friends and I went to Rob’s Western World. I love this place. The musicians are amazing and tend to play older country music. The bar is no-nonsense and serves up their drinks quickly. This is the one place that felt the same to me. Interestingly, it had just been featured in the NYT 36 Hours in Nashville article.

New Monday, Station Inn

The Station Inn is a dive bar/performance space in the Gulch known for its bluegrass music. I heard about it when I was eating dinner at the Peg Leg Porker and decided I had to check it out. I’m so glad I did! A friend of mine joined me but before she did, I had a nice time talking to one guy that worked their to my right and an Italian guitar band (40 Fingers) to my left. But once the music started…no talking! The bartender was an enforcer! The New Monday band is a collection of bluegrass All-Stars. I loved it!


Hattie B’s: I was tempted by Prince’s, but I went with Hattie’s B hot chicken. It was delicious and I loved the sides- I went with beans and greens but I wanted several of them. Definite recommend!

Peg Leg Porker: I went here on my own and I’m so glad I went. One, it was delicious and two, I heard about Station Inn. I had the brisket, which was excellent. Dry rubs, but lots of sauces available. They also have an excellent whiskey that I almost bought, but I couldn’t overcome my aversion to checking in luggage. Strong vanilla notes.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint: We had our departmental dinner here. I also grabbed a plate to go prior to going to the airport. Excellent pulled pork and sides. I can’t really pick a favorite since I had different dishes at different places. Go to both!

Tennessee Brew Works: I met up with some residency friends here. Lots of space. We were about 20 years too old for the place but still felt welcome.

Biscuit Love: I got the Southern Benny, which was excellent. I was not hungry the rest of the day.

Nashville Weekend

View from the Acme Rooftop

Last week, I took business trip to Nashville to attend a two-day course at Vanderbilt.  The course was exceptional- great faculty, excellent temporal bone lab component and a fun evening social event at the end of day one.  If you’re ever looking for excellent courses that are very reasonably priced, check out CME offerings from Vanderbilt.

Art museum flowers

And…guess where Vanderbilt is?  Nashville!  Nashville is one of my favorite cities in the US.  A lot of people are moving there.  96 people/day is an often-cited, though oddly specific statistic.  It’s an energetic town with a really cool vibe- something cool always seems to be happening but in an effortless rather than trying-to-hard way.

I arrived on Thursday night and stayed at a Marriott very close to the Midtown Hattie B’s hot chicken. That wasn’t the reason for choosing the hotel (getting the discounted rate on a popular weekend was), but it was a nice bonus.  I went to Hattie B’s last time I was in Nashville and went again later in the weekend.

Dark, grainy photo of delicious food!

On Thursday night, I walked downtown to Broadway St.  It was a busy Thursday!  The Nashville Predators were playing in the Stanley Cup play-offs, it was Cinco de Mayo and, in general, I think every night is a weekend night downtown!  I briefly thought about going to the hockey game but it was sold out so I kept walking.  I ended up at Acme Feed & Seed company.  There, I listened to a Santana cover set that switched gears at the end with “Hold the Line,” a song by Toto since the lead singer was performing guest vocals with the band.  I ate a late dinner and ordered “The Hatchery,” curried chickpeas, coconut rice, cashews, cilantro & fried egg with fry bread.  Oh my goodness.  It was delicious, especially the fry bread.  Fry bread, where have you been all my life?  After that culinary piece of heaven, I went back to the hotel and turned in.

Overlooking The Gulch train tracks

On Friday, the course went from 6:45-17:30, although my dissection group went a half-hour over so we ended at 6.  It was a great education day.  Afterward, we were treated to a BBQ dinner at Peg Leg Porker in the Gulch, a small district I hadn’t been to.  It was delicious!  I had pulled pork, bean, cornbread and craft beers. Yum!  It was fun to talk to different classmates in the course and I really had a great time.

Saturday started a little later, 7:30 yay!  We went to about 16:45 and then the course was done.  It was 18 hours of CME and really, an excellent, excellent course.  I’m so happy I went!  Because the last Westward flight left at 1700 from the Nashville airport and I would have missed part of the course if I left, I had to stay the night and leave the next day.  Yay! More time in Nashville!

After the course, I went out and walked to 12 South.  On the way, I grabbed a small cone from Jeni’s. This time, I selected Honey Pistachio and Darkest Chocolate.  It was delicious!  In 12 South, there was a small artists’ market going on with street closures, which was pretty neat.  I also stopped in Imogene & Willie, a jeans boutique.  The jeans were nice but they only had super skinny-style, which I’m not in the market for.  Too hot for Summer!

Early morning photo, that’s why there’s no line!

Saturday night, I went out with two people from the course to Hattie B’s.  I had the small White Chicken with beans, greens and mac ‘n’ cheese.  I couldn’t finish it but it was so good!  Afterward, I hung out with Amy.  We headed over to 12 South because we thought we’d find a mellow music spot. Wrong.  There were just (very cool) bars and restaurants.  It was a beautiful night and sitting on the patio would have been amazing with a big group, but since it was just the two of us and we were definitely not hungry after HB, we took an Uber over to Downtown.

Tom Childers and the BTA

We went back to the Acme and, after hanging out on the awesome rooftop for a bit, saw an excellent band, Tom Childers and the Black Tie Affair.  They were very talented musicians and had an amazing extended version of “Superstition” that featured long solos from several of the band members.  They also did a great cover of “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse that I’m now obsessed with.    After the band’s set was over, we headed up the street,  hung out at Tootsie’s for a bit and then headed back.  It was nice to have a new friend to hang out with!


The next day, I slept in a bit, worked out in the hotel gym, showered and checked out.  I left my bag at the hotel and it was time to explore again!  I rented a bike from B Cycles, the company with stands all over town.  I biked down to Pinewood Social, which was a really cool place.  It was, as the PA from work said, Hipster-with-a-capital-H.  It was pretty busy and I was more in the mood for a coffee so I walked over to Crema, a delightful, airy coffee shop.  I ordered the Cuban latte and a coffee soda, just to try the two recommended drinks.  Both were excellent, although I favor the Snowy Plover in Outer Sunset for my sparkling coffee soda of choice!

Downtown Nashville and my new hat!

After coffee, I went downtown and bought a hat, as one does in Nashville.  Then, I walked over the pedestrian bridge from downtown Nashville over towards the football stadium.  I checked out another bike and cycled into East Nashville.  It was cool, but a little busier traffic-wise and a tiny bit more spread-out than I was expecting.  I went into a few boutiques and ended up at Edley’s BBQ, which was delicious.   I had the Tuck’s Sandwich with egg, brisket, red and white sauce, cheese and pimento spread.  Again, I couldn’t finish it but it was off-the-hook delicious!

Much photographed Weenie mobile and sign


A delicious mess!

All good things must end and after my late lunch, it was time to go.  I caught an Uber to the hotel and airport and flew home.  It was a great weekend and again, the course was amazing if not the most interesting for the blog.  Blogging about Nashville is much more fun!