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Eating our way through Nashville

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The purpose of our weekend trip to Nashville was to see the Blackhawks take on the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.  We figured we’d spend some time in the honky tonks, too, listening to some live music.  But what we – or, I should say, I – didn’t expect was the abundance of dining options, and I definitely did not expect the food to be so good.

We stayed at the Sheraton in downtown Nashville and it proved to be the perfect location for a weekend trip sans vehicle.  It is walking distance to Broadway, which is where the honky tonks, bars, and restaurants are, and to Bridgestone Arena.  We arrived on a Saturday morning, too early to get into our hotel room, so we left our bags with the hotel valet and walked down to Broadway in search of some breakfast.  Our breakfast came in the form of live music and bloody marys at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, since no restaurants on Broadway were open, and none serve breakfast.  We waited until 10:30 when Jack’s BBQ opened up and, judging by the line, plenty of others couldn’t wait for the restaurant to open, either.  I ordered the beef brisket plate which comes with two sides; I chose macaroni & cheese and hot apples (it was all fat free, by the way).  That brisket was probably the best bbq I have ever had.  Perfectly tender, lean meat, incredible smoky flavor. From the array of self-serve bbq sauces, I went with the Kansas City, and it was a perfect match for my brisket.  The mac & cheese and apples were incredible, as well.  We visited Jack’s again two days later and did not have quite the same experience.  We all were quite disappointed with our food.  I ordered the brisket plate again (it was too good the first time; I had to), with mac & cheese and cream corn (both were delicious).  The brisket, however, was fatty and a little tough.  The employee cutting and carving the meat wasn’t the same guy from our first visit so maybe he had something to do with it.  Whatever the reason, I was seriously disappointed.  I’d still recommend Jack’s, though.  We might have just caught them on a bad day on that second visit.

Some other dining highlights from our weekend in Nashville:

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