My trip to Gnashville. We ate, we ate some more, and then we ate again.
WHERE TO STAY:
[one_half]Cleveland Cottage: My fingers are seizing because I really don’t know how to begin capturing the essence of the effortlessly breathtaking sanctuary this little one-bedroom was. Was it the clean, homey, rustic chic aesthetic, equipped with cow hyde, mason jars, repurposed bathtub, and roaring fireplace – effectively marrying the concepts of old country and new urban chic. Or the plush mattress with pillows having that ever hard to attain perfect combination of plush and firmness? Could it have been the sense of community established with the guest book and instant camera, so everyone who had graced the cottage beforehand could include their favorite parts about Nashville? [/one_half][one_half_last]I once read somewhere that we interpret smells as memories, and perhaps what I’ll remember most is the smell upon walking into the Cleveland Cottage each time: a combination of clean laundry, old wood, and fresh evergreens – home. It served as the perfect base for all of our (e)a(t)-dventures. How many times have I used the word perfect now? Perfect. To Beta and Emily: we are forever grateful for what you have created. It is engrained in our memories forever.[/one_half_last]
WHAT TO EAT:
[one_half]Jeni’s: I used to think if ever I could choose to smell like something for the rest of my life, it’d be fresh baked bread out of an oven. Upon walking into Jeni’s ice cream, I realized I was wrong. I wish I could have the combination of warm, homemade waffle cone paired with sweet cream permanently fixed in my nostrils (though then I would be just a walking pile of drool all day long…) The flavors are unique and tantalizing, and samples are unlimited. The brown butter almond brittle and wild berry lavender were personal favorites, and make for an ever so aesthetically appealing combination for Instagram purposes against a white, brick wall. Also the scripted typography of the sign look like penis. So yeah, maturity has not yet peaked at age 23. Updates to follow.[/one_half][one_half_last]Las Paletas: For those looking for another dessert option, Las Paletas has homemade popsicles! The flavors are so varied, and they have both dairy and non-dairy options. We tried one of each: the raspberry chocolate chip and the strawberry-banana-pineapple. Both were fresh, sweet, and absolutely delicious. And across the street is a great little vintage home and clothing shop (White’s Mercantile) with a refurbished trailer coffee shop right outside as a mid-day pick me up (The Trailer Perk)![/one_half_last]
[one_half] Marche artisan: It was a drizzly morning when we visited Marche in East Nashville. I appropriately ordered a bowl of pour-ridge drizzled with stewed cinnamon apples and currants and Grace got the omelette with potatoes and bacon. It warmed my soul and my taste buds on an otherwise dreary day.[/one_half][one_half_last]
Barista Parlor: This place is quite popular via Instagram. The vibe is old-country, modern biker chic, and they host very pretentious coffee but in a very approachable environment. Everyone who works here seems to be a coffee connoisseur, knowing a variety of facts like how to pick up hints of elderberry in your cup of joe. They do mostly pour-over with both local and ethnic java brands, and it’s a great place to meet with friends or hang or do some work on your computer or even eat the apple donut that’s the special of the day that you can’t speak while consuming and then you look up at your friend while making out with your sweet, sugary fingers like what just happened I feel so alive. Perhaps one of the best donuts I’ve ever had: decadent but light and large enough to split with a friend who then pulls you out before you try to order another one. [/one_half_last]
[one_half]Avo: For some reason, Avo does not in fact include avocado toast on their Fall lunch menu. However. The spring rolls most certainly made up for this fact, with a savory sauce that makes you want to interrupt the bartender and sheepishly (read: shamelessly) ask for a spoon to finish it off. We also tried the Autumn Pizza and the Wild Nashville salad, both of which were excellent. Everyone obviously goes for the avocado sign, but is equally impressive.[/one_half][one_half_last]Vegan Vee Bakery: I equate the feeling of walking into a bakery that has samples and no one at the register to that of sneaking downstairs Christmas morning before your parents are awake: uninhibited and voracious destruction until someone arrives and you feign guilt but at the same time have no recollection of what happened during the state of pure black-out joy. Anyways this is what happened with a sample of gluten free, vegan pumpkin whoopee pies upon entering this shop. Needless to say in the brief 30 seconds we were left unchaperoned, a third of the plate was demolished. We ordered the samoa cupcake, 2 cookie dough truffles, and a chocolate chip whoopie pie sandwich. Bonuses include cool shaded wall outside for great photos with minimal shadowing.[/one_half_last]
[one_half]Smiling Elephant: For those nights when you can’t be bothered to emerge into society wearing real clothes, call an order of pad thai into the Smiling Elephant and saunter in, in your nightgown. You’ll be immune to all judgmental glares, as the smell wafting from the take-out containers consumes and distracts you. As a sweet ending, grab some mango coconut sticky rice for dessert. Then relish in the sweetness of each other (awWwwWwWWwwW….eye roll.)[/one_half][one_half_last]
Frothy Monkey: This restaurant should be renamed The Rabid Dog because it’s so good you’ll get a little crazy eyed and start foaming at the mouth in anticipation. Speaking of foamy and frothy (hence the name), the almond milk latte (adorned with heart shaped #latteart for photo purposes) pairs deliciously with The California. Boasting the perfect combination of carbs, protein, fats, and vegetables, The California is sourdough toast, fried eggs, avocado, sprouts, and salsa. The only complaint was they only provide you with one napkin. Also, don’t order this on a first date, as it’s very messy and there’s nothing so humbling as taking a bite and having a stream of yolk drip down your mouth and audibly plop onto your protruding stomach from eating this so fast. I may have deceived you into thinking this is sexy, as the world of Instagram has convinced you #yolkporn is a thing. I promise you, it’s not alluring; we experienced first hand. However, it was so good we came back twice. And waited in line for 20 minutes each time. Worth. It. And on that note: #avocadotoast #yolkporn #iifym #bbgcommunity #kaylasarmy #tiumermaids[/one_half_last]
[one_half_last]Crema: Another great little cafe with a cool indie vibe in a wood-paneled industrial space, great breakfast options (#avotoast) and close to the highway to hop on and head back to the airport. Can’t say much about this because it was my last meal before leaving Gnashville, and if I keep thinking about it I daresay I may get a little teary. [/one_half_last]
Food not pictured:
Wild Cow Cafe: Non-veg heads beware, this place is VERY healthy. We joked a breathalyzer should be installed at the door to test the last time you consumed an animal product because the place oozed hardcore veganism. Jokes aside though, the local kombucha was crisp (we tried the raspberry flavor) and the tacos were flavorful (we chose the sweet potato and the peanut tempeh tacos.) And for your friends that it may be just too vegan for, Jeni’s ice cream is right next door as a post-meal alternative 🙂
Burger Up: We tried turkey and quinoa black bean burgers here. They were good, but nothing really to write home about. However, the 12 South Lemonade: house-infused lemon vodka, basil simple, lemon, white wine, peach bitters with only half the simple syrup to cut through the sweetness was quite tasty. We each had two.
Mas Tacos: We mention this because it got such hype online and from other travelers. We got the sweet potato quinoa taco, the “world famous” chicken tortilla soup, a side of black beans and a side of corn on the cob. Honestly ranked in at about a C+. Probably wouldn’t go back.
Silo: Although on the expensive side, this local, farm-to-table, elevated souther cuisine was healthy and homey. Order the side of brussels sprouts as the appetizer as the perfect light and savory beginning. We also tried the potato gnocchi with roasted pumpkin, radicchio, pistachios, grana padano and the trout paired with fennel purée, radishes, and salsa verde. Both were pheNOMinal. Other perks: moody, shadowed lighting that compliments any skin tone. Our self esteem was through the roof after eating here. Or was that just from the few Palomas we had? TBD.
Pharmacy: I think when we look back on this trip, we’ll most remember how it ended. We consider ourselves largely health oriented individuals, and so decided to go to a restaurant that specialized in wholesome, clean, and fresh food with local and organic ingredients as our last meal. It was in East Nashville, where we stayed, and as the plates arrived, we realized it was honestly just pretty disgusting. It was our first disappointing meal; it was hugely overpriced (we ordered 4 plates, all of which boasted under 4 bites of food, and the bill was over $50) and we were hugely underwhelmed. So we looked at each other, still somewhat hungover from the night before and decided to go to the famous burger joint 4 minutes away. I have to say, I haven’t eaten a burger probably in over 2 years, but this was fucking amazing. The bread was fluffy, the patty juicy, the pickles tart, the fries crips, the cheese melty and the bill: $8. The best part: no guilty feelings afterwards because the ingredients used were just so fresh. If you have no dietary restrictions, you really must make this place a priority. So there you have it, sometimes we like plants, and sometimes we’re just a couple o’ meatheads.
Two-Ten Jack: Ramen – not open on Sundays, make sure to schedule this in another day! Apparently the ramen is amazing!
What to Do:
[one_half]Hot Yoga of East Nashville: We arrived ready for a relaxing evening after a stressful day of eating, but were surprised at how advanced and intensive this class was – definitely not for beginners! The class (Power Flow with Dylan), though was so fluid and choreographed, and each (though challenging) pose, inversion or balance, flowed seamlessly into the next. The instructor was anything but pretentious, with the most soothing of voice to guide you through the most challenging of postures. We left absolutely drenched but absolutely soothed – a must try if you practice.[/one_half][one_half_last]Farmer’s Market: Saturday starting at 10AM – live music, local vendors, blooming gardens, sizzling barbecue fresh produce, vintage clothing shops in refurbished trailers, cold-pressed juice. Make sure to try the mango kefir water from one of the stands – similar to kombucha with extra probiotics, a must try! Overall, quintessential southern charm with a wonderful sense of community.[/one_half_last]
Activities not pictured:
Imogene and Willie’s: If this denim is in your budget, then this is me giving you a virtual pat on the back. If you’re like us, then go ahead and try on a pair of jeans and then tell your friend they look terrible to make you feel less bad about not being able to buy them. Splurge on simpler items instead, like the wooden incense ($12 each) or the denim wash ($24). Equally thoughtful gifts without making the eyes open, blush face emoji when your credit card gets denied at the register. Plus, the aestheticism of the shop is worth a visit in and of itself.
Sisters of Nature Clothing: Another trendy little shop with decently affordable items. Shoes, tapestries, jewelry, and house decor all make the list of fun items to buy.
Our favorite neighborhoods:
12South: Home to Burger Up, BarTaco, Las Paletas, Imogene and Willie’s, and a variety of other shopping places. Great place for #LISS: low impact Saturday shopping.
East Nashville: Home to Barista Parlor, Local Honey, Marche Artisan, and all things hipstermania. The Brooklyn of the South.
Germantown: Great place for shopping around. Type “Fido” (a great little breakfast joint we didn’t get a chance to try, but heard great things about!) into your GPS and enjoy the strip of restaurants and shopping.
Broadway: tacky bars, neon signs, live music – where the phrase “Nash Vegas” is derived
Midtown: fun place to go out for a younger crowd – Loser’s is popular for the college scene
Shelby Bottoms Park: beautiful park in East Nashville to enjoy a picnic, stroll, or bike ride