Some Like it Hot: Eating in Nashville
When someone mentions Nashville, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Country Music. While it is true that Nashville is known as Music City, it’s burgeoning food scene firmly cements it on the map as one of the best destinations to visit in 2016. JetBlue recently added direct flights from Boston and Fort Lauderdale to Nashville making it easier than ever to sample the local cuisine.
Located in the East Gulch District, Party Fowl combines a fiery menu with handcrafted cocktails and over 20 local beers on tap. Our group started off with one of their signature drinks, the Applesauce. This is a delightful concoction of American Born Apple Pie Moonshine, Apple Pucker, Pineapple Juice and of course Applesauce. I also had a tiny sip of the Bushwacker. Don’t be fooled this booze-fueled milkshake, it will knock you back some.
Party Fowl serves up Hot Chicken, a Nashville food staple, in their salads, sandwiches, and po’ boys. You can get it seasoned in varying degrees of heat: mild, medium, Nashville hot or poultrygiest. I like spicy food and the medium was plenty hot for me. Forget buffalo chicken, this could be my new obsession. The only thing that could possibly make your meal better at Party Fowl would be to add a side of bacon fried Piggy Chips.
If you are planning a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, plan to include lunch at Bajo Sexto which conveniently located in the same building. This casual taqueria offers burritos, quesadillas, and tacos in their hand-made tortillas. I opted for the seasonal taco of the day which was made with sweet potatoes and beets. It was fantastic! Let’s just say I am still dreaming about it.
By day Steadfast’s convenient downtown location serves coffee, breakfast, and lunch. By night you can sip tasty cocktails and dine on savory snacks. Their mixologists make crafting cocktails into an art form. Their menu has a Venn diagram depicting which libations have acids, bitters or fats simplifying your drink choice based on your taste buds. While I watched them whip up drinks like the Whiskey Smash and a Brown Derby, I knew I had to try the refreshing Rosé Sangria.
Their small plate menu is eclectic with a diverse combination of ingredients and flavors. I paired my sangria with a terrine of mushroom pate, walnuts, celery, pickled mushrooms and crostini. I also tried their mussels in a green curry coconut sauce. It had red chili flakes giving it just the right amount of of zest. Steadfast is a great place to grab a light bite and drinks before dinner.
Etch features many farm-to-table dishes infused with bold flavors from homemade sauces. Chef Deb Paquette is famous for her Roasted Cauliflower appetizer. By pairing it with a truffled pea pesto, feta crema, and red bell essence she creates a fusion of flavors that is especially pleasing to the palette. It is a good thing she posts the recipe right on the wall at Etch because this could become a staple in my house.
I don’t have a sweet tooth. Pass me a bag of chips anytime instead. I normally pass on dessert, however, the Chocolate, Malt and Toffee dessert that Etch serves was undeniably good. The toffee crumble and salty chocolate crust satisfied my inner craving for something savory. It had the perfect combo of sweet and salty in every bite.
Whether you enjoy a gourmet meal, cocktails or late night burgers we suggest heading to Nashville pronto to sample some of this delectable cuisine.
Disclosure: Complimentary meals and activities were provided by the Nashville Convention Center & Visitors Corp. and JetBlue Airways. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.