Rachel and Jason have 20 weeks left in Nashville until they move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their goal is go do at least 1 memorable thing every week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 4: Nolensville Feed Mill

One of the things I've found about Nashville is the fact that if you go off the beaten path, you can find some cool little surprises in and around the Nashville area. We have ventured to the Jack Daniels' Distillery in Lynchburg, and on a couple of occasions we have ventured out to some of Rachel's favorite spots. One of my new favorites is the Nolensville Feed Mill.

Nolensville is a tiny little community about half an hour south of Nashville. It is one of those towns where if you blink, you'll miss it. No big fast food chains, no big supermarket stores, and before I found the feed mill: no real reason for me to drive out there.

I was a little apprehensive the first time she took me into the feed mill. I'm not much for history, and the idea of a little general store in the middle of nowhere didn't suit me very well. I'd much rather just stop by and pick up what I need at Walmart. I recently did a little history and found out the mill had been around since 1890. The original one had burned down in 1933, but the existing one has been standing ever since.

As you pull up, it looks like this place would be a great stop for the guys from the show American Pickers. Antiques strewn about the patio, visible junk/treasures under the building, and a kitchen sink next to a rocking chair. I wondered what I was getting into but headed inside.

I felt like I was wandering back into time. A time life was simpler, and for the most part, much better. As soon as we entered we were greeted by Darin, whom we later found out was the owner. Without knowing us, he sparked up a conversation. "Ya'll like cheese, you gotta come try some of this stuff, it's amazing." He ushered us over to a counter where he had already set up a few containers and let us sample about 6 different items. Chicken Salad, jellies, cheeses, banana bread, and the bread itself...it was ALL incredible. A lot of the stuff he gets in are sent from an Amish community in Indiana, and it is awesome. Where can you get such amazing customer service like this thesedays?

Looking around the store, we found some of our other favorites. Sprecher Root Beer, and Sprecher Orange Dream, Hatcher Family Dairy chocolate milk, and seriously...some of the best banana bread I have ever tasted. Later this month they are opening a deli, and I cannot wait to try that.

We visited again this last weekend during the Nolensville Buttercup Festival. A cute little festival that only took up a block or two. Seems like the feed mill was the heart of the action with live music on their porch, bake sales and other groups selling their goods. Quite a neat little gathering. The store was absolutely packed, and I for one, am hoping that not alot of new people catch on to one of our little secrets.

For more information, visit http://www.nolensvillefeedmill.com

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 3: The Food

I would be remiss if I wrote a blog about spending 20 weeks in Nashville and didn’t mention the food. I have always thought of myself to be a foodie, a food junkie, or a connoisseur of great burgers, and on this note…Nashville doesn’t disappoint. Over the last 20 weeks (especially the final month) we will be sure to hit all our favorite hot spots.

Of course, in Nashville, we have to start with BBQ. Granted we are not Memphis, but we are close enough that you can almost smell it. We have two favorites when it comes to Nashville BBQ. The most popular place is Jack’s. Jack’s is located on Lower Broadway, and is almost right across the street from the Bridgestone Arena where our beloved Nashville Predators play. It is so easy to stop by on the way to a game. One of our newest favorites is kind of a secret gem. It’s located in “Trendy” East Nashville, and it’s called Drifter’s BBQ. We stopped over there a few weeks ago and it’s absolutely delicious. I’m not a fan of Hush Puppies but Rachel said they were incredible. I had pretty much a Big Mac, BBQ Style. A yummy wheat roll sliced into thirds, with beef brisket on the top, and pulled pork on the bottom. It was as good as it gets.

The best pizza we’ve found in Nashville certainly has to be given to Jet’s. Hands down. The square crust is perfectly crispy, the BBQ Chicken pizza is a perfect balance of chicken and bbq sauce, and it is probably one of the best pies I’ve ever had.

As I mentioned before I’m a big fan of burgers and have found a couple favorites in Nashville as well. One of the first places I went to is called Paradise Park Trailer Resort. I guess back in the day they had fancy plastic lawn furniture as dining room seating. The burgers there are pretty awesome. The doublewide will make you feel exactly that…doubly as wide as when you walked in. No question the locals’ favorite would probably be Rotier’s. Located near the Vanderbilt University campus, this place is always busy with students, executives from Music Row, and sometimes the rich and famous. Simple, down-home goodness on a bun is the best way to describe their burgers. Their fried pickles are a favorite of ours as well. Speaking of fried pickles, another place we’ve hit up, and I’d like to hit up again is a place near Opryland called Scoreboard Bar and Grill. It is one of the few places down here that has both fried pickles and deep fried cheese curds. I can’t wait to take Rachel to the Wisconsin State Fair so she can have some deep fried cheese there; she has no idea what she is in for.

Perhaps our favorite restaurant in Nashville is a place called Dalt’s American Grill. I tried this place on a whim once, and have never had a meal that was less than incredible there. From the burger, to the club sandwich, to the philly cheese steak, I’ve always been impressed and never left hungry. Rachel is a huge fan of the chicken tenders, and we both love the onion rings. Definitely the best we’ve tried in town so far.

The final food I have started to become addicted to is subs. Not as many great options here as there are in Milwaukee but my favorite would be Sub Stop. Oddly enough we found out recently that it’s also a favorite of the Nashville Predators coaching staff. One would think it is not hard to mess up a sub, but few can get it as right as Sub Stop. The bread is untouchable, the meat and veggies are always fresh, and the fact that I can usually find coupons for it makes a big difference too. Jersey Mikes is alright too, but the better value for the money is definitely at Sub Stop.