Month: August 2013

Park Cafe Nashville, TN

Memorable Meals: Park Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee & Closing Out Our Trip

I’ve been posting a lot about our recent road trip to Kentucky and Tennessee and it culminates today with a post about the final night on our trip. We succeeded in our goal of bonding and finding our heritage but I know I speak for our group when I say that one of the most unexpected highlights were the friends we made along the way. This post should really be called Just One of Those Nights.  It was so much more than just the meal.  Let me set up the precursor to the meal.  Let’s call it the appetizer. The “appetizer” started two days prior when encountered three of the most fun people at our bed and breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky.  We met Derek, Lynn, and Kevin during our first night in Louisville and enjoyed breakfast with them the next morning.  Needless to say breakfast went on for two hours due to all the talking and laughing.  When we told the boys our next stop was Nashville, Derek and Lynn announced they were from Nashville …






Chickens

A Slice of Heaven in Hohenwald, Tennessee

One of the most special stops on our trip was to Hohenwald, Tennessee to visit my great grand aunt.  The last time I’d seen her I was six years old.  She was married to my great grand uncle who left us in 1994, two years after our visit.  She is definitely a back country, Tennessee woman! She butchers her own chickens, grows tomatoes, hunts and fishes, and is a dead eye with a gun.  Just ask the mountain lion that roamed too close to her chicken coop and dog. My favorite memory of our first trip was when I found out that animal whisperers really do exist.  My great grand aunt asked my sister and I if we wanted to see something really special.  She had us stay inside the house and wait by her screen door.  We had our noses pressed into the mesh so hard I’m sure it left a mark for a few hours.  She walked outside with an old, rusty Folgers can filled with dried corn and began to sprinkle it …






Jefferson-McConnell House)

That Time We Lived in a Restoration Hardware Catalog…

This post has nothing to do with food.  Well, there is a little pie.  The pie we got to go from the Loveless Cafe makes an appearance but this post is really about a life long dream come true for the women on this trip: stepping into a mash-up of Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn and getting to live there for 48 hours. If either of these stores float your boat, prepare to sail away. For the last leg of our trip, we rented a home in Franklin, Tennessee and used it as a home base while we bounced between the last check boxes on our to-do list. Words won’t do it justice so I’ll shut up and just show you the goods.  As you scroll through, imagine five women running around opening every door and cabinet shouting, “Oh my GOSH!  How cute is this?!?  I want to move here!  Can we move here?  Let’s not leave!” Our goal was to capture every cool detail…hence the abundance of mason jar photos and knick knack closeups. …






Loveless Cafe Biscuits

Bacon Frenzy, Biscuits, and Pie to Go

Onto Nashville y’all! Our first meal in Nashville was at the Loveless Cafe.  Notorious for down home Southern cooking and a popular stop for celebrities (their photos line the walls!), the cafe has a storied history and is steeped in nostalgia. Walking up to the cafe, we expected a long wait (especially since it was Father’s Day) and decided to walk over to their shops to kill time. Inside, they were sampling some of their famous jalapeno bacon and at that point it was game over.  When I say bacon frenzy I mean it.  Talk about blood in the water.  We bought them out of jalapeno bacon that day.  If any of you were there on Father’s Day looking for jalapeno bacon, I’m sorry.  We were THOSE people. Collectively, our group left with 22 lbs of bacon.  That’s not a typo.  Not two.  TWENTY-TWO pounds of bacon.  Did I mention we got our money’s worth out of the cooler this trip? Since coming home, I’ve gone through 4 lbs already.  I’ve chopped it up and …






Creek

An Old Distillery & Why You Never Listen to Anyone Working at Citgo

We’re at the peak of our trip! The whole point of going! Stop the presses! Halt your horses! Sorry, getting carried away. Our whole ancestry journey brought us to this place.  The original site of Nelson’s Greenbrier Distillery. For more on Charles’ Nelson and how I get to call him my great-great-great grandfather, check this out. The site still has the original warehouse, Barrel house and building foundations. Not to mention a working spring. Can I just tell you the chills I got when taking this picture?  My grandmother, (Charles’ great-granddaughter) at the site of his distillery all these years later. And to think it wasn’t until January that we even knew of the connection and here we stood. We knew from online research that the site was listed on the National Register and had an accompanying marker.  Wandering around the grounds, with not a marker in sight, we realized it must be in town. We piled into the car, drove into Greenbrier, Tennessee, and stopped at the Citgo station on the corner.  My mom …






That One Time We Snuck Onto Millionaires Row & I Won a Trifecta Bet

Continuing on with our southern road trips adventures… If you’re new here you should know my family and I have a slight obsession with the Kentucky Derby as evidenced here. If you’re not new, you know this well. While on our trip, Churchill Downs held a Downs After Dark event that we couldn’t miss.  Let’s be honest, we’d be stopping at Churchill Downs no matter what but enjoying thoroughbred racing after sunset was something we couldn’t pass up. Night racing only occurs a few times a year and we happened to be in town for one of those dates.  Coincidence?  I think not! For dinner we indulged on brisket mac n’ cheese paninis and Churchill Downs traditional burgoo.  The panini was crazy-good!  Toasty bread with creamy mac n’ cheese and saucy, smoky brisket was a decadent dinner which I gladly split with my sister. The burgoo was good…but if I’m being honest I prefer our yearly batch.  The recipe at the Downs was quite thick and reminded me of a more classic beef vegetable soup.  …






60030132

Farmers’ Markets & Dog Parties

Onward with the road trip journal. Hi I’m Molly and I’m a farmers’ market freak on vacations.  Love ’em. I love markets at home too but I get this giddy “I can’t get this at home so I have to buy everything because I’m here in the now” mentality that generally gets our trunk space into a lot of trouble. I love the people, sights, sounds, and eating a push pop at 10am because I can. It’s somewhat ironic that the best finds at the St. Matthew’s farmers’ market were salted caramel push pops and fresh jalapeno butter.  Did you ever play the Hot and Cold game as a kid?  My market bag brought new meaning to that phrase. Let me just say, thank goodness for electric coolers.  Due to our mobile refrigeration capabilities, we all got to purchase some of DJ Gourmet’s amazing jalapeno butter.  They sampled the spicy, creamy butter on crackers but being the amazing salesmen they were, they started spouting off ideas on how to use the fiery goodness. “Imagine this …






Hot Brown Sandwich

Car Paint, Hot Browns, and Eating Modestly at Lunch

Paint a rental car in the morning, eat a hot brown for lunch. That’s how our road trip started and the next several posts will chronicle our trip along with all the food and friends we made along the way. I’ve been looking forward to this trip since January when we surprised my grandmother with the idea. Don’t leave five women alone with car markers.  This happens. And this. And this.  Were we worried we’d forget our itinerary? My sister’s cute handwriting exploded all over the van in the Starbucks parking lot.  A grown man was shaking his head and mumbling something about “women” and “trouble” as he got in his car.  I hope we did him proud. For the morning drive down, my mom “done got all Southern” and made pimento cheese and Benedictine sandwiches to snack on in the car; complete with iced tea. Our first stop was Louisville, Kentucky.  Lunch was to be at the iconic Brown Hotel, home of the original hot brown sandwich. If you’ve never had a hot brown …