We kicked off our trip to Nashville with our motto in full effect.
So…Tracy introduced Erin and me to a Tucker’s Onion Burgers in the OKC airport. We try to keep it local when we travel, and Tucker’s is about as good a burger as you’ll find if you’re ever in central Oklahoma. Highly recommend adding jalepeno and cheese to your grilled onion burger if you like a bit of spice.
Let’s first talk where to stay: The Hutton Hotel
It’s difficult to capture the jazzy vibe of the hotel without showing you the expansive lobby, but it’s teeeeeny tiny in panorama form. So, below are a couple of better shots.
Having carefully reviewed countless hotels in the area, we decided on the Hutton Hotel both for its location and its consistently awesome reviews. We were not disappointed; this hotel had phenomenal service and amenities.
We had a little mechanical issue in our room, and not only did they get us a new, larger room, but they also sent up a gorgeous (and delicious!) fruit and cheese tray with a bottle of wine to thank us for our patience as they got a room ready for us, which was taken care of quickly.
Everything from the coffee shop to restaurant to the bar was excellent. You should definitely try to breakfast sandwich with avocado and bacon on a croissant like bun.
Then there is the Tesla that serves as the hotel car much of the time (if your group size is small enough to fit – the four of us were comfy with our driver making 5). Every single driver or valet with whom we spoke was super friendly and kind, ready to help these out of towners know where to go. By the way, we’re told the car goes zero to 60 in 3 seconds; alas, we did not get to test this theory. The hotel car service runs until 10pm in the evening and will travel up to 3 miles, which saved us a great deal on Uber fare and just adds to the luxury of the trip.
Shopping and Dining (But don’t stop here –
Saving the best dining option for last in this post!)
Not surprisingly if you know us, we do a lot of both shopping and dining while traveling. We started off taking it a little easy on Thursday after a very late flight arrival the night before by hitting The Mall at Green Hills; it has all the usual mall fare we needed to get a healthy kick start on stuffing our suitcases.
It was Puckett’s for dinner that first evening, where you should definitely snag some of their hard cider for what may be a little wait, though worth it. Their BBQ pimento cheese bites were a great way to get us started, but the Piggy Mac’s pulled pork mac & cheese is the star of the show. Definitely the can’t miss item of the evening. The live music was an added treat because…Nashville on Thursday.
Friday began at Pancake Pantry (and the famed Biscuit Love is just down the block too if you are feeling wishy washy – or one line is shorter). The line actually moved surprisingly fast – hooray for the speed of breakfast food — and they have coffee and water outside for those in line. This is located in the lovely Hillsboro Village with several cute shops you can try if you want to hit one of these famed restaurants, mill around a bit to make room, then hop in line for the other! 😉 For us, Pancake Pantry was more than satisfying. They have just about every pancake you can imagine and a few you couldn’t have – and in our experience they were all fantastic. The biggest hit may have been the lemon, but it’s a tough contest. Judge with your eyes.
After brunch we hit the 12 South area, which was probably our favorite part of the city if only because it felt very much like a small town main street but with a wide variety of boutiques, jewelry stores, and dining options. White’s Mercantile is expensive but great for browsing. Draper James, Reece Witherspoon’s store, offers sweet tea while you shop for adorably Reece-ish merch at a much more reasonable priceline — for a touristy spot especially. I snagged a great summery denim dress on sale that Erin pointed me toward, and I’m not sorry. There’s also a great furniture store in the area – think Restoration Hardware with a Fixer Upper flare.
We learned that while Music Row is cool, it mainly has recording studios and that short of thing – not much for us tourists to do. So after returning to Hutton Hotel for breakfast Saturday morning, we finally made it down to Broadway, the area of town that gives Nashville its Nashvegas nickname (apparently it’s the Bachelorette and Bachelor party capital of the country – who knew?!) The boot shops proved a refuge from all the competing music scenes (including party buses) on the street and offered, well, all the boots! You should enjoy looking while here, wait ten days, and then, if you still desperately need a pretty pair of boots, try your local feed store, Atwood’s, or Cavendar’s for a much better price point. Seriously these are at least twice as high as they’ll be back home, and boots take up too much space in your suitcase anyway.
Okay now that we’ve saved you a couple hundred bucks, you can put a few of those toward heading in to the Johnny Cash Museum, which would have been the highlight of this part of town if it weren’t for the musician I’ll tell you about in a minute. Small but a really nice tribute to a man with a fascinating life – and a voice that can’t be matched. Well worth your time to stop in, and the Patsy Cline Museum is just next door as well.
We made sure to stop in to the Savannah Candy store of course; here’s a shot of me ready to bludgeon anyone who cuts in line for the fresh pecan pralines.
We wrapped up our time on Broadway with a late lunch (all the debauchery starts well before noon, and things were getting insanely crowded early afternoon) at a place a fellow guest in the hotel recommended called The Stillery. We did snag some pretty tasty specialty pizzas there, but the highlight was undoubtedly Jutt Huffman, the musician who was a last minute fill-in, and we’re so glad. He could sing anything (was taking requests). We finally decided to put our own request in toward the end of our meal. Tracy asked for anything by Don Williams, and what should he choose? “Tulsa Time.” You can imagine the four women from Oklahoma were pretty pumped. And he was good to top it off. His album is on my Christmas list, and if you get to catch him live, you definitely should. Needless to say, we stuck around for a few more songs despite needing to get back to get back to get ready for the Opry.
But first, have a listen to Jutt; promise it will play upright so you don’t get seasick.
Grand Old Opry
Obviously we couldn’t hit Nashville without paying homage to The Grand Old Opry. Alabama was the headliner that night, but you should know that the Grand Old Opry will usually have a wide variety of singers, some of whom are brand new, some of whom are old dogs, and some in between, each playing a couple or 3 songs each. Glad we tried it but this isn’t the place to go if you want a concern from one of your favorites. All were talented musicians, though, so it was a good night to be sure!
Grand Finale – Adele’s
While Adele’s was not the last spot where we dined in Nashville, it hands-down deserves the grand finale spot in our post (with another nod to the concierge at the Hutton who recommended it). Named for Chef Jonathan Waxman’s mother, this restaurant looks really unassuming, and in terms of atmosphere, it is more casual as fine(r) dining options go. In fact, it was at one time a service station (with a very charming renovation, of course) — and they have a nice outdoor patio for large groups if you should ever need it (photo below). But the food…we are all foodies and were left speechless more than once during this meal. We started with an order of delicious meatballs and then shared JW chicken, hanger steak, and gnocchi with delicata squash for our entrees. We still cannot decide which was best.
For dessert, the coconut cake was so light and perfect it defies description, and my apple dessert was incredible as well – nice very slightly salty crust to contrast with the sweetness of the apple and caramel.
Even the drink menu was an adventure. I tried a wonderful cocktail with a name I don’t remember – before you wonder how many I had, it was just the one – it’s just no longer on the menu and had an unusual name. The one for which they were out of an ingredient that I hope to try next time: The Marie Laveau. What better drink to order in Nashville? Now we’re just left wondering how soon we can get back. That is the hardest part of sisters’ trips – they end quickly.