Labor Day Restaurant Tour

shawarma

Over Labor Day weekend, Glenn and I drove to Nashville to visit his brother. While we had many adventures (culinary and otherwise), the trip was sorely undocumented. I wouldn’t say that the trip (scary mountain driving, mud/rock path to waterfall, rainy picnic, boot shopping) is difficult to remember, the meals are a little tough to recall without a photo to jog the memory. So, to the best of my ability, here’s what we at in and around Nashville:

Jerusalem Garden Cafe

Inspired by Possum Casserole’s recent post about supporting independent restaurants, Glenn and I decided to forgo the usual road trip food (Wendy’s, Subway) and stop in downtown Asheville for dinner.  A sudden shower forced us into a small, Mediterranean restaurant. They seated us at a surprisingly comfortable date table — a bench for two covered in overstuffed pillows. Then the belly dancing started, which is even more awkward when it’s only 7:00pm, you’re on a road trip, and the dancer is a senior at UNCA. Glenn and I ordered half portions of lamb shawarma and leg of lamb (pictured above), which were both much more delicious than Wendy’s. This surreal experience kept us off the road for about two hours, but you win some and lose some.

The Best Little Catfish Place

After Glenn’s brother cooked us breakfast and packed us sandwiches, we loaded up a canoe and set out for the Harpeth River. Maybe Glenn and I were trying to show off in front of his expert-paddler brother and maybe we took the river a little too fast and maybe we expended a little too much energy for a lazy Saturday afternoon. So of course we deserved an enormous mid-afternoon meal at the local catfish place. This unpretentious country kitchen serves fried catfish, fried chicken, and barbecued pork with all-you-can-eat sides. Unless you’re catching it yourself, catfish doesn’t taste much better than this.

Greenhouse Bar

After an afternoon nap and shower, we were ready to get out on the town. I don’t know why I was surprised by this, but the Greenhouse Bar actually looks like a greenhouse (minus the heat and humidity). Glenn’s brother said that patrons have been known to pick their own mint from the patio for mojitos.

Bricktop’s

I wouldn’t say that we needed a bloody mary the next day. We certainly didn’t need two. But we enjoyed them.

PM

Glenn’s brother had been talking about inside out burgers since we started planning the trip. We planned to make these blue-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed burgers on the last night, but plans changed due to thunderstorms and tornado warnings. It seemed much easier to head to a favorite neighborhood spot. Until we saw the line. But before we knew it, we had finished our cocktails and had a table. We took a tapas approach to the Asian fusion menu and ordered a few appetizers, a few sushi rolls, a little of this, a little of that. I don’t think I’ve ever had chicken wings and sushi in the same meal. Surprisingly nice combination.