A Trip to Nashville
Right after last month’s Georgia Marathon, I had to go to Nashville for a couple days of training. In the whole month leading up to it, when I was trying to watch my meat intake, I did have a plan to eat lots of BBQ during a road trip. My co-worker and I had joked around about stopping at every hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint we saw on the trip. After all, you can’t go to Nashville without planning on eating some BBQ.
The training we were going for had to do with Web security. It was essentially two days of discussion about how hackers work to get into systems, and how to try to keep them out. It was followed by a half day of samples and trying to do it ourselves. The training was real good, and I got a lot out of it. The big downside is that I had to head back to the office thinking about all the code I should re-write to make it more secure. I’ll plan on writing more about that later….but for now, back to the eating… Our trip started out with some excitement. Barely 10 minutes from the office, and Boom! we got a flat tire. Being the manly men we were, we changed it pretty quickly and continued on our way. While not that big of deal, it gave us something to joke about for the whole trip, and finding an NTB to get a new tire was something to do the first night.
The first place we were going to stop for lunch wasn’t open yet. I don’t recall the name, and since we didn’t stop, it doesn’t make a difference.
From there, we turned the corner and found Gene’s BBQ. It definitely fit the role of a hole in the wall, so we went in. While the Brunswick stew wasn’t bad, I stayed away from the BBQ Pork sandwich. When we came in, he (Gene) pulled the prepared sandwich out of the fridge and threw in in the microwave. That didn’t set our expectations very high.
Well, we figured from here, we could only go up.
That night, after dropping the car off at NTB, we walked across the street to Cheddars. It was probably the best place we ate the whole trip. Robb recalled going to a Cheddars years ago and liking it, and he was happy that this was the same place. While it wasn’t the BBQ we had planned on, it left us quite satisfied. Plus, the waitresses were friendly and we had a good time joking around with them.
Blake, the person who setup the training for us, suggested a couple local places to eat. The first was a fried chicken joint. As he put it, it was in a sketchy area of town. While he had never had a problem going there during lunch and dinner, he wouldn’t suggest it for a midnight snake. Ah, that sounded exciting, but alas, it was far enough away in the opposite direction of everything that we never made it.
The second place was Bar-B-Cuties. Given a choice between close or going downtown to the world famous Jack’s BBQ, he said this was better. It also had the benefit of not only being 2 miles from the hotel and right on the way home from the park where we went for a job after work.
Pulling up, everything looked promising. The parking lot was full, and there were a number of people in line. Robb was disappointed that everyone working wasn’t wearing the same outfits as shown in the old 1950 picture, so he asked the girl working the register. She was disappointed about it too, as she said “I don’t know why not. I wish we had them, since I would look really cute in that outfit!”.
Unfortunately, we were too late getting there. They were out of brisket, which left chicken. Not really the exciting BBQ adventure I wanted. It wasn’t bad…it was chicken. The corn bread was different, almost more of a corn pancake than a biscuit. I’ll probably give them a try again next time I’m in town.
The next night, we decided to head downtown and wander around a bit. While we saw a few different placed to eat, we eventually decided on Jack’s. Since two people told us it was good, we figured we had to try it. Plus, it said “BBQ king of Nashville” on the sign. The line was really out the door, another good sign.
The folks working behind the counter were efficient. They had the stations down to factory line precison, as one person cut meat, passed it to the next person who scooped sides, and then to the next person who rang it up. In all honesty, they all seemed pretty bored.
The brisket wasn’t bad. For smoked meat, it was good, but a little dry for me.
The choice of sauces were good, but unfortunately they were out of the XXX-911, which with a name like that, I was eager to try. Oh well.
We enjoyed wandering around the area a bit. There were plenty of bars with live music, which sounded pretty good. (Although since we did this before eating, we were more interested in finding food so didn’t go in any.)
Of course, we were obliged to get a few pictures while we were here.
I mentioned getting a run in while we were there. This was on Tuesday, two days after the Georgia Marathon, so I wasn’t sure how much I’d be moving. Turned out I was fine. We did a real nice, scenic 4 miles that felt great. We ended up talking to a guy who lived in Chattanooga and came down to do the Peachtree every year.