As a staunch West Coaster [best coaster amiright], and now New Englander, the South is pretty much an unknown to me. I’ve been to the Florida coast, to New Orleans, and to Austin, but all of those areas, while in the South, are apparently universally determined to not really be the South. Ask a Southerner, I donno.

Well, a couple weekends ago, I really sunk my teeth into some honky tonk, country-lovin, fried food bliss. Of course I spent a majority of the weekend eating. But I managed to slip in some drinking and sightseeing and bull riding.

First, Nashville is fun. I had no idea it was the bachelorette capital of the U.S. or that there is a main strip of rowdy bars that rivals 6th Street in Austin. Who knew. Second, while the touristy bars on Broadway are fun, the local music in midtown is better. Third, Uber drivers in Nashville are a special breed of incredibly nice humans. Our Uber drivers guided our trip, really, and gave us some great recs. Such as, Winners and Losers. Two bars, right next to each other, in midtown. We went to Losers, obvs, and WOW the live band, whoever they are, was absolutely phenomenal. SO good. Watching the guitarists hands was like hypnosis I swear.

On to the food… We planned our days around eating, because duh. The food is plentiful, delicious, and usually fried. I’ll try and keep this to a best of list.

We started with Arnold’s. Classic. I’m talking counter-style fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, fried shrimp, hush puppies, corn pudding, green beans, and wash it all down with some sweet tea. Some very sweet tea.

Another great? Acme Feed and Seed, as seen below.

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Probably anything you get here would be good. The drinks? Great. Ambiance? Great. Live music? Great. Twist: the second floor serves sushi, apparently the best sushi in Nashville. Maybe the only sushi in Nashville?

Pinewood Social. Ohhhhh it just oozes hipster. But it’s not stuffy I promise. There’s a bowling alley, and dipping pools and bocce for when the weather warms up. We ordered three drinks each here, and basically the same number of dishes. Really, really good. Worth the hype, I’d say.

Finally, the Little Donkey, over in Germantown. Mexican food in Nashville? Yaaaaa, but check out the pulled pork sandwich I got. I hope that photo does it justice, but I doubt it. The dish contains a roasted tomato-bean dipping sauce… which was also smothered on the bun. Which was then layered onto a pound of pork, melted cheese, and avocado. Are you drooling yet.

Honorable mention: Not food, but… the Country Music Hall of Fame!!! I’m sure you know this, but you gotta go. I wouldn’t even say I’m a country music fan but I absolutely loved it; there’s just so much cultural history in music.

Highly recommend a weekend in Nashville. You won’t be disappointed.