Something We Ate

Nashville

So my wife and I were in Nashville. It was a rash and poorly thought out decision about a concert. But not just any concert. Twenty years and a handful of days after Rich Mullins was called home, Andrew Peterson and a large troop of his musician friends played a one-time-only show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The concert was billed as a note for note performance of Rich’s biggest and most popular album “A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band”.

The first half of the concert was actually a chance for each of the musicians to take turns covering their favorite of Rich’s songs from his other albums. The most prominent of the musicians assembled were Andrew Osenga, Andrew Gullahorn, and Jill Phillips. All said and done, there were over a dozen muscians involved to some extent. Rich’s old producer had given Peterson the string scores from the album and Rich’s bass player from that album played bass all night. Many of Rich’s friends were there as was his brother.

The second half was exactly as billed and it was glorious. It ended with the entire crowd sining a few of Rich’s most notable hits. It was a truly spiritual moment. I could go on and on about it, but words can’t capture the weight and levity of that concert.

It was the greatest musical experience I’ve ever consumed.

Rich was a once-in-a-generation songwriter and his songs bear witness to that fact.

Food

So our purpose for going wasn’t vacation or travel, per se, but we did end up eating (as any person would).

A few of the highlights were Husk, Holler & Dash, The Well Coffeehouse, and Buthertown Hall.

Butchertown Hall was underwhelming. It was a combination of being the last real meal at the end of a long weekend as we were starting to yearn for our kids. Homesick always alters the meal. Even so, the rib sandwich I had was completely forgettable. The horseradish sauce was good, but without it, I’m not sure the sandwich would’ve tasted like anything. The wife liked her brisket sandwich, but it wasn’t that memorable either.

Holler & Dash is a chicken and biscuit place. It truly delivered. Nothing was unique and I mean that in a good way. It didn’t deconstruct anything or re-interpret anything. It was simply a perfectly executed take on soul food. Bravo.

The Well is as any coffee shop is: tattoos, piercings, homeless-but-hip attire, and coffee. The drinks were top-notch and I’d most certainly be a regular if I lived in the area. My cuban was memorable and because of it, I’ll be trying to figure out how to make them myself.

We also hit up 5 Daughters Bakery. The two that I had were a solid five out of a possible ten. Better than a gas station or grocery store1, but I’ve had better. However, my wife’s twirly baked good was … very good (8 out of 10). She chose wisely. Which tells me that 5 Daughters is worth revisiting.

Husk

Why does Husk get it’s own heading? Because it was in a class of it’s own. I take a bit of pride in 1) being old and frugal enough and 2) being a reasonable enough cook myself to have left being a foodie behind me. However, being a fan of what I’ve seen on TV of Sean Brock I really wanted to experience Husk for myself. Husk left me speechless and giddy. We had three small plates, two of which were perfect simply because the right ingredient had been chosen at the perfect time and allowed to shine (e.g. $12 for most of a tomato). The pork sliders were perfect. The cocktails were good, but I wouldn’t say that you go to Husk for the cocktails.

I only took one pic at Husk. Mostly because it was dark and the pics wouldn’t have turned out. But our meal at Husk was what you hear the TV chefs talking about. Perfect ingredients, executed perfectly.

In the end, Hipsters

Overall, Nashville is drowning in hipsters. Imagine all the hipsters in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Then make them less angsty. Now multiply that by … more than you want. Yeah, it was that bad. Worse were all the bridal parties. The wife and I had a great time but unless we’re in for a show, we don’t feel the need to return.

  1. “Gas station” and “grocery store” are not negatives and are not bad company for doughnuts. After lengthy discussions with coworkers and friends I’ve come to a simple list of doughnuts worth eating. This list is exclusive to the twin cities metro area (MN). At the top, YoYo stands without peer. Next, Holiday Station Stores. Yep, a gas station. Rock solid and dependable. Cub foods and the rest end up mingling together. Except Glamdoll. Glamdoll is just beneath all the others.