by TJ AndersonThere’s a lot to celebrate about the Nashville food scene, and rightly, folks from around the country have been celebrating us more and more, for years now. The New York Times
Getting To Know Midtown Nashville With Walk Eat Nashville
by TJ Anderson
There’s something to be said for playing the tourist in your own town, and that’s something many of us overlook when we’ve lived somewhere for years. It’s something a lot of us overlook when we move to a new city, too, since tourist-friendly destinations and activities seem more tailored to folks on vacation.
So, with that in mind, here’s my hearty recommendation to you Middle Tennesseans: Get a little closer to Nashville by taking an afternoon to get to know your town like you’re a stranger to it.
A great way to do so: taking a Walk Eat Nashville food tour.
Walk Eat launched with an East Nashville tasting tour (which run Thursday and Friday afternoons every week), but recently added a Midtown Nashville food tour, which brings participants to six different eateries that offer insight into Nashville traditions and the changing, cosmopolitan face of our city.
While you’re strolling from tasting stop to tasting stop, Walk Eat founder and longtime Nashvillian (and, I'm proud to say, TJ Anderson Homes client) Karen-Lee Ryan shares bits of Nashville news and historical background and trivia — details about the history of the restaurants you’re visiting, the origins of Vanderbilt University, plans for the in-the-works Midtown high-rises you pass along the way. It’s a great way to learn more about home, doubly great since, in between the blasts of info, you’re stopping to sample some fantastic local food.
On the Midtown tour, you’ll stop at Nashville mainstays Elliston Place Soda Shop and Midtown Cafe alongside new additions, like upscale, sharing-focused steakhouse Union Common (where bartender Davey Jones may fire up a New Orleans Campfire cocktail — literally).
If you live in, say, neighborhoods like East Nashville or Germantown, you’re probably in the habit of frequenting the restaurants right around you, which might mean you’re overlooking some of the classic and new-classic eating and drinking options in Midtown — when you live here, you might not have too many excuses to head by Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, which might mean you’re missing the exceptional Southern cuisine chef Brandon Frohne is making at Mason’s, located inside the hotel. (Side note: Have you seen Brandon flexing his serious skills on Food Network’s Chopped?)
Part of what what makes Walk Eat Nashville so cool is that it encourages you to explore those Midtown spaces, and sample what they’re making — from appetite-whetting deviled eggs with bacon jam and pickled mustard seeds at Mason’s, to Midtown Cafe’s famed (and deservedly so) lemon-artichoke soup or the generously frosted cupcakes at Gigi’s. Can’t say it hurts that you’re working off a few of the calories along the way too (with a little more than a mile of walking total).
Walk Eat Nashville’s Midtown tours run Saturdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and the East Nashville tours are Thursdays 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets for either are $50 a person.
If you get out for a tour, I’d love to hear about it! If you have any other recommendations for great ways to play the tourist at home, I’d love to hear those too.
Food-obsessed house-hunters, if you’re looking for a new home in a neighborhood that suits your obsession, let me know — I can definitely help.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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