Nashville Part I: Whiskey Kitchen & Cabanas

New city to discover: NASHVILLE!!!!

This past weekend I traveled down to Nashville for my friend Kate’s bachelorette party.  I had never been before, and I absolutely LOVED Nashville!  The city was so alive, you would find country music playing everywhere, and there was also a lot of great food.

Our first priority when we arrived was lunch.  We chose Whiskey Kitchen located in “the Gulch,” a trendy neighborhood in south west Nashville.  Here you can find a whiskey of the week and you can also try whiskey flights.  As tempted as I was, I just went for my usual Blue Moon to go with my Baja Fish Tacos.
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While I have certainly had assemble-your-own-tacos in restaurants before, I had never tried fish tacos with ranch.  Surprisingly, it was very good.  It didn’t make the rest of the dish heavy and it added a nice tang to each bite.  The other fillings included cole slaw, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño peppers.  I ordered my fish blackened (you could also have grilled or fried).  I thought the fish had a great spice, a nice crispiness to it, as well as a warm softness in the middle.

Kate, in her typical fashion, ordered the Whiskey Bourbon Poppers – bourbon BBQ glazed chicken poppers with sweet potatoes and ranch.
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It was literally a huge bowl of chicken.  But it was delicious.  Great crunchy and sweet chicken, sweet potato fries covered in the sweet BBQ sauce – perfect to go with a beer.

So Nashville was off to a good start.  For dinner that night, we went to Cabanas.  The menu features a lot of southern staples, like catfish sliders, shrimp and grits, and even fried alligator.  We decided to try a few small plates and order a few pizzas to share amongst the six of us.

We chose the calamari to start, which was “cornmeal dusted” and served with a lime cocktail sauce.
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Great crunch, meaty squid, nice contrast with the dipping sauce – all in all a solid calamari dish.

We also tried the lump crab hush puppies with a spicy remoulade.
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These were warm and luscious with whole kernels of corn inside (see below).  This definitely fit my idea of southern comfort food.

The two pizzas we ordered were margarita and a white pizza with ricotta cheese, roasted garlic, provolone, and herbs which we also topped with Italian sausage.IMG_3113I thought both pizzas were great – once again a solid example of what I had expected when we ordered them.  The crush was strong enough to hold up the toppings (mostly a thick layer of cheese), but not too thick and filling that you could only have one slice.  Overall the dinner was very satisfying, especially with the margaritas I ordered, which were excellent.

Day 1 in Nashville had definitely been a success.

Click here for Nashville Part II

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