In the last year and a half or so, I have developed a minor obsession with The Black Keys. I forget how or where I found them, but after hearing one song, I downloaded everything I could find and now they’re in close competition with Ryan Adams and Grace Potter for the every other song spot on my Ipod. While on the plane to Arizona a couple weeks ago, I was catching up on some reading and dove head first into the February issue of Bon Appetit. Much to my delight, the whole issue was dedicated to southern cooking/food AND there just so happened to be an article on Nashville (where I was headed the week after my Arizona trip). The article on Nashville followed Dan Auerbach, the lead singer of The Black Keys around to his favorite Nashville spots, so I decided that while his guitar and vocal skills absolutely rock, I needed to see how his foodie skills matched up. On a scale of 1 to 10 he get’s a 9 1/2, only because the barbecue joint that he took the writer to wasn’t my favorite. I’m not a barbecue expert by any means, I just know what I like. Dan, if you ever play the Carolina’s I’ll send my list of spots and you can compare for yourself.
Nashville, Tennessee, as of late, has become one of my favorite cities. So much so, that I have considered moving there. It’s everything I love about the south and more, the slow southern draw, farmland, city life, nightlife, shopping, restaurants, with the great addition of a melting pot of super cool people. As someone told me last week, when people wade through the bullshit of LA and New York, they end up in Nashville. So very true. Who knows if I’ll ever pull the trigger on the move, but nonetheless, I love visiting and I look forward to going every chance I get.
1. Mas Tacos Por Favor. No website, but you can follow them on twitter at @mastacos One thing I’ve learned in my 31 years is…where there are hippies, there are good tacos. After concerts, in taco trucks and little hole in the wall joints like this place. Everything we tried was good. The line up on our table was fried avocado, sweet potato and quinoa and chicken tacos, spicy corn on the cob and black beans with plantains. We had hoped for the tortilla soup, but we got there pretty close to closing time and the last bowl had just been dished out. Best thing about this place is that it was in a “less traveled” area of town and it immediately gave you the feeling it was going to be good judging by the fact that had it not been a taco shack, you might not have gone in on a bet. Perfection Dan, you get an A+ for this one.
3. Martin’s Barbecue. www.martinsbbqjoint.com Ok, I feel it’s my duty to give an honest review and while Martin’s was good, it was just okay…in my “non expert on barbecue” opinion. The meat was actually sweet…dessert sweet which kind of threw me a little bit, but the atmosphere was cool. However, I nearly lost my appetite when three guys unwrapped a full hog and hurled it onto the smoker that was right behind my seat and started hammering nails into it’s hooves to secure it in the smoker. Thank god A. I wasn’t that hungry and B. I only got an accidental peripheral glance. That could have really ruined barbecue for me for a while. Whew! A slim escape.