We just returned from a grown-ups-only weekend in Nashville with four other couples and it was awesome. We ate our way through some new places and visited a few old faves.
Friday night we all went to The Bluebird Cafe and listened to some pretty great music. The cocktails and food were bad but who cares, the music was entertaining. This will definitely become a Nashville tradition for us.
Saturday we shopped (REI, Hemline, Posh, etc.) and went to Rotier's for their famous burger. We had to wait an hour but that hour wasn't lost. Kevin and Scott played Galaga and Kevin was stupid-excited when he beat the high score. The atmosphere is dingy but that's what makes it awesome! The burger was good but not amazing. I ordered my fries extra crispy and they were better than the burger. I'm glad we went but we probably would go to Burger Up! instead next time.
After lunch we went to Las Paletas. This is a popsicle shop next door to Burger Up!. I had the Mexican Caramel, made with goats milk, and it was really, really, good. Scott and Lisa tried the grapefruit and cantaloupe. Kevin had creamy mixed berry AND strawberry-chocolate, yes he had two. The fruit pops were more like icees but so yummy.
Saturday night's dinner started as a disaster. To make a long story short....we had some people boating Saturday and others shopping and eating (guess which I was). I made reservations for 10 people at varying times Saturday night at 5 different restaurants and let everyone decide. The boat people chose Miel because it had the later time slot, leaving them more time on the water. Miel was not even my second or third choice, but me and Kevin decided that majority rules. Next time I'm pulling the "trust-the-chef-on-this-one" card.
We sat down at Miel in a long booth where no one could hear the person across from them, let alone, down at the end of the table. We were served warm tap water with no ice. We were given amuse bouche with no explanation as to what it was. We couldn't order a Cosmo because they didn't have cranberry juice. I ordered a French 75 that came to me with no ice and totally warm. My husband asked for a non-alcoholic beer and was told, "we don't carry any non-alcoholic beers, but I can offer you a lavender lemonade." Seriously?!
We all were looking at one another and finally Lisa leaned in and whispered, "We should leave." That's all that needed to be said. Then the gossip grapevine began around the table, as that was the only way to communicate anything anyway. I went outside with my cell and called four other restaurants to try and get us in anywhere. After being laughed at by several hostesses and getting 12 mosquito bites, we called a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friends recommendations, Tin Angel. We got in, had a great meal, wine,non-alcoholic beer, cosmos, and heard conversations without yelling. No lavender lemonade here! I'm still laughing.... It sounds like Saturday night was very tense but it was all very casually and politely handled without any stress. Kevin handled our waiter at Miel beautifully, telling him it just wasn't a "good fit." It was truly a fun night.
Sunday was a delicious brunch at Fido's. Quirky area of town and really cool restaurant. I had the Semolina-Buttermilk Pancakes with cheesy grits and a superb cup of coffee (they roast their own beans). Kevin had a Benedict of some sort with andouille sausage and our friends had similar items but with the cheesy potatoes. Everything was really, really good. I will definitely be back there.
Here's my version of the delicious Sunday brunch pancakes from Fido's. Enjoy!
Yield: 24 pancakes
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup cake flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tbsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2-2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter, margarine, or canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour onto a greased griddle that is well preheated to 350-375. Serve with maple syrup, butter, and whipped cream. These make great blueberry pancakes.