July 17, 2012

Nashville Goes National

Nashville’s unique culture, food, retailers, neighborhoods, and music have all made national headlines lately. It all started with a June 2012 article in The New York Times called “Nashville’s Rising Stars: The Kitchen is Their Studio.” For those of us who live here, this is no surprise. We’ve been blessed with all of the great things that a big city has to offer and then some, but with a friendly, Southern, neighborhood feel, and it’s been our little secret up until now. Not only did the author of The New York Times article rave about our food, but she even paid homage to the amazing culinary efforts happening in my very own neighborhood, which is known to locals as East Nashville.

At first, I was thrilled because this type of exposure has been something these hardworking, local restaurants have probably dreamed about. For one little neighborhood, we have some very special things going on, from homemade, slow roasted Southern artisan Olive & Sinclair chocolate, to the one and only Mas Tacos, which makes authentic Mexican street food such as fried avocado tacos and fish tacos with shaved red cabbage, spicy dill yogurt, and fresh lime. Not to mention the best part, which is that Mas Tacos is tucked away in a small, nondescript storefront with a killer jukebox and an eclectic mix of tables and chairs from the attics of friends and family members. Then, there’s The Pharmacy Burger & Beer Garden, which uses local beef and bakes fresh, homemade buns. The beer garden is covered with picnic tables and lights and is the perfect place to be with family and friends on a nice afternoon or evening.

The article goes on to mention several other local haunts and favorite restaurants that I’ve come to love over the years and describes Nashville as a place that is “enjoying the attention of a nation that sure likes the South these days. But, even if you set all of the Southern infatuations aside, Nashville is one of several midsize cities whose food sensibilities are growing as people leave the dog-eat-dog cities on the coasts in search of more affordable, pleasant places to live and eat.”

Excitement aside (yes, my city was written about in The New York Times, so take that all of my friends who live in Portland, New York City, San Francisco, and etc.), my mind immediately moved toward “wait, now everyone knows” and then toward “I won’t even be able to get into my favorite restaurants and places anymore.” Shock and horror arose as I pictured busloads of travelers standing in front of Mas Tacos on a Friday night, or lining up for Sunday brunch in front of my beloved Marche. But, it couldn’t always be a local secret, so I will decidedly share all that Nashville has to offer. First and foremost, it makes me proud, and besides, what would the South be without “the more the merrier” attitude followed by a “come on over for a visit”? The best part is that we mean it sincerely.

Other recent articles that put Nashville in the national spotlight include GQ Magazine’s July article entitled “Nowville,” which covers where to stay, shop, hear music, and eat when in our great city. It includes profiles of local architects, retailers, novelists, restaurant owners, and our very own pioneering speakeasy, The Patterson House, which serves up a bacon old fashioned. Yes, you read that correctly…….and it’s delicious. The author writes that “Nashville, Tennessee used to be just a city of ten-gallon hats and the Grand Ole Opry. Now it’s the most electric spot in the South, thanks to a cast of designers, architects, chefs, and rock n’ rollers.” Food Republic also covers “21 Great Things To Eat And Drink In Nashville,” and had a hard time narrowing the list down. Hopefully, you are starting to see why now. Nashville is a special place.

Since Boyle Nashville opened our doors ten years ago, we’ve seen Nashville grow right in front of our eyes, and we feel grateful that our city has fared better than most during the economic downturn that has hit, and continues to hit, many cities very hard. Because of that, we strive to create projects and developments that will enhance this city that we love, while also continuing the Boyle legacy of creating projects that become tomorrow’s classics and stand the test of time.

So, in short, come on over y’all. There’s plenty waiting over here for you in Nashville.