Chatting 'Favorite Things' in Nashville with Hattie B's Owner, Nick Bishop

In preparation for the upcoming Music City Food + Wine Festival here in Nashville, I wanted to sit down and chat with one of my personal favorites from this year's participants: Nick Bishop of Hattie B's Hot Chicken. As one who loves to chat about Nashville's hidden treasures, I thought it would be fun to learn more about this restaurant owner's go-to spots in town, along with a bit more about what makes Hattie B's so fab.


hattie b's hot chicken nashville
Hattie B's Hot Chicken - Photo by Joseph Woodley
When I mentioned to Nick we would be discussing his favorite spots in the city, his response was that, "It's rare to have only one "favorite" anything in our city - just too many great spots!" 

Nick - I couldn't agree more. But here we go with our most feeble of attempts.

Read on to see Nick's favorites and to purchase passes to this year's fest.

Reese Witherspoon's Nashville Home

Reese Witherspoon's Nashville home
The folks over at Variety mag report that our beloved Reese Witherspoon has purchased a new $1.95 million dollar 'fixer upper' in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Nashville. Hmmm. Something about $1.95 and 'fixer upper' don't really resonate with me. Anyway, the listing notes the 3,855 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath manse dates back to the 1930. Does this mean more fabulous Reese sightings in Nashville? Hope so.

Update: Rumor on the street is Reese will be opening up a biz in 12South. Stay tuned for more details.

Check out more pics of Reese's Nashville home courtesy of the listing on Zillow, below.

Spending Two Days in Nashville? Here's my Recommended Itinerary!

As a follow up to my One Day in Nashville Itinerary, and for those fortunate enough to stick around longer than just a day in town, here's your Itinerary for Two Days in Nashville. Be sure to follow this agenda in order - I've set it up to optimize your day with the most efficient travel pattern throughout the city. It's most definitely a full day, but one that I'm certain you can pull off with your mad traveler expertise.


Let's start off day two in my favorite neighborhood in town, East Nashville.

Marche Artisan Foods
Nothing beats your day beginning with one of my favorite brunches in all of Nashville. Their always evolving menu is full of wonderful options that never fail to impress. Try a crepe, and/or (recommended: and) literally the best french toast I've ever eaten in my life.

1000 Main Street, Nashville, TN 37206

1108 Shops at Woodland
Just around the block lives a collection of precious boutiques. Vintage clothing, books, antiques are all gathered together for an eclectic and fun shopping experience. Good Buy Girls and Hello Boys are among my faves.

1108 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206

Shoppes on Fatherland
Just a few blocks up the road is another group of boutique stores. Definitely walkable from your previous locale, and just as much fun. Don't miss Baxter and Bailey if you have a dog (or cat), Thrive for earth-friendly products, and Moxie for a cute made in Nashville poster or other unique gifts.

1006 Fatherland Street, Nashville, TN 37206

Jenis
I know you just had brunch but you must make room in your stomach for the best ice cream in the world, and if you've truly hit the ground and rigorously shopped as I would, this should not be an issue. I never let a visitor come see me in Nashville without giving Jeni's a try. Goat Cheese & Red Cherries and Brown Butter Almond Brittle will change your life, and sample as many flavors as your heart desires.

1892 Eastland Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206

Old Made Good
Probably my favorite shop in all of Nashville, just down Gallatin Pike from your previous destinations. These ladies truly have an eye for art, fashion, and design. Great local products and a floor entirely comprised of gold glitter round out this incredible spot.

3701B Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216

Opryland Hotel
Touristy? Absolutely. Impressive? Oh yeah. One of largest 'non-gaming' resort in the United States, Opryland Hotel is a sight to behold. You'll find indoor canals and mini-cities, beautiful plants, fountains, chandeliers, and even waterfalls. Take a canal tour and learn more about the hotel's fascinating story.

Be sure to park in the mall lot, near the Grand Ole Opry House. Parking at the hotel is crazy expensive, and free at the mall.

2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214

Time to head South to Downtown Franklin, one of the most picturesque towns in America.

Nashville Restaurants Named Best in the South

We are so fortunate to live in a city consistently raising the bar when it comes to our dining scene. Southern Living Mag has just released their 100 Best Restaurants in the South, with so many Nashville spots making the cut. Congrats to 404 Kitchen leading the way with the number 3 spot.

404 Kitchen's Crudo, Image courtesy SouthernLiving.com
And here are the rest, in no particular order:

My chat with Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban in Nashville

Whew, ya'll. Today was quite the whirlwind, and a day filled with firsts: My very first press line, first time meeting a pop superstar, first time meeting a cast member of one of the best movies EVER - Hope Floats (right?), and first time to hang with one of my favorite country musicians.

jennifer lopez keith urban harry connick jr nashville
Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. in Nashville
American Idol 2014 auditions are now in full force, and Nashville is the latest pit stop for the judges looking to find the best of the best talent in the country. I have to admit, last night, I literally couldn't sleep. I felt like I was about to start a brand new job, or enter my freshman year of high school all over again (both terrifying in their own right). But thanks to some preparation by rehearsing Love Don't Cost a thing lyrics/choreography, and some advice from my friend Sarah at Sarah Lai PR, I managed to confidently conquer my latest Nashville experience.

When the judges made it down to our end of the line, I wanted to know anything and everything they thought about Nashville (and a little about that show American Idol). Alas, this is what I discovered:

American Idol Auditions are coming to Nashville this Wednesday!

Ok, so, I've been an American Idol fan since the beginning. Some of my favorite artists happen to include the fabulous Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. I mean.. It's no big deal but, I clearly remember crying with them as they took home their respective crowns, and, I may or may or may still tear up a bit whilst listening to A Moment Like This and Inside Your Heaven. No judgement.

Anyway, the excitement continues as AI Season '14 kicks off and Music City is going to be play big part in it. Auditions will be held here in Nashville on Wednesday, July 30-- and here are all the pertinent deets, should you have what it takes to be the next American Idol.

Take a Closer Look at the Tennessee State Prison

Few things in life get me more excited than good architecture (and I promise, I really am fun, contrary to what you might think after reading that statement). That said, I recently became a member of Historic Nashville,  a nonprofit organization established to 'promote and preserve the historic places that make Nashville unique' -- and who also happen to provide some of the most stellar behind-the-scenes tours of various buildings and landmarks throughout our fabulous city. Most recently, I joined them for a tour of the Tennessee State Prison, which, in my humble opinion happens to be one of the most beautiful and intriguing places in all of Nashville. Located just a few minutes outside the city on site not open to the general public, the prison is unfortunately only seen by a handful of lucky folk -- and thanks to Historic Nashville, I was fortunate enough to join them.

I encourage you to read up on the fascinating history of the prison and the efforts that are currently underway to preserve it, but in the meantime wanted to share with you pictures I captured on our recent visit.

A couple shots of the exterior, which used to be stark white brick before it was painted.
tennessee state prison nashville


tennessee state prison nashville


tennessee state prison nashville

View from the rear yard:
tennessee state prison nashville

tennessee state prison nashville

A mural of Tennessee painted inside the mess hall:

tennessee state prison nashville

A view inside of a cell block:

tennessee state prison nashville

Outside Death Row: 
tennessee state prison nashville

One last exterior shot:

tennessee state prison nashville

Historic Nashville has been and continues impacting our city by helping preserve some of its greatest landmarks. Learn more about the organization and their efforts here.