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5 best restaurants in Nashville



I have a confession to make. Prior to visiting Nashville, I had no idea the food would be so good. Why did I think this? No clue.

I guess it could have been because I've visited several Texas cities previously and I was pretty sure you couldn't do better than Dallas BBQ brisket and Houston Tex-Mex and Galveston seafood. But wow ... Nashville's restaurants knocked my socks off!

Here are my top 5 best places to eat in Nashville. Got your own favourites? Add them to the comments.

1. At the top of a very stellar list, Biscuit Love. If you're in Nashville, you must, must eat here. The biscuits, which are served in different ways in many dishes, are absolutely sublime. But be prepared for a huge lineup that starts very early. A great way to pass the time, though, is by having some of your companions hold your place in line while the rest head around the corner to the #WhatLiftsYou wings mural for your daily Insta shot.

Here are my top picks at Biscuit Love:

East Nasty: Buttermilk biscuit topped with fried boneless chicken thigh, aged cheddar and sausage gravy.

Princess: Similar to the East Nasty, only with Nashville's famous "hot chicken," pickles, mustard and honey.

Lily: Buttermilk biscuit French toast, lemon mascarpone, blueberry compote, house syrup.

The famous "Bonut": Fried biscuit dough with sugar, topped with lemon mascarpone, served over blueberry compote.

This was the lineup at 10 a.m. on a weekday at Biscuit Love's Gulch location. Also, they close at 3 p.m.

2. Hattie B's Hot Chicken, because Nashville is all about the hot chicken, right? And yes, it really was all that and it really was that hot. Just like at Biscuit Love, you can expect a lineup. But it was totally worth it! The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist and tender inside. We chose a Medium heat and that was plenty hot.

A large dark plate of hot chicken consists of two leg-thigh quarters plus sides.

Hot chicken sandwich.

The interior is pretty utilitarian. Place your order and then your meal is brought to you.

The patio seating is cooler than inside but keep in mind you'll be surrounded by the lineup of folks waiting to get in, all of them staring at you with sad, hungry eyes.
The different levels of heat. My top tip is: Err on the side of caution.



The lineup at the Broadway location starts at around 10 a.m. for an 11 a.m. opening time.

3. Peg Leg Porker is a little out of the way from downtown and you'll be entering a slightly grittier neighbourhood, but I highly recommend it. The restaurant is down-home and the BBQ is smoked to perfection, so what's not to love?

Peg Leg Porker has a great patio but alas, you can't air-condition the outside so we sat inside.
Tender barbecued ribs. We did feel the portions could have been bigger.



Pulled pork platter.
Order at the front and your food is brought to you.
The interior of Peg Leg Porker.

4. Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint: Amongst the locals, there seems to be a bit of a rivalry over whether Martin's or Jack's (No. 5, below) has tastier BBQ. After dining at both, I have to say I'm leaning towards #TeamMartin's. Don't get me wrong; the meals at both spots were delicious. But I'm giving the edge to Martin's for a better plating and friendlier service. However, Martin's is a little farther to walk to than Jack's, which is right on Lower Broadway. Please forgive the yellow tinge to the photos; that lighting at Martin's ... gah!

One of the Martin's locations in Nashville. The chain has restaurants in four states.
Sliced beef brisket sandwich.

In a fit of madness and guilt over a week of overeating, I ordered a chicken salad. 

Martin's in downtown Nashville.

5. Jack's Bar-B-Que: As mentioned above, the food is great here and the Lower Broadway location can't be beat. You can have supper and be at the Nashville Predators game across the street in two minutes. Or, if honky-tonking is more your thing, you can walk next door to Robert's Western World and then a couple of more doors down to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.

A three-meat platter at Jack's.

You might have to wait a while for a table. 

The menu at Jack's.

Jack's is located on Lower Broadway, close to just about everything.



Cruising: Should I get the drinks package?


The dilemma over whether to get a drinks package is a common one. I hear this all the time from cruisers, even the experienced ones: "Is it worth the money to get the drinks package?"

Obviously, it depends on how much you drink. If you're sailing on a Celebrity ship, this post will help you decide what to do.

Here are Celebrity's drink package prices.

And here's what you'll get in each package. Prices are accurate as of August 2019.




If you're trying to decide if a drink package is worth it for you, this is what you'll pay per drink:






If you're not sure, you can also buy a drink card midway through your cruise:



Finally, if you decide coffees are the way to go, here are the prices:


Celebrity Cruises: Is concierge class worth it?



One of the most frequently asked questions by cruisers is: Is it worth it to book a concierge class cabin on a Celebrity Cruises ship?

The short answer from people who've booked a concierge cabin is usually: No, it's not worth it. But if you can afford to pay a little more, it's definitely worth it to sail in the next class up, which is Aqua.

On my last cruise, I sailed concierge, and I wanted to share exactly what you'll get in this class.

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We embarked fairly quickly thanks to receiving priority embarkation for concierge guests. But the general lineup wasn't long and I think we might have boarded quickly anyway in the regular lineup.

This photo above was our cabin on the Celebrity Eclipse, travelling round-trip from Vancouver to Alaska in July 2019. In concierge, you will get a cabin that's in a more desirable part of the ship.

And here's what you'll get in a concierge cabin.





My husband and I had Select Dining (anytime dining), and it was lovely having a separate concierge lineup at supper time. In the room, the binoculars aren't good so if that's important to you, bring your own.

Once on the ship on embarkation day, we made our way to the main dining room where we had a lunch that was served just to concierge guests. This was a nice benefit, as the buffet is often kind of a zoo on the first day.

This was the menu:




I had the delicious Moroccan Braised Short Ribs as my main ...

... and the Warm Apple Pie for dessert.

I'd heard that the Daily Delectable Delights that are served to the cabin every day between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. aren't very good and sadly, I also found that to be the case. Next time, I'll just ask for cheese and crackers as a replacement.

Here are photos of the canapes we got. I think we missed a day because we were in a port.









In concierge, you'll also get special invitations such as these ones. We were also able to see the sailaway from Vancouver from the helipad.


Here's a tip, though. You don't need to wait for an invitation to the helipad to get a great view. There is a deck, complete with always empty chaise loungers, that is only accessible through the gym that actually overlooks the helipad. (See? There is a benefit to hitting that gym daily as hubby and I did while on the cruise!) This was our view as we sailed into Ketchikan.



In concierge, you'll get a bottle of wine that you can request when it's convenient for you. We just took ours home.


Finally, I believe you get an upgraded breakfast room service menu in concierge. I think this menu is upgraded but please let me know if I'm wrong.






Moving forward, I probably wouldn't sail concierge class again unless I got a great price. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that if you are trying to get to the next level in the Captain's Club loyalty program, sailing concierge is a great way to do it. You'll accrue points at the rate of 5/night compared with the 2 points/night in an inside or oceanview cabin, and 3 points/night in a regular veranda.

Otherwise, I just don't think it's worth it the extra money for the few perks you get in concierge.