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Nashville, Trip #2

Well, the hubs and I made a last minute decision to do a whirlwind weekend trip to Nashville.  We saw on Monday that some bands were playing in Nashville over the weekend that we would love to see that were not going to be in our area anytime soon.  By 9 pm Wednesday night, we decided we had to go.  We took a half day from work Friday, and by 1 pm we were on our way.  Unfortunately, I was a horrible picture-taker over the weekend, and I don’t have much to show for it, but I’m providing lots of links as to what we did, so I would just encourage you to click on them (because, lets face it, those pics will be much better than anything of mine anyway!)


After driving like crazy, we got into Nashville around 6 pm and checked into our hotel that was in the Vanderbilt University area, and ended up being just one block from the concert venue, the Exit/In.  We had done some quick searching on the way down to determine our dining destinations, and Friday we decided on The Patterson House, a cocktail bar that was recently ranked in Bon Appetit magazine as being in the nation’s top ten new cocktail bars.  Similar to the Holland House from our last visit, but very close to the area we were staying in.  Dimly lit (in a good way), speakeasy vibe adorned with lots of old books and pretty glass.  Cocktails are all $12, which might take people aback, but for the amount of work and the quality of the ingredients that go into them, I have no problem with it.  I did at least attempt some pics on the iphone here, but it was so dark, and sometimes I feel kinda intrusive with flash, so unfortunately no pics, but check these out here to give you some ideas.  I had a Fall Sidecar and a Ramos Gin Fizz, both amazingly beautiful and tasty.  Food did seem to be an afterthought there and did not live up to the high quality of drinks, but overall I was very happy.

After dinner, we were on to the Exit/In to see Hillbilly Casino, the Supersuckers, and Reverend Horton Heat.  Hillbilly we have seen several times and love them, but it was my first time seeing Supersuckers and RHH live.  Supersuckers were good, and Reverend Horton Heat  was AMAZING.  Great show, and an excellent venue to see music.  After the show ended, we took a cab downtown to Layla’s as Hillbilly Casino was playing until 2 am.  A late night for sure!


Saturday morning consisted of sleeping in/sleeping off a hangover!  We finally got rolling around 11 and went to the Farmer’s Market.  We had been there on our last trip and loved it, so we decided to go again.  Purchases included goat’s milk, goat cheese,  a pumpkin whoopie pie, and a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese icing.  Next, we went to Swett’s , a soul food “meat and three”, where my only pic occured.  A pig-out of my fried chicken, stewed green beans, mac and cheese, and fried okra ensued.

My only pic of trip - the cure to my hangover!

The day was gorgeous, so we just wandered around outside where we could.  We went by Yazoo brewing company and had a beer on their patio. We then went to the Historic Hillsboro Village area and roamed the streets, weaving in and out of little shops.

For dinner, we decided on Flyte, and we definitely made a great choice.  Top-notch service and wonderful seasonal dishes in a very pretty atmosphere with a great wine and drink list.  We went the all appetizer route. As the name indicates, you can do “Flytes” of wine, but also of soup and salad, which allowed us to sample 3 soups and 3 salads, including a smoked pumpkin soup and a golden beet salad with an orange dressing.  Other appetizers included butternut ravioli, braised pork belly with boiled peanut hummus, and the highlight of the night, Halibut cheeks with mushrooms and bok choi in this Asian-type broth. So delicate, tender, and moist!  We decided to skip dessert and just order drinks since we had snacks at our hotel from our Farmers’ Market visit, and I loved the “Sunflower” I ordered – vodka, liquor 43, orange juice, and nutmeg.  But, as we got to talking to our very lovely server, Tracy, she told us about the food truck that she and the hostess from the restaurant run called Sugar Wagon, and she just happened to have some items from it there at the restaurant!  We ended up taking back to the hotel two  ice cream sandwiches of hers, one being salted Bourbon caramel ice cream with chocolate chip cookies and the other oatmeal cookies with cream cheese ice cream.  We wolfed them down as soon as we got to the hotel, and they were awesome!  And, she told us her Sugar Wagon had recently won 2nd place in Nashville’s first food truck competition.  How great is that?

Since we had such a late night on Friday, and already had a wonderful day and dinner, we decided to call it a night after Flyte because we were getting up early to head home on Sunday morning and soon face the realities of work on Monday.  But, it was most certainly another successful trip to Nashville, and I can’t wait til our next visit!

Shrimp BLT’s

This past Labor Day weekend, I was REALLY angling to go to this music festival in Cookeville, Tennessee – The Muddy Roots Music Festival. Lots of rockabilly and roots country/bluegrass, with a few of my favorites being there – Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock, Hillbilly Casino, and The Legendary Shack Shakers. But, with the million other things we have going on, we just could not make it happen.  (Next year, I WILL be there.)  To console myself, we bought several desserts from the bakery and I overindulged in fried foods and red wine.  Not quite the same as being at the festival, but it was some good immediate gratification in place of it.

Quite possibly the messiest sandwich I have ever eaten.

Cornmeal Fried Shrimp BLT’s with Old Bay Aioli

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tales removed
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon (or 6 if you have a tendency like me to shove one  slice in your mouth and give one to the dog before you use it in your recipe)
  • 1 large, beautiful tomato, sliced
  • couple leaves lettuce
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vegetable oil
  • Old Bay Aioli (see recipe below)
  • 1 baguette, cut into 2, 6 inch sections (save remainder for something else)

Make egg wash for shrimp by beating eggs and then mixing in milk.  Make seasoned flour mixture by mixing cornmeal and flour with some salt and pepper and a little bit of red pepper.

To fry shrimp, submerge them in egg wash.  Remove, shake off extra, and put in seasoned cornmeal mixture.  Shake off extra and line them on a sheet pan until ready to fry.

Add oil to a cast iron skillet until comes up sides by about a 1/2 inch. Heat on medium.  When ready to fry, test for it to be at correct temperature by flicking a little flour to oil.  If it starts frying up, it is ready to go.

Add shrimp to pan.  Don’t overcrowd – fry it in two batches if neccesary.  Fry one side about 1 – 2 minutes.  Turn shrimp over with tongs and fry on other side for another 1-2 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate or sheet pan and give just a little sprinkle of salt.

In meantime, toast bread in over for just a few minutes at 300 degrees until nice and crispy. Cut down one side and open and flatten like a book. On one side of bread spread Old Bay Aioli, and layer with lettuce and tomatoes. On other side, spread more Aioli, and then layer with the bacon and shrimp.  You are then ready to eat this very messy sandwich!

Old Bay Aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay

In a food processor, put in egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Process for just a couple seconds.  With processor running, SLOWLY start pouring in olive oil through food processor chute.  And by slowly, I mean (at first) one tiny dribble at a time.  Once you have several tablespoons of dribbles poured in, the aioli should start coming together (looking thick, pale, mayo-like). At this time, you can start pouring it in more quickly.  Continue until all poured in.  This recipe makes more aioli than is needed.  Save some for later.  I made some extra into tartar sauce and made up some extra fried shrimp and slathered them with the tartar sauce (like I said earlier, I overindulged to compensate for my grouchiness of missing the music).  For purposes of this recipe, take 2 heaping tablespoons of the aioli and mix it with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay.

Fried Shrimp with homemade tartar sauce - just anothe piece of evidence of my over-consumption.

Nashville – Music City USA

The Hubs and I just had an AMAZING trip to Nashville, TN including lots of food, booze, and live music – I really need nothing else in life! We decided to go when we saw one of our favorite bands was playing there on a Thursday night and to just make a long weekend of it.  I’m not sure what was better though – the bands, the food, or the adult beverages.  Here’s the rundown: Continue reading