Nashville’s Very Own Food and Wine Festival

The past weeks has been a rough “Mom” week, not rough in the sense that anyone was sick or hurt in anyways, more like rough in the sense that I haven’t slept more than 3 straight hours, washed my hair in 4 days, ate a decent meal, my phone broke and so on… (More on the desperate need for a breather later) Today (Today = Sunday…I’ve tried writing this review for 3 days now and have fallen asleep at the keyboard every time), I got to drink alcohol, and it was the first time I’ve gotten to drink in a very VERY long time. Allow me to introduce you to the Music City Food and Wine Festival.

oodandwine

During a 6-mile walk with Luna and my good friend, Bella, today (i.e. Sunday) I got notified of an invite to review the 2nd day of the 2nd annual wine and food festival. My first thought was “Hell yeah! Mommy needs a glass of wine!”, but we were in the middle of a walking trail and currently lost, so fast forward a couple of hours, an outfit change and a baby feeding lady, and Husband and I are running through downtown with a stroller and getting “hangrier” by the second. At the box office, we were told “You know you have to be 21 and up to get in right?” To this, I literally shouted “Yes!” as I fist pumped toward the sky. Literally. It’s been a long time since I’ve been ID’d. The young woman then looked at Luna and explained that EVERYONE has to be 21 and up.

Woops.

We very quickly decided to take turns watching Luna and enjoying the festival. I took the first drinking/eating shift and let him sit with the sleeping baby. It worked out fine, but rushing from booth to booth, scarfing bites and downing booze while worrying if Luna was freaking out (did I mention she broke my phone?) wasn’t exactly the relaxing evening of wine tasting that I envisioned. Eh, c’est la vie.

grand taste

 

hot chicken

The actual festival was pretty cool. It is a festival full of demo’s and panels from many famous chefs (Hello, Michael Symon and Trisha Yearwood). Then there’s food from over 25 of Nashville’s top restaurants and drinks from over 40 wine, beer and spirits exhibitors. I’d love to tell you I tried it all, loved it and partied the evening away, but that would be a big fat lie. I tried the veggies/fish stuff (which was REALLY delicious) and 5 drinks. I’m pretty certain I was drunk after the first. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to drink. Husband tried literally everything. He was a lot fuller and uhhh…sillier, than I was. We both agree that it was a cool experience, but would have been much cooler together.

michael food

 

My favorite bites of the day were the roasted beet tartare with pickled apples, french toast with pears and crab mac and cheese. The number one drink was the definitely the pineapple moonshine with cayenne pepper and some other stuff that I can no longer remember. The festival was a beautiful combination of southern food and fancy flair. There was braised pork, pickled onion and hot sauce, cornbread with pickled cherries and Hungarian honey and sunburst trout with orange fennel. It was Memphis meets Manhattan, and Jack Daniels meets Pinot Noir. It was lovely.

beets braised pork mac and cheese trout

There were lots of cool reasons to go to this festival. Lots of delicious and unique food, dozens of alcoholic beverages, various famous chefs and lessons on how to cook, prepare and serve these amazing dishes. You could spend all day eating, drinking, and hanging out in the park while simultaneously hobnobbing with Tennessee’s top culinary talent. Oh and Uber offered free rides to anyone who needed a safe and sober ride home, very cool.

ice coffee

Yes, it was pretty cool, BUT not exactly worth the $15o/day tickets. Even Husband, who ate and drank everything, doesn’t think he digested $150 worth. If you LOVE food, wine tasting, and the art of cooking, like really LOVE these things and spend ALL day soaking in the festival than you will get your money’s worth. If it’s not your dream day than you make walk away feeling cheated. Either way, you’ll walk away tipsy.

plate

Cheers!

Arcade Games, Wine, Beer and a Good Time

I know I shouldn’t complain, but after my surprise Disney weekend, two 6-hour flights, no sleep, and a week of work I am EXHAUSTED. I truly needed a vacation after our vacation. Every single morning this week was torture and my doctor would not have approved of my caffeine consumption. My weekend could not have come soon enough. So, when Husband asked if I wanted to go out an hour after I got off work yesterday I thought….no, definitely not.

I just wanted to sleep, especially since I only had a few hours before a babysitting gig. However, Husband had planned to check out a new bar that doubles as an 80’s and 90’s arcade. I decided to skip the nap, pick up Starbucks and join him on his outing. This bar sounded too cool to miss.

2bits

Two Bits Retro Arcade is the coolest dive bar and grungiest arcade. They serve a thousand different beers, have a large wine selection and sell cheese and pepperoni pizza. The walls are lined with classic video games like Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, Frogger, PacMan, Tetris and so many more.

IMG_4746 IMG_4735 donkeykong bar

Husband is a gamer and I have never understood his love of games. As often as I’ve tried to grow in interest in his hobby, I just can’t. At least that’s what I thought…apparently I have a secret love for arcade games. Walking into Two Bits took my back to my childhood days.

pinball

Every Sunday after church my family would join many other church families at a local pizzeria that had an arcade in the back. My friends and I would spend all night using our quarters to race cars, play pinball, shoot bad guys and win animals from the claw machine. Two Bits made me feel like that kid again. They even had my most favorite pinball game, The Adam’s Family!

adams

We spent the next two hours competing, having a foosball tournament and spending way too many quarters.

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I left the bar early, slightly tipsy, to run home and get ready to babysit. Two hours at Two Bits was not long enough…future visitors we WILL be taking you here!

Cheers!