I told you about our travels to SMASHVILLE and Murfreesborro, TN in my last post – “A Journey To The Green Dragon Public House- Hobbits Welcome!” IMG_2947
We really had a great time at The Green Dragon Public House and it’s Middle Earth/Hobbit theme. Here are some of our other food and beverage adventures while in Middle Tennessee recently.
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When at home my wife Nicki and I have our favorite local joints to frequent- Memphis BBQ Co., Brick Oven Pizza, Area 51 Ice Cream, Taco FelixGus’s Fried Chicken (which is becoming a chain across the country), and a few chains like Zaxby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Newks, McAlister’s, and Swanky’s.
While away from home we like searching out eateries that are local and aren’t national chains when we get hungry. There are times to grab some quick drive-thru while on the road, but we like to sit and enjoy some of the local fare while away from home. We prefer more “mom & pop shops”, but don’t mind chains that we don’t have back home, or “touristy” theme restaurants. They just have to be inviting, fun, different, and have good food.
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Eating at Universal’s Harry Potter themed restaurants (The 3 Broomsticks, Hog’s Head Pub, and The Leaky Cauldron) were a lot of fun and we really loved the Butter Beer. We really enjoyed Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville for my birthday dinner last year. It’s on the City Walk outside the Universal parks in Orlando, FL. Had a big cheeseburger, fries, and a watermelon Margarita. It was great to just sit, listen to some Buffett, and enjoy a sit down meal after exploring Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Still need to experience the Margaritaville in Nashville. It’s usually packed when we are on Broadway looking for something to eat.
Even though Nicki doesn’t understand my love for Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston, MO, if I’m going to or from MetropolisGape Girardeau, Chester, or St. Louis I have to stop and have a throwed roll or two- preferably with honey, apple butter, or molasses. Mmmmmm..!
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And a trip to the Metropolis Superman Celebration means I’m going to have at least one footlong corndog and lemon shake-up while I’m in town. Nicki loves the funnel cakes. There’s also a place in town called Fat Edd’s Roadhouse that I usually visit at least once while I’m in Metropolis for the Superman Celebration. They have a drink called a “Kryptonite“- it’s green and glows. I’ll have to try one this year if I’m not driving home after dinner.
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A fave Nicki and I both agree on is McNamara’s Irish Pub in Nashville, TN. We try to visit it whenever we’re up to watch the Nashville Predators play. Love their corned beef, cabbage (it’s like butter!), Shepherd’s Pie, fish and chips, and Irish stew. They have live music occasionally, too. I can’t recommend this restaurant enough. Oh, and there’s a great comic shop just up the street- Rick’s Comic City!
Recently The Green Dragon was one of those fun finds that didn’t disappoint. Good food in a fun, family friendly and unique Tolkien inspired atmosphere where Hobbits are welcome and Middle Earth attire is encouraged. It has seating for around 30-35 people and is located near their historic town square. They are expanding to add a new micro-brewery in the back.
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I have to admit- I’m not an adventurous eater. I’m not super picky, and usually my two no-no’s are NO mustard and NO mayo. I don’t like most salad dressings or “special sauce”. Weird smells, appearances, or names can make me pass on a food. For Nicki it’s usually a weird texture. Sometimes I’m glad I went with my gut feeling on a food, and other times I didn’t know what I was missing! We were both glad we tried Blackberry Goatcheese and the Sweet Potato ice cream at Area 51 Ice Cream, and loved Chicken and Waffles at a Pred’s hockey game last season. It was our Thanksgiving dinner that year, and was great! I really wish Gus’s Fried Chicken would serve it- their spicy chicken would rock with waffles and maple syrup! I still need to try some authentic hot and spicy Nashville fried chicken on one of our trips up.
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Normally while in Nashville we like to eat at Noshville or The Egg & I for breakfast (you can read about them in past HGWT blog posts). There’s an Egg & I location we really like that’s close to the hotel we usually stay at in Franklin, TN- which is actually a former Noshville location.
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The Egg & I waffles are thick and their pancakes are HUGE! Nicki’s favorites are the blueberry pancakes or the banana nut bread French toast. I like the apple pancakes with granola or the Belgian waffles.
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Well, on this latest trip to Murfreesboro we saw there was an Egg & I location close to this hotel, too. Unfortunately when we got there apparently a lot of other folks knew about it, too. There was a big crowd gathered outside waiting for tables. It looked like we wouldn’t get to eat breakfast there until well after lunch! Nicki looked up other breakfast places on her phone and saw one close by called “The Pfunky Griddle“. There was a slight wait for a table, but not nearly as bad as what we had seen at our last stop. About 10-15min later we were seated.
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It actually was a lot of “Pfun” to cook our own breakfast on the griddle in the middle of our table. I normally cook pancakes at home on the weekends anyway, and have been cooking my own since I was a kid. Pancakes were one of the first campfire foods I learned how to make while in the scouts. If you don’t have a lot of experience with flipping your own breakfast the waitstaff is willing to help educate you.
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We tried the Organic 5 Grain and Unbleached White Batter batters (the also have gluten free), and chose blueberries and granola as our toppings. The batter was a little thinner than what I usually make at home, but still turned out some tasty pancakes. It was also ALL YOU CAN EAT for $6.49! They had lots of amazing toppings, French Toast, and A Le Carte items on the menu, plus other foods like soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps they cook if you’re not feeling “pfunky“. Needless to say that when we left we were “pfull“.
After breakfast and before leaving Murfreesboro we decided to do a bit of shopping in the outdoor mall near our hotel. We hit a HUGE Barnes and Nobel bookstore, and then stopped by World Market. I’ve ordered some cool Halloween items from them on-line last year, but we don’t have any stores near us. I found a really cool Left Hand Brewing Company pint glass to add to our collection back home. We’ve got several superhero, sports, and other souvenir pint and shot glasses from our travels and years of collecting. We hope to have a sports bar in our next house someday.
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Nicki found the Ciderboys cider she dug at Below The Radar Brewhouse (another great pub) while we were in Huntsville, AL for ConKasterborous last summer. She picked up a couple 6 packs to take back home with her. Haven’t seen it since she first tried it so she was quite excited to acquire more. There are a few ciders she likes at The Flying Saucer here. I love their pretzels!
Some other great geeky finds at World Market were bottles of Star Trek Vulcan Ale (didn’t see any Romulan Ale beer or energy drinks– heard it’s not being made any longer) and the Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale by Black Sheep Brewery.
Loved the box art and catch phrases on the packaging. One package actually came with a Grail cup. If I actually drank beer I would have had to snag one.
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Hoping to hit a few new places this summer and fall, along with returning to a few favorites. Looking forward to returning to New Orleans, too- one of my favorite places to eat! So what are some of your favorite restaurants, treats, or beverages when you travel? Feel free to let us know here, on Twitter, or Facebook.