Planning Roadtrip (KY & TN) Need Suggestions
My best friend and I are planning a road trip this July and there are two main components: Baseball & Food! We are touring a bunch of minor league baseball parks and want to at the best local diners, drive-ins & dives. Yes, we are looking for places that would be showcased on Guy's show. White tablecloth places will not be visited. However, if we need a napkin the size of a tablecloth to eat the food - NOW WE'RE TALKIN!
So, here is our trip. Any suggestions you have along this route, or in a town nearby, please let us know!!
South on I-75 from Cincinnati to Kodak, TN and watchin the Smokies!
South on I-75 to Chattanooga to take in a Lookouts game!
I-24 West to Nashville to see & hear the Sounds!
I-65 North to Louisville to see where the Louisville Sluggers are made
Any/all suggestions are welcome. Remember, we are looking for local cuisine, something special to the city/town, something that is a "must see" or "must eat"
In Louisville, go to Come Back Inn http://comebackinn.biz/index.html for a big, fat Italian beef sandwich and antipasto wontons. It's in Germantown, which is close to downtown. You might also like Check's and Flabby's. Peek at www.louisvillehotbytes.com for others.
You might as well go to Lynn's Paradise Cafe on Barrett Ave. She was on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. If you're there and you don't want to wait an hour, head over a block or so to the Fish House--it's on Winter at Barrett. http://www.iglou.com/restaurants/fish...
If I am understanding you correctly, OP, you are looking for places that represent the culinary identity of the local area. Thus, and no offense is intended here, you are not looking for Cajun/Creole cuisine or Italian cuisine in Nashville, TN. Don't get me wrong, Chappy's and the Spaghetti Factory are fine restaurants. But Chappy's is more a taste of New Orleans (not to mention they have white tablecloths) and the Spaghetti Factory is a national chain that you could enjoy in any of their 35 locations. I would even say, and this may be controversial, that you should hold off on the barbecue and save it for when you go to Memphis to see a Redbirds game. There are just so many better BBQ places in Memphis. That said, Judge Bean's at Greer Stadium is definitely a step up from your traditional ballpark grub.
While you're in Nashville, I would try to make it to the following two places, or at least one of them. First, Arnold's Country Kitchen. It's only open for lunch, so plan accordingly. Arnold's is, in my opinion, the premier version of what we in Nashville call a "meat-and-three." This simply means a meat and three vegetables. The menu varies according to day of the week, but on a typical day you might find fried chicken, meatloaf, catfish, white beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, cobbler, and fresh baked pies. If you can't make it to Arnold's there are many other meat-and-threes to choose from, including Swett's, Sylvan Park, Dandgure's, and the Pie Wagon, to name a few.
Another place that is very unique to Nashville, and definitely has no white tablecloths, is Prince's Hot Chicken in North Nashville. The place has quite a reputation, which you can delve into by simply doing a Google search for "Prince's Hot Chicken." If you like it hot, you will not be disappointed. Even if you just like fried chicken, you can order it plain, and it's still the best fried chicken in the world. Just don't be in a hurry, because the wait can be significant.
Don't forget the the BOURBON TRAIL. I just went and had a blast. I would suggest Makers Mark (free), Woodford Reserve (reservation required and small fee). It is a great way to pass time, Tours start around 9:30 I think. I think there are 13 distilleries in KY.
If you can Jack Daniels is in TN. I have heard it is also great.
Well, I am from Nashville! Therefore, I can suggest a couple of places. First, I would go to Chappy's on Church Street, Downtown Nashville. It's a piece of New Orleans right here in TN. The owner Chappy brought it here after Hurricane Katrina hit in Louisianna. They have amazing food. Next, if you are foing to be downtown, you have to go by The Old Spaghetti Factory on 2nd Avenue. Any type of Italian food that you like, they have! Jacks BBQ is another fave of mine! It's 416 Broadway, they have takeout, or you could sit on the patio and take in Nashville! The first two are alittle nice, but the food is amazing. In Nashville, you can also just sit down and dive in the food face first!! We don't mind!! Also, don't forget to check out the Parthenon and "Batman" Building while you are in Nashville!! Good LUCK and Have FUN!!
There is very good Texas-style BBQ right at Greer Stadium in Nashville, where the Sounds play. A place called Judge Bean's just moved into some restaurant space there, after not quite sticking at a couple of other locations around town. Unfortunately, I can't help with the road trip, since I never stop to eat until past Chattanooga or Louisville.