Road trip Atlanta to Nashville - via Baltimore and Louisville !
Hey there Southern hounders, wonder if you can help.
I am travelling around the area on a baseball watching road trip in late June & early July.
We will be spending - 3 nights ( Fri Sat Sun ) in Atlanta . Then three nights in Baltimore ( I know its a long drive but its baseball so very necessary ! ) til Wednesday.
We have to be in Louisville by Thursday so we have a choice of going north - via Morgantown or south - via Charlottesville.
We then have one night in Louisville ( minor league game ) and the last Friday and Saturday in Nashville before flying back to the UK from Atlanta on Saturday night.
I am looking for top Hound tips on
a) Should we go via Charlottesville or via Morgantown - which is best for a one night stop and good late bars with food ?
b) 'Do not miss' or quintessential southern chow experiences en route
c) Best brewpubs ( ideally microbrew ) and bars in Atlanta, Baltimore, Louisville and Nashville
d) Best lively bar and chow areas in each town/city - specific recs for outstanding must visit places or neighbourhoods welcome ! As to bar recs we are two straight guys in late 30's early 40's so would prefer somehwre which is not totally full of college kids.
e) Best rec. for 4th July in Nashville, daytime or late evening for post baseball food and beers
Cuisine no object though one of us is vegetarian. Prefer avoiding the tourists and eating wehre the locals eat if possible.
Appreciate this is a vast request so happy to break it down into separate posts (e.g on Baltimore board ) but all initial thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.
willowan, I know you are hoping for personal recommendations and I hope you get many before your trip. I thought I would share with you an online source I have found helpful - The New York Times. You can do your own searches once you have your trip mapped out.
I don't know anything about Morgantown, but I can say that Charlottesville would be a really nice place to stop over. I'm not sure either place will have spots that are open super late (small southern town). But you can always hit Little John's on the Corner for yummy deli (and possibly drunk undergrads); the Corner is the commercial area adjacent to UVa. There may be some late night places open on the downtown mall- a pedestrian strip with lots of restaurants and bars. You could try Miller's (kind of a dive, but a nice dive, if that makes sense). Or Southstreet Brewery. I think that C and O (a bit more upmarket) also has a late night menu in their basement bar that is quite good-- I believe it starts at 10 pm. All of these are downtown.
In Atlanta, you guys might want to check out the Vortex for burgers and a vast beer selection. There is one in midtown Atlanta and one in the more eclectic Little Five Points neighborhood, also home to the Brewhouse Cafe, which has a great patio. As far as local beers go, do try some from the Sweetwater brewery if you have the chance (the "Blue" blueberry beer is great!).
Taco Mac is a regional chain with a good beer selection, solid Tex-Mex/American fare and there are a few in the Atlanta area. You may want to try the one in Virginia Highlands if you are looking to bar hop as there is a lot of nightlife around there.
For some really interesting vegetarian (and non-veggie) food, consider a visit to R. Thomas on Peachtree - very unique with a bohemian vibe, the whole restaurant is basically a large enclosed patio and it is open 24 hours.
As it relates to brewpubs/microbrews in Nashville- ya gotta check out the taproom at the Yazoo brewery. It's open Thurs-Sat. until 8pm. They do tours of the brewery and have a few light snacks (local cheeses, yummy spiced pecans) on the menu. The owners and the crew are great and they have some of the best beer. Broadway Brewhouse is another favorite- great selection of beer, really knowledgeable bartenders and some surprisingly good food- not your normal pub grub. If you're into spicy (and I mean spicy) try the Mojo wings- out of this world. Have fun!
there is actually a microbrew connected to Slugger field, Browning's--great beer and food
the BBC downtown is another microbrew that has good beer and food
and in the Highlands (Bardstown Rd) there is Cumberland Brews--I haven't been for about a year, because there were times when the beer was ok and others when it was flat out bad. The food is generally very good, though.
Check out Old Louisville, beautiful old brown stones,
3rd Ave Cafe is in that neighborhood, they have great sandwiches, salads--good vegetarian and vegan options
The Mag Bar, also in Old Louisville, fun local dive--shouldn't be many college students in June-July, great jukebox.
Both Bardstown Road and Frankfort Ave have tons of restaurants--Try the Blue Dog Bakery on Frankfort for Breakfast-Brunch.
For brewpubs in Nashville, you have to check out Blackstone on West End Avenue, across from the Catholic cathedral. They always have six of their beers on tap, four regulars and two seasonals. They usually have one of the beers in a cask-conditioned form drawn by a hand pump as well. Food is good, including brick oven pizzas. Also check out Bosco's, which is in Hillsboro Village on 21st. They also have cask-ale, although only Mon-Fri starting at 5 until the cask runs out I think.
There is also Big River on prime real estate at the corner of Broadway and 1st. Their beers aren't as good as the other two brewpubs, but might be worth a shot if you're downtown and don't want to trek up to the Flying Saucer (10 blocks).
I agree with the recommendation of trying Yazoo out. If you can't get to the brewery, a lot of the bars downtown carry their beers.
For beer bars you can't beat the Flying Saucer in what used to be Union Station. They have at least 200 beers. The food is ok, but not my favorite. I don't believe they have a grill in the kitchen, so keep that in mind. But for beer it is tops. I also second the Broadway Brewhouse recommendation, although I prefer the original location on 21st, just a couple of blocks from Blackstone.
For a fun place to hang out on a Sunday night, head down to Dan McGuinnes Irish Pub on Demonbreun and sit on the patio for live (mostly Irish) music performed by local musicians from about 7pm to 10 or 10:30. Don't go if you are easily scandalized. They serve imperial pints (20 oz) like in the UK and on Sunday's they're only $3. The food is standard pub fare, good but not exciting. Beer offerings always include Guinness, Harp, Smthwicks, Boddingtons, Stella, Woodchuck Cider, and usually one or two craft brews.
There are fireworks on the riverfront on July 4th, so downtown will be very crowded, especially around the river.
The bars on 2nd are mostly for the clubbing type and will all have covers on weekend nights.
I hope you enjoy your time in Nashville!
Hey all, thanks for these great replies. There is now a snag - we have to go the northern route as I have discovered that Falling Water is nearby and so I have to go there.
So , as everyone seems keen that we avoid Morgantown we are looking at staying in Cumberland? Frostburg? La Vale, Grantsville? Uniontown?
Same criteria as before - great chow, beers and friendly locals . Any recs ?