Nashville Eats & Souvenirs
I will be attending a conference in Nashville during the first week of October (4th - 7th) for work and am seeking advice on where to eat in the area. Anything we have to try, or that the area is famous for? We will be staying at the Gaylord Opryland and will be relying on public transportation and our own two feet to get around.
I would also appreciate any ideas on what the best foodie souvenirs are to bring back to my home in Hawaii. Something easy to pack that will withstand a long (11-hours with a 1-hour layover) plane trip home.
There's nothing notable or of real interest in the Opryland area. Public transportation in that area is not all that convenient, and it's not walkable. It's a tourist-centric, chain-restaurant, mecca in the middle of the suburbs. You'll have to cab it (or go ahead and rent a car) to the good places to eat, which are plentiful and span a wide range of prices, cuisines, and styles. "Have to try" is highly subjective, so more info about what your parameters are will help with recommendations.
As for local food products, GooGoo Clusters candy are always popular, but may get melty on the plane, though. On the high end of the chocolate scale is Olive & Sinclair -- amazing. There's also Colt's Bolts. I don't know what the rules are about carrying liquor, but we have some good distilleries here -- Jack Daniel's of course, but also right in town, Corsair.
One thing I like to do when visiting another part of the country, or another country altogether, is to just go to a supermarket. Things you'll find here you may not have in Hawaii would be things like white corn cornmeal mix (White Lily or Martha White), etc.
Thank you for the recommendations! Would you know if there are any well-stocked supermarkets in the area for us to check out? We're not opposed to catching a cab if necessary,
I'll check with my co-workers regarding anything specific they may want to try while there. None of us has ever been anywhere in the area before, so we were just hoping to get a taste of things that Nashville might be known for.
I'd say just get a cab and go to the Farmer's Market. Beware the flea market side, stick to the inside and the food side. You can have lunch while you are there, lots to choose from -- B&C, AM @ PM, Bella Nashville, Jamaica Way, Sweet Stash are tops.
The best grocery stores in town are going to be in Green Hills. There is a Whole Foods and a Trader Joe's but they don't really stock much particularly southern other than the local produce. Hit the Kroger in GH, or the Harris Teeter or Publix in Belle Meade.
I agree, there is nothing notable in the Opryland Hotel area. Taking a cab will involve distance. Green Hills and Brentwood may have the trendy food markets but I am not sure.
The locally made GooGoo Clusters will travel well. There is a shop in the Nashville airport that sells them. I carried some on board a flight in August (90°F temps outside) to DCA and they survived quite well.
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