While in Nashville for the tour, the wife and I stopped at a few other spots both in the area and out of area. If you have pics from your tour of places you ate or visited that were not a part of the official roadfood tour please feel free to hi-jack this thread and post them.
On Friday we were meeting Stephen, the Sterns, Bruce and Anne, The Mayor, Paul, Stephens Mom, Mark, and more (apologies if you were there and I didn't remember your name for this post!) Before we went to la Hacienda, we drove over to KingFish for a hot fish sandwich. ChiTownDiner covered this place well and since I didn't get any pictures of the fish, I'll just say that it was very good and KingFish would be a regular stop for me if I lived in the area. http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19567
la hacienda - The margaritas were calling my name but I had to drive so no drinks for me. That was unfortunate for a couple reasons. One, I didn't get a margarita and it looked like a good one. Two, the food could have used a drink. The wife and I played it safe and split an order of beef fajitas and they were just not good. Salty, with a gravy bouquet flavor, we finished off about half the plate before we hit a point of no mas. Almost every place I've eaten fajitas has been better. But the company was good!
We were on the afternoon tour so we decided to get started early and head over to Hay's Smokehouse based on the review here at roadfood. It was about a 1.5 hour drive but I had to tack on an additional 20 minute searching for the place..because they had changed names two weeks ago when the Hay's sold the place. Yikes. Considering the time invested we decided to give them a try.
When you walk in the door, hope abounds, primarily because of the aroma of smoked meats and the fact that there was no menu. But when you get to the counter, there's a colored flyer announcing some new menu items...burgers, dogs, etc. Yikes #2.
After speaking with the young man behind the counter we settled on the sampler platter. Ribs (pork), pulled pork, chicken, beans, slaw, and potato salad along with a couple of cheap rolls.
That's a good looking plate of food..but here's the rest of the story.
The ribs were cooked at a heat that was too high (they had developed a crust) and they were not cooked long enough. Thye had a thick vein of fat that should have melted away with proper cooking, leaving just a thin vein of fat running through the bottom part of the rib.
The chicken (white meat) was over cooked and far to dry to be rescued by the various sauces on the table.
The pulled pork was also dry and didn't have that deep, rich smoke flavor you would expect from whole hog cooked slowly over hickory.
Here's the biggest problem with the meat we were served. The ribs and chicken had a chemical taste like they were using an accelerant to spark the wood..and using way to much. The meat was picking up this chemical and it was exactly what you taste when you first bite into the ribs and the chicken.
The slaw was very good. Just the right amount of sauce, not soupy, with a good bite of onion. perfect for a que sandwich.
The potato salad was a mustard base with just enough sweetness added to rate it an A in my book.
The beans were acceptable with a nice amount of meat but not enough flavor or spice to make them good. They didn't offend but they weren't impressive either.
The new owner (it's called Curt's Smokehouse) has only been there a couple weeks so perhaps they are still getting their que legs. based on past reviews of hay's, I'm hoping they are and plan to get back over there in the next 60 days to give them another try.
One last note. This was the cleanest bbq joint I have visited in some time. The kitchen area that I could see, the dining area, the bathroom...all clean as a whistle.
We left Lexington and headed up to Paris TN for the Worlds Largest Fish Fry. On the way to Paris, the radio station we were listening to kept running promos talking about the fish fry and every store on the way had a "welcome fish fry visitors" sign. I'm a big fan of fried catfish and, although we didn't have much time, I planned to grab a large plate to eat on the way back to nashville before the afternoon tour.
Once we arrived at Paris we drove across town looking for the worlds largest fish fry. there were signs on every block welcoming people to the worlds largest fish fry. i criss-crossed the town twice on all major roads (both of them
) ...and not a single sign telling you how to get to the worlds largest fish fry. nothing. couldn't find it in spite of the fact that their welcome to paris tn sign even had a 6 ft catfish. I even stumbled upon the catfish races..but no fried fish in site.
by the time i stopped to ask for directions, it was for the quickest way to I-40 so we didn't miss the afternoon tour. we pulled into the parking lot of loveless at 1:50.
to wrap this up, the afternoon tour was great.
prince's hot chicken exceeded all the hype for me. spicy and perfectly cooked, it was one of the best pieces of chicken I've eaten..period.
at swetts, i let my better half select the meal. big mistake but that's ok..she has other redeeming qualities. the food we had was acceptable but the food we didn't have looked much better. after working my way through my half of rotisserie chicken, mashed potatos, and mac and cheese, I would have killed for the squash casserole, seasoned cabbage, and mac and cheese again.
the last stop of the day was morills (sp?). southern food served family style and most of it was very good. at $11 per person, this is a great place to share a meal.
As an early riser, cindy and I usually get out of town before dawn on most road trips but I needed a Popeye's fix so I had to wait until 10 am. In the meantime, I headed over to white castle for a bologna, egg, and cheese sandwich. excellent! we don't have white castle or popeyes in my area so I always grab some chow from these places when in the area.
that's it! headed out of town at 10:25 eastern. a great trip overall. we are both looking forward to the next official eating excursion.