Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nolensville, TN

6 10 2009
  • 7215 Nolensville Road
  • Nolensville, TN 37135
  • (615) 776-1856
  • Website
  • Menu
Martins Bar-B-Que in Nolensville, TN

Martin's Bar-B-Que in Nolensville, TN

One more chance for BBQ before leaving Tennessee.  J and I got up just before lunch time in Nashville.  Our next stop was four hours away in Indianapolis where we were going to spend the night before going apartment hunting in Kalamazoo.  It seemed like a good stopping point. 

One of my “must see” stops was a BBQ joint in Nolensville, TN.  I thought it was north of Nashville but it actually ended up being a half hour south.  I was ready to just skip it, but J talked me into it.  We were in no hurry to get to Indy, so why not get one more good meal before heading home.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is one of Nashville’s best.  It’s on Nolensville Road just outside of Nolensville, TN.  I actually heard about this place from the same Bon Apetit article that raved about Slow’s and Zingerman’s Roadhouse. 

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I found was not it.  For some odd reason, I was under the impression this was going to be more of a sit down restaurant.  What we found was a small, neighborhood BBQ joint. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, TN

6 10 2009
  • 120 2nd Avenue
  • Nashville, TN 37201
  • (615) 256-9453
  • Website
  • Menu
The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

While BBQ may have been the thing I was most looking forward to on our trip, line dancing at the world famous Wild Horse Saloon may have been J’s. 

We weren’t planning on being in Nashville long.  We did our trip to the Opry, checked into the hotel, relaxed a little bit,  then headed downtown for dinner and dancing.

The Wildhorse Saloon is on 2nd Street in downtown Nashville.  It’s an old warehouse that has been converted into a three story bar.  The tree lined street that runs in front of it is sort of narrow, but there is street parking on either side.  The first time we drove by, we missed it.  The trees must have been covering the sign.  As we were driving around the block, we found the back service entrance, made a note of which businesses were around it, then drove back around to 2nd Street to try again. 

Once we spotted the building, we started looking for parking.  I didn’t see any garages, but I got lucky and found street parking right across the street.  The meters were off, so we didn’t have to pay to park in downtown Nashville. 

The Wildhorse doubles as a bar/restaurant and an entertainment venue.  There’s a gift shop with a separate entrance then the restaurant entrance.  There’s a ticket window inside the first set of double doors.  There was a cover the night we were there, but it was only $2, so I didn’t balk.  I was expecting it to be more. Read the rest of this entry »





Neely’s Bar-B-Que – Nashville, TN

4 10 2009
  • 2292 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
  • Nashville, TN 37228
  • (615) 251-8895
  • Website
  • Menu
Neelys Bar-B-Q in Nashville.

Neely's Bar-B-Q in Nashville.

When J and I were planning our honeymoon, we decided we were doing a BBQ tour.  Originally, the plan included a stop in Memphis, but once we realized how far Memphis was from not only Nashville, but Lansing, we scrapped that part and will hit it later.  I was a little bummed.  I could spend a few days in Memphis just eating.  Screw the sights, bring me some good Q! 

Since we were going to Nashville, I knew there was still a way to get that good BBQ.  There’s one Memphis family who has a Nashville location as well and once we left Pigeon Forge, we went straight there.

Neely’s BBQ is on Nashville’s northwest side.  It’s located inside the Waterfront Plaza on Rosa L. Parks Boulevard which also goes at Metrocenter Blvd…at least according to our GPS.  When coming from I-65, it’s really hard to see.  In fact, we missed it and almost missed on the return trip.  It sits a little ways off the road and there are so many trees in front that you can’t see the sign.  There’s no signage out by the street either.  I could smell bbq, but I couldn’t find it.  Read the rest of this entry »





KT’s Bar & Grill – Sevierville, TN

2 10 2009
  • 1641 Parkway
  • Sevierville, TN 37862
  • (865) 428-1991
  • Website
  • Menu
KTs Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

KT's Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a local place in a tourist town. J and I went on a quest to find something that wasn’t going to be cheesey or touristy, but we didn’t have an Internet connection in our cabin, so it was real hard to research. I can’t tell you the last time we went without Internet for 48 hours, but we made do.

The plan was to head back in to Sevierville because we noticed a county courthouse on the way in. There’s got to be a pub or something near the courthouse, right? I mean, where do employees go for dinner and a beer?

Well, it’s not in downtown Sevierville, that’s for sure. There was nothing. One place but it looked fancy and didn’t have a menu outside so we passed. Instead, J got her GPS out of her purse to see what sounded local.

When she turned it on, our location was back in Sevierrville near our cabin. She found a place with the word “grill” in it, so that’s where we went.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pottery House Cafe & Grill – Pigeon Forge, TN

1 10 2009
  • 3341 Old Mill Street
  • Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
  • (865) 453-6002
  • Website
  • Menu
Pottery House Cafe & Grill in the Old Mill District of Pigeon Forge, TN

Pottery House Cafe & Grill in the Old Mill District of Pigeon Forge, TN

Day two in the Smoky Mountains began with lunch. We started to drive towards The Parkway which is where all the attractions are in Gatlinburg when J said she sort of wanted breakfast. Had I continued the way I was going, we would have ran into about a dozen different pancake houses, but as we were driving on Dollywood Lane, I saw a sign for The Old Mill Restaurat. 

We headed back for the Old Mill, but when we got there, while it looked cool, the menu was too “old lady-ish” according to J. I could have found something to eat, but it didn’t do much for me either. 

Instead of getting in the car, we started walking around the Old Mill District which has a number of cute little shops. Across the street, I saw a cafe and we found a menu that was more our style. 

The Pottery House Cafe and Grill sits on Old Mill Street in Pigeon Forge’s Old Mill District. The whole area is cute and sort of rustic and The Pottery House fits that style. The restaurant is off the road a little bit, but they put menus out near the sidewalk. We liked what we saw so we walked up. Read the rest of this entry »





Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill – Sevierville, TN

1 10 2009
  • 1818 Winfield Dunn Parkway
  • Sevierville, TN 37876
  • (865) 429-7771
  • Website
  • Menu
Tony Gores Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill just outside of Sevierville, TN

Tony Gore's Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill just outside of Sevierville, TN

Finally. We made it to the relaxing cabin high up on one of the Smoky mountains. We had a little trouble finding the place at first, but once we made it up, we changed into bathing suits to hit the top outside overlooking the wilderness. Great idea….until I got stung by a bee on my head. That hurt….a lot and it scared J from getting back in. I found some wasp & hornet spray, but it didn’t kill them off right away. I then dragged out a hose and tried to drown them out. No luck, so J called the leasing office and they sent someone up with more spray. He tried and thought he got rid of them, but they came back. So, we decided to go to dinner and give them time to die off. 

The Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee is really touristy and I’m not a touristy person. I don’t like fun I guess. I’m sure we’ll hit up some of the tourist spots while we’re here, but I really like the out of the way places too. 

On our way in to Sevierville, we passed a BBQ joint alongside the road. It looked like an old joint and there weren’t a lot of cars, but it was a Monday night. 

We drove back down the mountain and headed back the way we came. It was a few miles and I damn near missed it because the sign was knocked down, but I caught it out of the corner of my eye.  Read the rest of this entry »





Triple XXX Family Restaurant – West Lafayette, IN

1 10 2009
  • 2 N. Salisbury Street
  • West Lafayette, IN 47906
  • (765) 743-5373
  • Website
  • Menu
Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

If you’ve figured out J and I, it should come as no surprise that we chose to take a honeymoon that revolves around food. After the wedding, we loaded up the car and headed to East Tennessee. It was too far to make in one night, so we decided to stop in Louisville for the night. Since we were in no hurry, the first stop on our culinary excursion was in West Lafayette, IN at a place we saw on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives.

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant is on the hill in West Lafayette just down the street from Purdue University. It’s a 24 hour place that serves good, cheap grub for those late “study breaks.” It’s been so long since I saw the segment on Triple D and the building we found was not what I was expecting for some reason.

Triple XXX (named after the Root Beer brand they serve) is an old drive in on the corner of State & Salisbury. The car stalls have turned into parking and the only business they do is inside. The building itself is not huge, but it’s bigger than you think. There are no tables, only lunch counters. They weave around the building so there are a lot more seats than I thought there would be. Read the rest of this entry »





The Original Maxwell Street Station – S. Cicero, Chicago

27 09 2009
  • 6659 S. Cicero Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60638
  • (773) 581-3500
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Original Maxwell Street Station on South Cicero in Chicago.

The Original Maxwell Street Station on South Cicero in Chicago.

My brother loves Chicago Style hot dogs.  You would think that someone who lives so close to Chicago would have access to a Chicago style dog, but you’d be wrong.  Where he lives, just an hour south of the city, no one does them right.

My whole family packed up and headed north for the weekend.  Once we got checked into our hotel, we went looking for lunch.  We went for a walk.  There was a little shack right across the street from our hotel that had everything we wanted.

The Original Maxwell Street Station on the corner of South Cicero and West Marquette Road is one of a handful in Chicago.  The building is very tiny and is really the kind of place I love.  There is very little seating inside the bright yellow building.  There are no tables.  Just a counter that overlooks the kitchen with a few bar stools.  Since we had my one year old niece, my brother decided that wasn’t a good idea.  The only other option is a couple picnic tables right outside.   Again, it was very close to the very busy Cicero Avenue and that made him a little nervous.

It just so happened that the special for the day was 2 Chicago Style Dogs and 2 Fries.  That was perfect.  My brother wanted two dogs and I would take one of the fries.  My dad did the same and my mom took the other order of fries from his order.  They both got the dogs without the tomato wedges that are common on Chicago dogs.  What my brother really likes is the sprout peppers and the poppy seed bun. Read the rest of this entry »





Al’s Beef – Oak Lawn, IL

24 09 2009
  • 5128 W. 95th Street
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708) 422-2333
  • Website
  • Menu
Als Beef on 95th in Oak Lawn.

Al's Beef on 95th in Oak Lawn.

It only took a day and a half this time.  Operation Bridesmaid Pickup is in full swing and J, her mom, and the one out-of-town bridesmaid headed to the hotel to unload a bunch of stuff for this week.  I was left at the future in-laws house to shower and run a couple errands.  Of course, it was lunch time and of course, I wanted a beef. 

Al’s Beef is a Chicago legend.  They claim to be the inventors of the sandwich.  In recent years, they’ve expanded quite a bit around Chicagoland with franchise locations.  One of those franchises is in Oak Lawn not too far from where I was staying.

The Oak Lawn Al’s Beef is on 95th Street in a new strip mall in the downtown area.  It’s actually a dual store with Nancy’s Pizza.  The inside is missing the one major thing that makes Al’s Al’s.  The counter.  Actually, I was quite confused with the store. Not only did it have tables instead of stand up counters, but when I walked in the door, I had no clue where the order area was.  You can’t see it at all from the doorway.  There’s a wall that sort of leads you around to the counter, but I walked into the dining area before I finally saw where I was supposed to go.  I had to go back to the entrance and walk inside the wall to get to the cash register. Read the rest of this entry »





Kuma’s Corner – Chicago, IL

24 09 2009
  • 2900 W. Belmont Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60618
  • (773) 604-8769
  • Website
  • Menu
Kumas Corner on W. Belmont on Chicagos northside.

Kuma's Corner on W. Belmont on Chicago's northside.

 We finally made plans to make the trip the north side of Chicago.  We had to pick up the first of three out-of-town bridesmaids who flew in early to stay with another friend who lived in Bucktown.  We offered just to pick her up at her friend’s place because it was only a ten minute drive to West Belmont and I’d finally get to chow down on Illinois’ best burger.

Kuma’s Corner is on the corner of West Belmont Avenue and North Francisco Avenue in Chicago’s Avondale Neighborhood.  It’s an old corner building that doesn’t look like it should house such a popular restaurant.  The door was open and there were people spilling out when we drove by.  Like most of these neighborhood places, there is no specific parking.  You’re own your own to find something along the street.  Read the rest of this entry »