Breakfast in Nashville

If you’re planning to visit Nashville, Tennessee, and you’ve never been here, you probably do what I do: Google. I’ve hit the interwebs for little trips to Asheville, North Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Jonesboro, Arkansas (yep), just to name three. You can come up with all sorts of interesting things to see and do.

Restaurants are a bit trickier, in my opinion. They always look good online, but you never know. That said, here are two lists—“Best Breakfast in Nashville” and “The 12 Best Breakfast Spots in Nashville”—you can trust.

Recently I was planning a morning meeting with a client who had never been to Middle Tennessee. “You pick a place,” he said in an email, “and I’ll show up.” This is classic I’m-at-your-mercy stuff. When I asked him where he was staying, he indicated a hotel in what I’d call Midtown, and said, “I was told it’s within walking distance of some great parts of town.”

Nashville’s not so big that we couldn’t have chosen any restaurant on either of those lists at which to meet. But Midtown is a very nice part of town indeed. I worked in that very neighborhood for years.

So I told him, “Here are three Nashville institutions that have nothing to do with tourism, and I like them all.” Now I’m telling you.

Noshville
It’s an authentic New York–style delicatessen. I can remember when it opened, which puts that event in the mid-’90s. The food is very good, service is fast, and the place is always busy. There are other locations but this was the first. Opens at 6:30am.

Pancake Pantry
OK, so I do think the tourists may have heard of the Pancake Pantry—it’s very close to Music Row, so you never know whom you might see in the dining room. True Nashvillians, though, are circumspect when they find themselves sharing the same air space as a country music celebrity, and you should be too. Put that phone down. Opens at 6:00am.

Provence Breads & Café
Established 1996 right across the street from the Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village, Provence has breads and pastries baked daily. And their chicken salad sandwich on cranberry wheat walnut bread is to die for. Opens at 7:00am.

So you’re fixed up for Midtown now. If you’re going to be elsewhere … Google. And good luck. 🙂

Best meal of the day. :)

Best meal of the day. 🙂

Spring Is Bustin’ Out All Over (Finally!)

Actually, it’s still a bit chilly here in Middle Tennessee, but the things that are supposed to be blooming are, in fact, up and at ’em—

I love my iris bed. Thanks, previous homeowner!

I love my iris bed. Thanks, previous homeowner!

Early morning sunlight on the dogwood in early April.

Hosta, Solomon’s seal, and lily-of-the-valley. Hard to believe this little forest of Solomon’s seal started from one plant in one two-inch pot about five years ago.

Hosta, Solomon’s seal, and lily-of-the-valley. Hard to believe this little forest of Solomon’s seal started from one plant in one two-inch pot about five years ago.

Foam flower peeking through a low branch of the Japanese maple.

Foam flower peeking through a low branch of the Japanese maple.

One day it was nothing to look at, the next, this. Crazy!

One day it was nothing to look at, the next, this. Crazy!

Three different kinds of coral bells.

Three different kinds of coral bells.

—and I have put together the first “found bouquet” (sometimes I call it a scavenged bouquet) of the season.

I love fresh flowers, but the budget doesn’t allow for store-bought. So I make do with what I can find in the yard. Between the herbs and the perennials, there’s always some greenery and color to fill a vase every few days from April to October. Have a look at my first scavenger hunt.

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First scavenged bouquet of 2015! Peppermint, marjoram, leaves from hosta and coral bells, Solomon’s seal, lilies-of-the-valley, foam flower, and iris. Presented in a beautiful Depression glass pitcher, one of my favorite pieces of glassware.

Travel Essentials

I get a big kick out of Catherine Howard, the delightful Irish gal who writes (and presents workshops) about the publishing industry at her blog Catherine, Caffeinated.

“For the next two weeks I’ll be out of the country on Proper Holidays,” she announced recently.

Proper Holidays, if you’re not familiar with this term I just made up, is when you take a holiday (vacation, American friends) and while you’re there, you actually take a holiday. You don’t read your blog comments. You let the e-mails build up. You avoid any work-related social media. And as a consequence of this, you actually manage to relax.

I knew immediately what she was talking about, because I haven’t taken a Proper Holiday in years, although I do dream about it on occasion. And I’m not talking about checking email; I’m talking about taking actual work—editing—that needs to be done.

But I want to draw your attention to this post, because it’s fun and has some very useful travel advice. That is, the five things Catherine is sure to pack when she gets ready to travel:

1. A Kindle (and some books)
2. One-cup coffee filter
3. The bag within a bag
4. Zip-lock bags
5. Bubble wrap
6. Laptop

More than one friend of mine has watched me tell a waiter I’ll do without rather than make a cup of tea with their cheap, off-brand (or worse: herbal) teabags, so the only thing I would add to this list is a few teabags. Don’t, as they say, leave home without them.

There’s some good information here! (And, if you really want a definitive packing list, check out this one from the folks at Evernote.)

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