Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville party brings together all those wonderful eateries and drinkeries that you tell us about and we tell us about here on Bites and in the pages of the Nashville Scene. It's physically painful to me to read about a wonderful place that I just can't make it to, or a drink I know I may never have a chance to try. Best of Nashville is a big box of delights for sampling.
* Chris Chamberlain and I both started the night with a Tilted Palm Tom's sour mix with Woodford reserve whiskey for the swankiest cocktail I've had in ages.
* At Pied Piper, where I ate all four ice cream samples: Trailer Trash, carrot cake, the award-winning Popcorn, plus special love for the Movie Star (lemon ginger). No artifical colors -- that's something to love, too.
I switched from eating everything in the place to a refined search, because there was so much to eat and only so much capacity. I buttonholed people, asking "What's the best thing you've eaten?" Several pointed to the Cupcake Collection sweet potato cupcakes, for good reason -- moist, spicy and topped with a light cream cheese frosting, they're the best cupcake offered.
* September's Cafe had steam trays piled high with shredded soy short rib meat and Asian slaw -- the best tidbit I ate all night. Rich shredded meat topped with a crisp, finely cut slaw with Asian flavorings. Wow. You guys in Hendersonville are lucky.
That confirms a trend spotted by veteran Scene ad salesman Stevan Steinhart that an increasing number of the winners are from outside the central core of Nashville. Wherever you are, there's something good nearby. Get a copy of this week's Scene and see if your local made the list.