It's a little juvenile, the thrill I get when outsiders realize that Nashville is a great place to visit and even better place to live. Having spent decades defending Nashville, now longtime residents are in the odd position of downplaying the city's many charms lest everyone move here and Midtown parking become even tighter.
Nashville's food scene has come a long way. Where rhinestoned cowboys once ate gut-busting fried chicken, there are now quinoa tacos, microbreweries and a growing craft cocktail scene.
Quinoa tacos can only mean one thing: Mas Tacos, which also gets accolades for its fish tacos and aguas frescas in its new bricks-and-mortar location in East Nashville. (Check out Scene critic Carrington Fox's rave review here.) The editors at TT also love up Holland House for its reinvented Southern dishes such as cola-marinated skirt steak, and laud Southern Bred for its well-made traditional meat-and-three fare, like creamy chicken and dumplings. The Blind Pig No. 55 made the list for barbecue expertise — I'm still trying to squeeze in a visit for the barbecued lamb shoulder. (Anyone had this yet? Bites awaits a report.)
TT recommends a November visit for travelers to catch the CMA awards (Nov. 10), the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival (Nov. 6) and the reopening of the Opryland Hotel (Nov. 15). Everybody give a big "Welcome y'all" to Tasting Table and our visitors.