Friday, July 29, 2016

Nashville Restaurants: The Gulch

Nashville Restaurants: The Gulch 

restaurants in the gulch
Velocity in The Gulch: My home sweet home for 4 years :-)

          For 4 years I lived in one of Nashville's coolest, hippest neighborhoods, The Gulch! With an eclectic mix of restaurants, high rise condos, and shopping. I literally did not need to leave my neighborhood on the weekends if I didn't want to. Everything I needed was there. When I first moved into The Gulch, I was one of the first people living in my condo building and there was not a single restaurant on the ground floor of the building. Now there are several including Bar Louie and Biscuit Love Brunch.

          When you live downtown you sacrifice space for fun & convenience which was cool when it was just me and my dog living there lol! However, once I got married last year the space got more & more cramped by the day and the walls started to feel like they were closing in. So we the 'burbs'!

          Yes, I cried a couple of tears when we moved from The Gulch 2 months ago, but I love our new home in the suburbs so it's not that bad after all. Plus, it's only 15 minutes from the place I called home for 4 years.

          The Gulch is still one of my favorite places to go for dining and fun. During the moving process I realized that I had been to almost every single restaurant (36 out of the 38) in that neighborhood while I lived there. Here's the list. I encourage you to do like I normally do and just go down the list checking them off as you go. With so many great restaurants in Nashville, you sometimes have to break it up this way! Happy dining

Restaurants in The Gulch
ZolliCoffee (On my "to-do" list)
The Pie Wagon (On my "to-do" list)

- Dr. April

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate - Asheville, NC

          So yes, it's been a couple of months since my husband and I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and yes, I should have shared this post MONTHS ago, happens. #BetterLateThanNever

          It's one of those places that's part relaxing vacation in a breathtaking locale and part educational experience all wrapped into one!

          Biltmore Estate is a large (8,000 acre) private estate and tourist attraction in Asheville, NC. Biltmore House, the main house on the estate, is a Chateauesque-styled mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and is the largest privately owned house in the United States.

         If you've never been - go! We visited during Christmas time and it was simply magical! We stayed on the Biltmore property and dined at many of the great restaurants that are there as well. We even visited the main house twice in one day! The first time was during the guided tour and later that evening we visited the house when all the beautiful Christmas lights were on and 50+ fireplaces were burning. It was certainly a sight to see and an experience to remember :-) #ChristmasAtBiltmore

Here's a look at some of my pics from our visit :-)

I just love the barn doors leading into the bathroom in the guest rooms!

Wine Tasting!

Enjoyed the All-You-Can Eat Holiday buffet at Deer Park Restaurant

Christmas at Biltmore is truly a magical experience!

-Dr. April

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Barista Parlor - Golden Sound

Barista Parlor - Golden Sound

Barista Parlor

           Barista Parlor Golden Sound is in my neighborhood, The Gulch, and is one of my favorite hang-out spots to blog, read, sip coffee and munch on these delicious 100-Layer donuts that are brought in every day from Five Daughters Bakery (see photo below)!

          In a sense, its your typical Nashville coffee shop with ample seating, open space, free wi-fi and lots of folks sipping coffee and working from a laptop or chatting it up with friends. However, the walkability from home, delicious smell of coffee in the air, garage doors that open in the warm weather, antique motorcycles present as unique decor, and large windows that filter in great light make it a favorite of mine.

          The next time you're in The Gulch, check it out! There's lots of construction going on in the Gulch right now....a LOT.....but follow the signs that will lead you right toward this cool Nashville coffee shop jem :-)

Barista Parlor

Barista Parlor Golden Sound
610 Magazine St
Nashville, TN 37203

-Dr. April

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cochon Butcher : Nashville

Cochon Butcher - Nashville

Cochon Butcher Nashville

          I finally made it over to Cochon Butcher in Germantown a couple of weeks ago and loved the experience! The original Cochon Butcher is in New Orleans, but they've brought their flavor to the Music City for us to get a taste of the Big Easy!

          I visited for lunch during the week and it was packed! There are a lot of folks who work in the neighborhood and in the downtown area who obviously choose Cochon Butcher as one of their favorite lunchtime spots too. There are a couple of restaurants in the strip that houses this restaurant, but all I had to do was follow the aroma of meat being cooked over an open pit to find what I was looking for :-)

          Here's how they describe themselves : " It’s a butcher shop, a sandwich counter and a wine bar. Inspired by old-world meat markets, Butcher specializes in house made meats, terrines and sausages, the fresh cuts are handpicked and ready-to-cook items available daily. "

Click HERE to check out their awesome photo gallery of dishes they offer!

What I loved:

❒ The Smoked Turkey sandwich is perfect for lunch!

❒ The side of Mac & Cheese I ordered with my Turkey Sandwich was fabulous too! I could go back........... just for the Mac & Cheese

❒ If you're meat lover......this is a perfect restaurant for you!

❒ It's located in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville - close to downtown, but set apart far enough from downtown that nearby parking is not an issue

❒ I experienced great customer service and loved the ambiance

❒ They cater and have a great catering menu.....including Deviled eggs - Yum!

Cochon Butcher Nashville
There's no way you can miss finding this green building on 4th Ave in Germantown!

Great outdoor seating (even though it was waaaaaay to cold to sit outdoors the day I dined lol)
Cochon Butcher Nashville

The Smoked Turkey Sandwich is delicious!

Cochon Butcher:

1120 4th Avenue North
Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37208

- Dr. April

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bartaco Nashville

Bartaco Nashville


          Bartaco is one of the newest additions to the 12 South neighborhood in Nashville! I'd heard that this place gets pretty crowded the later in the evening it gets so my Hubby and I made sure to get there right around Happy Hour time. I'm glad we did because by the time we left there was a pretty long wait to get a table. This wasn't even on a weekend was a Tuesday evening!

Here's what I like about Bartaco:

✠ The decor is awesome

✠ They have a great patio in front of the restaurant so if you like to people-watch as folks go down the street, this spot is for you!

✠ They have an AWESOME warm Apple Cider made with Apple Pie Moonshine (It may be just a winter thing....I'll have to double check). It's so awesome that a couple of days later I went out and bought a jar of Apple Pie Moonshine and a jug of Apple Cider to re-create it at home :-). It's quite a tasty wind-down drink for us at home!

✠ The Mexican Street Corn is ON POINT! My husband and I are currently looking up recipes to re-create this at home too :-)

✠ The service was fast and good

✠ The tacos are delicious !

✠ The Key Lime Pie in a jar and the Chocolate Gelato are both great desserts I highly recommend!

Bartaco Nashville

Bartaco Nashville

Bartaco Nashville

Bartaco Nashville

2526 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

- Dr. April

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Alluvian Hotel and Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, MS

Viking Cooking School

          This year my husband surprised me with a trip to Greenwood, MS, a stay at the wonderful Alluvian Hotel and a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School!! That man knows exactly what I like :-)

Happy Birthday to me!

           I've lived in Mississippi since I was 12 years old and have many friends from college from the Mississippi Delta, but I've never been there in person.

          Smack-dab in the middle of downtown Greenwood, MS is an amazing hotel - The Alluvian. It's honestly a bit odd that this super fancy hotel is sitting in the middle of downtown Greenwood, but it's great because it's such a precious jewel in this Mississippi Delta town. We arrived to a lovely receptionist who checked us in then we proceeded to our rooms where I began taking pictures of the room before we scattered our suitcases and bags down everywhere lol (Taking photos this way has been my habit on every vacation I've ever been on since I was in high school lol!)

          We arrived right before the nightly turn-down service and enjoyed talking with the housekeeper who performed our turn-down service and placed that delicious little piece of chocolate on our nightstand when she was done :-)

The Alluvian Hotel
The Alluvian Hotel

Everything about the hotel is as elegant as you see in these photos!
The Alluvian Hotel

          We dined at Giardina's Restaurant during the 1st night of our stay at the Alluvian and we enjoyed some of the BEST Oyster's Rockefeller either of us has ever had!! My pasta was amazing too!

Giardina's Restaurant in the Alluvian Hotel

          On our 2nd day there we participated in a cooking class offered by the Viking Cooking School which is directly across the street from the hotel. We literally met people from all over Mississippi and other parts of the country who came just to participate in the cooking class just like we did!

Viking Cooking School Store
Viking Cooking School

One of the Kitchens at the Viking Cooking School
Viking Cooking School

Our Kitchen for the day at the Viking Cooking School
Viking Cooking School

We created a number of Cuban Dishes from scratch during our "Lunch in Little Havana" that day :-)
Viking Cooking School

          Yummy Yummy!! Chicken, Rice, Black beans, salad with homemade dressing - all CUBAN Style and all made by us!!
Viking Cooking School

Of course we had to have a little wine with our Cuban-inspired meal!
Viking Cooking School

          Being in the Viking kitchen with my husband was such an awesome experience for us and one we will never forget! I love staying at great hotels, dining at awesome restaurants and now I can add participating in cooking classes to my list!! This was a great birthday ( My 1st as a married lady!) and certainly one to remember :-)

--Dr. April

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Love Is In The Air

Love Is In The Air!

Hey there everyone! 

          I know it's been a while since I've published a blog post here! The reason is because........Love is in the air & life happens lol! 2015 has been an amazing year for me, one that continues to bring me so much love and happiness :-)

          2015 has been the year that I started dating, got engaged to and became married to my awesomely wonderful husband, Mr. Lionel Washington! So, to say I've had a lot going on is an understatement. It's also the reason why I haven't posted much on the blog. He and I both love finding great restaurants to enjoy, but I've been more into him than into pulling out my cell phone and camera while dining to take photos of our experiences and featuring them here on the blog.

          However, my hubby's an awesome cook (maybe even better than me!) and loves great restaurant dining just as much as I do so I will have some posts coming your way soon! Navigating all that this life has to offer us involves adjusting to new adventures and prioritizing our time. Being married to such an amazing guy is both a long prayed-for and well-appreciated gift from above. God has certainly blessed me "real good" with my husband :-)

          Nashville is still exploding with great new restaurants and holding it down with those that have been around for awhile. The great news is that I have an awesome new partner to accompany me on these adventures! That means more to share with you!!

Be blessed!

- Dr. April

Carmen and Lionel Wedding
My husband and I wed in an Intimate Ceremony at the Condado Hotel & Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August 2015. This photo is from our private dinner on the beach after the ceremony :-)