It’s no big secret: Music City Food & Wine (formerly Music City Eats) is my favorite weekend of the year in Nashville. Granted, it’s only happened for three years now, but it’s such a fun event I can’t help but dig it.
The first year, it was a bit of an unknown, and numbers weren’t nearly as solid as people expected, but then again, that’s the Nashville problem: You’ve got to prove yourself first. Well, they did and the festival’s second year totally rocked. I didn’t miss a minute of it.
This year, however, my sister decided to get married on that very weekend. And because I love her dearly (most of the time), I kept my mouth shut while I was crying on the inside.
But! There’s a silver lining. While I missed all the pre-fest activities—and hot damn, there are a lot, pretty much daily leading up the MCFW—I got up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove to Bicentennial Park for the final day. And what a beautiful fall day it was, too.
I missed some of my favorite Nashville chefs on Saturday like Karl Worley and Trey Cioccia, but there were plenty of others I did get to catch at the fest like Kahlil Arnold and Pat Martin—not to mention, new delicacies I tried. For those new to the city, there’s never a better time of year to get a crash course on the culinary landscape and all the tasty treats it has to offer.
But to be honest, the bulk of what I tasted wasn’t food, but booze. I went straight for the Tito’s Bloody Mary bar before even finding my friends or food. Some things are just too predictable, I suppose.
And I absolutely loved the venue: This year, the festival moved from Public Square Park, where there’s not an ounce of natural shade in sight, to the leafy Bicentennial Park, where they were plenty of places to lounge and cool off. I must say I hope year four follows suit exactly.
In continuing with our epicurean adventures, SVV—who was left out of my festival plans, sadly (he opted to stay home and work on our house, as he’s often wont to do!)—and I did some grand eating this past weekend at Chauhan Ale & Masala House, which recently started offering a brunch service.
I love me a good Indian restaurant, and Maneet Chauhan’s one-year-old spot fuses traditional Indian fare with Southern flair. In other words, it’s perfect for those who want to venture into Asian cuisine without completely leaving their comfort zone.
Chauhan’s lunch was already one of my favorite options in downtown, and I must say the brunch followed suit, too. The moment I saw monkey bread on the menu, there was no way I couldn’t not order it!
There were plenty of other recognizable Indian ingredients on the menu, like paratha and naan, but I stuck to a pretty basic pulled pork with coconut and spices atop a crispy rice cake. It didn’t disappoint either.
Naturally, I had to have a cocktail or two, because, well, I wanted to give a well-rounded review (obviously). And for those who have asked how life post-Whole30 is, let’s just say I feel morbidly obese and guilty every time I put something like this in my mouth.
I do intend to maintain some semblance of the plan long-term—mainly for weigh management and to balance how much I eat for my job—but for now I needed a week off. And quite the week off I had! Already looking forward to year four of Music City Food & Wine, not to mention my imminent return to Chauhan for brunch, round two.