Dining Euphoria at Husk

I am trying to find superlatives to describe our dining experience at Husk. We arrived with a healthy appetite (thank goodness) after our walk through the cold from Tootsie’s on Broadway. We had a 7:15 reservation we made on Sunday.

37 Rutledge Street
37 Rutledge Street

The restaurant is in a converted mansion close to the Cumberland River. We passed the blackboard in the foyer listing all of the food and where it is sourced. The chef is committed to reinventing southern cuisine and eating local. We were seated downstairs and began to peruse our menus.

It was clear from the get-go: deciding what to eat was going to be a real challenge. We though we had it all figured out. Jessica will get the pork, Janet the beef; me the chicken and we would all share. (Chuck was always going to get the chicken.) Then the waitress told us about the specials and Janet and I both agreed to share a rib-eye steak. Somehow the waitress convinced us that we could not possibly be full if we shared a 26 ounce steak (the minimum size), so we ordered the next size available at 42 oz.

Sources of food
Sources of food

By this time we had our cocktails. I decided to join in and had a delicious drink called a Copperhead. It had some combination of rye whiskey and other good stuff. We started the meal with pork-tail sliders and chicken skins. OH MY GOD! We knew this was going to be an euphoric evening of eating.

Pork tail sliders and chicken skins
Pork tail sliders and chicken skins

It was truly amazing. The rib-eye was fantastic, as was the pork and chicken. The sides were creative and tasty—sweet potatoes with the pork, white potatoes and broccoli with the rib-eye. We were all so caught up in the conversation and sharing great food. It was wonderful.

rib-eyeI could not imagine finding an empty inch in my tummy for dessert and then I saw the menu. I have always wanted to try buttermilk pie. So I talked everyone into sharing a slice. It is custardy and delicious. It is a great option for a pie baker like me when there is not a good fruit option in season.

We tottered out of Husk completely satisfied.

Eat Your Way Through Nashville and Be Happy

Local suggestionsOn the Southwest flight to Nashville I struck up a conversation with a local Nashvillian and asked “Where should we go?” She and her friends gave us lots of suggestions and I started writing them on this napkin. Then other passengers started chiming in. By the time we were finished we had more places to eat than meals to eat them.

Fried chicken and biscuits and gravy at Puckett's in Franklin
Fried chicken and biscuits and gravy at Puckett’s in Franklin

With one southern boy in our party, we committed ourselves to eat as much southern food as possible in 48 hours. Kudos to Chuck. He managed to eat chicken at every single meal, even breakfast.

Fireside chats at Hermitage Hotel fireplace
Fireside chats at Hermitage Hotel fireplace

We arrived to the Hermitage Hotel late on Sunday night and felt peckish. It was 7:30 p.m. on our internal clocks. One of the recommendations was for the Capitol Grill at the Hermitage Hotel. Unfortunately its kitchen was already closed; fortunately we could order food at the Oak Bar. We kicked off our Nashville eating orgasma with divine deviled eggs and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese. Jessica also ordered the Brunswick Stew and let me taste. Yum. My colleagues raved about the cocktails. The waitress was very good with recommending drinks and provided quick cheerful service. Welcome to Nashville.

The next morning we all had breakfast on our own. I actually got up early and worked out in the gym! I ordered breakfast in my room: oatmeal with raisins (it is all about the pacing). It was the same high quality as the food served on my last morning at the Capitol Grill.

Our workshop was in Franklin and at lunchtime we sprinted to the Burger Up to get a table and eat in the hour break. We were all pleasantly surprised when we looked at the menu to find gourmet burgers, chicken and salads. You could eat healthy or go for truffle fries. The original Burger Up is in 12 South. We highly recommend it.

Puckett's in FranklinThat evening some of us wanted to watch football and we needed to eat. We selected Pinewood Social and it was such an amazing experience it earned a dedicated blog post, as did our dinner the following evening at the restaurant Husk.

On our last full day together we looked at our napkin and realized that we had to go out to breakfast if we wanted to experience more of what Nashville had to offer. Plus people kept saying we should see downtown Franklin. So we got up early and went to Puckett’s General Store for breakfast. It was good food and generous portions. By this time though I could feel myself getting ready to wave the white flag.

Our speaker used Chick-fil-A as a marketing example during the workshop and we all looked at each other and said “lunch”. We all were looking for smaller portions while still delicious and with service in under an hour (with driving).

Jack's BBQThe next day my sister-in-law’s sister Gretchen and mom Chetty gave me a tour of Nashville. I still needed to try a “meat and 3 sides” so we went to Jack’s BBQ. I loved the flying pigs. The sides all looked like they might clog an artery so I selected turnip greens and cole slaw to go with my pork and cornbread platter. It was delicious but I was reaching “tilt”.

Meat and 3 Sides at Jack's BBQ
Meat and 3 Sides at Jack’s BBQ

I also wanted to try local coffee. We stopped in 12 North at Frothy Monkey and I enjoyed an excellent latte.

On the last evening, I was too pooped to go out, so I ordered a salad from room service and carved off another hunk of rib-eye from the ginormous steak Janet and I shared at Husk. It was even more delicious cold.

I got recommendations for non-southern places too. Try Urban Grub in 12 South or Etch restaurant downtown (the only one anyone mentioned has vegetarian options). I Dream of Weenie for hotdogs.

My colleagues and I all agree—we would return to Nashville in a heartbeat and stay longer next time.