Hot Chicken and Sound Suits

West Nashville is a different side of Nashville than I’m used to, not the gritty East Nashville with dimly lit dives, rock venues, and grub pub types places; certainly not the honky tonks and goth/industrial clubs and late night jukebox bars my friends and I have haunted over the years.

My sestra and her hubs recently bought a house in West Nashville, and for fellow Knoxvillians it’s a lot like Sequoyah Hills meets Westland area lakeside neighbourhoods with beautiful intricate homes and green lawns full of plush foliage.

My song for this entry is “Loverman” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. You’ll get it in a moment.

For dinner, my lovely hosts treated me to Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken. I got the hot chicken sandwich with pimiento macaroni and cheese. Delicious.

Nashville Hot is not like the vinegary sting or instant scorch that you get from most hot sauces. Nashville Hot is subtle and smoky. It takes its time, like the man in the suit who sends a drink your way but doesn’t get up and walk over yet.

On Saturday, we met with other family/friends at Sinema for brunch. In the 40s, the Melrose Theatre was a glamourous twin theatre to the Belle Meade, but for unknown reasons it never seemed to become as popular. It sat unoccupied for many years and in 2014 it reopened as a restaurant. Sinema retains the Art Deco glamour of the Melrose and is the place to go for an elegant brunch experience.

31519786_10156444684883885_1443481101652721664_o

As guests enter the foyer, they are invited to tour the theatre while filling their plates. Climb the shiny gold stairs to the omelette and crepe station. Sit and eat while you watch a movie in the upstairs lounge.

31662126_10156444152453885_5373705876362231808_n

31064315_10156425547733885_8168795048419262464_n

Order a Bloody Mary and sip it as you descend the stairs, and admire both the film projected overhead and your reflection in the mirrored walls looking classy as hell.

31531100_10156444151378885_5639489782762438656_n

Sample the various sausages, ham, bacon, roasted potatoes, eggs, and panini at the main table in the heart of Sinema. Smile at the babe behind you who compliments your dress and says he loves peacock feathers too.

Sinema is the type of place that makes you want to talk to people.

31081523_10156425547028885_4153982924334563328_n

Revisit the foyer for biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles. Satisfy that sweet tooth at the dessert buffet.

One of my favourite things about Sinema is the peacock feather and art deco motifs with black, gold, and green accents. Sinema could easily be an extension of my own home.

31131130_10156425547293885_742549598656004096_n

And of course, the powder room is glamorous.

As we waited in line, many women took the opportunity to stretch out on the leather loungers and strike their best cheesecake poses.

31062216_10156425547158885_7541940710392463360_n

31530421_10156444254113885_2860612939721736192_n

31479409_10156444253968885_3521958682633961472_n

Food quality was above average, combining standard ‘Merican breakfast buffet faire with decadent surprises. An a la carte menu included unlimited spare ribs, peanut butter pancakes, stuffed peppers, and grits. Bottomless Mimosas are also a plus.

31460749_10156444150643885_2963385700319232000_n

You really can not go wrong here. The price ($28+ each) is well worth the ambiance and selection, without having to commit to one dish or cuisine. I am very pleased to see such a supreme reincarnation of this beautiful theatre.

31515790_10156444253628885_532930120592130048_n

We took a short walk and visited the Frist Art Museum. My sweet sister also planned this in advance because she knows Nick Cave is one of my favourite musicians, and we had a good laugh when we realized it was a different artist named Nick Cave.

31531536_10156444154758885_2410586661583847424_n

This particular Nick Cave is a Chicago visual artist who incorporates fabric, found objects, dance, sculpture, music, and textiles into his art.

31077061_10156425544608885_5945137797487656960_n

31487565_10156444155913885_6738706651227881472_n

31501785_10156444156058885_15856581170167808_n

31150273_10156425544158885_2391449369644630016_n

31084122_10156425544573885_3345829370974437376_n

31093545_10156425544518885_6104130387204636672_n

Cave also experiments with illusions and multi-dimensional layering of found objects and every day artifacts of human life. Reflecting on his work provokes awareness of how the items and images in our lives could appear to be art or ancient deities to an objective species.

31081498_10156425544423885_7967516388254285824_n

31484703_10156444155808885_9106244344502812672_n

31144106_10156425544353885_4174608233463283712_n

He is notorious for his “sound suits” which are equal parts artistic expression and social experiment. I was not able to record video of this exhibit, so I will share this one from Youtube instead.

We were lucky to catch the final day of the Frist’s Rome relic exhibit as well. Many pieces were imported while just as many were created in the style of ancient Roman sculpture.

31084213_10156425544863885_4369941791307202560_n

31073000_10156425544808885_5274649224548450304_n

31490963_10156444152778885_3211762679794368512_n

31092038_10156425544778885_4825006233587023872_n

31444897_10156444154468885_6529740970265673728_n

31454096_10156444153918885_8964027068115320832_n

As this ancient God conquers a giant beast, I recalled a certain animal of mine who refuses to take his medicine or to allow me to treat him for fleas when the season requires it.

31489666_10156444154018885_8477041093156798464_n

31501115_10156444154688885_8264384274350735360_n

We left the Frist and visited some nearby shops, one of which was 2Danes home furnishings. I absolutely love their modern and retro collections, and especially their inversion recliners. A few minutes upside down in this chair had me feeling like a spring chicken again.

31486867_10156444157018885_7157708031239651328_n

12 South

The most up-and-coming area of Nashville is known as 12 South, and is situated along 12th Avenue South. From what I gather, the neighbourhood is defined by 440 to the south, falling between Belmont and 8th Avenues.

We visited the Five Daughters Bakery and picked up some magical cronuts- giant, heavy doughnuts made of buttery, flaky croissant layers and filled with cream cheese.

31460751_10156444157903885_3493718057187016704_n

Chamomile vanilla, maple bacon, chocolate cream cheese, and rocky road were among our picks. It was painful to place them in the car for later while we set about our day.

31117693_10156427907618885_2688770671143550976_n

While our cronuts waited in the car, we had brunch at Flipside, a retro diner that serves chicken schnitzel with a multitude of toppings.

31466784_10156444158018885_2680925956327079936_n

They do not call it schnitzel on the menu but any meat that is pounded flat, breaded, and fried is a schnitzel in my book. I had mine as poutine- brown gravy and cheese curds over fried potatoes and chicken. There was a slight mix-up and somehow I ended up with tots and fries #aintmad

31543379_10156444158218885_2463466406306381824_n

After brunch we worked our way down the street to a nursery/garden center where I sniffed and felt my way through a jungle of plants I already have at home yet always want more of. The owner had some creative ways of growing and showcasing his.

31466639_10156444158368885_5049823389003284480_n

There were loads of boutiques, taquerias, burger joints, studios, wellness centers, juice/tea rooms, and breweries nearby. Here you can also find the amazing Mafiaoza’s Italian Restaurant. It’s been a few years but I have not forgotten Mafiaoza’s, and back then it was really one of the only places to go in this area.

After it had began raining, we tucked into Frothy Monkey for a latte and chill vibes.

31460942_10156444158483885_1912701116190031872_n

Down the street we found Savant Vintage with a band of taxidermied animals aggressively flying out of the ceilings. This wild boar was my favourite. I know how easily a decaying mandible disarticulates and I am impressed with how solid this one was.

31502999_10156444253433885_6403749573516328960_n

Savant was way more fun than some of the stuffy and hilariously overpriced stores we passed through (Moda asks $10-15 for a single tea light. They’re like 10 for $2 at the Walmart, girl bye).

31445093_10156444159778885_5965924777775333376_n

Embers Ski Lodge appealed to my Alpine longing and odd nostalgia for lodges. It was raining quite hard at this point, the coffee had long worn off, and it was a good time for a St. Germaine’s seltzer. I am not convinced they pulled off the Pacific Northwest theme any better than Twin Peaks restaurant but maybe that is not the point.

31493099_10156444160133885_5589018496785711104_n

We found several more furniture and home decor galleries, and a funky boutique where I picked up some gifts and local goods. I definitely enjoyed becoming acquainted with this newer side of Nashville, and look forward to when we meet again.

31485217_10156444253783885_8124347617283932160_n

31444621_10156444159523885_6081374971865595904_n

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s