I had the opportunity to explore Germantown, an area of Nashville that I have not spent much time in, and I had such a great day! It really is so fun to be adventurous and play tourist in your own town. I had an appointment at Poppy and Monroe, which was incredible and I can't wait to share more about that later. I decided to head over to the neighborhood a little early and do some exploring so I could create another installment of Nashville Travel Series on the blog. Germantown, just north of Nashville, it is one of the first suburbs of Nashville and was established in the mid 1800's. The great thing about this neighborhood is that even in redevelopment it has retained so much of its original architecture and charm. It's a unique mix of Victorian era homes and revitalized old industrial buildings. I know it sounds like a weird combination of styles, but it totally works.
The first stop on my morning of exploring was at Steadfast Coffee. This is a locally owned coffee company that is known for sourcing the best beans and the art of roasting those beans. The actual space itself has the most beautiful light and is very clean and modern. Their artwork in the space is very cool and they have a really cute outdoor seating area. I ordered the avocado toast with an egg that was absolutely TO. DIE. FOR. They whip the avocado into a mousse, and then smear this thick homemade bread with some sort of magic cream cheese. So delicious. They also have the most incredible foam designs in their coffees. Seriously, you will feel a little guilty drinking them....but it won't stop you, because their coffee is so freaking good. They also serve lunch and dinner here too, as well as some really fun coffee based and non-coffee based cocktails. Give it a try!
Before today, one of the main reasons we came to Germantown was to visit one of our favorite restaurants, City House. They are known for authentic, rustic Northern Italian cuisine. You will not find spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna on the menu, but what you will find are dishes like Octopus Ragu and Smoked Chicken Strozzapreti. They might sound like odd combinations, but I promise.... they work and will knock your socks off. I really need to do a full review on the restaurant, but for right now I will just tell you a couple of our favorite things that we always order. Our number one favorite is the Belly Ham Pizza. It is what they are famous for and you can not leave without ordering it. A little insider tip, if you want to look like a local, ask for an egg on top of the pizza. It sounds weird, but it is ALL THE THINGS. We always order the Frico as an appetizer. It is a fried cheese that they switch out the ingredients for seasonally. I just checked the menu and right now it is a potato frico, but in the summer they will occasionally do a peach frico that is delish. You really you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. I can't forget their catfish and anything that they do with grits. Just go! On Sunday's you will find more "traditional" Italian fare mixed into the menu like meatballs, and lamb in what Tandy calls a Sunday gravy. Don't miss City House. P.S. If you can, grab a seat at the chefs bar where you can watch all the magic happen.
NASHVILLE FARMER'S MARKET
Another must do in Germantown is a stop at the Nashville Farmer's Market, which is one of the only farmer's market that is opened 363 days a year. It is an open air market housed in two covered sheds, that during the peak growing season (May-November) house 150 vendors. Everything from fresh seasonal vegetables to local meat, dairy, honey, freshly baked bread. Basically you name it and they sell it. They also have something called the Market House right on property that is home to over 14 local restaurants. If you are a fan of Jamaican food then you have to try the Jamaciaway Catering stall. Our dear friend, Guy Fieri did an episode of Diners, Drive-in's and Dives here and said that if you like Jamaican food this place is legit. The entire market experience is so fun and you really could spend half a day just wandering around and checking out what the different farmers have to offer. The stall I am visiting above is Southern Roots Produce and it is one of my favorites to visit, so make sure you stop by and visit.
GARDENS OF BABYLON
Technically Gardens of Babylon is not part of the Nashville Farmer's Market, but I love it so much that I had to give it a shout out all by itself. It is a full blown garden center right in the middle of the Farmer's Market. They have a huge greenhouse that has a fabulous selection of everything from vegetables to fiddle leaf figs. In fact, this is where Steve and I get the majority of our vegetables for the garden. The staff is so knowledgeable and for my local friends they also have a landscape company that does everything from design and instillation to outdoor kitchens and personal farming.
Confession, I haven't actually been to Henrietta Red yet, but I have heard so many rave reviews and have been dying to try it out. I got there just as they were opening on the day and they let me sneak a peek inside. I mean with an interior like that how could you go wrong. It could not be any more gorgeous. It is the brainchild of Culinary Arts Institute graduate Chef Julia Sullivan and her business partern/sommelier Allie Poindexter. The menu looks delicious and has a heavy lean towards seafood and low-country style dishes. The prices are also really amazing, both at the barroom and in the dining room. The barroom is always available for walk-in seating, but I would definitely recommend a reservation for the dining room. I will go soon and report back in full to you guys!
I really don't have to go into a ton of detail about Juice Bar because my love for them is well documented. If you are wondering what to get when you go, I always order the Mean Greens with a shot of ginger. So good, and the ginger gives it a kick which I love. The cool thing about the Germantown Juice Bar location is that they have a huge outdoor seating area which is perfect for when the weather is nice.
SHOPS + BOUTIQUES
Unfortunately I had to mainly window shop when I was there, since I went before my Poppy and Monroe appointment and most shops weren't open yet. However, the shopping in Germantown is great and there are a few well-known spots you have to check out. One place I have always wanted to go to and haven't had the chance is Peter Nappi. Peter Nappi was an Italian cobbler who immigrated to the US in the early 1900s. His grandson decided to review the family craft and opened the Peter Nappi's location in Germantown in 2011. The store is literally a site to be seen and they hand make the most gorgeous shoes and leather goods you have ever seen. Some other must sees are Rich Hippies-which sells the most adorable children's clothing and accessories, Pieces Boutique-a women's clothing boutique with super cute, affordable clothes, Wilder- a really cool store run by two ex-New Yorkers with an eclectic mix of everything from home goods to perfumes to clothing and accessories.
MORE TO LOVE
This neighborhood really has so much to offer and I am so glad that I ventured out of my normal area and took the time to explore it. I didn't mention this before, but Germantown is a relatively small neighborhood, only 18 square blocks, so it is super easy to just park and walk around. There are so many other amazing places that I could make this post 10 pages long if I kept going. I am going to list off a few more of my must-do's and you can check them all out for yourself. For eating you have to try, 5th and Taylor, 312 Pizza Co., Butchertown Hall, Cupcake Collection, and Cochon Butcher. Also, our local AAA baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, stadium is in Germantown and that is always a fun, family friendly activity to enjoy. And be sure to check out The Band Box while you're there! There is also an amazing park called the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park which is right across from the farmer's market. They have a 200 foot granite map that features all 95 counties in Tennessee and 31 different fountains that represent all of the 31 rivers in the state. It is really cool and a great place to get kid's energy out if you are traveling with the family.