"best bathroom in America". Strangely I can vouch for this title, as I was offered a tour when walking past to the ladies room, by a kindly older gentleman, happy to show off the glamorous art deco interior.
Tayst, a restaurant known for its fresh local food and dedication to sustainability. What began as a pursuit to find the best tasting, local food, the chefs at Tayst are now deeply entrenched in the values of the green movement. They compost, they purvey green products for the restaurant such as beeswax candles and cleaning products, all in an effort to ensure that the entire dining experience respects the earth and the bounty it has provided. Lest you fear tree-hugging, tofu laden dishes, rest assured that the menu is playful and creatively modern while steeped in the classics. In fact the only reference to tofu on the entire menu was the ravioli appetizer, consisting of paper thin slices of turnip, filled with tofu walnut ricotta, laced with sage brown butter, lemon balm and mint. If that is hippie, bring on the patchouli.
Next the watermelon salad was colorful, served with fried lardon and caramelized onions. Creamy and bursting with flavor, the squash soup was clearly not made from pallid grocery store squash.
The trout dish caught our attention as it was served atop a bolognese. The vibrant pink fish was buttery and surprisingly well paired with the tomato meat sauce, then ringed with a basil emulsion.
We ended our meal with the flour less chocolate cake, and candied fruit, which paired amazingly well with our zinfandel, however I think anything including the local Tennessee moonshine would have gone well with that creamy slice of heaven. Smitten by the food and the service, we reluctantly took leave of Tayst to head to Second Street and Broadway for a tourist's Nashville music experience.
In the morning we hit Puckett's Grocery for a southern version of eggs benedict - poached eggs over a biscuit, topped with creamy pork gravy. Now if that did did not soak up our previous night's adventures, nothing would. After lazing around the hotel we readied ourselves for afternoon snacks and a little shopping. As we walked the few blocks from the hotel to Broadway we noticed a few folks dressed up in bloodied costumes, but seeing as Nashville has a diverse blend of art and tradition, we didn't think much of it until a bit later, while comfortably seated at Merchants eating tater tots fried in duck fat, washed down with local Yazoo beer, we saw hundreds of zombies walking past the large picture windows. Apparently we were in town just in time for the annual zombie walk.
From the old world elegance of the Hermitage to the green movement at Tayst, and of course the bars of downtown, where the music starts at ten in the morning and for all I know it doesn't stop, I found one of those rare places where my night actually exceeded my preconceived expectations. Since returning to Oxford, I have found an excuse to wear my boots every day and continue to crank up the country music, channeling a little Nashville spirit into my daily life.
As for my lost fourth grade year, we never sued the pharmacy, but, I now have a built-in excuse for anything I cannot recall learning - algebra...must have missed that in the 4th grade.