Return to the Road: Nashville Sights Before Nashville Sounds
Yesterday’s post detailed my visit to Nashville’s Third Man Records. Upon the conclusion of this late morning jaunt, Tyler and I swung by Gabby’s Burgers for lunch. (Tyler, as you may recall, is a Nashville local who, among other life accomplishments, served as my designated eater at that evening’s Sounds game.)
I was familiar with Gabby’s Burgers, having already visited there (thanks to a reader tip) during my 2013 visit to Nashville. I was happy to be back.
I must have taken the above picture after leaving Gabby’s, as when we got there there was a line out the door. It’s an unassuming place — get your place in line, place your order, find a place to sit, wait for your number to be called, retrieve foodstuffs, consume. Regarding the “Answers to Common Questions” on the wall above the grill, my favorite is the second from the right:
We don’t serve beer.
I just don’t want to deal with the headaches.
Being gluten-free (I have celiac disease, remember?), it can be tough to get a good burger on the road. But at Gabby’s, you simply have to order it jazz-style. Nothing quite connotes the improvisatory, exploratory nature of jazz quite like meat wrapped in a lettuce bun.
Anyhow, these burgers (and fries) are great — greasy (but not too greasy), salty, well-seasoned, decently-proportioned and all-in-all satisfying. If you’re in Nashville I’d highly recommend a trip to Gabby’s, which sits in the shadow of the Sounds former Greer Stadium home.
After lunch, I parted ways with Tyler and poked around downtown Nashville for a bit. The Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators, has a separate entrance for a what I assume is a sizable portion of the fan base.
Six second review of current exhibits at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. https://t.co/8TQQBM19vE
— Benjamin Hill (@bensbiz) August 5, 2015
I would have loved to spend a few hours at the CMOF (that’s what people call it, right?), but the time I had available didn’t justify the required expenditure. It would have been great to learn about Taylor Swift at the Taylor Swift Education Center, for instance.
Basically, I just wandered around the Country Music Hall of Fame lobby. Or, as I like to call it, a spacious atrium.
The clerk told me that he used to play Rubber Room at closing time as a way to clear people out of the store. To each his own, I guess. I’d never leave when this is playing.
Back outside, I admired statues.
The John Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge is anything but, as it offers great views of the Nashville skyline. (Previously known as the Shelby Street Bridge, the structure was renamed in honor of journalist and first amendment crusader John Seigenthaler.)
Storm clouds were beginning to roll through, an ominous sign for that night’s scheduled baseball action (the game was called in the second inning).
Finally, I hoofed it on over to Broadway. This is the most touristy section of the city, what Beale Street is to Memphis. With time running out, I decided to make a brief stop at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop.
This establishment has a great marquee, and the display at the back of the store (an homage to the still-ongoing Midnight Jamboree) adds a lot of character.
But I don’t want to end on a negative note. I loved being in Nashville, and this is the only way I’ll rag on such a great city.
Thanks for reading this penultimate series of “Return to the Road” posts. There’s still more to come in that regard (from my New England trip), which should segue nicely into the reveal of my 2016 travel itinerary.