Always Aubrey

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Out & About: More Franklin Eats

As I mentioned in my post last week for Nashville, I have this standing folder of food photos that I've been saving for "where I've been eating" posts, and now I've got enough to write one for Franklin! (Click here for more posts about where to eat in Nashville, and where to eat in Franklin.)

Gray's on Main
I've been going to Gray's to meet up with friends since 2013 (read my original post here), and I still love it for the cocktails. While I do prefer some other downtown spots for food, I did have a fancy dinner at Gray's for work that was pretty good.  Definitely made for a pretty picture!  I think my reco is to do drinks and apps at Gray's then hit up another spot for dinner.  Worth mentioning because it's kind of become this iconic spot downtown (and it's beautiful!).

McCreary's Irish Pub
YES to McCreary's Irish Pub, a tiny hole-in-the-wall on Main Street!  It's the only Irish Pub I know of in the area.  It's tiny.  Seat yourself, because that's the only way you'll get served, as it's so small you can't stand around.  Fire codes, y'all.  But once you squeeze in, you're in for a treat.  Their fish and chips are awesome (and their chicken tenders, if you're not a fish person), and they have baked potatoes and other goodness.  I haven't had a bad bite here, ever.  And of course, Guinness, Magners, and other Irish drinks of choice.  I need to get here more often.

Chapman's II
I visited Chapman's a couple years back, when it used to park its trailer by Landmark Booksellers.  I think it might have actually had another set of owners since my first visit.  It went out of commission for a while for an overhaul of the old wagon, and a lot of people didn't love the changes to the menu.  It just wasn't the same anymore.  That said, I had a steak and egg sandwich and potatoes from the truck while they were parked at a local brewery this fall... and it was AWESOME.  Honestly, it was the best meal I've had from Chapman's, ever.  So while there are still folks mourning the way it used to be, and their favorite old menu items, I will admit that I like the new taste now.  Great seasoning and food all-around.

Big Shake's Hot Chicken & Fish
Big Shake's is officially my favorite hot chicken in Franklin.  Judge me if you want, but I get tenders.  (Hot chicken purists think you should only have bone-in...)  But even the purists will agree that Big Shake's is delicious, and that their catfish is excellent.  I usually get Crybaby heat and it's hot enough for me.  The fries are SO GOOD and the perfect complement for the spice.  I also love how close it is to where I work and live, bonus points.

Meridee's Breadbasket
This cute little bakery is a great lunch spot in downtown Franklin, right near Puckett's.  Meridee's has a great apple bacon panini that I like, complete with their own freshly baked breads, perfectly paired with some tomato soup.  You order at the counter and then they bring your food out or call your number.  I've also heard they make great pies and desserts.

Where have you been eating lately?
What's your favorite Franklin spot?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Lately: Planning, Loving, Reading, Wishing, Feeling

I'm linking up with the ladies of Blogger Tribe, rounding up my favorite things from the past week.

A look at some of my decorations around the apartment

PLANNING...  Holiday gifts for everyone!  I'm way behind on shopping this year; the only gifts we've bought are the one thing we got for ourselves this year... a new TV!  Dan couldn't let the deals go by, and I must admit that it's a huge upgrade over my old bachelorette TV.  Oh, and we got the kitties a new cat tree.  Best money spent, despite it being a monstrosity... our kitties are fully clawed, but they don't touch the furniture!

LOVING...  This new mug I bought, because Lacey had it and I wanted it in my life.  Treat yo' self!

READING...  Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham.  After finishing the new Gilmore Girls episodes (or more like mini-movies?) on Netflix, I jumped into this book to keep things going.  There are some typos, and the essays are a little uneven, but they're still really fun to read as a behind-the-scenes look at one of my all-time favorite shows.  I was mostly satisfied by the new content on Netflix.  I watched GG from the pilot and am the same age/timeline as Rory; we graduated high school the same year and everything!  It felt like a sort of homecoming, and this book sort of enhances that.

WISHING...  I was pregnant.  Y'all, I don't vent about this on social media and stuff, but if you're the praying type, send some good vibes my way.  I know it takes time, especially at my age, and I have a couple of months before I need to see the doc to make sure nothing's off.  I'm not even that open about it with everyone in my life yet, but something compelled me to write this here in this post.  I'm doing all I can, and I have lots of advice and books and whatnot (more than I need, probably).  In the meantime, I'm trying to distract myself by making delicious food and whatnot.  Like this beef bibimbap from Plated.  Everyone says to just relax and let it happen, but I'm not the relaxed type.  So distraction works.

FEELING...  Tired.  This was my first weekend home since October 22nd.  Yes, you read that right.  And I have to go to Seattle next week for work.  Brrrrr.  But you gotta fake it 'til you make it!  I had my hair and makeup done for some photos yesterday, so I snapped a little thumbs-up selfie afterwards.  Because we gotta keep on keeping on!


What are you up to this Sunday?

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Out & About: More Nashville Eats

I have this standing folder of food photos that I've been saving for one of these "where I've been eating" posts, and now I've got so many I'll be doing one for Nashville AND one for Franklin!  I feel like I don't have enough for a full blog post, so rounding them up feels right.  (Click here for more posts about where to eat in Nashville, and where to eat in Franklin.)

The Loving Pie Company
I wrote about The Loving Pie Company back in 2014, and I still enjoy it!  It's a cute little pie shop that is very Pushing Daisies, if you love Kristin Chenoweth like me and feel like it was cancelled before its time.  I've been back a couple times since my first blog post, and I discovered that on Saturday mornings they play Broadway music and have brunch pies.  BRUNCH PIES.  You gotta visit.

They also have some special events, like The Pie Society hosted at Jackalope Brewing Company, where you dress up and enjoy beer and pie pairings.  BEER AND PIE!

I've eaten at Bartaco in 12 South more times than I can count.  I think their margaritas are great; they're fresh, so they don't give me heartburn like others.  I have had their chips, bowls, and tacos, and all are tasty.  I like their variety.  They serve the food all together in a kind of social, communal manner, and the staff are great.  It's usually a spot I eat with my blogger buddies in Nashville.  It's also very close to Sprinkles, and you can't go wrong with a cupcake after dinner.

Wing Basket
I have a group of coworkers that love hot chicken and chicken wings, so they always drag me out to these fun little spots in search of the best.  One of their favorites is Wing Basket in Nolensville.  It's a casual place tucked into a strip mall, very unassuming.  But they have a huge selection of wing sauces and options, as well as bone-in, boneless, and tenders.  In addition, their fries are well-seasoned and really tasty.  I think I enjoy the fries just as much as the chicken, which is really great!  You can definitely get options with some heat to them, as well as non-spicy flavors.

The Flipside
I went to The Flipside in 12 South with a friend, and it was definitely the kind of meal you need to sleep off afterwards!  The whole place looks very retro, like a diner or soda fountain out of the 50s.  The main event is their Jack's Best Chicken fried chicken patty, pounded thin,  with over twenty options for fixin's.  I chose the eponymous Flipside with jambalaya, eggs, and cheddar, and a side of crispy tater tots.  It was a heavy, gut bomb meal, but tasty the whole way through.  Tots were perfect, and I'd order them again.  I haven't been back since our visit, because I haven't been craving this kind of food.  The service was a little uneven while we were there, with some credit card confusion that resulted in my friend's card being charged twice, but the manager was great despite the server being a bit airheaded.

SmoQue Signals BBQ
The SmoQue Signals BBQ food truck stopped by my office during our summer Food Truck Fridays.  I'm a fan of BBQ, even though I don't always crave it.  Their credo is "Nashville Bred, Memphis Approved" in that they offer West Tennessee-style BBQ.  Memphis-style BBQ is one of the major types of BBQ, and it's really Memphis that is known for being a BBQ city over Nashville.  (People always come to town wanting to eat BBQ like Nashville is known for it, but it's really not.)  This BBQ pork sandwich from Smoque Signals and crispy, thing fries really hit the spot.  There was an extremely long wait for this food, kind of like they didn't realize they'd have a long line.  But I suppose good things come to those who wait!  My only complaint was the wait, the rest was all delicious.

Hattie B's West
My love for Hattie B's is known here.  Since like 2013, right?  But I don't really go to the crowded, touristy Midtown original location anymore.  We head straight to the west side to their larger location, complete with parking lot, (typically) shorter line, and wider drink selection.  You ever have those moments where you're like, "I'm too old for -insert something here-"?  For me, it's the opportunity cost of waiting in enormous lines for something.  I'm just too old.  It's one of the reasons I love restaurants that offer reservations!  But when out-of-towners want a taste of Nashville, we usually stop by.

Where have you been eating lately?
What's your favorite Nashville spot?

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