Day two of our Nashville adventure started in the hipsterish and adorable realm of Hillsboro Village. If you like vintage items, whimsical curios, and amazing food, you want to be here. Apparently, Ben Folds calls this area home. Seeing that Alexis and I have a date with him and the Columbus Symphony this summer, this felt right.
We encountered a lot of lines during our trip, but this was especially present when went to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. An alarming queue snaked around the building, and with grumbles of a “one and a half hour wait,” Becker and I made a hasty retreat. We found a thirty minute line at Fido. Much better, and this turned out to be an unexpected success.
First, let’s talk about the best iced coffee of my life. It’s called the Grey Skies, and was recommended to me by a genius barista. This caffeinated wonder is made from coconut milk, bergamot simple syrup, espresso, and milk with chocolate shavings. The flavor is delicate yet complex, just sweet enough, and utterly delicious. Now, where the hell do I find bergamot simple syrup?
The food was also stellar. No matter how hard I tried, I could not take an attractive photo of my huevos rancheros. Just trust me when I say it was a triumph on a plate, and paired with the iced coffee, I was in a state of rapture. Sister’s breakfast of whole wheat pancakes plus accoutrements was also a victory (and much more attractive to photograph).
Afterwards, we explored the village and poked around the various shops. I recommend Hillsboro on a day when you have time to take a slow, deliberate walk. There’s a lot to see, and since price points vary depending on the store, it’s perfect for all budgets.
Our favorite place was Pangaea. Packed with an eclectic assortment of gifts, clothing, and accessories, it was totally up our alley. I wanted to spend all the monies here.
As you can imagine, we left Hillsboro with all kinds of souvenirs–including a bonus parking ticket. I’m probably a dummy, but I’m used to parking machines where you pay upon leaving. This is not the case with the lots in Hillsboro. Make sure to pay in advance and try to anticipate how long you will be there and add an extra hour for a good measure. There aren’t flat rates (as far as I could see), but you can also find street parking and avoid this headache all together.
Seeing that we had a rambunctious evening ahead, we spent the rest of the afternoon dozing by the pool. A couple hours later, food motivated us to shower and get out the door. We wanted to try The Pharmacy, but we quickly changed our tune once we were confronted with a two hour wait. No matter, we got an early start on Broadway instead.
Broadway is a lot like Bourbon Street (excluding the open containers) right down to its touristy vibe. In fact, a guy at Arnold’s advised us to go to Midtown to do as the locals do, but I had to stick with the status quo my first go around. This main drag contains gift shops, bars, live music, and all of the nightlife you could ask for.
As a result, you’re going to encounter a lot of bachelorette parties.
Becker and I struggled a bit on Broadway. If you’re a country fan, it’s going to be easy to find suitable live music. We had to traipse around until we stumbled upon a group called Smoke ‘n Guns at The Second Fiddle–we were completely won over by their covers of Forgot About Dre and Waterfalls. I was also won over by the lively crowd and wanted to plant there all night. Becker told me this wasn’t allowed (jerk), so we eventually stumbled along Broadway to pop in and out of the other establishments for a drink.
I like to end my boozefests with copious amounts of food, so we had a late dinner at Merchants. I don’t know what’s going on in this next photo, but it’s obvious that I am quite the comedienne.
Merchants has an upstairs dining area that is a bit more upscale (so Becker tells me), while the downstairs is a bit more casual. All I know is that the servers wear suspenders, and you’re served popcorn in lieu of a bread basket–I don’t know what else you really need in this world. Well, I guess time. More time would have been nice! You can cram a lot in two days, but there is still so much I want to see and do. Looks like a Nashville Pt. III is in order.