We like to take trips on short weekends, long weekends, or just any ole weekend that are quick jaunts from the city.  We love the North Fork of LI (wine country) and Atlantic City (because the casinos are hurting and need our money).  While searching for something different, Nashville came to mind.  It’s only about a 2 hour flight, and Southwest Airlines had a direct flight (I also like to play the credit card point game and have earned myself a number of Southwest miles).  So off to Music City we went.  It's been more than a decade since I was last there and Maribel had never been. Gluttonous gastronomes that we are, one of the things we were most mindful of was where to eat - so we started our research weeks in advance and had a list of places in mind long before we touched down. 

In fact, shortly after dropping off our luggage, we hit our first stop: Monell's. Monell’s at the Manor honors classic southern food served family style at communal tables.  We were seated with two other groups and before long the enormous bowls filled with deliciousness started to arrive: moist, crispy skillet-fried chicken (FANTASTIC for a breakfast), biscuits and gravy, bacon, the fluffiest pancakes we’d ever experienced, country ham, and corn pudding that I still dream about. It was like a southern Thanksgiving with a bunch of strangers!  After we came out of our food coma and found the strength to stand, we were invited to go upstairs and check out the gone-with-the-wind-esq decor (which is really probably more of a way for them to drum up wedding business).

Monell’s proved to be the first of a number of awesomely delicious meals. No, eating isn’t the only thing we did in Nashville - lots of great music, lots of history. We visited a plantation, saw the Parthenon of North America, and even checked out the Johnny Cash museum (that guy had quite a remarkable life). Those stops might have to make for another blog post.

Back to food: one of the places Maribel learned of was the Loveless Café.  It was probably a solid half hour drive from downtown Nashville and worth every mile (would've been worth it if we had to walk in 110° heat).  The Loveless Café is reputed by many (including the Food Network) to have some of the best biscuits in America –so that pretty much means they are the best on the planet, since I don’t know how many other biscuit eating countries there are. 

Waits can get lengthy - we arrived at the compound around 10 AM and waiting about 90 minutes. And yes I did say compound. Brilliantly, they've devised ways to get money from you while you're just waiting to spend more money –the former motel rooms are now shops where you can buy everything from their biscuit mix to art. 

The highlight of the meal was the biscuits - they were nothing short of amazing.  They came with great, homemade preserves (bourbon-blackberry, strawberry, and peach) but really, just slap some butter on those bad boys and you're in biscuit freaking heaven.  While we could've (possibly should’ve) stopped at the biscuits, of course we didn’t.  We also ordered brisket, which had just enough fat melting in your mouth, and a rocking pulled pork sandwich with perfectly sweet yet spicy sauce. In short, the food made us wish we had 4 stomachs.

In part deux I'll share a couple of other gems that help make Nashville worthy of a spot on your short-list of places to visit.

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Apr 23, 2014 Posted in | , , , , | 1 Comments »

Unisphere at night. Digital ID: ps_mss_cd23_353. New York Public Library

So I'm sure there are some people out there in the blogosphere that were alive for the World's Fair in Flushing in the 60's (and apologies if I just made you feel old). Personally, I was not, but as a NY'er I've seen the cool leftovers from afar countless times - and even in the movies a couple of times. Well- this Tuesday ONLY (AKA - TOMORROW) - and for just 3 hrs between 11 AM & 2 PM, the pavilion people are letting anyone come by, free of charge, and go where the public hasn't been allowed to go for almost 30 years. Apparently they'll be providing hard hats for the experience (which bumps up the coolness factor a few notches). More deets can be found here

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Apr 21, 2014 Posted in | , , , | 0 Comments »

New Yorkers, you can get free tickets for a Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) movie on Friday, April 25th.  The tickets will be available on a first-come first-serve basis starting Monday, April 14th at company-owned AT&T stores and Tribeca Film Festival ticket outlets. 

Find a store location by visiting the event website: 

There are a few other free TFF events you can take advantage of like the Drive-in movies:
  • Mary Poppins on Thursday, April 17th
  • Splash on Friday, April 18th
For more details visit the Tribeca Film Festival website: http://tribecafilm.com/festival/events

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Apr 11, 2014 Posted in | , , , | 0 Comments »

We received a copy of the movie for review consideration but no compensation. These are our honest, unbiased opinions of the film.

She Says:
I was so excited to get the chance to review this movie because I had wanted to see it in the theater and didn't get the chance. Martial Arts films have always been a favorite of mine and it probably stems from the childhood memories of watching Black Belt Theater every Sunday in the 80s. The intersection of adrenaline pumping action scenes, rich culture, and fantastical/magical worlds all contribute to my remaining a fan of the genre. 

Enter 47 Ronin, which chronicles the 47 Samurai who are banished from their homeland after their master is killed. The story is wonderful and covers the themes of loyalty, mysticism, duty, good vs. evil and love. The scenery and costumes were stunning and brought back fond memories of my travels in Japan.

The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack of the movies, which was released on April 1st,  includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet so you can watch it on any of your devices. So glad that we now have this in our movie collection because I will definitely be watching it again!

He Says:
Let me start by saying that I'm not the world's biggest Keanu fan.  His monotonously monotone, stoned surfer dude voice just irks me, so I tend to watch his movies reluctantly.  Add to this the fact that I tend to get annoyed when, for seemingly no good reason, an American movie star is cast in a movie that they don't "belong" in.  Having said all that, fortunately the 47 Ronin story and the film are much more than just an hour and a half of listening to Keanu and watching him be Neo in feudal Japan.  As she said, the settings and costumes were rather amazing, and the story was complex (unlike an opera she just dragged me too). She is spot on with the themes, and I actually really enjoyed it.  Shocker.

You Say:
Now go watch the movie for yourself and tell us what you think! Need a little more to go on? Here's the trailer.

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Apr 5, 2014 Posted in | , , | 0 Comments »

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