Monday, May 17, 2004

The Weekend in Review

I'm back from Nashville complete with a motel tan. My friends are nicely ensconced in their new townhome as of this posting. They still have some miscellaneous items to move, but they're officially homeowners. And I'm sore as hell.

Nashville's a great city deserving of its nickname "the Athens of the South." The trees covering its rolling hills are in full foliage right now. I found myself longing for a road bike and a few hours to ride. Nashville is the second fastest growing city in America, so the metropolitan area is undergoing some serious urban sprawl right now. They have public transportation, but the buses run worse than Pace schedules. The city is building a greenway connecting the far reaches of the city to downtown by bicycle trail, so for you health nuts, you have that going for you, as the far reaches stretch some thirty miles outward in any direction.

Nashville's also where I've had the best sushi in my life. The place is called Virago and it's located right by the Country Music Hall of Fame. We finished moving the heavy furniture around 9 Saturday night. We were all showered by 10:30 and Virago was the only place we could think of that was open late for dinner.

Anyhoo, we got to Virago and they had house music screaming through the house stereo system. We ordered five rolls and the fucking things were huge. Each had a different texture and more thought put into them than some of the better sushi restaurants here (Note to Heat and most of the Wicker Park Sushi restaurants: you've been called out.) After a few minutes, the house beats were replaced by more sublime acid jazz and the volume was lowered. We stayed till one a.m. and I'm glad I did because there was so much HOTNESS there. Jesus, I hadn't seen that many hot Southern redheads in a long time. They were all rocking some serious stilettos and leather, pounding back Newcastles like trixies do Miller lites, and traveled in packs everywhere in the restaurant. Like they had a purpose and that purpose was to just be beautiful. I just sat in my booth trying not to keep the ort of salmon roll in my mouth.

Sunday we decided to reserve some time for a "pig crawl." This was where we stopped at various barbecue joints in the area based on pre-determined criteria:

- The restaurant had to spell Barbecue either "B-B-Q" or "Bar-B-Q."

- The restaurant had to have a picture of a pig wearing a chef's hat, an apron, a chef's smock with no bottoms a la Porky Pig, or was clutching a fork and knife in its hooves.

- We were never to refuse refills on drinks, biscuits, onion rings, or fries.

We only stopped at one place before we called it a day. The one place we stopped at (I think it's called Nick and Ed's) had a pig with the knife and fork qualifier but also had a disturbing smile on the pig, as though he was offering to cut off a slab of his hip right there for you. We ordered onion rings and cheese biscuits for appetizers. The onion rings were as big as a softball, the cheese biscuits were more like mini muffins, but they were so good. We all dove in and committed wanton gluttony.

I ordered something off the menu called "Pig in the Potato Patch": a giant baked potato stuffed with all the fixings and a good half-pound of pulled pork. They had a barbecued chicken version of the potato, so I asked for a half-pork, half-chicken potato. With Mrs. Claus' voice in my head ("Poppa, eat! Nobody likes a skinny Santa.") I tore into that potato as though Christmas depended on it. Once I was done I seriously considered bulimia for the first time in my life, then opted for loosening the belt, which probably saved my life.

Now I'm back here with visions of the big ass Missionary Baptist Church in my head. But that's a story for another time.

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