The Shil-Shul Diaries
The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.
I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.
If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
From America's Best Burger
2901 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
"What you're getting: "The Woodstock" If you don't like their local beef topped with Benton's bacon, white cheddar, and Jack Daniel's ketchup, it would make me very sad. And angry. But mostly sad."
The Nashville I know is kind, gentle, calm, caring with a Southern twang, drawl, and spice. I had grown used to the slower pace of life, the warm summers and mild winters, and the satisfaction that the best burger in town came from a dive or a walk-up stand where you get everything in a paper bag that becomes translucent within five minutes of recieving your order from the grease of the fries packed inside.....
That's the Nashville I knew...
And then the "Nashville is the hottest city in America" came out, and my beloved little country town became a hub and mecca of popularity, parties, and Southern draw. The moment I had realized that Nashville was going through a major change in its personality was when Burger Up opened. A once run down network, 12th avenue was once run down, grafiti filled, and ridden with poverty, but now, with Burger Up as its anchor, this place is the most popular neighborhood in town. Burger Up was Nashville's first gourmet burger. Farm to table. Organic. Grass fed. Made from scratch. Craft beer. Handcut fries. Frankly, delicious. Sometimes change is tough to except, but if change brings a place like Burger Up, I am all for it!