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 shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Martin's BBQ





From Diner's, Drive-In, and Dives and Best BBQ in America

3108 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212

The tag line says it all "Not ideal for vegan Bat Mitzvahs"

I grew up in Nashville before it was NASHVILLE! The Nashville I grew up in wasn't the place that make people giddy and excited.  It wasnt the bachelorette party capital of the world.  It wasn't a foodie paradise.  It was just Nashville.  It was the "you wear shoes" comment Nashville. 

Long before the James Beard award winning chefs and hipster craft beer and burgers and ice cream. Long before areas now considered trendy were visions of Green Acres or the Wire.  There was my Nashville.

The Nashville I grew up in had mediocre BBQ at best.  I would get my BBQ fix when we would make our monthly trip to Memphis to see family.  "Why can't we have (insert a Memphis BBQ institution) in Nashville".

Well, now we do.  The influx of people and culture has also brought an influx of Southern pride and tradition and an obsession with sharing it with the masses.

Thanks to this new wave of popularity, Nashville has had to step up its BBQ game in a big way to keep up with the trends.  The hot chicken, the music, and the BBQ.

Nashville was ranked the "best BBQ city in America" recently.  It wasn't awarded to Nashville because of the BBQ they had, they got the award because of the BBQ they got.  Nashville has become a hub for all things food related.  People brought the best of their talents, skill, and knowledge to Nashville and have set up shop.  

Martin's BBQ is a perfect example and metaphor of what has made Nashville great and unique.

This place is all about the classic southern BBQ experience.  They borrow and perfect methods and sauces from all the regions. Tangy and spicy from Memphis.  Tangy and sweet from Texas.  Mustard base from South Carolina.  Vinegar based from North Carolina.  White sauce from Alabama.  Whatever it is KC does.  They have it all under on roof and they do it right.

The pulled pork is amazing.  The ribs are wonderful.  The sides are phenomenal.  The sweet tea is delicious.  This is exactly what you want from a BBQ restaurant and experience.  This place is amazing, wonderful, phenomenal, and delicious.

Thanks to Martin's, Edleys, Jack's, and the best BBQ in town in my opinion, Peg Leg Porker, Nashville's claim to the best BBQ city in America is not only well deserved but is justified.

PS- The Devil's Nectar sauce is the hottest BBQ sauce I have ever had in my life. 

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