Day 1 – Nashville: The Trip from LAX

After my dad passed away, I try to take my mom on a short trip each year. We typically do a 4 day trip somewhere in the US. To date, we’ve done Seattle, Chicago (twice), St. Louis, Milwaukee, Carlsbad and Memphis. This time we selected the country music capitol, Nashville, Tennessee.

Neither of us are country music fans and so planning for this trip was interesting. I’m glad that my mom likes my quirks about eating local food. She also likes many of my choices for sightseeing and so we were already compatible vacation partners.

We left LAX at 9 a.m. and had a short lay-over in O’Hare. Fifty five minutes later we touched down at Nashville International Airport.

After picking up our bags and finding out car, it was already 6 p.m. Our hotel was about a twenty minute drive south. Since we wanted to quickly adjust to the timezone, we decided to find our dinner destination.

I picked nearby Judge Bean’s BBQ. Their website indicated that they serve the “Best BBQ east of the Mississippi”. Figuring that claim was fairly lofty, we went there anyway.

img_1809I was happy to find that Judge Bean’s BBQ is in a modest building and looked like something the locals would frequent. The restaurant was half-full which is probably not surprising for a Thursday evening.

My mom and I both ordered meat platters. Mine came with pulled pork, baby back ribs, coleslaw and mac & cheese. My mom’s came with pulled pork, turnip tops and fried okra.

Pulled Pork, Fried Okra and Turnip Greens
Pulled Pork, Fried Okra and Turnip Greens
Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Mac & Cheese, Coleslaw
Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Mac & Cheese, Coleslaw

We were both pleased with our meals. My mom thought that the turnip tops were a bit spicy. Since the pulled pork lacked seasoning and sauce, we added their house BBQ sauce. Their vinegar based BBQ sauce was tangy and satisfying. I thought the ribs had a nice smoke flavor and were finished off so that they were slightly crisp out the outside.


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