Feb 22, 2017

Tapping into Nashville’s brewery scene

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I still have an abundance of blog post ideas to share from my work stint in Nashville.  How far behind am I?  Well, one of the taprooms I’m about to spotlight has moved locations since I visited it in East Nashville.  It appears to be a good sign for business though … hopefully they won’t grow out of their status of a cool place to go.    

As I mentioned in a previous post from my time in Cleveland, my co-workers and I have made a habit of finding the local breweries and visiting their taprooms to quite literally get a taste of the local craft beer scene.  One in particular has amassed quite a selection of glasses from places he’s visited and was eager to add to his collection.  So, one weeknight we decided to see how many we could visit in and around downtown Nashville.

Feb 15, 2017

Nashville’s Dino’s deserving of legendary dive bar status

If there were such a thing as a Dive Bar Hall of Fame, I would feel compelled to nominate Dino’s in the Music City’s East Nashville neighborhood above any other bar I’ve visited. Although I've only been fortunate enough to visit a few times, there's something wonderfully seedy about the place that you just can't help but love.

Feb 7, 2017

Invasion of the Winking Lizard

If there’s anything my few faithful followers have learned about this commoner’s travels, it’s that I prefer to avoid chain establishments whenever possible.  I would much rather give my business to a local mom and pop diner or a dive bar than a generic sports bar/restaurant (or even, dare I say, “breasturant”).  After all, how different can the Buffalo Wild Wings in Sheboyan, Wis., be from the one in Springfield, Ill.?  Or TGI Friday’s?  Or Hooters?  

The truth, however, is that all of these chains most likely started as a great idea by someone who started with one stand-alone location.  Then it got too popular for just one outlet.  Then, it took off from its humble roots and word of mouth spread.  

From what I’ve experienced in the Cleveland area, that phenomenon is happening with a group of restaurants known as the Winking Lizard Tavern.  They have all the elements -- good pub food, popular offerings, a well-stocked bar (or several) with a large craft beer list, a likable and knowledgeable bar staff, and TVs showing sports within every line of sight.   

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...