Memphis 1 night, TN 2 nights...advice?

Old May 1st, 2003, 08:23 AM
  #1  
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Memphis 1 night, TN 2 nights...advice?

I'll be in Memphis in May on a Friday and in Nashville on Saturday and Sunday. Not a lot of time in both cities, and I want to make the most of it. Most importantly I want to eat and drink. I'm looking for a range of the best cheap eats/unique city fare and fun bars. I LOVE country music, but I'm a girl from up North who particularly enjoys NEW Country. Are there good bars to go to, to hear new country music. (in the Martina McBride/Tim McGraw genre, as opposed to Patsy Cline) And most importantly - one friday night in Memphis. I need one place to eat and maybe a couple bars to hit. And perhaps a place for breakfast. So, I'm looking for the best. Also, my traveling mate is a lesbian, so if you know of any related bars (though i hear there aren't many) that'd be great. Thanks!
veronika_1944 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2003, 09:54 AM
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If you love county music, you MUST stay at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville! There are several bars within the hotel that feature up-and-coming musicians, and there are several restaurants within the hotel, too. For a special night, take the river cruise and dinner on the General Jackson steamboat that is right next to the hotel. (Not cheap, but a very good prime rib dinner!) Right next door is the Opry Mills Mall, which is HUGE! While you're in Nashville, go to the CMA Hall of Fame downtown.
ChristieP is offline  
Old May 1st, 2003, 10:01 AM
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Which weekend in May will you be traveling? The Beale Street Musical Festival in Memphis is this weekend. I don't know if it is sold out yet or not, but there will be fabulous performers this year: Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, LL Cool J, Wilie Nelson, B52's, ZZ Top, etc., etc. If you like BBQ, check out Rendezvous for its world-famous ribs. It is in downtown Memphis near the Peabody Hotel. For drinking, Beale Street is fun, or any of the bars around near Beale - Flying Saucer, Rayford's (for dancing), or Ernestine & Hazel's.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:27 AM
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Personally, I wouldn't recommend staying at the Opryland hotel. It's far out of the way with nothing else around (except the Grand Ole Opry). I'd recommend you stay downtown where you can walk to several bars and restaurants. Or, you can stay in the Vanderbilt area and walk to some bars/restaurants there.

For some great music, head out to the Bluebird Cafe in Green Hills where the up and coming singers and songwriters try out their stuff.

I'll let someone else give you restaurant advice since it's been a while for me.

Have a great time! You are visiting two of my favorite southern cities.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 12:59 PM
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I am from Nashville and try to avoid the Opryland/tourist area but I finally got around to the world famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville. I loved it. If you have the time and money, check in at the recently renovated Hermitage Hotel. It's gorgeous. Go down to Printer's Alley where there are several clubs and finish up at Tootsie's. If you really want to see the stars, go to Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village. Vince Gill, the Titans, Fred Thompson are all regulars in the area.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 09:42 AM
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I am from Memphis and I personally feel that there are better places to eat other than the Rendevous. Don't get me wrong, their ribs are great but that's all the place is good for. But downtown is the place for good eats/bars. I work downtown and eat at a little Russian cuisine place called Cafe Samovar (on Union Avenue between Main Street and Front Street) quite often. I have never had a bad meal here and everyone I take really enjoys it. They have belly dancers on Friday and Saturday nights.

For a dance/night club, Club 152 on Beale Street is good. On the first level they usually have a live band and upstairs is more of a techno atmosphere. The places to drink are all on Beale. For your traveling friend, you will need to go into Midtown. This is about 10-15 minutes outside of downtown. Look up Amnesia as I believe this is a gay club.

You may also want to check out Peabody Place. There is a movie theater, Ann Taylor Loft, The Gap, Victoria Secret, Tower Records, and quite a few other speciality shops. Dan McGuiness Irish Pub is pretty good for pub food and a good beer, and there is also Puccini and Pasta, which I haven't tried. On the corner of Peabody Place outside The Peabody Hotel is also Texas de Brazil. This is somewhere to go if you are REALLY hungry (lots of food!) but it's good. Don't stay at the Peabody, not worth the price. And the ducks that walk down the red carpet everyday aren't worth seeing.

Enjoy! Memphis is a great party place but Nashville is much nicer.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 07:38 PM
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bomotrix
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In Nashville, I agree with the others who say avoid the Opryland Hotel. You will be isolated out there in a very generic part of town. Downtown hotels ideally located are the Hilton Suites, Embassy Suites (4th Ave & Church - near Printers Alley), Renaissance, the Union Station and the newly renovated Hermitage (historic) Hotel. I can't comment on country bars, except for the Station Inn on 12th Ave S if you happen to like real Bluegrass.
Excellent breakfast, a little drive west out on hwy 100 is the Loveless Cafe. A great drive for a pretty morning. Be prepared to wait for a table. It's for sale so who knows how long it will be around? Also, fantastic barbeque at Hog Heaven on the edge of Centennial Park
 
Old May 3rd, 2003, 06:36 AM
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Tweety & Bomotrix - you are really making me miss Nashville! The Pancake Pantry -- YUM! Just be prepared for a wait on the weekends, Veronika. I love the Loveless, but didn't suggest it because it's a long (but beautiful) drive. I also love Hog Heaven (gee, Veronika, can you tell I spent all of my grad school days eating?!?). There isn't much seating -- it's more like take-away -- but Centennial Park is a nice place for a picnic.

Veronika -- I just saw an article recently that noted that Memphis has re-built the old Stax record and it's a museum to music-making in the area. Might be fun to visit.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 06:47 AM
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Beachlover99 is right: if you don't love ribs, don't go to Rendezvous. That's all they've got. But if you love ribs, then Rendezvous has got some of the best in my opinion. I have to disagree about Cafe Samovar. I used to work in downtown Memphis as well, and probably the worst lunch I've ever eaten was at Cafe Samovar. I've heard other people rave above it, though, so maybe it's just me. There are a wide variety of restaurants in the Overton Square area in midtown Memphis. Club 152 on Beale is a good place for dancing. If you like a "dueling piano" bar, Silky O'Sullivan's on Beale is fun. They have an outside patio where you can let goats drink your beer.
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