Honky Tonk Blues

Did I mention that there is music in Nashville. Bourbon Street New Orleans has its clubs and bars (although giving it a miss this trip), Memphis has its Beale Street (where we frequented mainly as it was where we stayed), and Nashville has it honky tonk bars (also just around the corner from where we stayed – funny about that).

Out of the three – Nashville wins hands down. It’s not seedy, locals go there, there are no cover charges, and drinks are priced as they should be ($4 for a stubby or cheaper). The street is wide and not blocked off and you can’t buy an alcoholic slurpee from a window in the street or as they called it in Memphis – a big-assed-beer.

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

First night in Memphis – the home of the dry-rub BBQ ribs – and we headed to one of the classic BBQ places Rendezvous. This place is down an alley not unlike many of our Melbourne establishments but easy to find. And very popular; we were there relatively early and managed to get in the window as when we left they were queued up outside.

Food was quick, glass tabletops to save on cleaning, linen napkins and no need for cutlery (or silver as I should be calling it now). Went for a Ghost River beer which was quite nice pulled from the tap accompanied with some ribs and chicken (or should that be the other way around?). Both meats were coated with a generous rub that was sweet but spicy at the same time. There were some sauces to try in case you like wet ribs but the dry was probably the best (although the chicken went well dipped in the sauce that came with it.)

Ribs from Rendezvous BBQ Memphis

Before

After

If anything, the ribs were maybe not as moist as others I have had ┬ábut I don’t think this deterred from the flavour, just maybe made them a little too chewy at times (someone sitting near us actually sent theirs back to the kitchen because of this). I have to be tough on the first rib rating but I will give them a 3.5 out of 5. And I would recommend the restaurant to anyone who visits Memphis because of the history and uniqueness.

And now it begins

Conference over – San Diego long gone – we are now on the road.

Said goodbye to the last white toast I’ll be having for breakfast and an easy luxury shuttle to San Diego airport, waived the luggage fee (which was upsetting a few unprepared people) and filled in a bit of time before we boarded for Dallas (the most upsetting thing with our flying so far is that I left my puzzle book on our flight from LA and I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement – and no, that does not mean the ones that have the answers in the back). Because we had a less than three hour flight there was no real food (not even the food you have to pay for on board) but at least there was a soft drink. Smooth flight and into Dallas. Don’t you love it in cattle class when you are sitting against the window and you know you can’t wait until you land and you just have to get up and climb over two people, one of which you have never met before and is sound asleep – I never knew I was so nimble (Caroline disagrees about my nimbleness.)

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Green Flash Brewing Co.

Second night in the States and we headed off towards the Gaslight District, San Diego for something to eat and drink. This is a great little area that has an endless number of places to visit. One of the things I liked was that the hostesses standing out the front with a menu do not get in your face and they wait for you to show interest or ask questions before they start on selling the restaurant.

Anyway, we had a good walk around checking things out, i.e. which places have a lot of people and which are not so well patronised, and settled on a chain favourite the House of Blues. This was not the first HOB we have visited so we knew what to expect and weren’t disappointed – I love the jambalaya and this was probably the best (and I really like their corn bread). But what made this an also good night was that it was local night where they showcase local bands in the Voodoo Lounge and showcase a local brewery across the bar – Local Brews and Local Grooves they call it. Tonight it was the Green Flash Brewing Co. and a few bands – A Fist Full of Blue and Special Delivery were two sets we watched.

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