Tim Love, the chef behind Fort Worth’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, and White Elephant Saloon loves live music and a good party. So it makes sense that he takes regular trips to Nashville. “If Austin and Fort Worth had a baby, it would be Nashville,” says Love. “The city is just super laidback and all about good times.” On a recent trip back, he helped his friend and Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill celebrate his birthday by hitting some classic Nashville haunts.
Robert’s Western World
“This old honky-tonk in the downtown area is hands down my favorite honky-tonk. It has great music and the fried bologna sandwich is off the charts. It’s served on white bread with griddled onions and two bags of Lay’s potato chips. The stage is at the front, which is typical of a real honky-tonk. On the far left you’ll find boots lined up on a wall of shelves. To the right is the kitchen, where they make those glorious sandwiches. There’s a small upstairs area with a balcony that looks down to the stage. Just outside the balcony is a small area to smoke cigarettes, but I think most people use it to light a joint.” 416 Broadway, (615) 244-9552, robertswesternworld.com
“You probably get five million people come through here a day for the ham, biscuits, and salted jam. This is real down home country cooking. It’s real quaint inside with red and white checked tablecloths. They have a pretty big menu and make a respectable fried chicken and vittles. But really you gotta go here for the homemade biscuits and jam. I’ve never tasted anything quite like them.” 8400 Highway 100, (615) 646-9700, lovelesscafe.com
“This is one of the city’s newer restaurants. The food has a little Mediterranean flare to it. The bread service comes with a tasting of butters that might include butters that have been infused with truffle, smoked, salted, or just straight up plain, delicious butter. The restaurant space is highly designed, but still feels casual. They have a great vegetarian plate for no meat eaters. It’s huge. It could serve a few people. I really liked the grilled octopus salad and they have a great little wine list.” 303 Demonbreun St., (615) 522-0685, etchrestaurant.com
Winners Bar & Grill and Losers Bar & Grill
“These are two of my favorite bars in Nashville. There’s that Toby Keith song where they lyrics go, “we’ve got winners, we’ve got losers,” well, he’s talking about these bars. The bars are set side by side and both are very dive bar-esque. You never know what songwriters you’ll run into because they all hang out here. Musicians beg to play here. You could be at Losers midday with 12 other guys at the bar and some guy could walk in and it’s the guy who just wrote a song that’s gone to number one on the charts. He just went from making $30,000 a year to $1 million. He’ll buy everyone in the bar a shot and even though you don’t know who he is, you have a good idea of what happened.” Winners: 1913 Division St., (615) 340-0004 and Losers: 1911 Division St., (615) 327-3115
Photo by Lovestyle Inc.