Best Tennessee Foods

Ten Quintessential Tennessee Foods and Where to Find Them

Banana Pudding: An iconic Tennessee desert involving a bed of ‘Nilla wafer cookies layered with rich vanilla pudding and fresh slices of banana, this is a delightful finish to any meal! If you are watching your sugar intake, pop into Muddy’s Bake Shop in Memphis for a shot-sized serving of the delicious treat. If you want to truly indulge, visit Peter D’s in Murfreesboro. This place won the 2015 banana pudding contest, priding itself on building every ingredient from scratch for a truly authentic southern flavor!

Barbecue: Tennessee is a state that is almost synonymous with delicious barbecue. With a number of regional influences, it is not unusual to find ribs slathered with a tomato-based sauce vs a sweet and spicy dry rub. It is ultimately the intense flavor that makes Tennessee BBQ so appealing! Of course, there are the classic favorites, such as pulled pork, chopped beef and smoked brisket, yet some will argue that a truly fantastic barbecue plate is as much about the sides as the meat itself. For the full experience, you can do no better than to stop by Central BBQ on Central Avenue in Memphis. This place smokes their meat with hickory and pecan wood, incorporating a secret mixture of seasoning that makes each bite absolutely delicious. Be sure to sample the ribs as well as the smoked turkey, accompanied with a serving of home-cooked pork rinds and green beans!

Biscuits and Red Eye Gravy: Biscuits and gravy are one of the most famous dishes in the South, yet Tennessee is infamous for its red eye gravy. This simple yet delicious concoction is made from country ham drippings combined with coffee and served over a flaky, fresh baked biscuit. Particularly popular for breakfast, be sure to stop by the Loveless Café in Nashville, where you can sample this classic dish alongside two farm fresh eggs and homemade hash brown casserole.

Catfish: Catfish is one of the ultimate comfort foods of the south. Rolled in cornmeal and fried, there is nothing better than sitting down to a few fresh catfish filets accompanied by a simple squeeze of lemon. Catfish are plentiful in the Tennessee rivers, so most people prefer to catch and cook their own, but if you want a great meal without putting in the work, stop by Uncle Bud’s in Donelson for a treat! For less than $20, you can eat all the catfish you can hold, either in the form of a whole fish or the more classic boneless fillets!

Cornbread: One of the most quintessential Southern foods, everyone has their own idea of what cornbread should be. A simple concoction of cornmeal and baking powder, there are many different variations on how cornbread can be made. Some like it sweet, some like it dry and crumbly, and others like a softer texture. In spite of individual preference, almost everyone can agree that the best cornbread in Tennessee, and maybe even the entire South, can be found at Husk in Nashville. Made with buttermilk, egg and bacon, this treat is cooked in a wood-burning oven before being brought to the table, still sizzling in its cast iron skillet! Be sure to slather it with the honeyed pork butter that accompanies the dish for the ultimate taste of the South!

Country Ham: One of the most popular forms of Southern protein, country ham is cured in salt and smoked with hickory or another hardwood. After the process is complete, the meat is allowed to age for anywhere from several months to a few years before being cooked and served. While this may seem like an invitation for food 

poisoning, the meat is kept unspoiled by the curing process. A popular holiday dish, you can find country ham available year- round at Shirley’s Home Cooking in Hampton. This cozy place offers lives up to its name, serving delicious food made from scratch in a family-style manner, meaning you can eat all you can hold!

Grits: A popular breakfast food, grits are to the South what oatmeal is to other regions. Grits are made from boiled, coarse ground corn that is typically served 

piping hot. On their own, grits are typically topped with butter, salt and pepper or mixed with cheese, though some like them sweet and will add sugar and honey. When combined with shrimp, grits create one of the most iconic comfort foods associated with the south! The Loveless Café in Nashville is most-well known for their delicious biscuits, yet they offer some delicious stone ground grits that make a perfect accompaniment to breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Best Places to Stay in Denver, Colorado

Where to stay in Denver, Colorado

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa: (321 17th St) Established in 1892, this triangular shaped hotel is well known for its old-style charm coupled with impeccable customer service. The grand atrium is tastefully decorated with stained glass, and the rooms are large and clean, offering toiletries that are made from honey collected from the rooftop beehives! There are six onsite restaurants and bars to explore, as well as a luxurious boutique spa that offers everything from couples’ massages to facials and waxing.

The Curtis Hotel: (1405 Curtis St) Located in the heart of downtown Denver, the Curtis Hotel has a strong pop culture theme that is at once trendy yet still refined. Each floor has a different theme, ranging from television shows to music, sports and much more! The rooms are brightly decorated and equipped with every modern touch you could desire, and there is also an on-site gym and retro gift shop to peruse! While room service is always an option, the Corner Office is located in the lobby, and serves a wide selection of food and cocktails, as well as a hearty breakfast buffet during the week!

The Embassy Suites: (1420 Stout Street) Located in the heart of downtown Denver right next to the convention center, this is an excellent option for anyone looking to keep to a budget without sacrificing quality or cleanliness. Every room is a two-room suite, so there is plenty of room for the entire family! There is a pool and jacuzzi for relaxing, as well as an onsite restaurant and bar if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel for dinner. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary happy hour that occurs each evening, as well as the impressive complimentary breakfast buffet that takes place from 7:00 am to 9:00 during the week and 7:00 am to 10:00 am on weekends.

The Four Seasons: (1111 14th St) Nothing says luxury like a stay at the Four Seasons, which is almost unanimously thought of as the overall best hotel in Denver. While the place is certainly not cheap (you’ll pay nearly $50 a day just for parking), it is an absolute experience unto itself, and well-worth every penny spent. What makes this place truly spectacular is the flawlessly trained staff who are always present to answer any questions or address any concerns. While there is much to see in the area surrounding the hotel, you can have a wonderful time just exploring the grounds! Take a relaxing dip in the heated pool, pamper yourself at the spa or indulge in the plethora of fine art decorating the lobby and hallways before satiating your hunger at the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Edge.  Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch complete with bottomless mimosas and Bellini’s, no matter what you order here, it is sure to be fabulous.

The Oxford: (1600 17th St) Built in 1891, this is the mile-high city’s oldest continually operating hotel, boasting the first elevators that were installed west of the Mississippi river. The Victorian-era décor and charm are present throughout the entire establishment, from the fireplace in the lobby to the old-fashioned rooms that still require you to turn a key in order to gain access. Each room has ornate wooden bedposts and antique clawfoot bathtubs coupled with some modern luxuries such as Egyptian cotton sheets and iPod docking stations. Just footsteps away from all of the dining options offered at Union Station, you will want to be sure to stop for a cocktail at the famous Cruise Room Martini Bar, which was the first bar to open in the city after Prohibition was repealed.

Best Places to Stay in Miami

Eurostars Langford: (121 SE 1st Street) Back in the 1920’s, this building served as the Miami National Bank, a heritage that is still apparent when checking in at the front desk! The rooms are beautiful and comfortable, complete with gold fixtures in the bathroom and soft robes for relaxing in. You can begin your day here by partaking in the delicious breakfast buffet before visiting one of the many attractions that are located nearby, including the Art Center and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Return to the elegant hotel to relax in the pool and jacuzzi before grabbing a cocktail at the onsite bar. While there are many options for dining located near the hotel, they also have their own restaurant which specializes in creating delicious vegetarian meals. Located a mere 6 miles from Miami International Airport, this place puts you right in the center of everything downtown Miami has to offer.

Faena Hotel: (3201 Collins Avenue) This place prides itself on impeccable customer service. Eachfloor has its very own butler who will attend to your needs and answer your questions twenty -four hours a day. This is a mixture of luxury and quirkiness, from the golden skeleton of a wooly mammoth that is situated in a glass cage to the winding staircases and eclectic décor. You can relax on the private, white sand beach reserved exclusively for guests, or take a swim in their gorgeous pool. The Living Room is a great spot to gather with friends for cocktails, but if you are looking for more substantial fare, visit one of the other onsite restaurants, such as Pao or Los Fuegos. This hotel has their very own theater as well, which boasts a number of cabaret shows.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach: (4441 Collins Avenue) Located in the heart of Millionaire’s Row, this spectacular ocean front spot is a perfect blend of old world charm coming together with modern luxury and style. When it first opened its doors in 1954, this was largest and most glamorous hotel in all of South Florida, made famous by its expansive, gorgeous lobby with its iconic staircase. This was a favored hangout of everyone who was anyone at the time, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Judy Garland. Today, it is still as popular as it ever was, with its lavish rooms that make you feel as though you are in the middle of paradise. There are no less than eleven pools here, offering everything from an interactive pool for children to a swim up bar for adults! This place is also home to LIV, one of the most popular nightclubs in Miami as well as some absolutely tremendous restaurants. While there are many different options for dining available here, if you can only try one place, be sure to book a table at Hakkasan, which has been named one of the fifty best restaurants in the entire world!

Washington Park Hotel: (1050 Washington Avenue) This place is strategically located to be in the middle of the bar, restaurant and nightclub scene that is so prominent in South Beach. Reasonably priced with a hip, modern flair, this place prides itself on a combination of down-to-earth energy coupled with a stylish vibe. The pool offers a place to relax and cool off, complete with on-demand drinks and snacks, while the rooms are beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable. While staying here, you must make time to pop into the hotel’s onsite restaurant and bar, Employees Only. This place has become increasingly popular amongst locals and tourists alike, and it is no wonder why! Sample one of their signature cocktails while dining on everything from oysters on the half shell to red snapper, or take advantage of their late night menu if you are a night owl!


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Four Most Beautiful Tropical Destinations and Vacation Spots

An ideal travel destination and vacation, at least for most people across the world, takes place in a locale with the tropical climate. Who doesn’t want to spend their vacation is a destination with warm weather year-round, spectacular natural scenery, and lavish resorts? Dreamy white sand beaches, endless sunshine, jaw-dropping scenery, crystal-clear waters, silky warm seas, and Turquoise Ocean are just some of the features of an ideal tropical vacation.

It’s important to note that each travel destination across the world features its own sultry charms which is why you must tailor your trip or vacation to suit your preferences or desires. Whether you’re one of those individuals who love exclusivity of a lavish resort in the private or have no problem spending time with the crowds at a tropical beach, you can always find a tropical destination that suits your desire. While some dazzle with cultural attractions, architectures, natural beauty, and exotic customs, others feature sleepy islands with a mix of mouthwatering cuisine, coral reefs, perfect waves, spectacular beaches, and wild-rich wilderness.

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

The first place to come to mind when thinking of tropical islands is the Caribbean. At least that’s what happens with most travelers. One of the top destinations you must include in your vacation list is the Caymans in the Caribbean. Cayman Islands feature a two-hundred-year-old Mastic Trail which allow travelers to explore nature through a mangrove swamp and tropical forest. If you love nature, this is a must site. The Cayman barrier reefs here are like no other. Other places to visit here include the Stingray City and the Seven Mile Beach.

Bora Bora Tahiti

Featuring clusters of coconut palms along beautiful beaches, this South Pacific paradise in French Polynesia is a top destination for anyone who wants to explore jaw-dropping natural beauty and some cultural appeal. Despite French being its official language, you can still have one of your best and most-memorable times here. Bora Bora is a dramatically beautiful island that allows travelers to take kayak trips to the tiny Motu Islands, enjoy some water sports including shark diving. Come here and have the ultimate tropical experience.  

Maldives

The Maldives is known for its crystal-clear, soul warming blue waters and surreal beauty. The isolated island can be found across the Indian Ocean South of Sri Lanka. With 99 percent of the island comprising of water, this island features twenty six natural atolls where lush resorts and spectacular beaches fringed by crystal-clear waters await. Popular activities in the Maldives include swimming with the marine life, big-game fishing, snorkeling, surfing, and diving. The fact that water is the Island’s focal point means this is the perfect destination for a cruise vacation.

Kauai, Hawaii

Perhaps you’ve heard people refer to Kauai as the Garden Isle and wondered why. Well, Kauai is a destination like no other when it comes to natural beauty. It’s a tropical Eden featuring spectacular green coastal peaks, dramatic lava-sculpted landscapes, waterfalls, lush rainforests, natural cliffs, and a beautiful natural scenery. Unlike Oahu and Maui, Kauai seems to have a more laid-back vibe. When you go underwater be ready to explore beautiful coral reeds and swim along tropical fish and turtles. Don’t leave before basking on the golden beaches, admiring the cloud-capped natural scenery, exploring the jungly Waimea Canyon, and hiring the breathtaking Napali Coast. Always remember, nature reigns in Kauai.