Grubbin Through SEC Country Pt. 1: Tennessee (UT, Vanderbilt)

So as I sit here in the Houston international airport waiting for my flight to arrive 4 hours delayed, I decided to start writing about my experiences traveling through SEC country. For those who don’t know what sec country is, it is the South Eastern Conference for collegiate athletics and states included in this conference are South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas. During my recent trip to help my buddy move to Houston we road tripped making several stops in some of these SEC home towns.

After getting picked up from my place in Baltimore, we travelled to Nashville, TN home of SEC baseball powerhouse Vanderbilt. Because we drove through the night we arrived in Nashville at 5 am. If you’ve never been, it’s nicknamed nashvegas for a reason. The city doesn’t sleep. 5 am and people are still partying partaking in a good old fashion honky tonk, and my favorite meal of the day, breakfast.

Down the street from the hotel there was a 24 hour diner, but this wasn’t a normal 24 hour diner like the ones back home in Jersey with waitresses named trixie, and 6 hour old coffee, no, no. This diner was fucking 6 floors of absolute recklessness.

6 fuckin floors folks! They had mother fucking elevator in a diner. Needless to say it was pretty fucking funny watching hammered and thirsty 21-25 year olds trying to get lucky at the end of the night. Now for me, if you haven’t already gotten an over the pants handksi by now, there is absolutely no hope! But I guess Nashville has different rules. If at first you don’t succeed, try until 6 am!

Again, as I stated in my first ever post, I usually forget to take pictures of most meals. And this is no different. But for a limited breakfast menu, I just went with a breakfast staple of 2 sunny side up eggs, 2 home made sausage patties and a bowl of grits. Nothing special about this meal except for the best grits I have ever had (until later in the trip).

After crushing a couple hour nap it was time to venture out in Nashville. For those who haven’t been its nick named nashvegas for a reason. Broadway is basically the Las Vegas Strip, just replace over hyped casinos with divey honky tonks. Every bar has live music and cold beer, so you really can’t go wrong on choosing a spot to post up at.

After proceeding to black out by 330 pm, (moonshine was lit) went back to the hotel and slept until 830. I said word lets shower and be ready by 915 to go back out. 12 am rolls around and I wake up again. So Nashville really didn’t get to see a lot of me. But I will be back.

As we got back on the road, our next stop was going to be Bryant-Denny Stadium, Home of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and we were gonna grab so dinner there. But there was an exit off the interstate  that said Lynchburg, TN 15 miles. And for all the whiskey aficionados out there, Lynchburg, TN is the home of JACK DANIEL’S. So we made the pit stop and enjoyed a guided tour and sampling of JD’s finest whiskeys.

After sampling some of the top shelf whiskey JD has to offer , we ventured off to the historic center of town in Lynchburg. Where we had come across this amazing BBQ spot called The Barrel House (named appropriately after the jack daniels distillery). The Barrel House is world famous and has been featured on Food Network’s BBQ Pit Master’s, where they placed 3rd in their first ever competition. According to locals the best item on the menu is the “grilled cheese on crack” These yokels weren’t wrong.  Stuffed in the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich was about a pound of smoked pulled pork. This thing was absolutely FIRE.

The smokiness of the pork paired with the creamy, bite of the sharp cheddar used for the grilled cheese, really set this sandwich apart from other stuffed grilled cheeses. Paired with the sandwich was homemade slaw and beans. Again some of the best slaw and beans I have come across. The 2nd item I got was a home made sausage. This thing was bursting with flavor, literally. After 1 bite of it, the things juices exploded all over my face and down my shirt (PAUSE). Paired with this sausage was a homemade mustard that was so god damn good I would put on almost anything.


This is just the start of the SEC country tour, coming up next NAWLINS!


    1. mattwalker67

      Chuck, ANYTIME!! The locals couldn’t stop raving about the Crack Grilled Cheese! It was so good! You do it right, small and simple menu, but everything is done exceptionally! I look forward to seeing you guys continue your success!! -Matt Walker

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