Walk, eat, repeat. Food tours stroll through Nashville

The “its” just keep coming.

Saturday afternoon and night, food lovers from across town and points way beyond will congregate for two sold-out walking tours hosted by Bon Appétit magazine’s droll restaurant editor, Andrew Knowlton, and co-hosted by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

Knowlton is no opportunistic carpetbagger, though. He grew up in Atlanta, suffered both brimstone and Nashville’s summer heat at David Lipscomb basketball camps and even ate at a certain meat-and-three when ol’ Jack Arnold was still carving up the roast beef.

More than that, Knowlton has come to know and appreciate our culinary landscape better than many outsiders and has been generous with the praise along the way. Using his magazine’s vaunted pulpit, he toured Nashville with Dan Auerbach of Nashville-based rock outfit the Black Keys and chef Tandy Wilson of City House and lauded our scene in 2012. That same year he added the Catbird Seat at No.5 to his list of best new restaurants, and in 2013, Rolf & Daughters made the cut at No.3.

“Back to back, that says something,” Knowlton acknowledges, recognizing that the fawning boon of Southern food has been spreading from city to city and that now seems to be Nashville’s time.

So it stood to reason to add Music City to Bon Appétit’s list of GrubCrawl locations to this year’s itinerary. While Nashville joins New York, San Francisco and Park City, Utah, this year, we have the distinction of selling out the fastest since the crawl began three years ago. That’s 240 tickets at $149 a pop in 48 hours.

“We wanted to include cities that people don’t immediately think of. I’ve been pushing to go down South,” says the writer, who also counts Springwater as one of his favorite stops, which is high cotton in my book. (Note: Springwater will not be on this tour.)

“For walking tours, we pick very carefully and really try to get people away from large hotel settings, where you’re elbowing each other for the last bite of bad tuna,” Knowlton says, adding that the participating restaurants take the tour seriously, so it’s “not just deviled eggs at one place.” Not there’s anything wrong with that in a Sunday supper kind of way.

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Posted on October 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm

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