A side of superstar with your pulled pork?; Jay Cutler hits trendy 12South joint

I’ll have a side of superstars with my pulled pork, please

Nashville is becoming a hub for barbecue, that tasty, smoked for 12 hours, piled high, tangy sauce, fall off the bone kinda meat.

And more and more, celebrities are showing up to have some.

The latest – Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild, the married couple in Little Big Town, were spotted at Martin’s Bar-B-Que in the Belmont University area.

That’s Martin’s third location, but the first that’s actually in the city of Nashville. And what a tasty addition.

The Belmont location has a few new things like a big indoor asadora pit, where whole pigs, lamb and goats will spin over open flames.

Watching your weight? Try “The Hippy Salad”, or drop by on Sundays for the strawberry salad.


You can catch Jay Cutler on the Flipside

What’s more exciting than seeing the Chicago Bears starting quarterback hanging out in Nashville?

Always great to see Jay Cutler, one-time Vandy football star, back here in Nashville.

Even better to see him at a BRAND-NEW super-trendy old-school diner in the 12South area.

It’s called The Flipside and it’s really modern and 1950s style all at the same time. There are big blue booths and Big Chill refrigerators and The Jetsons are on TV.

And yes, you can get tots, milkshakes and fries. Yummy.

Jay has two little boys and the older one was enjoying all the treats with him.


Chris Young may be a Tennessee native, but he loves raw fish

Don’t judge a man by his country song lyrics – Chris Young loves him some sushi.

In fact, Chris has been spotted in more sushi joints than burger joints.

The latest – Chris was scene at Music Row area’s Sushiyobi, a trendy place that’s just, well, fun to say. Sushi-yobi. Wheee!

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Florida Georgia Steakhouse; Deacon hits the Ryman (in the crowd); Two Vice Presidents, One City

Florida Georgia Line hit a ladies steakhouse

OK, OK, so you’ve never heard of a ladies steakhouse.

But that’s how Kayne Prime restaurant initially marketed itself when it opened a few years back. You know, smaller steaks, a little more arty. In fact, the restaurant still markets itself as “the artful fusion of a chef-chic boutique restaurant, with the great American steakhouse.”

Well, the restaurant got a big ol’ shot of testosterone a couple of days ago when Florida Georgia Line rolled in for dinner.

And I’m guessing Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard didn’t opt for the smaller-size steaks either.


TV show Nashville’s Deacon continues to be most spotted star in town

If you come to Nashville, the most likely celebrity spotting you’ll have – Chip Esten, a.k.a. tortured singer/songwriter Deacon on ABC’s Nashville.

I mean, the guy is everywhere!

The latest spottings: Chip had dinner at The Southern before ambling over a few blocks to The Ryman to catch the Elvis Costello show.

And that’s an amazing night in downtown Nashville.


Even Vice Presidents love to eat

Looks like being a heartbeat away from the White House can work up a pretty good appetite.

Vice President Joe Biden was in town a week or so ago. So where did he end up for a fundraiser lunch with a whole bunch of visiting state governors?

They were all twirling pasta at popular Italian restaurant Valentino’s, where nearly every celebrity visiting or living in Nashville ends up.

Not to be out eaten, former Vice President Al Gore, a Nashville resident, was spotted this week at Sunset Grill.


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Dierks swings a kettle bell down Belmont Blvd.; Lorrie Morgan spotting; Ain’t we cute?

Hey, there’s a huge country star! With a kettle bell!

This had to be among the more bizarre sights – Dierks Bentley is trucking down the street around Belmont University, hoisting a big kettle bell.

Seems Dierks was working out with the gang at Iron Tribe Fitness, the one near Belmont, and a little outdoor cardio/weights routine was part of the day’s activities.

“He even sweats cute!” my female Brad spy reports.

Dierks is not the only star who belongs to a fitness center in town. The YMCA boasts Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Chris Young and Kelly Clarkson among its members.

And there are so many other gyms and stars in ‘em. So if you wanna see our superstars, well, go work out, I guess.

Luke Bryan might spot ya on your bench press.


Lorrie Morgan drinks something in red at J. Alexander’s?

OK, OK, I don’t know if Lorrie Morgan had a glass of wine there or not. I’m just trying to be so terribly clever and get a song title in the headline.

But Lorrie indeed was spotted at J. Alexander’s restaurant, a wonderful regional chain that boasts such tremendous food that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman eat there all the time.

The filet kabobs are un-ka-lievable, and the cous cous is yum yum.


We certainly don’t mean to be shallow, but, um, we’re pretty

Sure, Nashville boasts great colleges that have earned the city the nickname of “The Athens of the South.”

And yes, the music scene is world-class, including our GRAMMY-winning symphony. Heck, Music City has made best-of lists for food and fireworks and everything in between.

And if you come for no other reason, well, we’re kinda cute.

Just ask the editors of Travel + Leisure.

In the most recent rankings of America’s Most and Least Attractive People, Nashville landed at No. 3 for most attractive.

“Even in its post-rhinestone era, the Tennessee city attracts plenty of star-worthy lookers, who pack a one-two punch thanks to their charming accents,” the magazine notes.

“The city has also become increasingly known for its diverse dining scene, ranking highly for both locavore farmers’ markets and down-home ethnic cuisine.”

We are soooooo delicious, in every way.

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Forrest Gump in East Nashville; Little Big time in Mexican restaurant; Idol winner upstages engagement

Forrest Gump’s in East Nashville!

OK, I could’ve picked one of, like, hundreds of characters from Tom Hanks’ movies. But somehow, the picture of Forrest Gump running through transitionally trendy East Nashville is my favorite.

So yes, Tom Hanks was spotted in 37206, one of the hipper zip codes in our fair city. And this was so exciting that even mainstream media picked up on it.

If you’re going to be in a hip part of town, you’ve got to head right to the locally owned coffeeshop, right? Tom found himself in Barista Parlor – and then he found himself surrounded by college interns from a local PR/marketing firm.

Oh, but that’s not all. Worlds collide!

Tess Boyer, once a contestant on TV’s The Voice, also happened to be in there.

And Tess told The Tennessean that it was Tom’s idea to get their pic together – because Tom watches The Voice and knows who Tess is!

“CAN’T MAKE FULL SENTENCES,” Tess posted along with the pic.



Doobie Brothers surprise the crowd at CMA Music Fest

So more than 200,000 crowded into Nashville again for the annual CMA Music Fest.

And some folks on Friday were just walking along outside on Lower Broadway – and they ran right into the Doobie Brothers.

Yup, the guys just sat up under an outdoor pavilion and played their hearts out for anyone walking by.

The Doobie Brothers have re-cut their big hits with country stars for an album coming out later this year. Hence the free preview concert.

Only in Nashville….


Yes, that’s Taylor Hicks at Nashville’s Husk

And the reality TV star sightings continue, folks.

A local couple got engaged a week or so ago at Husk, one of our latest and greatest ground-breaking restaurants in town.

But the blessed proposal almost – almost – got overshadowed by the fact that American Idol winner Taylor Hicks was at a nearby table.

“HEY ISN’T THAT TAYLOR HICKS SITTING NEXT TO ME?!?” groom-to-be Lee Morgan posted.

His bride-to-be, Anne Marie Brush, posted: “Taylor Hicks! Enough with the looks! I’m ENGAGED!”

Don’t ya know that that’s going to be a fun married couple?

Gotta wonder if they’ll get Taylor to be their wedding singer….


That’s a Little Big time at trendy Mexican restaurant

So there’s a restaurant in town called Sopapilla’s, which is Mexican for, uh, “delicious.”

How delicious?

Phillip Sweet from Little Big Town was pictured there with his beautiful/fun wife, Rebecca.

Tasty, right?

Of course, husband and wife were both clutching icy glasses filled with colorful liquid refreshment. So looks like the drinks rock there, too.

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Jason Aldean pops up at a club; Tim Tebow hits Nashville hard; Kesha eats fried chicken?

Jason Aldean pops up as a surprise guest at songwriters show

Songwriters’ shows are Nashville’s biggest treasures. You get to hear the folks who write these MONSTER hits on the radio. And you get to hear those songs stripped down, just one person and a guitar, exactly how the songwriter first created that smash hit.

And then, once in a very great while, the country star who made the song a big hit, well, he just might pop up and sing it with the songwriter.

That happened last week at 3rd & Lindsley when Jason Aldean popped up to sing “When She Says Baby.”

Who wrote the song? Two dudes, Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins, and those two guys happen to be on the bill for this songwriters’ show. Jason walked on stage when Ben and Rhett started to play “When She Says Baby,” and baby, the crowd went bananas!

Only in Nashville….


Wait, that looks like, uh, Tim Tebow at the sushi place?

Indeed, former college football star Tim Tebow was all over our fair city a week ago.

The Heisman Trophy winner had a speaking engagement, but he definitely enjoyed some sights and sounds while he was here.

First of all, yes, the guy is an ESPN commentator right now, but he hasn’t given up on being a NFL quarterback. So Tim worked out at premier athletic training facility D1 in the Cool Springs area. Heck, the guys there even found some indoor football receivers to catch Tim’s passes.

The big workout apparently made Tim hungry.

He hit what is perhaps Nashville’s best sushi spot, Virago, in the M Street area, to have dinner.



Kesha eats pan fried chicken??

Yes, she dropped the $ from her name, but pop star Kesha hasn’t dropped her love of her Nashville roots.

And Kesha still loves her some Southern home cookin’, as evidenced by a recent Twitter pic of her leaving Monell’s in the Germantown area of town.

BTW, even if you don’t see a celeb there, check out Monell’s – and definitely wear stretchy waistband pants when you do.

They have family style (you sit with other folks at a big table) platters piled high with signature fried chicken and other Southern entrees. But the sides, oh the sides. Most have cheese. What else do I need to say?

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Vince Vaughn, Motley Crue’s Vince Neil and Jerrod Niemann all eat out — but not together

No joke – Vince Vaughn eats his way around Nashville

A huge top-name comedy festival just rolled out of town, but not before some stars hit some local places to eat.

Vince Vaughn hit The Southern for lunch on Saturday, and we don’t know if he enjoyed some delicious seafood or the way-better-than-you-might-think burgers there.

But one place we know Vince had a burger: Burger Republic in the Gulch.

And if you go, get the real star: The Tennessee burger. It has Jack Daniel’s honey glaze, smoked ketchup, maple glazed Benton’s bacon (YUMMY!), American cheese and crispy barbecue onions.

I like to pick the bacon off and eat it first. It’ll change yer life.


Vince Neil enjoys a little Motley Mexican food in town

And why not? Who can resist those homemade super-thin chips and tortillas at Chuy’s?

Not Vince Neil of Motley Crue, I’ll tell ya that. He was spotted there last week.

So… Motley Crue and Nashville? Really? Really.

In fact, coming out July 8, an album of country stars singing Motley Crue songs. It’s called “Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue.”

As the band starts its next tour and releases this album, we imagine we’ll see a lot more Crue in Music City.


Jerrod Niemann also hit up The Southern – but not with Vince Vaughn

Oh yeah, and there are some country stars out here in Nashville, too! Don’t wanna forget them.

You know that Southern Steak & Oyster place I mentioned earlier? The one where Vince Vaughn ate?

Well, yeah, country star Jerrod Niemann (“Drink To That All Night”) also ate there a week or so ago. But not with Vince Vaughn.

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Miranda visits herself at Hall of Fame; Kelly Clarkson nails a pedi; Ray Liotta kicks it at boot store

There’s Miranda looking at Miranda in the Hall of Fame/Museum!

Spotted Wednesday night (May 14) at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum:

Miranda Lambert looking at, uh, Miranda Lambert.

The Hall of Fame & Museum has a new Miranda Lambert exhibit. And Miranda can’t quite get her head around that.

“Just crazy that a little girl or a little boy who wants to sing will come here with his family and visit the Hall of Fame, and I’ll be one of the exhibits there,” she told reporters recently.

“They’ll see my road cases and my corsets and guitars on display, and it’s like, ‘I’ll be in here one day.’ Just like I thought when I was little, and there I am already. I mean, just for a time, but still. I can say I’ve been in the Hall of Fame now,” she says, laughing.


Reba and Ronnie Dunn hit Tavern – but not together

It’s like the ‘90s or 2000s when Brooks & Dunn and Reba would occasionally tour together.

Ronnie Dunn and Reba appeared together just last week – at a hipster Nashville sports bar near Music Row.

It’s called Tavern, and it’s no usual sports bar. This one has lobster sliders, and the burgers are made of ribeye and filet. Seriously? Seriously. Mmmmmmm…..

Ronnie and Reba actually weren’t at the same table, but we’re sure they said howdy to each other.


Actor Ray Liotta gets a kick out of some high-end boots in The Gulch

Lots of times, when LA or New York celebs come to Nashville, they just have to get them some cowboy boots.

And actor Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Field of Dreams) is no exception.

Seems Ray was in town for the Nashville Film Festival, which was showing an independent film, The Identical, starring Ray Liotta. By the way, that movie was made mostly right here in Music City.

So Ray hit trendy area The Gulch and went right to the upscale store Lucchese, which has hand crafted, hand stitched, hand sanded, and handmade boots for sale. They are also hand-some. (Get it? I got the word “hand” in there?? Hey oh!)


Kelly Clarkson nails it with mani/pedi at local salon

So what if you went to a fairly normal salon to get your nails did, and a big-time celeb plops in the chair next to you?

That happens a lot in Music City, and it did with the folks at Venetian Nail Spa in Hendersonville, Tenn., just north of Nashville.

A pregnant, glowing Kelly Clarkson showed up, and fellow customers and staff couldn’t believe how nice, chatty and “normal” she was.

But do they do baby manis??

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