Guess who’s reppin’ Nashville, y’all?
Aziz Ansari of Parks & Recreation fame is currently KILLIN’ IT with his new show “Master Of None”, exclusively streaming on Netflix (Go watch it! Because there are mild spoilers ahead). If you already binge-watched it, you know that the character of Dev is a culture junkie/foodie with an affinity for pasta and travel (aren’t we all). One of the episodes is set in Nashville, with Aziz’s character surprising his date with a weekend trip to Music City. The eyes of the Netflix-watching world (so, you know, most of the world) are upon our fine city, and we thought we’d break the episode down to see how the authentic Nashville came out. Here’s what Master of None got right (and not so right) about Nashville!
What They Got Right:
The Hermitage Hotel IS gorgeous, and it might actually be haunted.
Dev and his date, Rachel, choose The Hermitage Hotel for their stay, showing that Dev is a high roller/expert dater. The hotel’s historic architecture is shown off throughout the episode, and things get *~spooky~* when Dev and Rachel inquire about the hotel’s eerie past at the front desk. The staff member mentions a ghost named Alfred (which Dev escalates into a full-blown fake story about ghost “Baby Justin”, and no, they are unfortunately not referring to 16-year-old Justin Timberlake when he still had ramen noodle hair), but insists the death wasn’t a weird murder or anything.
While we haven’t heard of an Alfred or a ghost baby actually named Justin, the hotel has a storied past with ghost sightings. Guests have heard a baby crying all night in room 912, but whenever someone is sent to check up on it, the room is revealed to be empty. Several people have also reported seeing a Victorian-era lady in a robe chillin’ in the hallway. SUPER HAUNTED, Y’ALL. (Oh, and we have more ghost stories where that came from).
Manuel’s is always worth a visit.
Dev is one well-dressed son of a gun, and he goes to the king of country swag to try on some jackets with his lady. Props to Aziz for giving Manuel, the maker of bedazzled suits and the man behind Johnny Cash’s “Man In Black” look, a well-deserved shout-out. Whenever we walk by, we gotta pay a visit.
White barbecue sauce is what dreams are made of.
So yeah, they actually shot the authentic Nashville BBQ joint scene at a place in Brooklyn, giving it the fictitious name “Tickler’s”. That doesn’t mean they weren’t HELLA right about the joys of a well-executed white barbecue sauce. You’ll never go back. Hog Heaven has a world-famous sauce that has been featured in Southern Living as “one of the best things we’ve ever eaten”. Good taste, Dev.
The age diversity at honky tonks.
Our town ain’t just for the young whippersnappers, y’all. When Dev and Rachel go honky tonkin’, they see two-steppers of all ages, and we’ve gotta say it’s pretty accurate. On a typical night on Lower Broad, you’ll see everyone from a frat bro trying really hard to keep rhythm after one too many PBRs to a middle-aged out-of-towner couple pounding shots like the kids they have in college, and sweet older couples slow-dancing to Hank Williams like they’re the only two in the room.
Rooftops are prime spots for *romantic moments*.
Any smooth operator in Nashville knows that THE place for your date to end up is on one of our city’s many rooftops. You get your boo up above Music City with a nice view, and the stars are definitely going to align. Some of our favorites are Acme Feed and Seed, Pub 5, and Virago.
What They Got Wrong:
You CAN make a meal out of sides.
Whilst at previously mentioned BBQ joint, Ticklers (which personally, we are glad does not truly exist because the name makes us feel weird), Rachel informs Dev she is a vegetarian. Because of this, she has to get a meal made up of sides instead of some delicious, indulgent chicken drummies soaked in pork fat. She receives cornbread, some flat-looking pickles, and a very sad banana. NAH. You can make a badass meal out of sides at our BBQ joints. Edley’s mac & cheese! Potato salad! Baked beans! Banana pudding! We’d never do ya like that, gurl.
The meaning of the word “honky tonk”.
We’re not going to say “Master Of None”‘s urban disctionary-esque definition of the word honky tonk is untrue, necessarily. There are, after all, a lot of white people hittin’ the dance floor pretty hard at any given time of day, drinking Tennessee whiskey and shuffling around the dance floor. However, the actual origin of the word dates back to a Fort Worth newspaper mention, where the words were capitalized, thus implying it was the name of an actual establishment. It became a word used for rough saloons in the south, not a verb. But, you know. Their definition kind of works.
The “Grumpy McGrumperson” interaction is unlikely.
All Dev & Rachel are doin’ is painting the town red in some decorative jackets, and a really rude dude emerges to ruin their happiness. While we enjoyed the “Grumpy McGrumperson” interaction, the odds of this happening aren’t very good. Our southern hospitality is for real. He would probably have taken their photo and given them a recommendation (or just told them about Wannado Concierge, cuz these two definitely could have used it).
If you have a tense 5 hour wait time for your flight, you’re gonna be drinkin’.
Someone should have told these two the airport’s best kept secret. BNA is a glorious place for many a reason: Tim McGraw comes over the loudspeaker to personally welcome you to Nashville in his hunky Southern drawl, it’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll see one of the Kings of Leon while you’re there, they have a Benefit makeup vending machine – the list goes on. However, there’s something extra special that can soothe the pain of those layovers: you can carry your alcoholic beverage throughout the airport instead of keeping it just in restaurants. Strollin’ through the gates with a beer in hand? The Nashville dream.
They could have branched out a little.
While we totally respect the date lineup Dev planned – honky tonkin’, taking in the sights of Lower Broad, etc. – AND we know they had a shorter amount of time than usual, we think these guys could have found some Dev & Rachel-specific activities outside downtown. For how much Dev loves pasta and the finer things, he would have come home RAVING about the squid ink pasta at Germantown’s Rolf & Daughters, and Rachel would have been super into Avo, the raw food spot in West Nashville complete with a sand volleyball court (if only we could have given them suggestions). But good effort guys! In the end, you can’t go wrong in Music City.
Finally, they got the most important part SUPER right.
It really does.