Friday, December 15, 2006

Food For Thought: Nashville

Three reasons we shouldn't move to Nashville: Maggiano's, Cheesecake Factory, and Panera Bread Company. I think moving to Nashville would get us used to these dining establishments and they would not be as special anymore—they would just get all of our money.

Maggiano's has the best ravioli we have ever had, hands down. We first experienced it in Chicago (Schaumburg actually, but it is all the same to non-locals) as we were looking for a place to eat deep-dish pizza. We assumed a place called Maggiano's in the Chicago area would have pizza, but they didn't, so we settled for the ravioli, which basically rocked our faces off. We then thought if the ravioli was so good, we had to try to the tiramisu, which ended up being the best tiramisu we'd ever experienced.

Cheesecake Factory is amazing and has good food, but the kicker is the cheesecake. Sure, in some grocery stores you can get Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, but it is not even close to the same quality. Nashville has the closest Cheesecake Factory, but we've also been to the one in downtown Chicago for New Year's Eve, and it has a way better atmosphere (you feel like you are in the womb again).

Panera represents the simple things you miss from your homeland. We have the Atlanta Bread Co. here, but it cannot compare to Panera at all. Panera brings back memories of Bailey and Joyce McBride, cinnamon crunch bagels, and broccoli and cheese soup. We got take-out from Panera on the way home from Nashville last weekend.

In the end, food is good and filling, but the people we've shared these meals with are what make them great. Sure, it is nice to reach food nirvana (symptoms include slight dizziness, ecstasy, surreal contentment), but a meal without company is missing something and never as fulfilling.

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