Passionate About Nashville's The Wild Hare

It's an odd thing, my love affair with Nashville. We definitely did not fall in love at first sight. In fact, the things I love about Music City are far from typical. On Monday I told you I'd share one of my favorite restaurants with you. Like me, it's definitely one of a kind.

Photos of Wild Hare, Nashville This photo of Wild Hare is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

At first glance The Wild Hare appears to be a joke. Here's a rundown shack with an unpaved parking lot, sitting next to a Jiffy Lube, with a few signs slapped across the front in an attempt to convince passers by that it is, in fact, a legitimate eatery. The interior does little to dispel any doubts, looking like a cross between a shop project and a frat house.

Photos of Wild Hare, Nashville This photo of Wild Hare is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The truth is this quirky little jewel serves some of the best food in Nashville, period. It was voted Best New Restaurant in 2011 by The Nashville Scene magazine and it continues to live up to that title.

So what if the floor slopes? The place is very wheelchair accessible, and the prevailing ambiance has an air of coziness to it. Hipsters abound here, but so do older couples and families with young children. The staff are genuinely friendly and my confidence in the overall dining experience has led me to bring guests ranging from family to visitors from foreign countries. I've never had a bad meal or bad service at The Wild Hare.

All of your culinary expectations will be exceeded without having your pocket picked for the privilege. Food here is fresh, seasonal, sustainable whenever possible, and affordable. Last summer many of the herbs and veggies come straight out of the owners' garden. The chef is one of the few in Music City that doesn't salt the food in palette-killing amounts. Inventive daily specials are offered in addition to the regular menu, which you can peruse here. The place also sports a full bar with a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

The Wild Hare also understands the value of marketing through social media. More than once my plate of food has been photographed just before it was put in front of me, the photo then uploaded to their Facebook page to tempt the weak and willing. That strategy has worked on me more than once.

Speaking of pictures, how about some food porn to help convince you?

blueburger

Moroccan Pizza

Mussels

Surf and Turf

After my Violet Valentine visit to the Frist Mr Spashionista and I enjoyed The Wild Hare's delicious prix fixe four course Valentine's Day dinner.

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It included my very favorite dessert in all of Nashville. I'll share a photo of it with you next Visible Monday.

If you live in or visit Nashville you have got to taste this food!

The Wild Hare is located at 316 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37209, (615)818-0219. They are currently open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am - 10pm

The Happiest Place On Earth Part Two: Can I Help You?

It's an interesting paradox, really. Those of us that are disabled sometimes need a hand but don't want others hovering over us acting as if we're made of glass. Those around us often want to help but are unsure how to proceed without running the risk of offending or being inappropriate. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, we are an intentionally invisible inconvenience to some store clerks who go out of their way to avoid us.

I've never suffered either extreme at the particular Stein Mart I frequent in West Nashville. Help is always offered if I need it but never pressed upon me if I don't. Let's face it, the downside of great help can be the overeager, pushy sell.  Nobody wants to shop in that kind of environment. In my opinion it repels customers. Instead I get to decide the level of assistance I want, from help carrying garments into the disabled fitting room to having the ones I decide to buy waiting for me at the register - while I try on more! If I leave empty-handed, which happens more often than not, I'm not made to feel any less important on my next visit.

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I've gotten to know a lot of the salesladies by name. I wish I knew the names of all of the truly outstanding ones, but the two I've dealt with longest that have always gotten my back are My Trinh Dao and Andrea Crenshaw. Personalitywise they are diametric opposites. My Trinh is a soft-spoken, sweet-natured immigrant from Vietnam who wears her goodness on her sleeve. She never stops moving and is my go-to help on the sales floor and in the fitting room.  Andrea is a curvy, ebony-skinned beauty who takes care of me at the register. In fact, if I don't checkout with her I get an earful. "You think you're gonna come in here and not see me?" She'll joke, "I see how you are."

I appreciate the familiarity with which both of these women treat me and I also see how very badly some of the customers treat them, especially My Trinh who is too polite to return fire. I've actually said something more than once if the insults are within my earshot. These exchanges may have cost the store a customer or two - I hope manager April Creech will forgive me if they have. I'm not likely to tolerate discrimination against myself so I'm certainly not going to suffer it directed towards someone else.

Stein Mart is smart enough to hire a very diverse group of women like My Trinh, Andrea, Sahar (whose name I'm probably butchering; sorry) and all the others whose names I don't know, and hold them to a high standard of customer service. In fact, I've never had bad service at any Stein Mart so I highly recommend you visit the company website to find a store near you. Not sure I want you snatching up the great clothes at mine, though.

Next week it's all about the big sales - and Stein Mart has a ton of them!