Chopper Tiki Nashville

The best-of Nashville for my birthday

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My parents often say, I live a “lucky life”.

My luck, especially at this stage in my life isn’t completely happenstance. It’s that I have the ability in time and space to capitalize on opportunities and the good fortune to have surrounded myself with incredible people who not only participate with me, but also know me well enough to add to the amazingness of each moment. 

My birthday in Nashville, on the surface, is the great example of what some might see as “lucky”. But in reality it wasn’t luck, but planning on my part (to organize being there) and the thoughtfulness of Ben and his cousin Alex to surprise and spoil me throughout the day.

My special day started in Germantown with a perfectly poured coffee sipped at a leisurely pace at Steadfast followed by a wander around the neighborhood to check out some of the street art.

Susy Bando Nashville germantown mural
Susy Bando Nashville street art
I channelled my inner @fcoronado for these mural walk photos.

Lunch was my choice, and I chose to return to a Nashville favourite. I wanted a meal to celebrate where I was celebrating this birthday and the logical destination was Husk. I love the care and respect that Husk has for the indigenous ingredients from the American south they showcase in their dishes. The menu has always read Southern food, but it delivers without the coma-inducing heaviness that can follow with that type of food.

This would be my first visit to Husk post-Sean Brock, but Alex had mentioned that the staples were still on the menu and the food was still as good as before. I was sold and excited for the meal.

Husk Nashville lunch
Deviled eggs and pimento cheese are 2 southern classics, and are also Husk musts.

No trip to Nashville is complete without bowling a frame at Pinewood Social and this visit was saved for my special day.

Alex, showing me how it’s done.

Next up was a trip downtown for a pre-nap drink at Rare Bird on the rooftop at the reinvented Art Deco Noelle hotel.

Rare Bird Noelle Nashville
Mezcal margaritas enjoyed overlooking downtown Nashville with 2 of my favourite people.

We stopped for pre-dinner drinks at Chopper, the new robot-themed tiki bar in East Nashville. Rum-fuelled tiki + Susy don’t usually mix, but I couldn’t resist the pull of the fun colourful room with their spectacle of drinks on fire. 

Chopper Nashville Alex
Alex leading the way into the super funky Chopper tiki bar.
Chopper Tiki Nashville
Drinks served in funky robo-tiki glasses in a colourful futuristic island lounge was just the party spot to start the evening festivities.

I am a control freak, especially when it comes to my birthday dinner, but we were in Alex’s town and I trusted that she’d help lead Ben in choosing something special for me.

I was excited to arrive a short walk away from Chopper to Peninsula, which I knew was one of Alex’s favourites. Spanish-esque share plates are my idea of happiness. And with Alex, I’ve come to expect being crushed at every meal with all the extras sent from the kitchen that seem to magically hit the table. 

We almost worked our way through the entire menu, but it was this toast topped with 12 whole concentrated tomatoes that we had to order 2 of.

There were just a few hours left in my birthday and we saved the best for last.

We were at Dino’s to try out the Little Mosko’s ice cream sandwiches, but while we were there, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have a few bites of Dino’s famous burgers and fries.

Dinos Nashville burger fries
The Dolly & fried chicken burger with a side of “animal” fries. The strawberry shortcake ice cream sammie that followed was devoured in 3 bites.
Obligatory Dino’s restroom birthday selfie because Alex said so.

From the moment I woke up until my head hit the pillow late into the evening, I felt like the luckiest birthday girl in the world. My parents are right. I live a lucky life and I’m thankful to be surrounded by amazing people who share it with me.

Places I visited on my birthday in Nashville:

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