At the end of every year, I spend a little time looking back at all of my eating and drinking experiences over the past 12 months, creating a list of the best of the best. This time around I narrowed it down to 12 – some are entire meals, some just small components of a meal. Big or small, fancy or simple, each of these are things I’d love to be able to experience again and again!

While this is just a basic list, you can read more about each one by clicking on the links provided.

Without further ado, here is my Top 12 of 2012!





I-have-died-and-gone-to-heaven Tomato Jam (not really the name of it, but it should be)




Nashville, TN




Overall Experience


Juice Nashville


Nashville, TN




Empanada Langosta




San Antonio, TX



Benton’s Bacon Wrapped Local Beef Brisket with Jack Daniel’s Honey Glaze and Goo Goo Cluster Barbeque Sauce


F Scott’s from Savor Nashville Chef’s Challenge


Nashville, TN



Pimento Cheese Egg

The Hungry Peach at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Atlanta, GA


Smoke Et Al Pickled Fried Okra


Pickled Fried Okra with Bama White Sauce


Smoke et Al


Nashville, TN




Parmesan Kale Salad with Raisins


my own recipe






Bone-in pork loin, TN smoked cheddar mac & cheese, braised greens, Vidalia onion jam, pickled mustard seeds


Lockeland Table


Nashville, TN



A 4-way tie for the best Goo Goo Cluster desserts

F Scott’s peanut butter and Goo Goo Cluster tart with Benton’s bacon, marshmallow meringue, graham cracker crust

Coffee, Lunch’s Goo Goo Turtle Bar

Silo’s Goo Goo Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Pie

The Southern’s Goo Goo Bread Pudding

Nashville, TN



Overall Experience


Catbird Seat


Nashville, TN


Ada St chocolate dessert

                                                                                                                         photo courtesy of Ada St’s Facebook page




Ada St


Chicago, IL





Overall Experiences (note plural)




Nashville, TN


7 Responses to “Looking Back: The Top 12 of 2012”

  1. 1

    Eat. Drink. Smile. Looking back in 2012 | CityBlocker.Nashville — January 1, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

    […] Nashville Blog reviews the top 12 dining experiences in 2012. Read at […]

  2. 2

    StyleBlueprint — January 2, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    I love all of these. My favorites here (from this past year, note I didn’t get out too much though…!): Juice Nashville and Etch. Both deliver, over the top, just what you are looking for!

  3. 3

    doug — January 2, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Thanks Beth! Not only for the props but for everything you do for the local restaurant community!

    • Beth replied: — January 2nd, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

      Thanks Doug, that’s very sweet of you to say. This year I wasn’t able to get out quite as much as I would have liked (thank a new baby & a new job for that one), but I definitely still had plenty of amazing local meals! (particularly at Etch) ;-)

  4. 4

    Lesley Eats — January 3, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    While I don’t agree on all (ha!), I definitely agree on #1! And that fried pickled okra from Smoke Et Al. Their salads are good, too. Which was really unexpected.

    • Beth replied: — January 4th, 2013 @ 11:35 am

      No pork chop or brisket on your list?? ;-)

      Agree on Smoke Et Al’s salads! Had one at Night Market late in the summer & it was one of the best things I had from them all year. Wish more food trucks would do more big salads all year long!

  5. 5

    TraciJ — February 9, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

    Etch is “hands-down” the best overall experience we have had while dining out in our new “home” of Nashville. The food was spectacular and so was the service! Can’t wait to return after we visit all of the other restaurants on my list – :)

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