Nearly Native Eats: Myrtle’s Chicken + Beer

Beer and chicken – two words more beautiful have never been uttered together (according to my boyfriend). My southern boy is the epitome of “meat and potatoes”, raised on home cooking, his diet is generally guiltless and you better believe he’s never gone anywhere near the words “gluten-free”.  So when Myrtle’s Chicken + Beer opened it’s doors on Market Square in downtown Knoxville, you better believe it jumped all the way to the front of his new restaurant list. Me on the other hand, I’m pretty basic when it comes to staying healthy, meaning that I try to stay away from all the carby fried goodness, but it’s hard to pass up old-fashioned southern fried chicken, so we quickly made our way to this southern comfort spot.

Offering a convenient Market Square location and a food genre that the good southern people of Knoxville, Tennessee absolutely love, Myrtle’s is a recipe for success. The menu is pretty straightforward, dressing chicken several different ways, whether it be in their starter baskets, sandwiches, or entrées. You can pretty much be sure that if you’re ordering something from Myrtle’s it probably has chicken somewhere in it, save for a few side items, a salad, and in their tomato pie. I’d say if you’re vegan, this probably isn’t the spot for you. But you can bet this was the spot for my boyfriend and an indulgence for me.

Myrtle’s Famous Fried Chicken can be prepared with light or dark meat, in chicken tender form, as wings, and slathered in one of their many sauces. I’m no connoisseur of fried chicken, but whatever Myrtle’s is doing works – the buttermilk taste lingering on every bite of the fried chicken is worthy of any southern home. If that’s not your thing, their classic American sandwiches and wraps will feel familiar. Plus, they’ve got several salads to choose from if you’re simply not ready to dive into something fried. Even if you skip the fried chicken, don’t skimp when it comes to the sides because the tomato pie and grits are not to be missed! And, y’all, they have brunch. The chicken and waffles are calling my name.

Don’t forget to try one of their cocktails, featuring some local spirits, or barrel-aged classic cocktails to wash everything down with. Needless to say, my boyfriend was in heaven – this joint is perfect for a casual date night, especially if you’ve got a fried chicken lover. Belly up to the bar or find yourself a booth, it’s a small space, so it won’t get too loud. Of course, this is a fried chicken, southern comfort restaurant, so don’t expect much of anything as far as calorie redemption goes. Just indulge and enjoy it because a trip to Myrtle’s is totally worth it.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!

The Outdoor Patio Guide to Knoxville, TN

As Tennesseans we are blessed with generally nice weather most of the year. Sure, it’s not Southern California, but our winters are mild and our summers are long. While we may get melt-worthy heat here and there, our state is generally pretty primed for patio season. So, why wouldn’t any major city have massive amounts of outdoor options of drinking, eating, and generally merriment? Knoxville is no exception when it comes to a plethora of patios, so as we inch close to those glorious days of summer, I’m here to prepare you with an outdoor patio guide.

Larger Capacity Spots

Limited Seating

More and more are popping up every day – if I missed one you think I should include, let me know!

A Birthday, A Next Chapter, & A Doughnut

As I sit here on my birthday, leaving my 20s and graduating into my third decade on this planet, I realize that I’ve been writing Nearly Native for almost 4 years. This blog is the longest committed relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s been a commitment to myself, with highs and lows, lack of motivation and explosions of ideas, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I hope that many of you can relate when I say that this blog has been a love affair of creative expression. When you find something that makes you happy, making time for it is the most important thing you can do.

It’s also the best, most flattering bonus when your peers show appreciation for your creation. But I don’t do this for freebies or shoutouts, I do it for me and for the people that connect with my writing. During a time of year when everyone is making resolutions, starting fresh for the new year, I had a hard time deciding what to do with Nearly Native moving forward. For a brief second I actually thought about shuttering it altogether – did it make sense for me to have the blog still? I’d lost motivation. But then I remembered how much I love writing and I simply can’t give that up.

Life happenings (all good!) have relocated me away from Nashville to Knoxville, TN, and while this blog was mostly dedicated to Nashville (which will always be first in my heart!), I need to evolve as the things that inspire my writing have changed. I’ll still be visiting Nashville often and I’ll be writing about restaurants, workouts, travel, and the like, but I’ll also be taking a turn into the trials and tribulations of adulthood – real things that we all deal with daily. I’m also planning on redesigning the site to mirror this next chapter in my life.

I hope that this change will allow me to continue my love affair with writing and will also connect with you. After all, we can’t continue to grow if we don’t challenge ourselves with what’s in front of us, right? My hope is that 2018 will continue to bring learning, creativity, travel, and a whole lot of Tennessee (Nashville, Knoxville, and beyond) blog features! I’d also love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or topics that I should cover! Thank you for sticking with me these 4 years and making writing extra fun for me. Bear with me while I refresh the blog and in the meantime, here’s a picture of my massive and delicious birthday doughnut from Status Doughnuts & Coffee in Knoxville, TN – y’all have GOT to check this place out!