Everybody knows route 66. Route 150 covering just three states has some great sites as well. Full disclosure: I can hit it with a rock from my home! Like 66 has a ton of cool small town restaurants. One of the best and a true treasure is The Little Nugget.
Just outside Danville Illinois, it is a gem. Funky outside with roadside murals and cool inside. Part steakhouse and part dive bar. A rare and cool place in this day and age. The food is great, the prices are great and the roadside experience is priceless!!
The back has a grill and is more of supper club environment. The front is straight roadside bar. It’s as cool as it gets if you love roadside Americana. You should definitely take a road trip on 150 and check it out. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself.
Over the years I’ve hear a bit about this place. Some friends of mine have played here. It is known as the place Randy Travis got his start(plus washed dishes). That doesn’t even cover it. Live music all day and I mean really good live music.
It has a cool bar in the front with a small stage and dance floor. In the back is a LARGE stage and dance floor where they have bigger events. The front area is where I spent my time. Classic Nashville country cool. Pictures and posters from legends that have been there and all sorts of memorabilia. I’ll let the pictures speak in a moment (i’m not a great writer, just an old fighter lol). You can’t help but love the place. And it has great food.
We stayed across the road from it recently at Gaylord Opryland. Sandy had a healthcare leadership conference there and I was training fighters in the area(huge surprise). As I wandered in my downtime I decided to stop and have a beer (or more) and check the place out. I knew I had to take Sandy back for dinner. The bartenders showed me around and told me all about it. I was hooked! My plan was set and knew we were going back that night. Only a few people there in the afternoon yet a great musician on stage and great staff.
When we went back for dinner it got even better. More great music. Great and well priced drinks and awesome food. We both had the chicken on biscuits( I had the Nashville hot version). Sooo good. A really cool classic idea and well done. Also very cheap. I’ll let the pictures speak here for a bit. Talk after the jump.
This place gets my highest reference. Cool, classic and tasty. Just go here if you are in Nashville and give it a shot. Nothing but a good time!!
So in our recent stay at the Gaylord In Nashville, I had a bit of time to wander over to a nearby mall. Nearby meaning on the hotel complex but close to a half mile away.
Opry Mills is just flat cool. Close to the hotel. Right by the Opry House and Events center. It has great shops. Unusual restaurants and quite possibly the largest/most diverse food court I’ve ever seen. It’s a place you can relax and just wander for a bit. Grab a coffee or bite to eat. Buy anything you want or just people watch. It is huge. It’s cool and it’s easy to get to! Take a look at the pics and enjoy. Then get yourself to this place!!! Talk after the jump.
Take a look at a shopping/eating/relaxing experience. Heck Facebook used it as a VR location. You know it’s cool. Whatever you are looking for Opry Mills has something for you!Enjoy
This place is literally walking distance(yep I do that on occasion ) in the small town I live in. I travel often as you know, but when we are home I hit it often. Great restaurant and sports bar on one side of the street , awesome old style brew pub on the other. I’ll do a full post on the whole operation when I have time to get down there and spend take taking pictures and talking to Justin Taylor about the history. In the interim here are some thoughts on a recent meal, and pics from a few trips.
First it has world class beer in a casual yet hip environment. Truthfully it is a beer that I order anywhere they have it across our region. As a guy who has travelled the globe to fight and train that should tell you a bit! So well done. When I first moved to town this place was a really cool home store. Antiques, and great home products. The people that owned it were featured nationally in a magazine for their home(3500 people in town at that time). I love the building. It sat for years. Then This place happened. The downtown area changed for the better in an incredibly positive way. Foodie and craft beer culture while retaining our small town roots.
This trip we ate in the sports bar. Sweet chicken chili wrap for me. Italian beef for Sandy. Guess what? Ohhh so good. My fave Hail to the Chief IPA and it was our kind of relaxing night. This is one of the reasons we love living here. We travel and eat at the Nobu/Brady’s of the world but this is our home. Can’t beat it. Take a look at the pics and expect soooo many post about this place in the future!
This is truly a destination place. If you make a trip here, good chance you’ll see Myself and Sensei Sandy as well as some other Transcend fighters. We always meet up here. Great food. GREAT BEER!! Classic building. Get here!
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I didn’t get a chance to do a full review of this great place since my wife started to feel the effects of too much sun when we go there. I’ll definitely be back to do a full write up but wanted to show it and say just a bit.
First thing to say, Super Cool! McGuires has a great look and an awesome menu. It is quite large and there are so many things to look at. I love places that are visually stimulating and fun. This place hits it. Add to that there awesome craft brews and you just can’t beat it. The food was great. The beer was even greater. I also have to say that the service was excellent. Since Sandy didn’t feel well, our waitress go our stuff wrapped and ready to go at warp speed with a smile. Incredible.
Take a look at the pictures of our stop at the Destin location. Talk after the jump.
If you are in Destin Florida, check this place out. I mean it. So cool, so good and so fun! Want us to come to your place and live tweet or write about it. Get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @combatsportlife on twitter!
This place has been around for awhile. It was one of the early restaurants/bars to start when downtown Champaign began to makes it’s come back. They also have a much larger one at the edge of downtown with a huge arcade and multiple levels. It is very cool but for Sandy and I these days (kids all grown up!) the downtown location is more our speed. It’s a great weeknight stop for us.
They have a large menu but known for thin crust pizza. Tuesdays are half price pizza night! A great deal to have a couple drinks and an inexpensive and excellent pizza. When we stopped recently we had both endured crazy days so I didn’t get as many pictures for the usual post but the point is give it a shot. Lot’s of pool tables, video poker/slots and a cool old building. It’s quiet and lively at the same time but that feel that only comes from being in a place in a very old building.
Before the pictures let me just say the Pesto Margherita was an excellent choice. My wife is more of a thin crust person than me but I loved it. Mozzarella, provolone with romas and basil! A couple of Half Acre IPA’s and the night was perfect. No matter how many luxe places we travel to in our crazy life, this kind of thing is still my favorite.
If yo are in the area check this place out. Just enjoy a nice relaxing evening. Can’t beat it. A few minutes from the University of Illinois campus and in the heart of the tech / gaming offices in the downtown. It’s worth a trip.
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When are not traveling, we love to relax in Downtown Champaign. Great bars and restaurants and a cool place just to wander around. As i’ve said before, traveling to all the places we do actually helps us look for more treasures in our own area.
Great burgers, pizza and drinks from two great places. Guidos has a great menu and bar. Lots of screens, cool look and great outdoor seating. It also has a gorgeous downtown view especially when it is snowing. I’ll do a piece on that this winter. The esquire is a classic old school bar with a broad age range and fantastic food. They also have great outdoor seating. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Check out the pictures that also include the awesome Ten Thousand Villages store and just street shots. Talk after the jump.
Get yourself down in this area if you live nearby or if you are just visiting. Take advantage of the cool things, culture and food we have here. It’s a great place to just enjoy yourself!
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Check out the very cool champaigncenter.com for more info on the area.
Yes I am blessed to travel great places I’ve been all over and continue to. I love it and fortunately it has worked out to write a bit about it as well as get paid to promote places. That said, you find both enjoyment and article material right around you. Yes even travel articles. If you really want it and you really want to write about it, you will find it. Exotic luxury locations are awesome. So is where you live!!! Somebody wants to know about your lifestyle. Travel is about lifestyle. Local life is as well. Start there. Strangely the things people like the most when I write or promote are the goofy small town Midwest things I show. Think about it.
It is how you write about it and how you take pictures. Not trying to make it glossy. Make it cool for what it is. Pizza and High School football on Friday night are awesome. Write about it. Make them see it and feel it. For this purpose I’m going to post a load of pictures here. Only one is over an hour from m home(maybe two, I used to get hit in the head for a living) They are as interesting as my Vegas, Florida and East coast pics(or anywhere else I’ve rolled, just recent). Enjoy where you are. Be entertained by what you do. Go!
Don’t let your surroundings be boring. Make things happen. Find the excitement and snap a picture. It is all in how you view it. Start there and see where it takes you
When I say hideaway I mean it in a very cool way. Off the street in an alley but right downtown. Think speakeasy but cool and clean lol. It truly is a destination location and one you should go to! You will see when I start posting pictures in a minute.
I know the Farren family personally as our daughters danced together on a comp tem and we travelled all over the country. They also keep horses at the stable my son owns. They are really cool and unusual people. It makes them great restaurant owners! Actually I have been going here though long before I knew them from those activities. Pretty much since it opened and I found it on accident. An awesome accident.
Years ago I think it was storage for another set of restaurants nearby (ill have to ask Carolyn). It gives it that hideaway warehouse feel with a cool ambience. On to the food though! Year after year they win the best burger award in all the local media. The burgers are awesome but there is so much more. Thinks bistro hip foodie while maintaining a cool bar food pub stance. You will find tech hipsters , finance people and older folks after a college football game. Heck, obviously you also find old retired fighters lol.
On this trip I go the Sante Fe chicken sandwich. Full disclosure, I often get that. A great chicken breast on fresh bread with an awesome pesto. A bit of peppers and cheese and it is perfect. It just has the right amount of pop with creaminess, flavorful without being heavy. Sandy had the mushroom and cheese and it was perfectly done. Too rich for me but right up her alley! Add in a great beer from Triptych ( another of our great local craft brewers ) and the meal was just awesome. Always is. Check the pictures and we will talk after jump.
If you want to get great magazine foodie level food at bar prices, check this place out. It is worth the trip. I might be a regular but you should try it at least once. If you are in central Illinois you should be a regular!
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This building has changed over the years. As a bar or restaurant it started as The Blind Pig about 25 years ago. A small little quirky club. The owner went on to open a very cool brew pub in town and sold this place. After a couple of different things, The Cowboy Monkey moved in. It is so cool and much larger now ( heck I remember when this space was the kitchen for a big Chinese restaurant). Inside it is both early 20th century retro and hip modern at the same time. Outside is even cooler. A large beer garden type area that is open with people walking back and forth to other bars surrounding it and often live music in the streets. Downtown Champaign has a very cool and lively atmosphere and yet not rowdy.
The menu is hip as well. Its jazzed up tex/mex with a touch of baja and carribean. Served in an always visually appealing way and it is delicious! The whole place just gives you a relaxed vibe but also a visual experence that always kind of refreshes me. A great beer list. A fantastic cocktail list with lots of new hip twists on classics. For this meal i went with the great Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. A good crisp beer with the hoppiness i like but not taking away from the food. My wife had a pomegranite margarita. Gorgeous looking and she said it was great.
Im going to mostly let pictures do the talking here, especially abut how gorgeous the food is. First the food. I had the capistrano tacos. Three corn tortillas with spicy chicken,cheddar cheese with salsa and guacamole. It also comes with a dish of pickled red cabbage. Just finishes it perfectly. Truly a great dish. Sandy had the baja steak tacos. All the same except with great steak and chihuahua cheese, roastec red pepper/cilantro. Also fantastic. Check out the pictures and we will talk after the jump.
I travel all over and eat all over. Im blessed to do so but this place in my backyard is way up on the list. Cool, fun and delicious. Come check it out.
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The awesome Cowboy Monkey
The coolest western lifestyle store out there