Memphis vs. Nashville

Today my wife and I went to Hattie B’s for the best hot chicken you will ever find in Nashville. We got there 15 minutes before opening and there were already about 15 people waiting in line to get in. By the time the door finally opened, there were probably three dozen people waiting to get in.

Every time we eat at Hattie B’s, I find myself concluding that Hattie B’s really is a notch better than Gus’s World Famous in Memphis. Except whenever we eat at Gus’s, I find myself concluding that Gus’s is actually a notch better than Hattie B’s. We take our hot chicken very seriously.

The internal debate over which fried chicken establishment is better is sort of a microcosm over the internal debate I have with myself over which city I love more: Memphis or Nashville.

I’ve lived in the Nashville area for almost 21 years. I love Nashville and I always have. The only place I would even consider leaving Nashville for is Memphis.

I grew up in West Tennessee, always in a small town, and going to Memphis was always a highlight. I ended up living there three years while attending the University of Memphis, and we go back several times a year, usually for sporting events involving the university or the Grizzlies.

I love Memphis and love it every time we go back. It is such a part of my past that I feel a part of me lives there permanently, and I pick it back up every time I visit. I could easily live there. But I would miss Nashville. I know I would, just as I miss Memphis whenever we go for long stretches without visiting there. (If I were wealthy I’d buy a condo in Memphis, just to have it.) Just when I find myself thinking that I love Memphis just a little bit more, we come back to Nashville, and I realize that I love it here, too, and this is my home. And so the internal debate continues.

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