Juanita Lane, the pastry maven behind Dulce Desserts in Edgehill Village, is carrying her wares across the street to Rosario's, to add a sweet note to the Mexican menu that has suffered from a shortage of desserts. Now you can top off your mole and enchilada verde with a coconut pie, chocolate truffle cake and cupcake of the month. After the holiday rush—when Lane will no doubt be up to her eyeballs in bouches de Noëls—she'll add a little Mexican flavor to the offerings. Think chocolate cupcakes with a hint of cayenne, maybe a dulce de leche de Dulce?
Rosario's is located at 1200 Villa Place, phone: 329-1977. Dulce is located across the street, in the blue building at 1207 Villa, phone: 321-8700.
Our blogs will be undergoing some maintenance and, as a result, things might get weird around here for a while—around noon today comments will be disabled and soon thereafter some stuff may not work right, or at all. Don't worry, things will return to abnormal soon.
The 29th of the month is rolling around again, and that means Alexia Cabrera is gearing up for Gnocchi Day at Nola's. Once a month, the quirky restaurant serving Uruguayan-by-way-of-Louisiana cuisine dishes up a deal of a meal—gnocchi with beef medallions and bread pudding for dessert, all for about $10.
A native Uruguayan, Cabrera brings the tradition from her home country, where many European immigrants cooked a hearty meal of pasta at the end of the month to make ends meet until the paychecks came around.
If you show up at Nola's on Thursday, expect to find a worldly, friendly and hungry crowd.
Nola's is located at 2912 West End Ave., phone: 341-3693.
Care for some Russian dressing with your Russian lit? Chips and a side of Salinger? Cheddar and Cheever? A BLT with the Bacon who wrote Shakespeare's plays? Anything's possible at Sherlock's Deli, which just opened in the Sherlock's Book Emporium and Curiosities complex about a half-hour east of Nashville in Lebanon.
Why make a big deal about a bookstore-slash-deli in the next county? For one thing, it's rare enough that someone opens an independent bookstore for new releases—let alone one the size of Sherlock's, the largest new indie bookseller in the state. It includes more than $500,000 in rare books, a section spotlighting new authors, cases of engagingly bizarre TV and movie memorabilia, a surprisingly plush screening room with classics projected on large-screen DVD round the clock, and a hobby shop with model-train paraphernalia.
As for the deli, it's a New York-style sandwich shop dishing out $7-$9 sammies "with eight ounces of meat on each sandwich," says manager Joe Hansen, who boasts that 75 percent of his customers so far need a to-go box. Along with clam chowder, chili and beef stew, Sherlock's serves up a breakfast of sausage and biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs for early birds. And if you want dinner and a movie, you can take a theater tray into the screening room.
Sherlock's is located at 200 Maddox-Simpson Pkwy., not far off Exit 236. Call 449-9807 for more information.
The Nashville Vegetarian Meetup, a movable feast of likeminded veg-heads will have its next gathering Saturday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m. The location is still to be determined.
According to the group's web page, the Nashville Vegetarian Meetup 'is about meeting fellow vegetarians and vegans to build friendships, help the environment and of course enjoy good food and fun!' Other recent outings have included visits to restaurants and a potluck with speaker Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet.
To join the Nashville Vegetarian Meetup (suggested contribution is $9 a year), check out the group's web page, where the location of the Dec. 1 outing will be posted. With any luck, Veggie Cafe in East Nashville will be open and serving some of Dawn Fears' meatless meat loaf.
What do bike lanes have to do with restaurants? Responding to the Forbes ranking of Nashville as the nation's 7th most obese city, and speaking as "one who falls into the category of obese," the blog Only Wonder Understands has a few ideas (and mentions a couple of bygone Nashville restaurants that came up in that previous thread). Here's an excerpt:
When one looks around town, we quickly realize that there are few healthy alternatives where we can meet. Some of the great alternatives — the Grateful Breadbox, Country Life, etc. — have been run off by higher fat alternatives. Vegetarian or healthy lifestyle restaurants are few and far between . . . and if one moves out of the trendy areas of Hillsboro Village, East Nashville, or Waverly Belmont, it becomes even harder as family owned alternatives have been run out of town by the mega restaurant chains built on large portions and high fat content. Combine all of that with an overworked culture of persons with long commutes, a lack of neighborhood cohesion, and lifestyles that demand too many meals in car from drive-thrus, and you have a populus [sic] that is too heavy.This of course raises the question of the effect that infrastructure has on people's consumption of food. If one feels that one's lifestyle "demands" too many drive-thru meals, it's not far to the next question, which is: What role can progressive-minded chefs and restaurateurs have in creating a city (not just neighborhood) infrastructure that is hospitable to healthful eating choices?
In the God-is-everywhere tradition of Bongo Java's Nun Bun and other such holy apparitions, White Trash Cafe owner Lynn Batey has spied Christ between two panes of Plexiglas at his 6-year-old restaurant. Sure enough, in a window above a mop sink in a back hallway, there is what appears to be the tortured torso of the crucified Jesus.
"It's a little spooky," says Batey, who first saw the unmistakable likeness when a customer pointed it out to him. He adds that he hopes the tongue-in-cheek tone of his meat-and-three restaurant doesn't make anyone think he's making fun of Jesus. "Because I'm a Christian," he adds. Though with the economy and the weather, he does feel like his business is being crucified lately.
"I don't believe in coincidences," Batey says. "I believe coincidences are signs of God trying to tell you something." Exactly what God is trying to say in this case Batey's not sure, but he hopes it might draw a little attention to his business, and help him take the Cafe to the next level. It wouldn't hurt to have a catchy name, maybe "Mop Sink Messiah," "Cafe Christ" or something along those lines. Any suggestions?
The White Trash Cafe is located at 1914 Bransford Ave., 383-0109.
As exciting a time as it is on the local restaurant scene, with the explosion of casual fine dining and all the pomegranates, marrow bones and mache that come with the creative contemporary genre, it's nice to take a moment to remember those who went before. Scenester "Sharuch" was trolling over at Thinktrain.com and found this link to a conversation at Chowhound.com.
I can almost hear that band on the stage at Shakey's Pizza, and it makes me wonder if I don't have a Styrofoam boater that I ghermed off the banjo player.
But for me, the real bygone flavor of youth is Moon Drugs, where Mom took me for vegetable soup on the days school let out early. Today, for example, the day before Thanksgiving, would be a Moon's day.
Like so many unsuspecting victims of Food Network surprise, I arrived at Fido today for a low-key taping of a segment for Brain Freeze Stunt Week, only to learn that I was actually a judge on Throwdown! With Bobby Flay.
Flay, pictured here with sisters Norma and Irma Paz, took on the ladies of Las Paletas to see who could make the best ice pop—the brand name Popsicle was strictly verboten during the taping! While the Paletas gang knew the Food Network was coming to town to profile them, they were stunned to find Flay standing by, ready for a spontaneous throwdown.
Slow Food maven Robin Riddell and I had the honor of taste-testing two delicious frozen concoctions.
And the winner was...You'll have to wait until Brain Freeze Stunt Week rolls around in the summer. We'll keep you posted.
Continuing her conquest of the national media, Carrington will be taping a segment for the Food Network this afternoon at Fido in Hillsboro Village. The segment will air next spring as part of "Brain Freeze Stunt Week" (hey, brain freezing is my specialty!) and will focus on signless Nashville treasure Las Paletas. We understand a summer party/luau theme is involved, so come prepared for a lei. At the very least, you'll want to check out Carrington's mandatory "festive attire!"
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