Thursday, March 20, 2008

What the Hell Is That? Episode 1: Branston Pickle, Condiment of Democracy

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 3:09 PM

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As we strolled through the hallowed aisles of the fabulous Global Market, a new Bites feature was born. From time to time, as the mood strikes us, the Scene's staff of gustatory experts will venture out to Global or one of Nashville's other international markets and return with some intriguing foreign foodstuff that piques our preoccupation with piquant, perplexing and perhaps preposterous palatable pleasures. (By the way, if you've never been, Global Market is a gold mine for epicurean adventurers. It's a little hard to find, but well worth the search. It's at 918 Vine St., just across the street from Adventure Science Center.)

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In the Here and Nowruz

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 2:56 PM

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In celebration of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, Genie's Persian Palace will host a traditional Haft Sin meal tonight. In keeping with the Haft Sin tradition, which marks the advent of spring, Genie's owners Mo and Shiva Karimy will prepare a meal based on seven dishes that begin with the letter “S,” each symbolizing a different creation:

Sabzeh: wheat, barley or lentil sprouts symbolizes rebirth

Samanu: sweet pudding made from wheat germ symbolizes affluence

Senjed: dried fruit of the oleaster tree symbolizes love

Sīr: garlic symbolizes medicine

Sīb: apples symbolize beauty and health

Somaq: sumac berries symbolize the sunrise

Serkeh: vinegar symbolizes age and patience

(Actually, Mrs. Karimy doesn't have any samanu, she says, but she has decorated the buffet with dyed eggs, a Persian tradition that predates Easter by thousands of years.)

Other traditions surrounding Nowruz include jumping over fires, spring cleaning, exchanging gifts and picnicking. Click here to read more about Nowruz. Or better yet, stop by Genie's tonight and wish Mrs. Karimy and “Mo” a happy spring. Chances are they'll tell you a whole lot more.

Genie's Persian Palace is located at 6990 Moores Lane. Phone: 370-7022.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shameless Online Wheedling: It Works!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 5:10 PM

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Yesterday in the mail, this enormous box arrived in the spotless nerve center of Mr. Pink Enterprises. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the label and saw that this monster had come from none other than Boscoli Foods of Kenner, La. I don't know what possessed the makers of the finest olive salad I've ever tasted to send Bites a haybale-sized box of goodies, but they did.

And oh my stars. As flapping vultures, er, colleagues came idly wandering from all corners of the edit department, I managed to fend them off with a box cutter while I looked inside. When the last bubble-wrapped bulge and styrofoam peanut hit the trash can, this is the bonanza that remained:

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First to go were the spicy pickled asparagus spears: briny wonders with a hard carroty crunch and a fiery backbite of pepper. Then we cracked open the almond-stuffed olives—plump little beasties, though the almond taste was mostly obliterated by the pickling. Going over much better were the jalapeno-stuffed olives: not as scalding as you might expect, but with a nice cumulative burn that proved addictive. Elizabeth Ulrich absconded with the jar before I could alert the front desk.

We'll share reports on more of this bounty, jar by freakin' jar. Thanks, Boscoli! In the meantime, have I ever mentioned how much I'd love to try the combined wares of Ben & Jerry's, Emerald, See's Candies and Jack Daniel's?

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Opening Mitch

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Mitchell Delicatessen, East Nashville's long-awaited deli at the emerging crossroads of Riverside Village, will open its doors to the public this Saturday. Chef-owner David Mitchell and chef Julia Helton will debut with an Easter dinner to go. The menu includes a Roman-style artichoke appetizer, radish-and-butter-lettuce salad with feta vinaigrette, roasted red bliss potatoes, deviled eggs, peas with mint, and entrées of herb-roasted leg of lamb ($20), whole roasted chicken ($15), mustard-encrusted rack of lamb($24) and traditional Easter ham ($12).

Mitchell Delicatessen is located at 1402 McGavock. As always, if you get there before we do, please report back on Bites.

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No Disputing Tayst

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Tayst chef-owner Jeremy Barlow is now a sole proprietor, after he and co-founder Dan Morrissey recently parted ways. The amicable separation leaves chef Barlow in charge in both the front and back of the 4-year-old eatery, where he dishes up whimsical items such as Krispy Kreme bread pudding and gourmet-kitschy events such as the McDonald's Chant Dinner and a Movie Night.

In a recent email to customers and friends, Barlow was fairly tight-lipped about future plans for his restaurant. (But he was characteristically excited about the ramps coming in from the East and an early harvest of stinging nettles.)

Tayst is located at 2100 21st Ave. Phone: 383-1953.

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What a Rice Idea

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:52 AM

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Words of which I apparently don't know the meaning include the following: gemma, firth and gallimaufry. I learned of these and other vocabulary shortcomings at freerice.com, which is the online equivalent of an endless SAT verbal section. Log on and start the multiple-choice quiz. For every word you get right, the site donates 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program, which is paid for by the advertising on the site.

Not that I'm trying to give Bites readers, who seems to have plenty of discretionary time on their hands, any other distractions, but this website--in addition to helping fight hunger--is completely addictive and, arguably, even educational. I now know that a gemma is a bud, a firth is an estuary and gallimaufry means "hodgepodge."

Now, for extra credit, I'll give 60 grains of rice to the first person to use the following three words in a single sentence: kine, gonfalon and ratiocinative.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The Man in the Big Hat

Posted By on Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Next time you see Jack Cawthon and his black cowboy hat, give him a pat on the back—but wipe your sticky fingers first. Jack’s Bar-B-Que took home first-place prizes for its 
Carolina Mustard and Texas Sweet Hot sauces and won best gift pack at the recent National Barbecue Association Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas. Jack’s also took home third prize for its vinegar sauce and fifth place for its Music City White Sauce.

You can try these winning entries yourself at Jack’s two locations: 416 Broadway and 334 West 
Trinity Lane.

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Watch Out for Leprechauns

Posted By on Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 9:15 AM

Let’s play it Jeopardy-style: Green beer, motocross and an AC/DC tribute band.

What are three things you’ll find at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon today in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish-themed bar, located at 132 Second Ave., will host performances—including Irish folk band Whistling Gypsies and motocross champion Geoff Aaron—under a 60-foot tent on the corner of Commerce Street and Second. Doors open at 11 a.m., and Killian’s Irish Red and Guinness start flowing at 1 p.m. Admission is $10 and kids 10 and under are free. A portion of proceeds from McPattyfest will benefit Hands on Nashville.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chilly Reception

Posted By on Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 11:36 AM

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Mike Hanlin, the Pittsburgh transplant who brought you Piranha’s Bar & Grill, has finally opened the doors to The Big Chill. Located in The Market Street Emporium on Second Avenue, The Big Chill will offer a creative menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and pizza bagels. Hanlin is even making smoothies out of cereals, such as Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops. Eventually, the menu will expand to include breakfast. Catering is available, and delivery is coming soon. As always, if you get there before us, please report back on Bites.

Located at 112 Second Ave., The Big Chill is open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Phone: 712-6163.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Higher Standard

Posted By on Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 4:07 PM

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The Standard at the Smith House, the Southern-style tearoom that recently added dinner service to its repertoire, has hired chef Joe Shaw to revamp its entire menu. Over the next two to three weeks, Shaw will streamline the rambling offerings, with a mind toward building a menu that has the same integrity as the laboriously restored Victorian residence that houses it.

The overall flavor will remain Southern, says Shaw, whose culinary resume boasts the post of opening chef at Watermark restaurant in The Gulch. But the recipes and processes will be more deliberate. For example, he says, “We'll still have chicken salad, but it will be the kind of chicken salad that nobody makes any more because it's too damn hard.”

Since leaving Watermark four months ago, Shaw has been catering and writing a business plan for his own venture, which he is still developing. For now, Shaw and Standard owner Joshua Smith have entered into a five-week consulting arrangement.

The Standard is located at 167 Eighth Ave. 254-1277.

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