Hey guys, here's an urgent message from Doritos: Buy a bag of our product—only we're not going to tell you what the flavor is. And while you're at it, buy a car from us sight unseen. Just take our word for it—it's got the right number of wheels. Oh, and while you're here, just spin the wheel and select a neurologist for your upcoming exploratory surgery. Really, what kind of idiot would pay for a bag full of Brand X?
After the scanner spit out my receipt, I headed to work with the black-bag Doritos known as "The Quest." It's all part of some ass-brained promotion with a prize at the end: it requires way too much exposition for the payoff of chowing down on triangular gutbombs of unknown origin. (It's like the great Mitch Hedberg routine about the foolishness of handing out receipts for buying a donut: "I give you a dollar, you give me a donut—end of transaction.")
Anyway, you're supposed to guess the (ooh, the suspense is killing me) Mystery Flavor. Which is tough anyway with Doritos, because they're founded upon the very slipperiness of their flavoring. The secret to Doritos is that they're not satisfying. No matter how many bagfuls you eat, no matter how much mossy orange residue collects on your fingers, you're never going to get that knockout blow of flavor that the chip promises. No matter how spicy it gets, it will never provide that climactic burn you get from a piece of hot chicken, that punch that signals your brain, "OK, I'm done." 'Cause then you might stop eating the damn things.
But the mystery presented a challenge. So an emergency meeting was called in my office, and each of us withdrew a chip. We crunched. And chewed. And spitballed. (Not literally, thank God.) Lime. Definitely lime. So much lime you couldn't really get around it. Maybe the mildest of chilis underneath—maybe. After a few moments, each of us took a guess:
Lee: Mojito. (Trendy, flip; a good guess, except—no mint.)
P.J.: Margarita. (Accounts for the lime and the saltiness; we may have a winner.)
Jack: Really, we don't know what the hell Jack was going on about. He said something no one understood about a candy from his childhood, then got this look like Proust eating a madeleine. We haven't heard from him since.
Mr. Pink: Lime cafeteria Jell-O.
I went to the Doritos site, clicked on some kind of secret decoder, and entered our guesses. None matched, but it gave hints as to what I presume is the real flavor. Want to know?
Two words, after the jump.
Otter’s Chicken Tenders, which currently has family-friendly restaurants on Demonbreun near the Music Row Roundabout and in Cool Springs, will open a third location in East Nashville’s 5th & Main mixed-use development in September.
The East Nashville location will be a smoke-free sports-themed restaurant with plasma televisions, a beer-only bar area, indoor and outdoor seating and underground parking.
5th & Main, developed by The Home Company, is a mixed-use development featuring lofts, flats and townhouses. Germantown Café team Chris Lowry and Jay Luther previously announced they will open Allium restaurant in the development.
Founded in 2003 by Talbott Ottinger, Otter’s currently seeks to expand throughout Tennessee and the Southeast through franchising.
Photo swiped from the International Otter Survival Fund site. Relax—the little guy's not on the menu.
Chef Paul Ent has accepted the position of executive chef at the Pineapple Room at Cheekwood. He begins work in the wooded sanctuary of arts and gardens this week and will be fully on board by June 4.
Ent is a former Marine and self-taught chef whose tours of culinary duty include Mount Vernon Inn in Virginia; Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.; Sunset Grill and Midtown Cafe in Nashville; Pearl’s Café in Sewanee; B. McNeel’s in Murfreesboro, The Riverfront Plantation Inn in Dover, Tenn., and most recently Bridges Café. He fills the position left vacant last fall when chef Darrell Manhold left the Pineapple Room after a brief stint and headed to Wildwood Oak-Fired Kitchen.
Located inside the domain of Cheekwood, The Pineapple Room serves lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. There is a $10 entrance fee for non-members.
Wednesday, May 28, is elastic-waistband day. Don't forget to wear your comfy britches for Generous Helpings, when dozens of Nashville's finest restaurateurs converge on the Nashville Convention Center to dish up tastes of their culinary creativity. The event benefits Nashville's Table, the prepared-food rescue division of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
This democratic event, studded with Nashville Originals and seasoned chefs alongside relative newcomers, brings out the best in the city's restaurant industry in every sense of the word. Lending their expertise are Watermark, Mambu, The Culinary Arts Center at Second Harvest, Ovations Catering, Nashville State Community College Culinary Arts, Park Café, Chaffin’s Barn, Pied Piper Creamery, Cabana, Eastland Café, Midtown Café, Sunset Grill, Tayst, Tin Angel, Mirror, Kalamata's, Margot, Marche, Zola, Noshville, Chappy’s on Church, Flyte, Radius 10, Veggie Café and Caffé Nonna.
As if that weren't incentive enough, restaurant chair Laura Wilson of Ombi says she will finally unchain sous chef Cooper Brunk from the stove to meet the public. Brunk will unveil a shrimp salad with grilled artichokes, tomatoes, hearts of palm and balsamic vinegar.
Previously named “Best Food Event” by the Scene, Generous Helpings 2008 will take place 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Patron tickets are available for $125, which includes valet parking and VIP access to bars and wine tastings. For tickets, visit Second Harvest Nashville or call 627-1565.
As part of next weekend's Franklin Food & Spirits Festival, which benefits the Southern Foodways Alliance as well as efforts to save the historic Franklin Theatre, a "Potlikker Film Festival" will show films May 30 and 31 throughout the day from the SFA's archive of documentaries on regional delicacies. Among them is this morsel by director Joe York, who pays homage to Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. It's fittingly spicy, in every sense of the term: you hear about hot chicken's aphrodisiacal properties as well as its health benefits. After all, who needs a master cleanse when you've got a colon full of cayenne? From YouTube, courtesy of WhereTheLocalsEat.com.
To celebrate his own birthday and honor the musical legacy of Otha Turner, attorney Bill Ramsey will host his annual block party, Ode to Otha, Saturday, May 31 from 2 to 9 p.m. at 1711 Sweetbriar Ave.
The family-friendly event includes food, beer, margaritas, clowns, piñatas and music from Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, Delicious, The Greencards, Tokyo Sauna, Blue Mother Tupelo, Debbie Ritter, Stacy Mitchhart, Chip Green, Bashful Mountain Broadcasters and more.
$30 admission benefits Second Harvest Food Bank. Children under 14 are free.
Pearl Fusion Restro officially opens for business tonight at 10 p.m., after the conclusion of a private opening event early in the evening.
With a menu of Asian-influenced items, including sushi, teriyaki and grilled meats, and a full bar including hot and cold sakes, Pearl will serve dinner only, Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Pearl is owned by Chao Liu, who also owns Sake restaurant in Cool Springs.
Located at 204 Commerce St. (Phone: 942-6918), between Sbarro and San Antonio Taco Co., Pearl fills the location that formerly housed Royal Thai and later a Chinese buffet.
Two swallows may not a summer make, but two hot chicken festivals could be the makings of a summer tradition. The second annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival will come home to roost July 4 in East Park.
Former Mayor Bill Purcell hatched the idea last year for an event celebrating Nashville's indigenous fried delicacy. In the inaugural battle of the breasts, East Nashville resident Will Radford of Will and the Fry Girls beat out then-mayoral candidate David Briley. Meanwhile, hot chicken hopeful Brett Wade was scratched from the competition when he was deployed with the Tennessee National Guard. Having completed his military tour of duty, Wade will take up arms in the MCHCF breast stakes this year. Competition organizers are calling for five more amateur contestants to join the cook-off, which will be judged by a panoply of poultry pros.
Think you've got what it takes to fire up some fowl? Apply online for one of five remaining berths.
If you'd rather just watch from the wings, you can enjoy samples from Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish, Prince's Hot Chicken Shack and 400°, along with entertainment and activities for the family. If last year was any indicator, get there early. The crowds were huge and the lines were long.
The free event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at 700 Woodland St.
If you're strolling through downtown at lunchtime Thursday, stop by the Nashville City Center plaza at 511 Union. Purity Dairies will be giving away free samples of their new tropical fruit smoothie frozen yogurt from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m..
Purity dropped off a few cartons of the non-fat smoothies at the Scene recently, and they were a big hit. Of the four beachy flavors, our favorite was Hawaiian Surf, studded with shredded coconut and chunks of pineapple. We could imagine adding some rum and a umbrella. Of course, we would never do that at the office. Would we?
Well, not exactly. But in honor of the upcoming and politically controversial Beijing Olympics, Mr. Pink and I think Carrington should have a cookout celebrating the wonderful street foods that will be available for fans and athletes alike at what is officially known as The Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
See more irresistible delicacies after the jump...and if you'd like to see our favorite AltWeekly Award-nominated food writer re-create this menu for all to enjoy, please chime in and make yourselves known. (Thanks to G. Pollak, whoever and wherever you are, for the photos in this PDF we received.)
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