It's Friday, so the heart naturally yearns for a deluxe Nashville hot fish sandwich: planks of fried whiting piled high with yellow mustard, hot sauce, onion and pickle and toothpicked between endearingly inadequate slices of lunchbox-issue white bread. This monster is the Giant King of Nashville hot fish sandwiches, as Eastside Fish's Donald "Bo" Boatright will be the first to tell you. We found this photo and Michael Stern's accompanying write-up at Roadfood.com, and you can find the real deal at 2617 Gallatin Pike, where Mr. Pink heartily endorses the hot wings as well as Nashville's coolest fashion accessory, the "Crunkest Fish in Town" T-shirt. Call in your order at 227-8388.
• Worst-Case Scenario Dept.: You get home, your refrigerator has died, and all your condiments are now Petri dishes of angsty bacteria. Which ones do you restock? Ulika has a list of desert island dressings no kitchen can survive without, even if I'm currently surviving without some of them (sweet chili sauce, Cheez Whiz). My own additions to the list: soy sauce, Cholula, Louisiana Gold, and the most glorious of all enhancement aids, Omni Hut Teriyaki Sauce.
• At Nashville Restaurants, Sweetgrass Smokerie incurs the undying wrath of a Sicilian simply by taking its spicy smoked tofu on a pretzel roll off the menu. I would think anything that obliterates tofu could only be a diner's friend, but Katie the Veggie Eater does not agree. Even so, the "grits tots" they tried across the patio at Edisto (which caused a mild disagreement, if you can have such a thing with a Sicilian) sound like fried lumps of genius.
• Maybe it's because the venerable Abelmoschus esculentus stands up to drought like the Iron Mike of the vegetable kingdom, but okra seems to be in the air these days. (Not literally, thank goodness, as driving would be difficult.) The latest to take notice is Natalie at Fear Ye No Carb, who provides a roasting recipe that she says does away with that off-putting okra slime. But isn't the slime part of the appeal? If I ran the American Okra Council (if there were an American Okra Council), I would market it as vegan escargot.
• Speaking of vegans, Yvonne Smith, Nashville's Traveling Vegetarian, is up for a 2008 Veggie Award for "Favorite Veg Website" from VegNews magazine. We at Bites do not advocate ballot-box stuffing...well, yeah, actually, we kinda do. So vote for Yvonne before Aug. 31 and make sure you fill out at least 50 percent of the ballot. All write-ins must be vegan, which is a polite way of saying "Famous Dave's" is not an acceptable candidate.