Why haven't you read anything on Bites about Papa Boudreaux's Cajun Café & Catering Co., the beloved nook of NOLA cuisine near the Natchez Trace in the community of Santa Fe? Because of threats from P.J. "The Enforcer" Tobia, who promised bodily harm if we drew any more customers to the tiny seven-table gumbo joint where two-hour waits are the norm.
"I'll hurt you--seriously," P.J. said. OK, maybe he just strongly implied it. But P.J.'s from Philly. It's better not to take any chances.
But now his embargo has lifted, thanks to some awesome news from Papa Boudreaux himself, Claude Bader. The New Orleans transplant has converted the restaurant space at the Dickson Ramada Inn, about a half-hour down I-40 at Hwy. 47, into a second Papa Boudreaux establishment with the same food, along with as much of the same feel as it can capture.
Bader hopes to have it open no later than Feb. 5.
Crema is celebrating its first year on Rutledge Hill by giving out free brewed coffee today. Stop in the former diesel engine repair shop at 15 Hermitage Ave. and tell barista-owner Rachel Lehman happy anniversary. While you're there, give yourself a decadent spicy and chocolatey gift on a snowy day by ordering a Mayan hot chocolate.
Scene intern Anglea Suico contributed this post.
From knife techniques to raw sweet treats, the Salud! cooking school at Whole Foods runs the gamut of all things culinary. Here's a short list of upcoming events at the Green Hills store:
Boo! Chain restaurants! Fast food! Boo! Death in a paper sack! Did I say "Boo" already? BOO!
Psst. Down here. Quiet, the cuisine cops'll hear you. Here, have a seat on this stack of Captain D's boxes. Have I introduced you to...the Arby's Limited Edition Patty Melt?
Shhh! Don't run! A healthy lifestyle attracts them! Yeah, I know--I should have been consuming an oilcan of granola and washing it down with locally cultivated flaxseeds. Instead, I scrunched as far down as I could and called out my order to the Arby's drive-thru from the vicinity of my floor mat. The lure of the Patty Melt could no longer be denied.
Does anyone still eat snow cream, or has it gone the way of drinking from the hose-pipe, playing in the front yard and other once-harmless childhood indulgences that are now on a par with drinking lighter fluid in terms of potential for loss of life? I remember my dad putting on his boots and walking outside while I sat indoors hopefully monitoring the Snow Bird report. He'd return triumphantly with a small stainless steel bowl brimming with a drift of winter's first snow gathered from the hood of the car. Then he'd ceremoniously add sugar, milk and vanilla. The result was a flavor and texture combination so un-creamy, so un-voluptuous, so un-Ben & Jerry's, and yet so pristine as to crystallize in my taste memory like a perfect snowflake.
Then some asshole told us not to eat snow because of acid rain.
How about you?
Food Security Partners of Middle Tennessee has received a grant to fight childhood obesity in Nashville's food deserts. Using $225,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the organization will search for ways to bring healthier food options to three neighborhoods in East Nashville, Edgehill and North Nashville.
Anyone who has ever tried to buy a green vegetable around the Cayce Homes or along 12th Avenue South near downtown knows all too well the nutritional barrenness of a food desert, a phenomenon discussed in the above video by The Tennessean. "If we want to curb the epidemic of childhood obesity, one of the things we must do is make sure people have easy access to healthy food," said Cassi Johnson, Food Security Partners director.
Johnson will co-lead the two-year Re/Storing Nashville campaign with Debbie Miller, director of the Child and Family Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. They are currently assembling a leadership team, meeting with partners and researchers, coordinating a community-wide meeting and hiring a project coordinator---I repeat: Someone is actually hiring.
Oh, beautiful for spacious thighs, for amply weighed fat grams. Men's Health recently released "The 20 Worst Foods in America 2009." Topping the list is the Baskin-Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake, which could fulfill a full day's caloric needs with its count at 2,600. Add to that its 135 grams of fat and you've got the equivalent of about four-and-a-half Big Macs. What a snack!
Also making the list is a Chinese entrée equaling 42 Krispy Kreme donut holes and a fish entrée equaling 35 Chicken McNuggets.
Whether or not you think it should be mandated by law, these examples give good reasoning to those who'd like this information printed on menus. Of course, you can also see why restaurants would put up a fight.
Due to employment issues in my household, we've severely cut back any restaurant dining, so this isn't really an issue for me. And even when I eat out, I tend to order smaller, healthier items than those on the 20 Worst list. (Though we did make a pizza the other night with bacon and pear--which we just had to fry in the bacon fat.)
Do reports like these affect how you eat at restaurants? Do you ever consult the hidden-away-but-available nutritional information? Will you now?
Scene intern Angela Suico contributed this post.
Nashville Farmers' Market diners might someday be able to drink beer and booze with their barbecue and goat curry. Metro Council has passed a resolution that would permit some restaurants to sell alcohol. Because the market sits on state property, state lawmakers must approve the measure before changes can be made.
If legislation passes, two of the eight market restaurants--B&C Market BBQ and JamaicaWay--could qualify for alcohol permits, which require restaurants to be enclosed and have their own entrances. Marketing manager Marne Duke says other restaurants may renovate so that they have their own seating in order to qualify for alcohol permits.
More liberal alcohol policy could generate a welcome new revenue stream for the facility, Duke says. "We have had people who wanted to have weddings and fundraisers [there], but in our lease it said we could not have alcohol on the premises." A decision by the state is expected within the next two months.
I AM POSTING THIS LATE AT NIGHT AFTER DINING AT CHACHAH, which is stunning and buzzing and where I slurped down a cup of the thickest and most decadent hot chocolate I have ever tasted, which was flavored with cinnamon and coconut milk and cream and poured from a pretty white teapot into a pretty white cup with a single chocolate-covered homemade marshmallow that wilted under the heat of the cinnamon-coconut-chocolate sludge to create a swirl of brown and white with a consistency that was neither solid nor liquid, neither heavy nor light, but coated my tongue with a deep and lingering earthy flavor that was downright naughty and infused my blood with so much warm sugar and caffeine that I will be up all night watching reruns of Scrubs and thinking if only ChaChah served breakfast then I could have that chocolate again in the morning and wouldn't it be easier to shoot it directly into my veins and curse you Arnold Myint, you hot chocolate pusher, YOU SHOULD HAVE A LICENSE TO SERVE THAT.
"And what will you have today?" the waiter asked. It was an infrequent visit to a nice restaurant, an ambitious, somewhat pricey new place that hasn't been open long. I had been encouraged to get whatever I wanted, so what the hell. "Steak frites," I said, pronouncing the last word "freet."
"Oh," the waiter said, "the fritz."
My companions hid behind their menus, stifling their guffaws. Turns out one had been to the place a few days before, and another server had boasted about the "scallop parizzni." The patron was mystified until she saw the word written on the menu: "Parisienne." The server later came back to identify the herb used in the (tangy, tasty) butter spread: thyme--or rather, "thigh-mm."
My reaction was mostly dismay. The server was young, eager to please, and clearly trying his best. Hey, I was a teenage busboy once for all of three days in a Murfreesboro seafood restaurant--chew on that prospect a while--and I probably garbled every dish on the menu.
At the same time, if the restaurant wants to make a lasting impression on sophisticated patrons, mispronouncing common items is not the way to do it. It's like standing up for your date all Rico Suave with the tablecloth zipped in your fly.
So what would you do:
A) Repeat the term correctly in a sentence ("Mmmm, I do love freet") and hope he catches the hint.
B) Say, "Oh, is that how you pronounce it? I always thought it was freet."
C) Discreetly correct him, and pray he doesn't show his gratitude by marinating your freet in the urinal basin.
D) Keep it to yourself.
I decided to consult the oracle: the "Dining Out Etiquette" section of John Bridges' invaluable How to Be a Gentleman website, the last bastion of mannerly conduct in a rapidly less civil world. For all the advice it offers on patron-server detente ("A gentleman expects courteous behavior from his server [and] behaves courteously in return"), this touchy topic is not addressed. "[A gentleman] knows it is not his job to provide on-the-job training for a surly server," Bridges advises. But what about a friendly, well-meaning server? That's what I hoped to find.
Ultimately, I went with D. But somehow, as happens often, I am left with the sense that no matter which course of action I chose, I would still feel like a preek.
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