That's what is going on in my kitchen these days. Aging dishwasher pump broke at the same time water heater and faucet cartridge also failed. The image shows less than half of the rescue equipment reviving the wood floors. And the water is turned off.
So we'll be dining out more often. So far, Moe's, Ruby Tuesday and two quarts of Costco creamy tomato basil soup. Anyone else tried it?(Is it just me, or is there vinegar in it?)
The cook's on vacation--where can we go that's inexpensive, family friendly and on the West side?
Last week, I had the welcome task of rewarding a friend for her cat-sitting duties with food and drink. Due to a late work schedule (hers) and a desire not to hit up the rock show we were attending too early, we didn't meet up until around 9 p.m., when we walked into Ombi.
I had been looking forward to returning to the Elliston Place eatery ever since I heard that they had introduced smaller plates and lower prices (the new website is now up). I also wanted to check out a couple of the cocktails that everyone is always raving about.
We stuck to the small plates menu, where most things were five bucks or less. Highlights included artichoke hearts with a creamy, lemony dip and some of the tenderest gnocchi I've ever had--served with walnuts and a peppery cream sauce. Slightly less successful was the bacon chickpea dip, a clever spin on hummus but not quite on point.
The cocktails were definitely exciting. I enjoyed a perfect dirty martini and a Brimstone featuring cilantro, jalapeno syrup, tequila, honey pepper vodka, lime juice and cointreau. For a gal who hates an overly sweet cocktail, it was a wonderful surprise.
Overall, it was an affordable meal in a very chic setting. It is interesting that they have grabbed hold of the "gastropub" label, because the place still feels a little white tablecloth, especially in the (beautiful) main dining room. They might want to simplify the table settings if they hope to get more casual snackers and drinkers.
Don't forget tomorrow is Dining Out for Life, when generous restaurants contribute between 20 and 100 percent of your bill to Nashville Cares. Possibly the easiest fundraiser you'll ever participate in, DOfL stirs up a festive sense of occasion in the participating restaurants, because diners all feel like they're part of the same party. I'll be at Marché tomorrow for lunch, and the Scene is hosting Watermark in the evening. Where will everyone else be dining?
The promotional copy for Magic Hat's seasonal beer, Wacko, describes the brew like this:
"Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. It's the beer that dances to the beat of summer. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is the liquid song of summer."
In journalism, that's what you call burying the lede. Crisp like the morning? Cool like the evening? Hell, any written material regarding Wacko should start off with "Red like a longneck of Cheerwine" and proceed from there with any secondary blather about hops and malt, because the significant thing about Wacko is simply this: Mother of God, it is RED.
That's because it is made with beet juice, which imparts a freakishly happy color to a drink that, by all rights, should take its tint from somewhere among the minor tones.
But, come to think of it, red beverages have their place, so I offer the following top uses for beet-colored beer:
7. Drinking on Valentine's Day, duh
6. Drawing attention to your glassware
5. Drinking to impress Dwight Schrute
4. Drinking with teetotalers. They'll think it's Cheerwine.
3. Drinking with children. They'll think it's Cheerwine.
2. Drinking at work. Your boss will think it's Cheerwine.
And the number one use for beet-colored beer...
1. Drinking when you run out of beer-colored beer, because you'll never taste the difference.
A certain Bites editor was looking for a toaster oven, so I hooked her up, cuz when it comes to toaster ovens, I'm the candyman: got 14 of them. My ovens, stacked like a Lego sculpture in a corner of the garage, are the leftovers from equipment-testing for Fine Cooking magazine (out next week, if not already on newsstands and in mailboxes).
So Carrington thought she'd replace an old, grimy Black & Decker oven. We settled on a model. It was great, except for one thing: the tickety-tickety-ticking.
I'd seen the debates on equipment blogs: some people can't live without audible ticking to remind them of toast in the oven, while others want to gnaw their own ears off to escape the ticking.
We tried three more models, and subsequently decided that Carrington is the latter. Good thing her teeth can't reach her ears.
I used to think I didn't want another piece of kitchen equipment, but since we took in one of the toaster ovens, we hardly turn on the big oven. From a tray of six cookies to sweet potato fries to a frozen lasagna--it's amazing what will fit in these things. As for the ticking--in one ear and out the other.
It was a week of heavy eating on Bites as we checked out the new Cantina Laredo in the Gulch, The Peanut Shop in the Arcade, Provence in Green Hills, Earth Day dinner at Marché and some stinky cheese, which, no matter how free it was, was still disgusting.
Mark you calendar for the coming events featured on Bites:
Dining Out for Life, April 28
L'Eté du Vin tasting April 30 and Premiere Auction, May 2
Slow Food Hot Dog Day, May 3
The Nashville Scene's Iron Fork, May 6
I celebrated Earth Day the only way I know how: with food. Marché Artisan Foods and Woodland Wine Merchants hosted an organic wine dinner to honor the day, but it was in the locally sourced dishes that the event really shined. Lemme break it down, course by course, after the jump.
Where to buy lemon trees locally, where to dine late at night, the Broadway Brewhouse shrimp po' boy, the Cantina Laredo soft opening--all this was on your mind last week in our Bites open thread, where you determine the topics of conversation. What'll it be this week--Iron Fork participation? In praise of paprika?
As always, if you have an item or question you'd rather not post, email cfox (at) nashvillescene (dot) com.
I first encountered arugula about 15 years ago, when I was sharing living quarters with a Cordon Bleu-trained chef whose idea of culinary heaven was a roasted chicken and a side salad of arugula tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a scant shaving of parm. Served al fresco with a cheap bottle of ice-cold white, it was summertime perfection.
As a Londoner, she referred to arugula as "rocket," and she swore it was mildly addictive and would make our boobs grow. So we ate a lot of arugula.
I can't say the endless salad made me any more buxom, but I can vouch for arugula's being addictive. I've been hooked on its mustardy tang ever since.
As part of the ongoing effort to transform my less-than-a-quarter-acre property into a farm-let, I put out the arugula seeds last week, along with a medley of salad greens and some basil and cilantro. After a few generous days of rain, the tiniest of heart-shaped leaves are popping out of the ground in crooked rows. I like to think they are scouting for roast chicken and $6 chardonnay.
It remains to be seen whether the Foxes can sustain a chicken coop, but there's no shortage of cheap wine in the farmhouse fridge. When the arugula's ready in a couple of weeks, I'll be ready.
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