Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The New Originals

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Nobody breaks it down like the boys from Spinal Tap. Click here for the truth. -->theneworiginals.mp3

The Nashville Originals, our favorite confederation of locally-owned independent restaurants, wishes to extend a warm welcome to Cha Chah, The Pineapple Room at Cheekwood and The Standard at the Smith House as the three newest members of the club. In order to join the Nashville Originals, an establishment must have been open at least a year and be committed to supporting independent restaurants as an integral part of the local community.

The group combines their marketing efforts to increase the visibility of their individual ventures and sponsors two of our readers favorite initiatives, the wildly successful annual Restaurant Week and the best reason to set your alarm clock for four in the morning (or just stay up all night), their quarterly discount gift certificate sale.

For more information on the three newest pledges or any of the almost forty members, check out the links to their websites from the Nashville Originals home page.

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Urban Farming: Welcome to the Pepper Mill

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 6:08 AM


As my inaugural season as an urban farmer concludes, I'm making a few notes of things that worked and things that didn't work. So far, the list of things that didn't work is longer, with highlights including:

a. My soil


b. Things I planted in it

But there were a few triumphs along the way, including the brilliant little pepper pictured above. I can't remember precisely where this specimen hailed from, but I'm pretty sure it was either from

a. Fluffernutter


b. The Personal Farmer

It was the latter, a.k.a. Peter Anderson, who suggested that I mix edibles with perennials in the limited planting space around my house. And, true to his recommendation, this vibrant pepino plant contrasts beautifully against the spent columbine, sedum and iris in the above photo. Cut into fine strips, the fire-engine-red fruit also goes well with rice noodles in a salty chicken broth tinged with coriander and coconut and garnished with lime and fresh cilantro.

With that soup in mind, I'll be planting a much more generous stand of pepinos next spring--along with more cilantro. Now as for the chicken broth....

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Ham it Up in Spring Hill Oct. 3

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 6:03 AM

The Spring Hill Country Ham Festival, the sixth annual fundraiser for Tennessee Children's Home, promises to be some party this weekend, with pig races, hog calling, a petting zoo, fireworks, live music and more country ham and biscuits than you can say gravy over.

The above video from last year's event offers a glimpse of what you might expect.

10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 804 Branham Hughes Blvd., Spring Hill

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Texts from a Windowless Bar

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 1:03 PM


Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I run to the computer and read Texts from Last Night. The site's motto: Remember that text you shouldn't have sent? We do.

It's just too good. Usually they're about youthful drunken hijinks, which is a nice way to put it. They frequently veer into the raunchy and frankly unthinkable, so if you're at work or there are kids around, don't do it.

This text message is also about drunken hijinks, but it spoke to me, as an advocate of seasonal eating:

Sam Adams makes it so easy to keep track of the seasons.

Never thought of it that way, but it's absolutely true.

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Casting Fate to the Wind with Urban Spoon

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Nashville restaurants on Urbanspoon

We have seen comments that sometimes the authors of this blog seem to visit the same places over and over. Admittedly, you eat what you like and you write what you know, but we certainly make the effort to try new establishments to give our readers the skinny on how to get fat.

But I figured why not take the human element of choice completely out of the equation? One of the first cool iPhone apps that drove people in droves to Apple's app store was Urban Spoon. With its fun slot machine interface and "shake to spin" user experience, it also had the benefit of linking to a fairly comprehensive restaurant review and information database. However those of us who are technologically deprived and iPhoneless didn't have access to Urban Spoon's advice. Until now.

Continue reading »

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Smooth Move Kid

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Our continued quest for bikeable snack destinations continued with a trip to Smoothie King. We're not exactly regulars there--it's hard to figure where a smoothie fits into our diets. A smoothie isn't enough for a meal, but it's a lot of calories to add to three meals. So it's an occasional treat.


The other smoothie-related issue is that the Wood youth have a problem with pseudo-healthy snacks, such as muffins and yogurt, sliding down the slippery slope toward junk, such as cupcakes and pudding. Like when a muffin is enormous, chocolate and has a glaze--that's a cupcake. Or when the yogurt is Boston Creme Pie flavored and has sprinkles--that's pudding.

So the youth decided from among the many options that a banana smoothie made with ice cream was a good choice. And, oh wait, that's a milkshake. It happened again, with me standing right there!

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Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. Opens in Riverside Village

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 6:38 AM


After months of anticipation--and salivation, particularly as the roasting began and the earthy aroma of chocolate circled Riverside Village--Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. is open for business. Founder Scott Witherow and his team are transforming beans into bars in the building behind Mitchell Deli and Sip Coffee House, selling an array of exquisite chocolate bars--riddled with cocoa nibs, coffee ground and salt and pepper.

Witherow, a Cordon Bleu graduate and former pastry chef at F. Scott's, has a résumé that winds through Nashville kitchens including Firefly Grille, The Trace and Wild Boar, as well as through the Fat Duck and Nobu in England. He has worked with culinary legends such as Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago and Frank Stitt at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham.

Olive & Sinclair bars, priced around $6, are available at Mitchell Delicatessen, Imogene + Willie, The Green Wagon, Caldwell Collection, The Produce Place and The Turnip Truck.

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Franklin Wine Festival Coming Oct. 2

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 6:10 AM


The fifth annual Franklin Wine Festival features more than 300 wines, food tastings from many of Middle Tennessee's finest restaurants, and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 and benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. 7 to 10 p.m. The Factory at Franklin. Tickets are available online.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wandering Wino-Fall Fest

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 1:17 PM


As the gentle rains of summer give way to the gentle rains of fall promising the gentle rains of winter, you know you want to get out of the house. Why not seek out a new favorite vintage at one (or more) of these wine events?

Grand Cru is sponsoring a Daedalus Wine Tasting at Tin Angel next Monday, September 28th, from 6:00-8:00 pm and offering the opportunity to meet Pam Walden, the owner of Daedalus Cellars. Pam is known for producing a classic Oregon Pinot Noir in very small batches. The chance to try them out and hear Pam's winemaking philosophy should be a treat.

Wine & appetizers

$20 all inclusive

Call Grand Cru for Reservations: 627-3900

If you're looking for a more raucous affair and the opportunity to support a really great cause then maybe you'll want to check out the Holly Street Rocks sixth annual Tasting benefiting the Holly Street Tuition Subsidy Fund.

Midtown Wine and Spirits & Holly Street Daycare are offering a tasting of fifty wines, heavy appetizers, silent auction, live entertainment. Don't feel the need to taste them all, BTW.

When: Saturday, October 3, 7:00 pm

Where: Limelight in East Nashville, near LP Field

$60 per person

- Silent and Live Auctions

-Cash Raffle

- Live Entertainment by Brian Langlinais

This event promises to be one of the best value wine tastings of the year!

More information: www.hollystreetrocks.org or call 615-227-8252.

Continue reading »

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Mad Sundays at Capitol Grille

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 10:13 AM

The Drapers, not actually at the Capitol Grille, but at a place that sort of looks like it
  • The Drapers, not actually at the Capitol Grille, but at a place that sort of looks like it

The Capitol Grille at Hermitage Hotel gets in on the mid-century madness, with weekly screenings of Mad Men accompanied by a roster of themed cocktails. Belly up to the bar for a Betty's Mint Gimlet or Don's Old Fashioned, and a roster of chef Tyler Brown's snacks, including fried green tomatoes with Hoop cheddar pimento cheese and pepper relish; duck sausage meatballs with fig and chili dipping sauce; and lobster corndogs. 8 to 10 p.m. through the Mad Men season

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