The current issue of the Scene features Carrington Fox's review of Lazziz, a Persian restaurant on Nolensville Road that she says is distinguished by its fresh, exotic flavors and heaping portions. "Surely, no restaurant in town delivers more food for your buck," she says.
Lazziz is not the only spot on Nolensville Road where that offers the one-two punch of tasty, authentic ethnic fare and hearty portion size. Today some Scenesters and I lunched at Las Americas, a popular Salvadoran restaurant on Nolensville Road. I ordered a single pupusa and the soup of the day, posole.
How was I to know that the pupusa would be as big as my face and the posole (savory pork soup with hominy) would come in a bowl the size of the Gulf of Mexico? Even after I had slurped until I could slurp no more, the waitress was barely able to fit my leftover soup in a quart container to go. And yet the check was barely 10 bucks. (Actually, less, because my co-worker had a coupon.)
Nashville's popular local brewery, Yazoo Brewing Co., is set to start pulling pints today in its new taproom on Division Street.
Via Yazoo's blog and Twitter, brewmaster and owner Linus Hall announced that the new taproom would open this afternoon. Hall said the actual brewery section of the new Yazoo headquarters at 910 Division St. is still awaiting inspections before brewing can commence, but the taproom has received its permits from the Metro Beer Board and "all is a go for 4 p.m. today."
Hall called it a "soft opening," but given the taproom's devoted following, it will probably be a mob scene. (It was very tempting for this reporter to sit on the story until she'd had her first fresh pint in the new setting.)
Launched in 2003 by Hall and his wife Lila, Yazoo Brewing Co. almost immediately began winning awards and eventually outgrew its Marathon Motorworks space. The new facility is bigger and will allow the brewery to continue to expand its bottled beer business while also leaving room for Hall to pursue his creative "hop project" experiments with different hops strains and types of brew.
The Halls are Mississippi natives (hence the Yazoo name). A former engineer, Hall has a diverse background that includes a Vanderbilt MBA and a prestigious craftbrewing degree from the American Brewers Guild in California and an internship at the Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The taproom hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday. On Wednesdays the taproom is open 4 to 6 p.m. refilling growlers only. (A growler is a jug for purchasing fresh draft beer.)
A recent incident made me think about the logistics of accommodating a Saturday night crush of eager diners at a popular restaurant that has more fans than tables.
The time, the place, the food and the occasion were all just right: a friend's birthday dinner with six people at City House.
When the starter of roast pork heart on roasted root vegetables with marsala-soaked raisins arrived, I slapped my forehead and whispered "OMG that is so. incredibly. good." It's the best thing I've eaten so far this year, and probably also most of last year. It was going to be a good, good night to be a restaurant writer.
Ordering took a while, we had zillions of questions, each of which sent our dutiful server in search of an answer. (He also seemed to be serving another table in an upstairs dining room.)
We relaxed and had plenty of time for conversation as the the crispy octopus, house-made sausages, brisket, pizza, roast chicken and gemelli with sardine conserve made their way to the table to be swooned over, shared (except for birthday girl's pizza, which she kept avidly to herself) and devoured.
Just as molasses ice cream and cookies had been served, we were politely but decisively told that a party was waiting for our table, and we were invited to finish dessert in the bar.
The reuben went down the hatch. The box was destined to become an experiment. We decided to assay the power of our compost pile on the breaking down-ability of the box.
The first picture is the box, and the second is the box on the compost pile, awaiting its fate.
What the mix needed was microbes, the invisible key to creative decay.
A layer of kitchen waste compost was spread over the box, left there three weeks, then half of the box uncovered for another two weeks.
Buried under the pile (photo below) was the other half of the original box, beginning to fall apart at the edges on its journey to becoming part of next year's garden. (Compostable takeout box discarded Jan. 12, photographed March 24):
If you're at all plugged in to the digital community in Nashville, you've probably heard of "BarCamp," "PodCamp," "HealthCamp" etc., which are all small confabs where people get together to share information about their favorite techie subjects. There's even a new alternative called "BoozeCamp," but that's a subject for a future post.
Now, the counselors at Grand Cru have started their own version of BarCamp in honor of that most persnickety of all varietals, Pinot Noir. That's right, you're invited to Pinot Camp.
Wahey! The Weekly Open Thread is back, all rested, tanned and ready for your dining and cooking comments, questions, raves and rants.
Did you get to Starbucks for free pastry day on March 23? Or to Ben & Jerry's for a free cone? Get a discount gift certificate from Nashville Originals?
Got plans for a bar visit with F. Scott's latest speakeasy phrase ("Grand slam") to get a half-price beer and a house-made pretzel with Brie-mustard dip? (Good until March 30.)
Get a book signed by one-time Wild Boar chef Thomas Keller? Meet any other Bitesters in line at Williams-Sonoma? Can the Ad Hoc food really be prepared at home?
As the aircraft carrier that is the Tennessee legislature inexorably changes its course toward allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores, the folks behind the Red White and Food group have declared today "Social Media Day" to continue to spread the word. They are asking like-minded consumers to help publicize their efforts by leveraging Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc. Here's how you can help:
Many Red White and Food members like you have been vocal about your support for wine in retail food stores. You've contacted your legislators, told your friends about the issue, and some have even written letters to the editor.
Your support has made the campaign a phenomenal success. And we're very close to what we believe is a huge milestone.
If we add 800 people, we'll reach the incredible accomplishment of 25,000 members.
Please help us spread the word by participating in the Where's the Wine? Social Media Day this Thursday.
The French restaurant Miel in Sylvan Park has been a favorite of Bites since its arrival in September 2008. But word in the local restaurant industry over the past month indicated that there was turmoil behind the scenes. At NashvillePost.com, E. Thomas Wood brings the subject into the open:
Amid accusations of drug use in the kitchen and a table-toppling tantrum in the dining room, the co-owner of one of Nashville's trendiest fine-dining establishments has obtained a restraining order banning its chef -- her husband -- from coming within a mile of the restaurant Miel, on 53rd Ave. in Sylvan Park.
Seema Prasad filed for divorce from Jimmy C. Phillips Jr. and obtained the restraining order last month. According to the divorce complaint, available at this link, several months of erratic behavior by Phillips culminated in an incident at the restaurant in early February. ...
There's more, alas, but also some good news for Miel's fans: Wood reports that well-known local chef Freddy Brooker, formerly of The Trace and several other restaurants, is stepping in to replace Phillips. We wish the place well.
Holland House, the upcoming restaurant and cocktail spot, has lined up a pretty impressive team as it prepares to open on West Eastland Avenue in East Nashville by the end of the month.
The official name of the business is Holland House Bar and Refuge. The "Holland" part is in honor of Raley's business partner in the venture, Cees Brinkman, who's from the Netherlands. Raley calls the menu "global bar food, or gastropub, but with plenty of accessible items." He's also putting an emphasis on artisan cocktails, with house-made bitters and other special ingredients. He says Holland House will offer 50 different cocktails, some flaming and spectacular.
Salud! The Cooking School in Whole Foods Market in Green Hills is hosting a Kermit Lynch wine dinner TONIGHT (Wednesday, March 24) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Goat cheese ravioli, rack of lamb with pomegranate sauce, roasted new potatoes and chocolate tart.
Kermit Lynch wines are, of course, known to be impeccably selected by the man who helped create the metaphoric river of wine that stretches from the vineyards of France to the dinner tables of eager Americans.
The wine educator is Billie Joyce Helmkay, who will explain the details of the various wine-and-food pairings, and at the stove is Merijoy Rucker, Salud! all-arounder. Cost is $55. Register online here or call 440-5117.
If you miss this one, catch Ed Fryer's Friday evening (March 26) class on Wines from Chile and Argentina, or the promising Indian Street Food set for May 4.
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