Friday, May 28, 2010

Wandering Wino: Kick Off Your Summer Right

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM

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The Wino's calendar isn't too crowded this Memorial Day Weekend, but you should be out enjoying the weather and celebrating the unofficial start of summer anyway. If you're looking for a reason to drag yourself away from the pool later this week, check out any or all of these winetastic events.

Frugal MacDoogal is throwing quite the bash Friday, June 4, as they present "Sip, Support and Celebrate 2010." The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. at the Richland Country Club.

Here are the deets from the invitation:

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Feminism Killed Food, But Who Cares, Since Women Can't Cook Anyway

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:43 AM

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There's a hot convo going on in the blogosphere/online lit mag world about feminism's culpability in the death of the decent meal. If women hadn't trampled the family meal en masse on the way to those high-paying jobs — stopping only to spit on the entire culture of food prep as they grabbed a pack of Virginia Slims on their way out the door — we might not all be porkers too busy double-fisting cheeseburgers to stare down the obesity epidemic. Or something like that. (It's a writer critiquing a book review, so the he said/she said gets a bit tedious.) From revered food scribe Michael Pollan's review of Janet Flammang's book ""The Taste of Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society":

In a challenge to second-wave feminists who urged women to get out of the kitchen, Flammang suggests that by denigrating “foodwork”—everything involved in putting meals on the family table—we have unthinkingly wrecked one of the nurseries of democracy: the family meal. It is at “the temporary democracy of the table” that children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civility—sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending—and it is these habits that are lost when we eat alone and on the run.

Umm, OK? I mean, yes, we get it. When women went to work, there was stuff at home they stopped doing. The cult of domesticity was no longer. So shit didn't get done, and, shocker, men didn't exactly rush in and start vacuuming their balls off either. (See the results of this up-to-the-second study, in which women still do most of the housework and childrearing in households, even where both partners work equally.) Or, as Anna Clark puts it in her critique of Pollan's take on Flammang's book:

My take, as a feminist and local foodie? Blaming feminism for luring women out of the kitchen, stealing the ritual of the family meal, and thereby diminishing "one of the nurseries of democracy" is both simplistic and ridiculous. It's true that shared meals are powerful spaces for building relationships and "the habits of civility." But if we're going to talk about who's to blame for our current culture of processed food, why not blame untold generations of men for not getting into the kitchen, especially given Pollan's characterization of the family meal as having a meaningful role in cultivating democracy? If it's so important, why is their absence excusable?
It's excusable because men are too busy doing something else: Ruling at cooking professionally.

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Weekly Open Thread is Full of Advice

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Friend of Bites the radio show Liberadio wants to remind everyone that if you know of someone in need of flood-related help, their website has a comprehensive listing of services, and of opportunities to help. Because while some of the city is back to normal, others are still picking up the pieces.

To that topic, this week Nashville eaters raised still more money for flood relief. We also watched as East Nashville's Family Wash was featured on Tennessee Crossroads on public television and argued abut Trader Joe's.

If you had one of the last dinners at the old tayst, buy something at Sweet Relief bake sale for flood relief, or just want to weigh in on a discussion in an old thread, Open Thread is the place to tell all.

Well, We Might as Well Shut This Blog Down, `Cuz It Ain't Gonna Get Better Than This

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 8:34 AM

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  • Miro District
Bites buddy El Zorro forwarded this little nugget of awesomeness to me, though I'll assume he was smart enough to RSVP for himself before he sent it. On June 9, Chef Joe Shaw and his team at Miro DIstrict are hosting a Bourbon and Bacon Dinner.

Let's all take a minute for that to sink in ... Bourbon and Bacon Dinner.

Starting at 7 p.m., Chef Shaw will host Allan Benton of Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Hams from Madisonville, Tenn., and Julian Van Winkle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon from Louisville, Ky., for a bourbon and bacon extravaganza. The evening will begin in the lower dining room at Miro District Restaurant featuring bourbon cocktails, Manhattans, old-fashioneds and mint juleps, all made with Pappy’s 15-year-old bourbon.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

We've Got a Growler Winner

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM

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A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the Cool Springs Brewery and their offer to give a free growler to a lucky Bites reader.

Well, the wheel went round and round at www.random.org and the lucky number came up for Laura Y. Her brief, but impassioned plea, "I'd love a growler" obviously moved the gods of probability so she will be the proud owner of a free refillable growler courtesy of Chris and Jane Hartland, the owners of Cool Springs Brewery. With it, she will be able to sample a half gallon of Mike Kraft's premium brews.

Laura, drop me a line to cchamberlain@nashvillescene.com and I'll hook a sister up. Thanks to the Hartlands for their gift.

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Market Fresh: Vanderbilt Farmers' Market Opens Today

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM

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Nashville's farmers' market fare just expanded again, with the addition of the Vanderbilt Farmers' Market, opening today. If you're in the midtown area between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., stop by Medical Center Plaza across from Langford Auditorium on Vandy's campus. The market, a joint partnership between Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital and Health Plus (and managed by the Nashville Farmers' Market) will offer 11 vendors selling produce, milk, cheeses, breads, herbs and flowers grown by local farmers within a 100-mile radius of Nashville. It's open every Thursday through Oct. 28. Do it! And bring cash — most vendors take plastic, but a few are still kicking it old-school.

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Latte Art Throwdown at Bongo Java East Tonight!

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:43 AM

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The latest edition of the Nashville Coffee Society's Thursday Night Throwdown will be tonight, Thursday, May 27, at Bongo Java East, 107 S. 11th St. The Rosettas for Relief competition will match Nashville's most creative baristas as they vie for the title of Top Crematologist.

(A rosetta, by the way, is the flower shape that appears as frothed milk is poured into a cup of espresso. A pretty, well-defined rosetta is considered the mark of a latte art maestro. See examples here.)

Chef John Stephenson of Fido will be providing the food, and proceeds will be donated to Hands on Nashville. The coffee will come from Beve Mobile, an artisan coffee caterer. (Their website doesn't have much info right now, but you can check out their Twitter feed.)

Registration starts at 7:30 p.m. and amateurs are invited to participate. The hoedown and the throwdown start at 8.

Head down and enjoy sampling some of the losing entries. Caffeine's great — plan to be up a little bit late. I hear that Craig Ferguson dude is pretty entertaining.

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Food Allergies Less Common Than Thought, Study Discovers

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:45 AM

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A few people are definitely allergic, but most people aren't. That's the finding of a study made public last week by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The news, reported in the New York Times, comes at a period of growing worry, especially among parents. But concern is widespread enough that now many dinner hosts quiz guests about potential allergies.

The study found that only 50 percent of those who tested positive in a skin test are actually allergic. It also debunked widely accepted ideas — such as the notion that breastfed babies develop fewer allergies, and that babies shouldn't be fed eggs for the first year of life — as unsupported by evidence.

One researcher noted that people confuse allergy with intolerance, such as lactose intolerance or sensitivity to spicy food. But an allergy involves specific antibodies — when they're not present, there's no allergy.

On the other hand, researchers noted that people seem to grow into and out of allergies, for reasons that aren't clear.

In short, if you think you're allergic to a food but aren't sure — or you just really miss it — it may be worth trying again.

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It's True: Hot Kabobs is Closed

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Porta Via was busy last Tuesday night, with guests willing to wait 20 minutes for a table. It was worth the wait for the finely made pizzas, pastas and sandwiches — not to mention that extraordinary and enormous rosemary-and-garlic-scented $29 T-bone steak.

Alas, the crowd also explains why Porta Via co-owner Mehrdad Alviri chose to shutter Hot Kabobs, his Persian eatery further west on White Bridge Road. Alviri confirmed the news, saying he was putting his effort into Porta Via.

Looking at the crowds — and the average dinner tab — at Porta Via, it's impossible to disagree with Alviri's decision. But as a Hot Kabobs regular, it pains me to see the last of the eggplant koresht, crispy rice tahdig and the succulent little lamb chops on the west side of Nashville.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dunn Bros Goes From Mug to Jug

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 5:43 PM

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Beer lovers often tote around growlers, special jugs that can be refilled with a favorite draft brew. Many a Nashville hops worshipper has a Yazoo growler or two (or 12) for refilling at the brewery's taproom or other strategic spots.

I had never heard of a coffee growler, but it seems that such a thing exists and can be found even in exotic locations like downtown Nashville. Dunn Bros, the Minnesota-born coffeehouse chain with a location at Fourth Avenue and Church Street, has introduced Infinite Black, what the company describes as a robust, cold-pressed coffee that is ideal for any iced coffee beverage.

A 64-ounce growler full of Infinite Black is $12.95. While supplies last, you'll also get a free 16-ounce Dunn Bros glass as part of the deal. Growler refills are $9.95.

Dunn Bros is at 401 Church St., 252-2567

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