Drawing from seven seasons of past losers, err...non-winners, the cast looks to be quite talented with the potential for some good nasty interpersonal fireworks.
If you're looking for local connections, Antonia Lofaso (from Season 4)
visited our fair burg last spring as part of a national Top Chef tour where she and Ryan "Poached Pears at a Tailgater?!" Scott put on an entertaining cooking demo in front of The Belcourt Theatre.
More likely to stir local interest is the fact that Chef Carla Hall was born here and graduated from Hillsboro High School. Plus she kicks ass, so I guess you can tell who I'll be rooting for.
Here's the list:
Pay your $6 and get a plate of waffles, grits, turkey hash or sausage and coffee or spiced tea. A $6 lunch? Downtown? I know, right?
The church has been cooking up waffles for holiday shoppers and downtown workers since the 1920s. As a bonus, take a little tour of William Strickland's architectural gem. Strickland designed the church in the 1840s while he was in Nashville overseeing the construction of the State Capitol, and it's a doozy — especially for Nashville, and considering the times. The church is one of the few remaining examples of the Egyptian Revival architecture in the country, and perhaps the only house of worship.
(It's also a fine example of an old Nashville church schism, but that's another story, and still kind of a sore spot 50 years later ...)
There's a bake sale, too, where you can stock up on cheese wafers for holiday parties, another Nashville tradition. (All proceeds go towards building improvements and the church's programs to help the homeless.)
Waffle Shop hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but try to get there early if you want to ensure your waffle haul. For more information, call the church at 254-7584.
First there were oysters Rockefeller at Nero's, which were perfection itself in both balance of flavors (finely minced, high-quality slab bacon!) and preparation — broiled just enough to firm up the topping but not overcook the oyster.
The opening of Margaritaville on Broadway featured copious quantities of oysters Rockefeller and Bienville at one of the upstairs bars. I expected cheeseburgers, coconut shrimp and stone crab. The oysters were a refined touch on the fried-things-and-Landshark-beer cuisine, and I hope they're on the regular menu.
Because, you know, it was fun, in a theme bar way. Lots of tiki huts and beach bar nooks to inhabit. Stage upstairs and a place downstairs for a duo or single entertainer. It'll be a great draw for the heaving masses of tourists, but would be great fun for an office party of a 21st birthday celebration.
As a former boss used to say, it is what it is. If you get there and have dinner, report back to Bites.
If you haven't tried the bar menu at Morton's lately, that's reason enough to join in the fun. Feel free to stay for dinner afterward — to treat yourself for being such a generous mensch — or just stick around in the bar to watch some Monday Night Football. Sounds like a plan to me.
Morton's the Steakhouse-Nashville
618 Church St.
No Bellevue opening date is mentioned on the website, but the new location will mean that Sweet CeCe's fans on the far west side can skip the drive to Belle Meade and settle in closer to home with that bucket o' eggnog froyo (the celebrated root beer flavor is currently out of rotation) and a mountain of fruity, crunchy and gummy toppings.
Like Bites-bro Sean Maloney, I call on the expertise of Bites readers for a holiday dilemma. I have these very decorative holiday paper pans from Sur La Table. Two years ago, I made some kind of holiday bread in them and gave it as gifts to friends and neighbors.
There are still a lot of them, tossing around in the cabinet, which isn't improving their condition. They are crying out to be given away, filled with something wonderful. I need a recipe for a great holiday bread or loaf cake — and no candied fruit, please — to fill the pans with something the neighbors will love getting and eating. Freezeability is a plus, in case said neighbors are loaded down with goodies and need to put some on ice.
I'm reading your blogs and Twitter feeds, so I know there's some righteous baking going on right now. Send your ideas for greatest holiday loaf/cake, from jam cake to Swedish cardamom bread.
And check in with Bites over the next few days to report on what's putting the "thanks" in your Thanksgiving, at home or out, in town or away.
At owner John Dyke's long-awaited Gulch expansion of his popular East Nashville market, the culinary brand names in question are Laura Wilson — the chef at the bygone Ombi, who recently helped launch Holland House Bar & Refuge — and Sam Tucker — the onetime pastry chef at Watermark who recently helped launch Burger Up. And the delicious discount for the discerning diner is the $7.99-per-pound price tag on Wilson and Tucker's ever-changing array of comforting and contemporary cuisine.
Located in a former warehouse across the street from the venerable Station Inn, The Turnip Truck Urban Fare boasts 9,200 square-feet of gleaming, high-ceilinged space, outfitted with café tables fashioned from wood salvaged from Union Station. Grocery shelves are loaded with organic, gluten-free and local ingredients, flanked by meat, seafood and cheese counters, a gift section and a vast selection of microbrewed beers. ...
On French day, there were coq au vin and vegetarian bouillabaisse. On taco night, there was chili con carne made with textured vegetable protein. On other days, options have included flank steak with vegetables, chicken-and-vegetable skewers, roasted brussels sprouts with wild mushrooms, vegan pad Thai, chicken-fried Eden Farms pork loin and shrimp and grits. (Hint: The plump de-veined shrimp pair nicely with the pad Thai noodles.)
We walked in yesterday morning just as Chef Wilson was making the rounds with a sampler tray of her corn pudding — one of the many Thanksgiving sides crowding every square inch of the Turnip Truck's kitchen. It's my favorite thing my sister-in-law makes every year, and the one we tasted at the Turnip Truck was bliss — fluffy, custardy, with plump buttery kernels popping in each bite. I understand the hot bar (through tonight) has selections from the store's Thanksgiving menu, and I'm tempted to fill a to-go box with all the corn pudding I can carry.
If you thought that hot chicken you just braved burned going in, imagine what it's gonna feel like on its way out. Sure, all the hot flashes and cold sweats were a real gas, when you were showing off around a table of like-minded thrill-seekers. But as with so many difficult challenges in life, you'll be doing battle with the demons of intestinal fortitude completely alone. (Unless you're into some weird group-elimination thing we don't even want to know about.)
That's right — the capsaicin in cayenne doesn't discriminate one end from the other, friend. Come this time tomorrow, you'll be battling a different spicy beast: the dreaded ring sting, also known as the ring of fire, fire in the hole, the anal fire-breather, the atomic bunghole, the napalm nozzle, the cayenne canal, the hot hole, the rectal rapture. Ol' Scorchy understandably feels like she'll never recover.
What follows are the kind of sketchily reliable, probably painful and certainly disgusting "remedies" you can only find on the Internet. Let's just say that when the article says, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" — well, I was definitely not thinking what the article was thinking.
A possible topic of controversy: our ranking of which sides cool the chicken's jets most effectively. We were most pleased with the marinated cucumber and onions from The Pie Wagon, a tip from the resourceful Nicki P. Wood. Not only were they a pleasure in and of themselves — crunchy and cooling, with an appealing vinegary sweetness — but they felt as welcome as a breath mint to our scalded tongues. The least effective: french fries, especially when doused in the same seasoning you're trying to escape.
While I haven't watched a new Adam Sandler movie since Punch-Drunk Love — mostly because, well, Punch-Drunk Love sucked so much — I will admit to undying love for the mans early work. Billy Madison? Brilliant. Happy Gilmore? Incredible. His run on SNL? Unrivaled. Sure, I've got the taste of a rather ribald 12-year-old, but I'm not ashamed to say that the man stopped being funny once he stopped lighting poo on fire.
Regardless of his many transgressions over the years, his classic SNL performance of the "Thanksgiving Song" will always be a favorite. Chock full of non-sequiturs and reverence for that most American of meals, "Thanksgiving Song" is the definitive holiday anthem. Well, at least for this holiday ... since it's really the only anthem for this holiday, unless you count "Over the River and Through the Woods" as an anthem and I don't. (Though if someone were to set Anton's Thanksgiving toast to music, that might be a close second.)
In other news that's only tangentially related to food, I think I've started a new tradition in my house: watching ThanksKilling while cranking things up in the kitchen. Again, this is one of our nation's oldest holidays, but it tends to be lacking in the themed-media department. Luckily somebody had the proverbial butterballs to make a film about a demonic gobbler hell bent on revenge. While it's no Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine or even New Year's Evil, ThanksKilling does make the most of its low budget and shoddy script, and manages to be a pretty entertaining if not completely ridiculous 66 minutes of holiday viewing. And no matter how you feel about its bargain-basement gore, it's not nearly as stomach-turning as aspic. So, so gross.
Which brings me to my big question for the day. What's the grossest thing you've ever encountered at Thanksgiving? I once had a homemade faux-Tofurkey at a punk-rock pot luck, and that stands out as possibly the worst thing in the history of the world. Leave your grossest gag-worthy experiences in the comments — and make sure to drive safe this weekend.
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