Over at Serious Eats, they've compiled a list of 10 food memes for 2010: Korean tacos, epicurean ice cubes, Gourmet's resurrection to iPad, and The Cooking Channel, a new network for people who prefer the food without the 'tude. This is the year that pie took on cupcake for Most Ascendant Baked Good; read the comments here, and you'll be wanting to short-sell cupcake stock. No end-of-year list can be complete without a mention of Four Loko, the drink that just packaged what everyone was already doing anyway, right?
Our fair city is certainly keeping up, but we've also got other things going on, as well. I'm loving the house-made pickles I get occasionally in restaurants — that's a trend I can fully support.
Any trend here that didn't make these list? And what do Bites readers predict for next year? (For a look at one Bites reader's perspective from inside the restaurant industry, check this post from Elevated Southern.)
Now a team of Belgian scientists working with chefs and calling themselves Sense for Taste have created a shortcut. It's an online tool for looking up successful flavor pairings and displaying the results as a chart. The site called foodpairing.be lets you select a food and get a tree-style diagram of partners. (You're supposed to be able to type in an ingredient to search, but at this writing, the process only seems to work when you click "What fits well with" and select a food from a pull-down menu to the right)
Artichokes, it turns out, go with fried bacon or guava, linden blossom or mackerel. The pairings branch out by type: cheese, herb, meat, beverage. You can proudly serve artichokes with black tea, plum brandy, French sauternes or Kentucky bourbon.
You can also choose the question "What can replace ..." for a similar tree graph that offers alternatives for an ingredient. Looking to replace cardamom in a recipe? Try verbena, rosemary or gin! That'll pep up the ol' pudding.
The creators are continually adding new ingredients to the site so if you Google-whack it this time, you may find your ingredient later.
Think of it as a Groupon that you don't have to remember to print out and bring with you. (I'm really bad about that one.) Or you can just send him a message on Twitter or Facebook, and Arnold will give you the hookup. A Cha Chah lunch at full price is worth the experience. At half off, you can't miss it!
You know there's somebody you owe a special lunch, or maybe somebody special you'd like to ask out for a meal but haven't found just the right opportunity. Break out the mistletoe and check out the menu at Cha Chah's website. Depending on what you and your companion order, this deal might make a delicious Cha Chah lunch cheaper than going to a fast-food joint.
Of course, theft takes place in every business sector, and the vast majority of restaurant employees are loyal and law-abiding. (And sometimes the bosses are the thieves — I'm still waiting for my last paycheck from a place where I waitressed in high school. I showed up for work only to find a gutted building whose tenants had fled!)
A story by reporter James Nix in our sister publication, The City Paper, tells of a particularly sticky-fingered restaurant employee.
Nix reports that a former manager at Blue Coast Burrito in the Nashville West center on Charlotte Pike has been indicted on a felony theft charge. Samuel Richard Causey Jr., 50, allegedly stole $18,788.24 between Nov. 18 and Dec. 7 last year.
Causey, who was released on $4,000 bail, allegedly told police he took three weeks' worth of deposits home instead of to the bank. Yum ... burrito cash. I wonder if he got chips with that.
But the latest rumblings seem to indicate that we're within a week of No. 308's big night. Unfortunately, I'll be traveling over the holidays, so if you get a chance to crash the door before me, leave your impressions here in the comments. I'm guessing you'll really like the vibe, and owners Ben and Alexis have the potential to become rock-star bartenders in this town. They're just good people whom I think you'll enjoy bending an elbow with.
Cooper's on Porter is the brainchild of Cooper Brunk, formerly chef at Mack and Kate’s. Opening in a building that was previously a nursing home and which will contain retail as well as apartments for low-income, deaf and hearing-impaired residents, Cooper's on Porter aims to be "a swanky brewhouse." They plan to offer 24 draft beer selections of domestic microbrews, premium beers by the bottle and a substantial wine list. Food will revolve around Chef Cooper's take on classic American fare.
Inside on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, stalwart vendors offer their winter wares and seasonless specialties. Traffic is very brisk for the red-heart radishes from Bells Bend Farm, the lacinato kale from Green Market Farm and little hakerei, or Japanese turnips, from Foggy Hollow that are so sweet you can eat them raw.
Lacinato, or Tuscan kale, can be served toasted and crispy like chips, according to this fascinating recipe from Bon Appétit.
The Green Market Farm says the cone-shaped Caraflex cabbage is a favorite of the local chefs, so I got one of these amusing beauties.
This one, of course, is handy for holiday shopping. It kicks off early tomorrow, Wed., Dec. 15. Joining the sale is the Originals' newest member, Rumours East, the popular wine bar on Woodland Street in East Nashville.
As always, the certificates go fast, so set your alarm. As always, we don't know exactly when the trigger trips, but hundreds of dedicated shoppers find it worth the groggy logging-in in the early A.M.
Here's the description from Originals spokeswoman Laura Hill:
Certificates, good for 44 individual Nashville Originals member restaurants, are sold at a 30-40% discount — e.g., a gift certificate worth $25 will sell for $16.50 and a $50 certificate for $35. Check us out Wednesday morning early at www.instagift.com/nashvilleoriginals
And remember, most gift certificates sell out before 9 a.m. Certificates can be printed or e-mailed immediately after purchase. More detailed information is provided at the link.
Questions or help with purchasing a gift certificate? Please call our gift certificate support line at (877) 870-DINE, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The buffet will be served every day this week from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by a free holiday concert at 1 p.m. next door in the historic Wightman Chapel, featuring local vocalists and musicians. If you've been missing out on the holiday spirit and are worried you'll miss out on the chance to feast on some roast beast, drop on by Scarritt-Bennett at 1008 19th Ave. S. Call 340-7500 for reservations or email email@example.com.
Check out the menu after the jump:
Gojo, the excellent Ethiopian spot on Thompson Lane, has developed a unique solution to keep their tasty takeout from causing collateral damage in the car: They line their to-go cartons with injera, the springy teff-based bread. It's folded down over the food, and the corners are mitred to keep in any dribble.
Low-tech, Ethiopian-American ingenuity!
So it's an interesting novelty when a national media outlet mentions Tennessee as a contributor to the high life. Bon Appetit magazine presented their annual recommendations for good gifts for filthy rich foodies, and East Tennessee resort Blackberry Farm made the list.
If you are in fact filthy rich (and reading this blog for some obscure reason), and you're looking for gifts for one of your friends or clients or favorite food bloggers, Bon Appetit recommends that you consider Blackberry Farm's unique truffle-hunting expeditions (list price: $2,600). You can work with one of their trained truffle dogs or even bring one of your pooches for instruction on how to find those wonderful earthy pleasures buried beneath the loam. Considering how much truffles cost in our local specialty shops, it might even turn out to be a bargain.
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