Friday, July 29, 2011

Wandering Wino: Killer B's Edition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM

The 3 B's this week are for Beer, Baseball and Bean's Creek. The first beer event is the Music City Brewer's Festival which I told (warned) you about last week.

This is not to be confused with the first annual Nashville Beer Festival coming to Riverfront Park this fall or the East Nashville Beer Festival that happened a 7-iron's shot away from Riverfront Park last spring. Then again, how can these not be confused? You guys sure do like to drink beer outside.

If you're the more refined type, or just prefer a little a/c when it's infernally hot outside, consider dropping in to Amerigo on West End for a beer tasting of Gems from the Old World this Monday, Aug. 1 from 6-8 p.m. Here's the official invite for this event which sounds like a real bargain:

Next week, Amerigo takes a trip to the Old World with a selection of lesser-known breweries and styles of beer. We begin with the Fraoch Heather Ale, one of the oldest brewed beers in the world. Brewed in Scotland since 2000 B.C., this light amber ale has full malt character and a dry wine-like finish.

Next, we feature the Red MacGregor from the Orkney Brewery, arguably the best brewery in Scotland. This delicate beer is floral and fruity with juicy malt character and a spicy hop finish. Our third beer is the Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale, a Belgium version of the English Brown Ale brewed in the Netherlands.

We finish with two beers from the Meantime Brewery in London: Meantime Scotch Ale and London Porter; Amerigo is especially proud to feature the Scotch ale, as there are only 2,000 bottles available for distribution in the U.S.! The Scotch ale is a style of beer brewed at lower temperatures to develop a roasty malt flavor. The medium-bodied London Porter will make for a nice finish to this Old World style tasting! Beers will be paired with Chef Hrant's appetizers, all for just $15 per person.

B is also for Baseball and Nashville RBI's sixth annual Baselines and Grapevines fundraiser being held this Tuesday Aug. 2, from 6:30-9 p.m. The event will be hosted by Sambuca restaurant in The Gulch. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy an assortment of wines from around the world accompanied by hors d’oevures, live music and silent and live auction items. Auction items include autographed sports memorabilia and gifts from Nashville businesses.

Admission to the event is $75, the cost to cover uniforms and equipment for a child’s entire season in the Nashville RBI program.

From Nashville RBI's website:

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It's 'What Did You Bring Me?' Time at Weekly Open Thread

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Yeah, thats smelly feet candy from a British sweets shop
  • Yeah, that's smelly feet candy from a British sweets shop
Bites discussion turned to vacation food a couple of weeks back. Not surprisingly, many Bites visitors plan vacations around eating, in the same the way bluegrass people visit music festivals, and sports fans build a trip around a professional ballgame.

It just takes a couple of great eateries in an area to pretty much set an itinerary. When it's time to go home, it seems a shame to leave empty-handed. After all, you visited, in part, for the food. That explains how I came home with a big wodge of Stilton from England, and Hubs brought back pounds of cheese from Holland. We plan for cheese. We're cheese people.

All over the city, suitcases are being aired out, and I know you've got pastrami, pralines, muffulettas and more in there. Without getting into trouble, give us a tip: What did you bring back from wherever your travels took you, not just this summer, but any time?

Besides that, this thread is open, and it really is yours — take it where you will.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Battle of the Food Trucks at Greer Stadium Oct. 2

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

After our cover story on Nashville's accelerating food truck scene ran a few weeks ago, we got a fair amount of email. Some of it asked, "Where can I try one of these food trucks?" (Here are our listings, by the way, built-in Twitter feeds and all.) More asked, "How can we round up the food trucks in one place so I can try them all?" Sheer volume-wise, all the trucks is probably not feasible — unless Wanderland ends up being much, much bigger than originally planned — but the good people of The Tomorrow Fund are doing mobile-grub lovers a solid by putting on Nashville's first-ever Battle of the Food Trucks. Details are still being worked out, but here are the basics so far:

First Annual Battle of the Food Trucks. Sunday, Oct. 2, 3-6 p.m. at Greer Stadium. Admission: $25. (Bring one or two cans of food and you'll receive a drink ticket; bring three cans of food and receive two drink tickets. Canned food will be donated to Second Harvest.) Special guest: Arnold Myint. Attendees will be able to sample from the entire lineup of food trucks and vote for a champion.

(Here's where I almost started using baseball metaphors for everything — a fastball is often referred to as "cheese," after all, and RBI is often pronounced "rib-eye," to say nothing of Dave Niehaus' favorite home-run call, "Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!" Lucky for us all, I thought better of it.)

Meanwhile, The Tomorrow Fund is, in their words, "a Nashville based nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee ... that raises money for youth-based organizations via service and social events." And there you have it. As we find out more about this literal kitchen stadium event, we will report here on Bites. Depeche cuisine!

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Raise Your BBQ IQ at Blackberry Farm

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Blackberry Farm, nestled on a 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, consistently finishes at or near the top of travel magazine and website lists of top resorts in the United States. Known for fine food, first-class accommodations and luxurious amenities, Blackberry Farm is some pretty high cotton. Normally, it caters to foodies and families by inviting guest instructors to give educational and entertaining seminars on all sorts of aspects of Southern culture.

But apparently, somebody left the back door open, because two of my favorite barbecue derelicts are taking over the joint for a weekend next month. Carey Bringle, infamously known as The Peg Leg Porker and Pat Martin of Martin's Barbecue Shack have been named as professors of pork at Blackberry Farm's BBQ IQ Weekend Aug. 7-10. I'm certain they'll be on their best behavior as they teach the hoi polloi the secrets of applying smoke to meat. However, if Pat doesn't demonstrate at least of few of his party tricks, those folks won't be getting their money's worth.

Carey and Pat will be joined by pitmasters Kenny Callaghan from New York City's Blue Smoke and Nick Pihakis and Drew Robinson of Jim n' Nick's BBQ in Birmingham. Liquid entertainment will be provided by Lamborn Family Wines out of Napa in addition to a separate tasting of fine whiskeys. Check out the full description from the Blackberry Farm website:

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Cool! Food Science at Adventure Science Center

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 5:53 AM

Learn more about the scientific side of the foods you eat at a special Adventure Science Center event, where tortillas fly, molecules gel and we find out just how many bugs we really eat.

What happens that turns coffee from a green berry to a fragrant bean? Why are some people known as supertasters? What's the right way to flip a pancake? What are the aerodynamic properties of tortillas? On Saturday, July 30, Adventure Science Center will answer these questions during “CHOMP!” — a food science special event.

From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., visitors will meet exotic fruits and vegetables, discover how bugs are already part of everyone’s diet, and watch local chefs in action. Bongo Java Roasting Co. will show why the “Maillard Reaction” is important to roasting coffee beans and other foods. Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co. will share the science of chocolate, tracing its transformation from cacao bean to treats. Visitors may also explore the hottest of the coolest trends in cooking science — molecular gastronomy!

Some activities planned throughout the day:

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whiskey Wednesday: Jim Beam Devil's Cut

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 8:26 AM

If you've ever been to a whiskey distillery, you are probably familiar with the term "angel's share." If you haven't been to a whiskey distillery, what the heck is wrong with you? We have Jack Daniel and George Dickel located a little more than an hour away at the end of some of the most beautiful country roads in the state of Tennessee, so get thee there ASAP.

But if you have taken a tour either here or in Kentucky, you've probably been told about the angel's share, which is the portion of a barrel of whiskey which evaporates through the pores in the wood during the aging process. In some whiskeys, a significant proportion of the alcohol can be lost in higher humidity climates.

Rather than cry over spilled whiskey, the distillers at Jim Beam have decided to try to go after the dark side of the equation — The Devil's Cut. According to them, they have discovered a way to create a unique whiskey using a proprietary process that extracts the liquid trapped inside the wood of the bourbon barrels. The product is a robust premium bourbon with a deep color, aroma and character that showcases notes of wood, oak and vanilla derived from the barrel wood.

The resulting 90-proof spirit is indeed a fairly unique product. The nose does have a lot stronger notes of wood and vanilla than your normal everyday bourbon. (What? You don't have an everyday bourbon?)

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Bring Your "A" Game to Fair Baking Contests

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 5:50 AM

  • Fleischmann's Yeast
The Wilson County Fair this year has landed some premium baking contests, the kind that pay real money. Now's the time to start thinking about what you might bake to take the prizes from Pillsbury and Fleishmann's at the fair, which runs Aug. 12-20.

Who doesn't love pie? No one, judging from your blogs and Twitter feeds. Entries are judged in part on creativity, of which there's an abundance among Bites readers. In fact, I'd be willing to bet a latte that a blogger is going to win this year's Wilson County fair. The publicity for your blog would be great, and first place wins a $200 cash prize and a commemorative gift. Second place scores $100; third place $50.

Fleischmann's Yeast is the best-known way to raise bread, and now they're raising something else: awareness of breast cancer. This year, Fleischmann's Yeast "Bake for the Cure" contest is giving out $425 in cash prizes plus $3,000 in national grand prizes, and the parent company donates $10 for each entry nationwide.

Any flavor or shape of baked good using any type of Fleischmann's Yeast can be an entry. Themes and decorative presentations are encouraged. There's a main category (calling for any yeast bread) and a second "Whole Grain Bread" category. The main category awards $150 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third. The "Whole Grain" category has a $100 top prize and a new $50 runner-up prize. Bread is judged on flavor (40 percent), texture (20 percent), appearance (20 percent) and creativity (20 percent).

No pre-registration is required for either contest, and judging for both events is on Aug. 13. There are other details, though, so before you just show up with Mango Passion & Bourbon-Bacon Three-Layer Loaf, contact the Wilson County Fair entry office at 615-443-2626 or visit Under Competitions and then Food Contests click on Bake for the Cure and Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Pie Baking for contest rules and details.

To get you in the zone creatively, check out a previous winning recipe for Pesto Swirl Bread after the jump.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Place at the Table

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

A Place at the Table series of food and film moves into new territory this Wednesday night, July 27, as the corn ripens, the okra becomes abundant and the squash is squashier.

After the farm market (5 p.m.) on the West End United Methodist lawn (2200 West End Ave.), amble inside for dinner of squash frittata, stewed okra, field peas and roasted corn salad, melon and cucumber, peach cobbler and green tea lemonade with basil.

The evening's movie (at 6:30) moves into a new season, too, with Lost in Woonsocket, a documentary that follows friends trying to help two alcoholic men recover and rejoin society.

The synopsis from the filmmakers:

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French Quarter Cafe to Close, Farewell Show Tonight Feat. Nashville Jazz Orchestra

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Well, you might not know it if you checked their website — which still reads "Under Construction" — or their MySpace page or Twitter feed (neither of which appears to have been updated recently), but it looks like East Nashville's French Quarter Cafe is closing its doors. Always sad to see a live music venue go. Even if, as in this case, it's a venue I've personally spent very little time in over the years.

According to Nashville Jazz Orchestra board member Meagan Nordmann — who also works at Nashville Arts Magazine — tonight the French Quarter will host a "Farewell to FQ" show featuring the NJO with featured performers Jeff Coffin and Annie Sellick. The inimitable Jack Silverman — a guy who recently indicated to me that he's kinda my boss, but not exactly — penned a Critic's Pick about tonight's show. Two, three, four ...

For a couple of years now, the NJO has been playing nearly every Tuesday night at the French Quarter, and the steady gigs have given Jim Williamson’s big band the opportunity to attain a level of tightness and telepathy that only comes with hours and hours on the bandstand together. Factor in some of Nashville’s finest musicians, and you’ve got a well-oiled improvisational juggernaut plowing full-speed ahead. On a sad note, this is NJO’s last French Quarter performance, because the East Nashville club is closing its doors. But Williamson assures the Scene that the NJO will soldier on undaunted, and even hints at some plans that might provide a more full-time home for the ensemble. Jazz songstress Annie Sellick will join the band as they perform original compositions as well as their own arrangements of classic Gershwin. —JACK SILVERMAN

Show starts at 7 p.m., and it'll cost you $7. Farewell, French Quarter Cafe. We hardly knew ye.

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The Easiest Bites Contest EVAH!

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:06 AM

A couple weeks ago, I told you all about the John Mariani dinner at The Hermitage Hotel where he regaled the assembled audience with stories from his book How Italian Food Conquered the World. I also gave you the heads up about what should prove to be an amazing dinner prepared by Capitol Grille Chef Tyler Brown and some outstanding chef friends of his to benefit the Share Our Strength organization.

John and the good folks at the Hermitage were gracious enough to give me an extra autographed copy of his book, which I'd like to give to one of you readers. All you have to do is be the first Bites reader to email me at and tell me that you have bought a ticket for the A Tasteful Pursuit Dinner this Sunday, July 31. It's the honor system here, folks, and I've already bought my two tickets so I can confirm the winner. And so that I can enjoy all that great food!

I'll give you your copy of the book the evening of the dinner, especially if you're nice enough to sit with me so I'm not a total wallflower. Buy your spot at the table here and I'll see you there.

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