You see it here: crunchy-tipped golden shreds of roast pork, seasoned mayo and pickle. Instead of a Cuban loaf, this is made like a panini which is a better solution than grilling, as the result is crisper and less oily.
I love a Cuban sandwich mostly for the rich roast pork and the tang of Swiss cheese, mustard and pickle.The Latin Wagon's sandwich omits the usual sliced ham. Ham on a pork sandwich always struck me as much of a muchness, so its absence doesn't bother me.
It does brings up a topic that's always lurking in my head: How many of the basic elements can be missing from a dish and it still retain that identity? For instance, if a banana split is missing the whipped cream, but has everything else, you'd still call it a split. But what if it's a split banana plus ice cream and whipped cream? Is it still a split? Or does should it have sauces?
At the other end is fettuccine alfredo, which over years on restaurant menus accumulated a multitude of toppings: my favorite example was blackened chicken over spinach fettuccine alfredo. I would argue that it's no longer fettuccine alfredo; it's blackened chicken over creamy green pasta.
Generally, what's your pet peeve in the "identity crisis" of menu items? And more specifically, is a Cuban a a Cuban without the ham?
Joe York's documentaries on Southern food, produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance, have been around for a few years, but I just stumbled across them recently. They're all pretty interesting, especially the ones on local favorites Mayo & Mahalia Jackson's Chicken & Fried Pies. The restaurant reopened under a new owner (but with founder E.W. Mayo's recipe) in a drive-thru location on Jefferson St. Have you had their fried pies? They are incredible, possibly better than my grandmother's (and that's the highest compliment I can award).
Also included in the SFA's list of documentaries is a film with Andre Prince Jeffries discussing hot chicken. You'll also find subjects ranging from Ricky Parker, pitmaster at B.E. Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Lexington, Tenn., to the 26th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss, which words cannot do justice (unless those words are "watch people throw fish across state lines"). You'll find the latter below.
The event is a kickoff for the Wine Down Main Street festival in Franklin, but you don't have to be go to to the festival to participate in the great unscrewing. Tickets to participate are $10 and benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Williamson County. The event is limited to 400 women, so sign up soon at winedownmainstreet.com/get-tickets.
All participants will get a signed copy of the Saucy Sisters' latest book plus other stuff that they are currently working on at the moment. New Zealand's Lonely Cow Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir is providing all the wine, and there will be music by the Wineauxs. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Red House — one block off the square in downtown Franklin. Have fun!
Marche and Woodland Wine Merchant are putting on the pig for another Wine and Swine Dinner this Thursday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. From the official invite:
If you're a carnivore, chances are you are privy to the magical pleasures of all things pig. We will pay homage to the delights of pork with an evening highlighting a variety of parts, preparations and pairings of swine and wine. The service and skill of the fine folks at Marche is first-rate, and we'd like to humbly think our wine selections for this multi-course affair will be adequately interesting.
RSVP (615) 262-1111
$50 per person
First, there's this fantastic Pop Chart Lab graphic depicting the chocolate candy bar families, which makes me want to buy and eat every last one of them.
Burger Up's bison burgers caught the attention of Southern Living. And hey — their Cool Springs location is supposed to open in a couple of weeks.
You know those mint brownies with a layer of green mint buttercream? I call them Junior League Mint Brownies, and everyone loves them, especially Gojee.
And lots of love to non-football people on Mondays from Mambu — leave the television and couch and have dinner at with Chef Anita for 25 percent off. That's one-quarter off all the food on the menu every Monday evening. Sounds like a plan; call 329-1293 for reservations.
Now get over here, ya big lugs, and tell Bites what made you feel warm and fuzzy this week.
"The Internet is so different from when we opened Germantown Café eight years ago," Lowry says. "To open a restaurant six years later and have the whole landscape of criticism be so different was difficult. But then we thought, let's really look at [what's being said] — remove the haters and grab what comes up in a recurring pattern." Lowry and Luther began studying the feedback on websites such as Bites, Yelp and Open Table, taking under advisement what the majority of diners agreed upon, from interior design to menu offerings.
Read the full review to see which dishes made it across the river (like coconut curry salmon), which Germantown favorites have come out of retirement (like trout with olive-pepper relish) and what to expect from the new Germantown Café that's not in Germantown and was influenced by — gasp! — Internet commenters. Speaking of the Internet, GCE even has a new drink called the Honey Badger. (Don't worry, it doesn't have bee larvae in it.)
Some trucks fly under the radar for months and surprise those of us who are supposed to be in the know. Others announce their impending entry into the food scene with a splash and then are never heard from again. Little Filipino ring a bell to anyone? Even the old stalwarts are hard to keep track of because outside of a few regular events like Food Truck Tuesday and Live on the Green, they could be anywhere on any given day.
It's reached the point where I can no longer follow the multiple Twitter feeds that are necessary to track down a place to chase for lunch, much less the Twitter feeds of all my friends who are talking about the trucks. I used to depend on the excellent Nashville Food Trucks blog to keep me abreast of the daily goings-on, but that site seems to never be updated in time for my lunch hour at 11:30. I know that the operators of this site have other things to do with their lives, and I'm sure there's no money involved, so I cannot be too critical of their efforts. I'm sure they are still very useful to afternoon Yazoo denizens and late night Five Pointers looking for a nosh.
The newest player in this "Where's Waldo" game is Roaming Hunger. This site is a local outpost of a national website that tracks food trucks in at least 20 cities. They display the Twitter feeds of local trucks as well as incorporating some sort of geo-location information. There are still some bugs in the machine as I got all excited to read that Taste of Belgium was adding a bricks and mortar bistro, until I realized that they were tracking the Twitter feed of a ToB truck in Cincinnati. I'm not willing to make that long of a drive to try their chicken and waffles. ...
The interactive map is also a little bit screwy, since it features a daily listing of where the "I Dream of Weenie" truck is. Y'all let me know if that one ever moves anywhere, considering that they have built a deck around it and turned it into a small building.
It's even OK — if a little crazy — that to supply the biggest delivery trucks, she and other creamery workers must pile cheese into their own trucks and cars and drive it to the end of the driveway because big trucks can't make it up the gravel path.
But when groups want to visit Belle Chevre, Malakasis has to say "no" because there's not enough space for more than a couple of people.
So Malakasis found a lovely piece of land in Elkmont, Ala., and hired an architect, who conjured a plan for a new creamery building that includes a cooking school, classrooms and a loading dock.
Outgrowing your facility is a good problem for a small artisanal food producer. Less good these days is having to go to the bank for a small business loan.
So Belle Chevre is launching a Kickstarter campaign today to raise $100,000 toward the purchase of the land.
Carrington's laudatory review of Table 3 Market and Baker, the new adjunct to the reopened Table 3 bistro in Green Hills, left out one important detail, especially if you're Jim Ridley: The market is carrying a small selection of hard-to-find soft drinks.
I barely remember NuGrape — so I'm pleased at the chance to rediscover it. The logical thing to do is taste-test it against Nehi, Faygo and other grape soft drinks.
And Bubble Up? I haven't seen it since the shuttering of the tiny wooden shop up the hollow from my grandparents' farm in remote Sumner County.
Which means I missed the Bubble Up commercial with the cameo by a young David Caruso.
Izard, of Chicago eatery Girl & the Goat, is determined to raise $500,000 for Share Our Strength, an anti-hunger organization supported by many culinary professionals. She combined that pledge with a tour to promote her book, Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats & Drinks (Chronicle Books).
Izard is making a stop at Turnip Truck Urban Fare in the Gulch. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of the book and meet Izard at the event.
The cookbook may be as close as you get to Izard's food: It's nigh impossible to get a reservation at her restaurant, Girl & the Goat. How many restaurants do you know of that start serving at 4:30 and are full by 5 p.m.? At this writing, to get a table at 7 p.m. you'd have to wait until December. Her menu is all small plates offering bold flavors and inventive techniques, and all seasonal.
For a sampling of the creative but entirely cookable recipes from the book, including brilliant combinations like roasted cauliflower and buttered panko crumbs (called crunch butter in the recipes) and lemon poached eggplant with fresh ricotta, click here or go to stephanieizard.com/recipes.
The Turnip Truck signing will begin at 11:30 a.m. (line starts forming at 11) and continue until 1 p.m.
Izard will also swing back through town at a later date for a private CMT Artists of the Year event. This year's honorees, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift, and their guests will be treated to Izard's cuisine. (I guess you'll know if you're invited.)
The event will be recorded for a 90-minute special that premieres on CMT and CMT.com at 8 p.m. Dec. 13.
Back in 2007-'08 the premium wine industry was seeing historic levels of interest in and purchasing of cult wines. The average price spent per bottle was going up year after year, as consumers discovered the joys of drinking and collecting higher-end wines in the boom that followed the success of the movie Sideways. Then the economic headwind knocked the legs out from under many consumers and left the warehouses of artisan producers stacked high with excess juice.
Wine is not just a huge retail product, but restaurants also purchase vast quantities, as well. When they are forced to downsize their inventories and lower the average price point of their wine lists, manufacturers feel the heat from that end as well. Finally, lots of the most expensive wines are traded like futures while still in the barrel. When consumers suddenly became tighter with their pocketbooks, the wineries still had to bottle their wine even without the expected buyers lined up for their product.
As a result, there is now a glut of really good wine out there from the past four or five vintages that producers and distributors are looking to unload at bargain prices. Fortunately, the easiest way to take advantage of this situation still keeps your money in the local market. Odds are, your favorite wine store is being offered great deals from its distributors, and in most cases stores are passing these discounts along to the consumer. Don't be afraid to ask your local winemonger to suggest a good deal on a bottle you would never have considered trying in the past.
People's Wine Market takes a slightly less strictly market-economy approach to the situation. Rather than taking advantage of the huge wineries that are choking on their excess grapes to drive a bargain for consumers, People's Wine Market aims to help small family-run farms and wineries by offering small lots of artisan products direct to the consumer.
Off-topic, but just have to reply to Jody's words: "you could serve that with cicadas…
Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a…
To Chris's point, $1 on a $15 tab is 7%. That is not insignificant.
1. Lockeland Table
4. Kien Giang
5. Jim & Nick's