Also called "churrascarias," these restaurants (at least as interpreted in the U.S.) run on the idea that patrons are served a bottomless salad bar portion, then a parade of grilled meats of various cuts, which are delivered on skewers by waiters dressed in gaucho gear. The diners keep eating and receiving more meat until they raise a flag or otherwise indicate surrender.
The erstwhile Fire of Brazil operated near the Mall at Green Hills for a few years before closing. (That restaurant space is now held by YOLOS.)
Currently, Nashville has one Brazilian steakhouse-style restaurant, Bombasha in Hillsboro Village.
Now the folks behind The Melting Pot say they're opening a Brazilian steakhouse upstairs from their fondue restaurant, located along the tourist-friendly stretch of Second Avenue North downtown.
Rodizio Grill is a churrascaria chain that bills itself as "America's First Brazilian Steakhouse," founded by Brazil native Ivan Utrera in 1995.
Mark and Carla Rosenthal, owners of The Melting Pot, say they will open Rodizio Grill at 166 Second Ave. N. this fall.
Check out progress at the Facebook page, and read the press release after the jump:
This cheeky event encourages all of us to release our inner Randy, the mustachioed and mulleted mascot of the festival who has created yet another fairly nasty promotional YouTube video for this year.
Organizers want you to take part in the fun and are running a contest to show off your "50 Shades of Randy" in a video to be posted on Jubilee's Facebook page.
Throw caution to the wind, pull on your jorts and let your inner redneck shine. It can be as simple as you dressing up and inviting your friends to join you at Hot Chicken & Jorts III, or you can go take a leak on Mt. Richmore and pop a squat on a fountain in front of the court house (hypothetically speaking, of course).
But, recently, we found ourselves in need of some food while at the Nashville Zoo. To my great surprise, there were actually veg*n-friendly options. My husband ordered a black bean burger with fries, and I had nachos and my own order of fries that I shared with our daughter (I brought food for her to eat).
The food is good and the prices are reasonable, even for a non-tourist attraction. Selections include the standard mini pizzas and burgers, but also higher-end deli sandwiches and wraps. A kids' size portion of mac-and-cheese is available as a side item, too. And, good heavens, the staff there is fantastic. Certainly, all the zoo staff members are friendly and helpful, but the folks in the Zoofari Cafe are particularly nice and courteous.
The star of the show, people, is the condiment station. Look at that photo. Yes, you are looking at not only unlimited supplies of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, but sweet relish, ranch dressing, honey mustard dressing and barbecue sauce. That’s right, friends: unlimited ranch dressing. All you can eat without having to sheepishly ask for it. It’s like the Southern woman’s dream come true. It is “The New Ketchup,” after all. However I opted for just a small cup of mayonnaise for the kid and I to share so I might acquaint her with her Dutch ancestry. It was nice to do so without having to explain why I would like a cup of mayo to some incredulous ketchup-lover.
Which leads me to wonder: “What do condiment stations look like in other cities?” Do they have brown gravy poutine sauce in Montreal? Unlimited chile sauce in Albuquerque? A giant drum of Cheez Whiz in Philadelphia?
Chef Jamie Watson, who trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, and business partner Sandra Westerman have operated a high-end catering operation for four years, with Watson teaching and cooking for private clients.
Now they’re opening Cafe Fundamental at 1115 Porter Road, in the vintage storefront formerly held by erstwhile Greek restaurant Zavos.
Watson describes Cafe Fundamental as a brasserie and patisserie — the latter meaning the delirious prospect of French pastries, which he said will be available early in the morning for folks starting their day on the east side. The restaurant will also serve lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Thursday through Saturday.
If Watson’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s a frequent television guest, both locally on Channel 4 and on the Food Network with his friend Bobby Flay. In New York, Watson worked with luminaries such as Jacques Pepin and Andre Soltner.
Watson said he hates to use overworked culinary catchphrases, but concedes that one, “farm to table,” is apt.
Etch, the restaurant Paquette is presiding over in the Encore condominium tower downtown, is scheduled to open sometime in the last week of August.
Both Paquette, who is Etch’s executive chef, and veteran restaurateur Doug Hogrefe of Amerigo, who co-owns Etch with his business partner Paul Schramkowski, say Etch is racing toward the final stretch.
“It’s finally here,” Paquette said with a laugh.
Etch aims to fill a vital niche in the scene south of Broadway (the neighborhood called SoBro) as the area primes for an explosion of diners once the Music City Center is completed next year. Like its neighbor The Southern (the restaurants are located at different corners at Demonbreun Street and Third Avenue South), Etch aims to serve a diverse cohort of tourists, downtown workers, concert patrons and plain old fine-cuisine-loving Nashvillians.
Paquette said one facet of Etch’s fare is that the lunch and dinner menus will be quite different, giving folks an incentive to come by for both meals.
It’s not like Paquette ever has a shortage of menu ideas. The chef who thrived at pioneering Nashville restaurants like The Bound’ry and Cakewalk Cafe, and whose previous restaurant, Zola, was a West End favorite for many years has flexed her skills in a variety of kitchens.
In the break between Zola and Etch, she helped out at various spots, including Miel, and helped craft menus for The Local Taco and the new restaurant Urban Grub in 12South.
As a Culinary Institute of America grad, Paquette’s base is classic French, but she’s perpetually inspired by various exotic flavors.
“I hate the word ‘global,’ ” Paquette said, before conceding that, well, her menu is pretty globally inspired. “I love Moroccan, Spanish, Turkish, Latin. I just put them all in,” she said. “And for the first time I’m putting in some Asian food. I’m pretty excited about that.”
After doing some research, she discovered that her hometown was not overrun with these sort of tours and that there might be a chance to get in the business. Returning to Nashville after a few years away, Sevier was struck by how far the restaurant scene had come, especially in the downtown core where she remembered the Old Spaghetti Factory as being a destination dining location in her youth. Thus Music City Bites and Sites was born.
This "food and cultural" tour is designed for both tourists and locals alike, with stops at some of your favorite watering holes and a few you might not have experienced yet. I tagged along with a Saturday tour a few weeks back during some torrential rainstorms, and Sevier's engaging personality and enthusiastic attitude kept the atmosphere sunny for our small group. It was fun to see downtown through the eyes of Brian and Jen, two visitors from Philadelphia in town to visit family, as they hungrily gobbled up the history and cuisine of Nashville.
The tour kicked off in Butler's Run, the alleyway between First and Second avenues in the middle of the tourist zone. After a brief orientation and the offer of ponchos, we visited Pralines by Leon, a shop I've walked by for years but never entered. That has been a dumb thing to miss. Sampling several different pralines and other confections along with the offer of a bracing cup of coffee was a great way to get our motors running at 10:30 in the morning.
Our group was slightly detoured by the ankle-deep water running down Second and by the fences that blocked off the Soul Food Festival that happened to be going on by the river. Undeterred, Sevier rerouted our path and gave Jen and Brian a brief history of Nashville's founding and downtown's role as a commercial center. We ducked out of the rain and into one of my favorite haunts, The National Underground.
Episode 7: Taqueria San Luis No.2
Address: 2624 Nolensville Pike
Phone: (615) 254-1010
Sometimes you just have to say, "Screw it, give me the pile of pork." While I rolled in to Taqueria San Luis No. 2 fully intending to just grab a couple of tacos — The Belcourt's Toby Leonard has been saying crazy things like "it's the best al pastor in town" and, well, I trust that dude's taste — I definitely got distracted from my mission by a beast named "Torta de la Barda." And then I was more or less out of commission for the night. Hell, almost 18 hours later I'm still feeling full.
It was a monster of a sandwich, and my wife and I probably should have just split one instead of ordering one each — there's a full sandwich left in our fridge — but hell, you only live once, and if you die consuming a football size portion of pork, you're going out like a champ.
Since I discovered the fried game hen on the July supper menu a week ago, I've ordered it twice, and it's been one of the most satisfying dishes I've ever had. It's served with field-pea succotash (with a healthy dose of fresh-off-the-cob corn) and grilled green onion, and will set you back a mere $14. It might be the best damn dinner deal in town right now. But you've got only three more chances before the door shuts on the July menu! Tonight, Saturday and Tuesday. (Marché serves only brunch on Sunday, and is closed Monday.)
Seriously folks, you won't be disappointed. And speaking of which, do you have a favorite dish in town right now? Or a recent discovery that knocked your socks off? Do tell ...
Urban Grub is the much-anticipated latest project from Pennington and his business partner William Inman. Pennington, of course, is the seasoned pro who also owns The Local Taco and whose resume includes the pioneering days of The Bound'ry and South Street.
He's no longer involved in the latter two restaurants, but Urban Grub's style is reminiscent of the early days of Bound'ry, when its global flavors and creatively designed interior helped propel Nashville's restaurant scene into the soon-to-be-21st century.
With a roster of fresh seafood — including an alluring list of fresh oysters — Urban Grub is also reminiscent of the sipping-snacking-and-relaxing vibe of South Street.
Much-loved chef Deb Paquette, another Bound'ry veteran, helped develop Urban Grub menu (before departing to work on her own new restaurant, Etch). Urban Grub executive chef Edgar Pendley delivers a "pan-Southern coastal-flavored repertoire," Fox writes.
Hints of the Mediterranean, Asia and the tropics weave through Pendley's recipes for grilled Scottish salmon with pistachios, raisins, butternut sauce and pineapple salsa; Sriracha cocktail sauce on oysters on the half-shell; steak frites with chimichurri; and chocolate cheesecake with ancho chili. ...
Two standouts emerged in our visits. The first was an elegantly simple charcuterie platter of house-cured meats, including a thick slab of buttery tuna pastrami, supple kerchiefs of prosciutto, and "duck candy" — tender slices of rich meat laced with sweet hints of anise and other warm spices. In addition to the meats, the cast-iron tray carried cheddar, olives and a ramekin of pimiento goat cheese that traded the ubiquitous thin tags of red pepper skin for plump flesh of sweet orange bells.
Another exceptional entrée was a walnut-and-herb-encrusted fillet of trout cooked in a wood oven, topped with a lush tangle of arugula tossed with roasted butternut squash, orange segments, pecans and bacon vinaigrette.
Read the full story here and check out more of Michael W. Bunch's photos after jump.
I've made a mix or two in my day, and I can respect the time and thought it takes to winnow a list of 200 to just 27 songs. Then when you factor in that it needs to be for work, and that the mix needs to cook just as long that pig, well that takes a special sort of music. For instance, I don't think I would have made it through my very first kitchen job if it hadn't been for getting to bump my third-generation "Best of Premiere" cassette dubs back in the day. And blasting Tuff Crew/Masta Ace/Biz Markie mix at unreasonable volumes was the highlight of working in the kitchen at Murfreesboro's funeral-home-cum-ladies-lunch-spot The Front Porch Cafe. I totally understand the need to keep it classic in the kitchen. Not that listening to a bunch of new songs from local bands isn't awesome — it is.
For instance, this summer, I put together a five-hour playlist of hardcore and alternative hip-hop from the late '80s through the late '90s, with some throwback new school thrown in for flavor. It's a lot of songs about food, drinks from all areas of the country with some non-thematic but straight-up-classic cuts thrown in so any non-rap-nerd guests don't feel completely awkward. But really it's five hours of slow-and-low bangers from around the country — beef, while delicious, is not a good look in a playlist — that are perfect for cooking a slab of pork slow and low in the heat of the summer. Goodie Mobb's "Soul Food"! Domino's "Sweet Potato Pie"! Sacred Hoop's "Bathtub Gin"! I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast but I am definitely international when I eat French toast. It's a damn fine mix if I do say so myself.
So what are you listening when you're in the kitchen this summer? Got a Spotify? Post a link in the comments. Or, y'know, just type things in the comments. We've all got Google.
1) Go ahead and shoot me, but Chuy's is good. Very good. Not upscale, but…
Cafe Poca Cosa in Tucson. I have eaten there 6 or 7 times and every…
I dunno...I think you'll find plenty of people willing to pay for Mexique. I actually…
Of course, part of the reason a place like Mexique wouldn't work in Nashville is…
I've never yearned for an upscale mexican experience in this city, as we have so…