Here's how the festival website describes Riffs new venture, which will stage a soft opening over the next few weeks at the Highland Ridge building at 555 Marriott Drive next to the Bridgestone building:
Riffs Cafe at Highland Ridge features fresh, adventurous lunch offerings in a casual, welcoming setting. The rotating menu of sandwiches, salads and lunch entrees is a blend of Riffs world influence as well as local favorites. Pastries, which are made completely from scratch, rotate regularly based on exceptional ingredients and chef’s inspiration. The cafe proudly offers expertly roasted and brewed Intelligentsia coffee.
Riffs co-owner BJ Lofback says they have hired Audra Dykes, an ace pastry chef to help prepare breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday in their 30-seat restaurant. They'll have a bigger opening celebration in October, but be sure to congratulate them if you drop by Southern Ground.
Other local vendors participating in the festival include: Amerigo, Biscuit Love, F. Scott's, The Grilled Cheeserie, Hoss' Loaded Burgers, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Margot Café and Bar, Marché Artisan Foods, Peg Leg Porker, Smoke Et Al and Watermark. That sure sounds like a lot of local flavor to me.
But I have to admit that one visiting vendor really set off my Pavlovian reaction with the picture he sent that I've included above. Food & Wine Magazine's 2008 "Best New Chef" Giuseppe Tentori will be bringing his Oyster Po'Boy Sliders with Kimchi and Peanuts to the Southern Ground Music Festival. The New Orleans-style sandwich comes to Nashville by way of Tentori's GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago, where it has received rave reviews.
The James Beard Foundation included the sliders in their "Favorite Dishes of 2011," so that's really saying something. I'll be out of town next weekend, so I'm counting on one of y'all to get down there and taste one of those amazing looking po'boys.