Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Share Dinner With Sam Adams at the Palm Downtown

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 7:49 AM

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If you love steaks and beer, well then we should be friends. So as a friend, it's my pleasure to let you know about a Samuel Adams Fall Beer Dinner taking place tomorrow night, Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Palm downtown. A four-course menu will pair some of Sam's best with treats from the Palm's kitchen.

Here's the menu:

RECEPTION

Caramelized onion apple Chutney and cream cheese crostini
Ahi tuna tartare on a fried wonton with wasabi crème
Crispy cornmeal crusted oysters with an Ancho BBQ sauce
Served with Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL

FIRST COURSE (choice of)

Ale and onion soup with Irish cheddar crouton
Lollipop lamb chops with blueberry-cumin glaze and grilled asparagus
Served with Samuel Adams Octoberfest

SECOND COURSE

Baby arugula salad with poached pears, Danish blue cheese,toasted pistachios and white balsamic vinaigrette
Served with Samuel Adams White Lantern

THIRD COURSE (choice of)

Porcini rubbed prime New York strip, 14 ounce with Samuel Adams infused molasses steak sauce
Bangers and mash: veal sausage, grain mustard whipped potatoes, veal demi and fried onions
Pan roasted red snapper with pumpkin risotto, crispy pancetta, fresh herbs and lemon brown butter
Served with Samuel Adams Boston Lager® and Sam Adams Light®

FAMILY STYLE SIDES

Half and half cottage fries and fried onions
Creamed spinach

FOURTH COURSE
Chocolate pecan pie
Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout float with vanilla ice cream

The dinner costs $110 including tax and tip, or $85 if you're a member of the Palm's 837 Club. (Which you should be, because it's free. Just a little more friendly advice ...)

The Palm is at 140 Fifth Ave. S. Reservations are required, so contact Paige Dixon at (615) 742-3193 or pdixon@thepalm.com.

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Herb Day 2013 at Cheekwood Celebrates Oktoberfest

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 5:34 AM

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Mark your calendars for The Herb Society of Nashville’s upcoming Herb Day 2013. The theme this year is Oktoberfest, so much of the focus will be on the herbs used in the creation of German specialties beer and sausage. From their website:

Jessica Younker of Craft Brewed Bottle Shop and Tasting Room will talk about German beers and the now popular craft beer movement in America. Chris Hudgens of Bon Appétit-acclaimed Porter Road Butcher will provide a demo of sausage making. And Nicholas Wilson of Worm’s Way will talk about how to maintain our herb gardens indoors — in the winter!

The event begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Registration (PDF) is $45 ($40 if you register before Oct. 12) and includes lunch and music by Karen und Die Musik Meisters. The event will be in the Botanic Hall at Cheekwood and will also include vendors selling a variety of herb-growing-related items. Cheekwood parking and admission fees will be waived for Herb Day attendees.

Also, be sure to poke around The Herb Society of Nashville’s website. There’s lots of information (growing tips, recipes) for various herbs as well as descriptions of upcoming members-only events. I had a chance to speak with a few members (and see some fine examples of herbs and herb gardens) at the Tennessee State Fair earlier this month. These folks are serious about their plants.

Herb Day 2013: Oktoberfest
Botanic Hall at Cheekwood
1200 Forrest Park Drive
Saturday, Oct. 26
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Promised Land All-Natural Dairy Products Show Up at Publix

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 7:31 AM

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I'm probably not the best person to comment on milk. I grew up a 100 percent Purity guy with delivery to the door. As I got older, I progressed from whole milk to 2 percent to nonfat, so now whole milk tastes like pure butterfat to me. So when the folks at Promised Land Dairy asked if I wanted to try some of their products, I warned them that most of the milk I drink is spooned into a cup of coffee.

Still, they persisted, since they have recently launched at local Publix stores. So I gave them a try, and now I know what I've been missing. I do occasionally get the chance to enjoy local artisan milk, but I just never seem to be in need of any when I encounter Cruze Farm or Hatcher Family Dairy products. The convenient availability of Promised Land's all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free milk varieties might just get me to up my intake.

Of course, just drinking whole milk after a half life of nonfat is a real treat, but when you get Promised Land's more exotic flavors like Cookies-and-Cream and Peaches-and-Cream, these rich milks are like dessert for breakfast. And they're also a great substitute for the non-dairy creamer I've been known to resort to.

Promised Land's chocolate milk is a relatively high in calories and fat content, but dang, I just couldn't help myself and finished it straight from the bottle as a recovery drink after a run. And then went for another run the next day to burn it off. ... A reduced-fat version of their chocolate milk has about half the fat and a third less calories, but I didn't try that out. You gotta splurge somewhere.

So how about you Bitesters? Have you tried Promised Land yet? Do you have another favorite brand of milk that doesn't require a trip to a farmers' market or a dairy to get it?

If you'd like to learn more about these products, Promised Land's Gordon Kuenemann is going to be going on Talk of the Town tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 24. The broadcast is from 11-11:30 a.m. He'll be talking about Promised Land and will be showing how to make a "Midnight Craving Chocolate Banana Pudding."

Continue reading »

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First Bite: Jeanne's Meatball Factory

Posted By on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 5:49 AM

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  • Jeanne's Meatball Factory on Facebook
Sometimes it's nice to see a new eatery open up that really concentrates on its niche. Jeanne's Meatball Factory, at 5737 Nolensville Road near Old Hickory Boulevard, has exactly that sort of laser focus when it comes to meatballs. Well, plus cupcakes, but who's complaining?

Located in a tiny space next to CiCi's Pizza and Babies R Us in the same strip mall as La Terraza, Jeanie's Meatball Factory is primarily a carry-out sort of place. There are three to four tables inside and a few more on the sidewalk, but they were all full during my recent lunchtime visit. The dining area is quaint and unpretentious, and the ordering procedure is equally uncomplicated.

First you choose your meatballs from a selection of classic Italian (beef or turkey), spicy pork, spinach-chicken, Turkey Dinner (with cornbread dressing and dried cranberries baked inside) or the vegetarian falafel ball. The choose your sauce from marinara, Alfredo, creamy basil pesto, teriyaki ginger or poultry gravy. Finally you select whether you'd like your meatballs served over spaghetti, bowtie pasta, white or brown rice, mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli. They also offer three sizes of sandwiches including a slider, hoagie and panini.

You can order family-size meals with meatballs, sauce, salad and bread for two people or four people, or a deluxe meal that adds soda and cupcakes. Oh yeah, those cupcakes. Jeanne's is located in the former home of a gourmet cupcake shop, and the tradition continues with the very popular Strawberry Dream leading the pack of fancy desserts available in a case near the cash register.

Overall, it was a solid lunch for nine bucks. The salad had a tangy Italian dressing, and the three-meatball meal actually fed two of us. They were nice enough to let me sample three different flavors of meatballs with my spaghetti and marinara, with the spicy pork being my favorite. The meatballs are almost fist-sized and have an excellent meat/filler ratio. Like 99 to 1.

Jeanne's Meatball Factory serves hearty meals for healthy appetites, so go check them out and let us know what you think.

Jeanne's Meatball Factory
5737 Nolensville Road
(615) 454-4488

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Friday, September 20, 2013

On the Popularity of Moonshine

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Over at Knoxville's Metro Pulse, there's a fabulous piece on the newfound popularity of moonshine and whether the new stuff has the mystique of the 'shine from the days when it was illegal.

But for all the new fervor surrounding licit, commercial moonshine, for all the exotic flavors and varieties cropping up at liquor stores and bars, there are a couple of nagging fundamental questions that keeping reasserting themselves, like rude barflies that just won’t go away: Can a product variously steeped in traditions of outlaw defiance, danger, backwoods ingenuity, and rugged individualism truly be mass-produced, bottled, taxed in a proper government-inspected distillery? And can the mystique that surrounds it, and in some part fires the public’s appetite for it, keep sales afloat when the once-furtively passed mason jar becomes standard issue on shelves at liquor stores?

Well worth reading.

And a good excuse to watch this again ...

Well the G-men, T-men, revenuers, too
Searchin' for the place where he made his brew
They were lookin', tryin' to book him
But my pappy kept a-cookin'
Shh, white lightnin'


(h/t to @CariGervin for pointing it out)

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BeerFeast Winner Announced

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

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We have a winner in the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium VIP BeerFeast ticket giveaway. There was a definite paucity of entries in the contest, so it could have been you! Next time, jump on top of these contests if you like beer and freebies.

The sole entrant was Amanda Keiter, and for her industriousness she will receive two VIP passes valued at $75 apiece for the event, which is scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 21, from 1 to 6 p.m. Her hookup includes includes early admission to the festival at 12:30 p.m., food vouchers redeemable at any of the festival food trucks, a 2013 BeerFeast T-shirt and a pair of BeerFeast sunglasses. Additionally, all VIP ticket holders will have access to the rare brew-tapping VIP-only line.

I know it's a busy weekend, but if you still would like attend despite missing out on the giveaway, tickets are still on sale at the event website and at the door.

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Join Porter Road Butcher West for Their Opening Fête on Sunday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 7:26 AM

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In the month since Bite's alumna Nicki P. Wood was the first customer at the new location of Porter Road Butcher on Charlotte Avenue, west-siders have been all abuzz and a-tweet about the offerings of artisan meats, cheeses and sausages. (I did manage to glom some of those amazing short-rib hot dogs from Nicki's purchase.)

Now that they have their hooves under them, the PRB boys are ready to officially announce their presence with a grand opening party this Sunday, Sept. 22. They'll be serving up snacks and libations along with some music to keep you moving. There will also be beer and booze from their friends and sponsors at Fat Bottom Brewing and Belle Meade Bourbon. The party will run 2 to 6 p.m., so you can drop by after the Titans game or Music City Eats if you'd like.

After the grand opening party, Porter Road West will finally set their hours in stone after a few weeks of soft opening flexibility. The hours will be the same as the East Nashville location: Mondays-Fridays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However the West Side location will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 28, for the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, and the weekend of Oct. 11-13 for owner Chris Carter's wedding. That should be quite the shindig, but I'd hate to have to be the caterer for that crowd ...

Porter Road Butcher
4816 Charlotte Ave.

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The Open Thread Wants to Know: What's Your Favorite Fall Festival?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 5:52 AM

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As I helped to put together the Scene's Fall Guide issue last week, I found myself astonished by the sheer quantity and diversity of fun and stimulating things to do this season in Nashville.

In the food and drink section of the issue, I got to focus on the terrific cooking classes and events on the schedule at Mesa Komal, the kitchen at the impressive new Casa Azafrán community center on Nolensville Road. It's s wonderful new resource.

(Note: Due to some outdated info, the story in print had the wrong date for the next installment in the "Mezcla: Mix and Master" series of classes. The next Mezcla class is Oct. 15, when Patricia Arrunategui will delve into the food and culture of Peru. Get more information about Mesa Komal events here.)

Sorting through all of those excellent events got us thinking: Which of the many festivals coming up this fall are you looking forward to most?

To prime the mental pumps, here's a sampling of some upcoming events: The African Street Festival (this weekend, Sept. 20-22); BeerFeast (this weekend, Sept. 21), Music City Eats (this weekend, Sept. 21-22); Musicians Corner (this weekend, Sept. 21-22, then Saturdays through Oct. 26); Southern Artisan Cheese Festival (Sept. 27-28); Southern Ground Music and Food Festival (Sept. 27-28); (Conexión Américas Hispanic Heritage Month Festival (Sept. 28); Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival at Centennial Park (Oct. 5); Music City Southern Hot Wing Festival (Oct. 5); Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue (Oct. 26); Tennessee Volksfest (Oct. 26-27); Wine Down Main Street (Nov. 2); 12South Winter Warmer Festival (Dec. 7).

I'm sure there are many, many more; let us know what we missed. And once you've lined up all the acorns in your perfect fall calendar, give us a shout: What else is on your mind?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Iron Fork Winning Chef Sues Chris Hyndman, Virago for Sexual Discrimination

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Jessica Benefield won the Scene's Iron Fork competition in April and, it seemed, was riding high as the chef of one of Nashville's higher profile restaurants.

But back at Virago, Benefield says in a lawsuit filed in federal court, M Street honcho Chris Hyndman had created a boys club atmosphere where women were rated on their looks. On the day she complained about it by email to M Street's human resource department, she was fired.

From the Nashville Post story ...

In the email and in her complaint, Benefield says Hyndman regularly verbally abused female employees and commented on their physical appearance — rating them as "far-away hot," "up-close-and-personal hot" or "dirty 19-year-old hot." Benefield, the only female executive chef in the M Street organization, says she was subjected to scrutiny not shared by her male counterparts.

According to a court filing, Benefield was fired the same day she sent the email. According to her separation notice, Benefield was fired for an "inability to manager and operate restaurant efficiently," "refusal to cooperate in the implementation of necessary operational and management procedures," and "making false and malicious statements regarding superiors."

The suit — read it in full here — claims Benefield had never been reprimanded previously for poor management or refusal to cooperate. Indeed, her only performance review, from September 2012, rated her as "excels," lauds her as "the most committed culinarian on campus," and resulted in a 20 percent raise.

Benefield is claiming violations of the Civil Rights Act and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, plus retaliatory discharge and tortious interference. She seeks front and back pay, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees.

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Deep Dish: 312 Pizza Company to Bring Chicago-Style 'Za to Germantown

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM

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Nashville's pizza options continue to expand by the month, but we remain fairly underserved when it comes to Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

The many folks (from Chicago and elsewhere) who think a slice of pizza should encompass a deep reservoir of rich, melted cheese — a slice accessible not to bare hands but only to the efforts of a knife and fork — will be happy to hear about 312 Pizza Company, coming to the 4th & Monroe retail-and-residential building in Germantown.

Staci Bockman says she and her business partners are all originally from Chicago and decided there was a niche in Nashville that needed to be filled. "We want to integrate Chicago food with everything that's going on in Nashville," she explains.

Bockman adds that in addition to the famous deep-dish, 312 Pizza will serve her hometown's second-best-known pizza: Chicago-style thin-crust. (Nothing like the yeasty crust of a New York pie, Chicago thin crust is very crispy, almost cracker-like, and the slices are squared off, not wedge-shaped.)

In addition to pizza, 312 Pizza Company will have a menu of salads, sandwiches and pasta. They plan to offer catering, carryout and delivery (the delivery radius will be determined after opening).

Bockman says the restaurant aims to have a full bar, with high-quality cocktails made from fresh juices. Beers will lean toward local craft brews, and Bockman plans to serve some Chicago-area beers, including Goose Island and possibly others, depending on how distribution works out to this region.

312 Pizza Company hopes to open at 371 Monroe St. sometime in November. They plan to serve lunch and dinner daily. For updates follow 312pizzaco on Facebook and on @312PizzaCo on Twitter.

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