Soft openings at the Tennessee TapRoom start this evening, 4 to 8 p.m., followed by Friday, 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday 2 to 6 p.m.
I haven't seen the new joint, which is located at 809 Ewing Ave., not far from Jackalope and Yazoo, creating what is being touted as a new Brewers Row in SoBro.
Tennessee Brew Works co-owner Christian Spears tells me the new taproom is roomy, some 3,600 square feet, with "multiple enviroments" for relaxing and enjoying your beer and the company of friends.
Not only does the taproom have a big glass wall overlooking the brewing operations, but there are even a few seats actually in the brewery if that interests you, where you can "see it, hear it, smell it," Spears says with a laugh.
If you prefer to sit outdoors (and more warm days are not inconceivable this fall), there are around 100 seats on the patio. They're also booking live music.
Tennessee Brew Works' Tennessee TapRoom
809 Ewing Ave.
Hours, starting today:
4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
2 to 6 p.m. Saturdays
An hour later Bailey took another call from a single mother working 40 hours a week making minimum wage. Caring for a sick child, this mother said she couldn’t afford both medical bills and food. Yet she makes just over the limit to qualify her for SNAP (food stamp) benefits.
Bailey, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, takes phone calls like these a lot.
“Hunger in Tennessee does not have a face,” she said, noting that all types of people call her in need.
Bailey gathered with a group of employees and concerned citizens on Monday at Sloco for a simple potluck of pasta and bean soup to kick off the SNAP Challenge, where participants try to live on $4.20 per person per day to get a sense of what it would be like to rely on SNAP aid. (In my brief experience, "try" is the key word.)
After busting my budget on the first day of the challenge with just an extra cup of coffee (and not even the expensive kind), I had a mere glimpse of the struggle to make do. But I won’t dare complain after hearing Bailey’s stories. I signed up as an experiment — unlike 47 million Americans (and more than 1 million in Tennessee, or 1 in 5 people) who rely on the benefits to survive.
Linnet Overton, also with Community Food Advocates, said she hopes the challenge, which runs through this Friday, Nov. 1, will help draw attention to the fact that benefits will be cut by $5 billion nationwide on Nov. 1.
The reduction happens as the 2009 economic stimulus package expires. The impact on each family will vary based their existing benefits. For a family of four, it could mean about 24 fewer meals per month.
Overton also hopes the SNAP challenge will motivate participants and those learning about it to contact legislators and work against even deeper cuts with the U.S. farm bill.
Community Food Advocates will gather at 5 p.m. on Friday at Fat Bottom Brewing at 900 Main St. in East Nashville, and all members of the community are invited to join the discussion, whether they are part of the SNAP challenge or not. A dollar from every beer sold will support anti-hunger work in Tennessee.
Here are my Tuesday meals (some of which yielded Wednesday leftovers) on SNAP, with props to Mark Bittman’s The Mini Minimalist for saving my budget with simple and low-cost recipes for soup and pasta. (Bear in mind I spent a lot of time plotting a strategy, shopping and cooking — something that isn't always easy for folks working multiple jobs and scrambling to feed their families.)
Your 2013 honorary co-chairs are Talk of the Town Hosts Lelan Statom and Meryll Rose, so look for them to lead the parade of attendees down Main Street at this bacchanal. Tickets are $85 and include access to all these festivities plus a souvenir wine glass and lanyard. For $125, you can be a VIP and get a head start on the party with a private check-in station at the Emmaline Boutique and access to the VIP lounge starting at 6 p.m. They'll have an open bar and full wine pours (as opposed to tasting size) in the VIP lounge, so with a little effort you should be able to drink your money's worth.
The VIP lounge will also feature hors d'oeuvres, cheese tastings, chocolates and private performances by Country Music hearthrob and recording artist Justin Adams and the first female winner of Nashville Star, Erika Jo, so Emmaline sounds like the place to be!
Buy your tickets here before they sell out.
Add to that the fact that we have two high-strung poodles who go berserk every time the doorbell rings (sorry, UPS man), and Hallow's Eve turns into an evening where we sit around on the couch with one hand on a dog's collar and the other wrapped around a stiff drink.
So this year, I was pleased to discover a new fall cocktail from my friends at Tullamore that I intend to use to steel myself against the holiday. Tullamore has always been a favorite of mine, and the town and distillery have a fascinating history. Tullamore is located about and hour from Dublin and Galway and was the site of the world's first air disaster, as a hot air balloon fire in 1785 burned down most of the town. The town was rebuilt, including the construction of a distillery in 1829 right where the balloon went down.
Daniel E. Williams is the namesake of their most famous product, Tullamore DEW. His earliest days in the distillery were spent shoveling malted barley, and he slept in the hayloft during the nights. In 1887 he became general manager and ultimately owner of the distillery. After developing his (literal) signature product, he proudly marked every bottle from the Tullamore Distillery with the initials D.E.W.
Tullamore D.E.W trades on "the power of three." Three natural ingredients, three varieties of grain, three distillations and a blend of all three types of Irish whiskey — pot still, malt and grain. This forms the first triple-distilled, triple-blended Irish whiskey that is both complex and exceedingly smooth.
It also serves as a fine base for this great fall cocktail, the Apple Dew. Find yourself some good fresh squeezed apple juice or cider and mix up a few to enjoy while you wait for the doorbell to ring.
2 ounces Tullamore D.E.W. original
pressed apple juice
Optional twist: Try adding a dash of Angostura bitters for a hint of warm apple-pie spice notes.
Into a tall ice-filled glass add the Tullamore D.E.W.
Top up with pressed apple juice.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.
On his program The 700 Club, Pat Robertson speaks out against low-carb diets, saying that giving up carbohydrates “violates the principles that God set down.” Oh, and that a portion of profits from all halal butcheries goes back to the Muslim brotherhood to support Hamas and other radical organizations. Ooookay.
Less controversial, but still quite the head-scratcher was a pitch I got about National Cat Day (Oct. 29!). No, this wasn’t about the new wine for cats (which is pretty bizarre on its own), but rather a bid to get coverage for Lucid Absinthe, a spirit packaged in a bottle inspired by Steinlen’s poster for Le Chat Noir. Try a “Meow Mixer,” won’t you, crazy cat lady? (How did they know, by the way?) For better alternatives, see the #kittybooze hashtag on Twitter.
On the topic of wine, via NPR’s food blog, The Salt, I discovered that there’s now a scratch-n-sniff book for wine novices. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert actually has some good science in it (at least according to the writer), despite appearing as though it might belong on a toddler’s bookshelf.
This football helmet fondue pot from Emmi generated a lot of buzz among several local food bloggers. A number of us received an email with the offer for a free “party helmet,” but I was the only one who thought it was interesting enough to inquire. Though I replied within hours, I was informed that they’d already reached their limit on promised pots. So I’m back on the hook for a gift for the in-laws this Christmas.
Chris Chamberlain already told you about the A Pollo 13 mission, but in case you missed it… (and, literally, I did as I have no interest in cooking a chicken regardless of how novel the method).
An air filter/air oxygenator for your refrigerator .. .didn’t know you needed one, did you? With the Berry Breeze, that bag of grapes that got pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about will probably not mold as quickly as without the Berry Breeze. Hooray!
This "news" story out of Portland highlights the growing problem of a roving band of sous chefs wreaking havoc on weed gardens. I swear, I think it could happen here, though (just stay out of the parks, chefs!).
And last, but not the least of the head-scratchers, there’s Spray Thin. Essentially, it’s a spray for your food (in both “sweet” and “savory” flavors) that has a scent that is supposed to tell your brain (via your nose) that you are full or satisfied (so you will stop eating). Now, whether or not this stuff actually works, I have no idea. I will say, though, that their explanation of how it's supposed to work does make sense. And their observations about the success rates of fad diets is spot on:
Research consistently demonstrates that of all the various target behaviors studied, greatest weight loss doesn’t come from any fad diet. It doesn’t come from eating more vegetables, from eating less fruit, from trimming fat from the table or from planned exercise sessions. The target behavior that results in the greatest weight loss for overweight individuals is portion control.
Minnick is the author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey (2013, $26.95), a new book from Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press.
While Minnick is based in Louisville, Ky., he has a healthy appreciation for Tennessee whiskey (he calls Corsair Distillery “one of the most innovative distilleries in the country”) and for the women who have played important roles in the craft of alcoholic beverages, starting with Mesopotamian women who made beer in 4,000 B.C.
From Augusta Dickel’s shrewd business move, to the American women who were enlisted to bottle the spirit because they were “more nimble and less clumsy” than men, to the female mind behind the Maker’s Mark red-wax bottle seal, Minnick wrote his new 232-page book because he wanted thought the contributions of such whiskey women deserved their due.
“There were all these headlines and comments like, ‘Wow, women drink whiskey, too.’ And women have been around whiskey all along. I thought it was sexist,” he says.
Minnick thinks the fairer sex will have the proof (pun intended) that they are being taken seriously when a whiskey is named after one of them, just like Jim Beam, Jack Daniels or Johnnie Walker.
For now, though, Minnick is on a book tour, telling tall tales about bootlegging and distilling and sharing tasting notes. He’ll do so locally on Nov. 7, at the West Nashville Costco, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again at the Brentwood Costco store, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jill signed up as a registered commenter specifically to enter this contest, so welcome to the crazy community, Jill. Email me at cchamberlain (at) nashvillescene (dot) com, and I'll hook you up with the event organizers.
When people questioned me about the cost, I let them know that in most cases, these sort of food festivals are more about attracting culinary tourists rather than just providing a bargain way for locals to eat food from restaurants that they can visit any time. I had difficulty expressing this without making it seem like the local crowd was not important to the festival; instead the focus is about spreading the word about Nashville cuisine to a broad audience. This is why the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. was a very visible sponsor of the event. There are a lot of conventions that they hep to attract to town, but not many where they actually invest skin in the game.
In the end, attendance was much higher than many folks (including me) expected, and all the travel packages sold out very quickly, indicating that the foodie tourists bought into the pricing structure. That's also why some restaurants ran out of food early on both days of Flavors of Nashville. While I do sincerely hope that Music City Eats returns next year, I also hope that they do at least consider some sort of more a la carte pricing structure that might be more attractive to locals who want to experience part, but not necessarily all of the event.
That being said, I've attended three similar food and/or music festivals since Music City Eats, and I thought I'd share some of the details with Bites readers so that you can make an informed comparison. While no festival is perfect, I do think that MCE did a great job for a first year festival.
The first event that I attended was last month's Euphoria in Greenville, S.C. Thanks to a direct Southwest flight, this small South Carolina city near Spartanburg has become pretty easy for Nashvillians to visit, and the food scene there is booming. Euphoria is similar to MCE in that it features both music and food, thanks to the fact that singer-songwriter Edwin McCain, a Greenville native, was one of the founders of the festival. Local chefs are showcased in large tasting events, and guest chefs cook at cooperative dinners and at food demos during the weekend. Sound familiar?
Nashville was represented by the presence of Whisper Creek and Belle Meade Bourbon in the wine and spirits pavilion at the Saturday tasting. The main musical acts at Friday night's "Taste of the South" event were from Nashville, thanks to local songwriter Tim Nichols who invited Josh Leo, Adam Craig Band and headliner Kim Carnes to perform at a beautiful downtown amphitheater venue on the river. (Hey, we're getting one of those too!)
So you can see how similar Euphoria was to MCE, but perhaps on a slightly less prestigious scale in terms of guest chefs. But what did it cost to attend, you might ask? There were three pricing levels, plus a la carte options. Individual wine and food seminars and cooking demos were about $35 to attend, and the guest chef dinners ran $100-150 depending on the scale of the meal and the celebrity status of the chefs. The Tasting Showcase was $75 for a day pass. The package tickets ran from $165 for a whole hog dinner, food truck event and a jazz brunch, to $275 for those same events plus the big tasting/music evening. The full VIP experience was $795, but it also included free transportation to and from anywhere in town in a fleet of loaner Land Rovers.
Set for Nov. 7, the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with the "water break," hors d'oeuvres prepared by Vivek Surti of VEA Supper Club and moonshine cocktails created by the esteemed staff of Drink Music City, who will also provide wine pairings with each dinner course.
Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and will feature a whole hog (snout to tail!) and a bounty of seasonal vegetables for the dinner, all provided by Smiley's Farm. Margot McCormack of Margot Cafe and Marché, Tyler Brown of the Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel, and Laura Wilson of the Nashville Farmers' Market's Grow Local Kitchen will be preparing the main courses and side dishes that will include porchetta, roasted sweet potatoes, greens and cabbage among many, many others. Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn of Cheater Chef will provide the biscuits and cornbread, and pastry chef Megan Williams of Etch will prepare dessert, most likely featuring apples.
Tickets for the event are just $50 per person and include all food and drinks. Proceeds benefit the Nashville Farmers' Market's ongoing work to support local agriculture and educational programs. Vegetarians (or non-pork eaters) can be accommodated by emailed request to jolie [dot] yockey [at] nashville [dot] gov.
Thursday, Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Nashville Farmers' Market
800 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Tickets: $50 per person and includes dinner and drinks
available through Hands On Nashville
Table sponsorship option is available
Those neon red marischinos might be good for topping a slice of Shoney's Fudge Cake, but they won't make an appearance in any cocktail I make. I like real cherries like the Luxardos I buy at Lazzaroli, or even better, brandied cherries made at home. Plus since I get the occasional flare-up of gout, cherries are supposedly therapeutic. (At least maybe they'll hopefully cancel out the effects of the booze ...)
Seema Prasad of Miel is a woman after my own heart, and she's been making her own cocktail cherries for years. She was kind enough to share her recipe for brandied cherries that should help us all get through the three-dog nights of fall and winter. Enjoy!
Miel's Brandied Cherries
from Seema Prasad
Growing up in the Northwest where summer cherries mean making pies, freezing, and even better … brandying for winter cocktails, I always look forward to these bright flavors of summer once the weather turned. After time I learned that there were never enough brandied cherries and that they turned out quite well when I used the frozen fruit in the same recipe that called for fresh fruit.
2 pounds frozen, pitted cherries (Bing is a sweet variety but sour cherries offer an unusual and addictive twist)
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick cut in half
1 cup brandy
2 ribbons orange zest
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
Fill 2 glass jars (I love the Weck jars with the gasket & clip fasteners), splitting the frozen cherries evenly.
Combine sugar, cinnamon stick, brandy, orange zest, water & salt in a pan and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour equal parts over the cherries. Let cool with the top off then cover and refrigerate.
Lasts for months! Makes a great holiday gift.
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