How much food could a food truck truck if a food truck could truck food? A lot. And the rolling restaurants have proliferated to the point that I saw the Meres Bulles vehicular unit parked outside an otherwise unassuming office-supply store the other day. You could call it the best food trend of the year (as Scene contributor Ashley Spurgeon did in this year's Food & Beverage BONs) or you could call it a new set of fixtures on our ever-growing dining scene.
Either way, 2011 marked the first year that Best Food Truck was a category for Best of Nashville — congrats to The Grilled Cheeserie, Mas Tacos, Pizza Buds, Labor of Love, Jonbalaya and Riffs for their various reader- and writer-appointed honors — and here's to the up-and-comers that have joined the ranks since this year's BON ballot closed.
Speaking of food trucks ...
The young entrepreneurs have worked mightily to get their business off the ground, and even launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds. Still, while Moovers and Shakers has already started serving frozen delights to eager patrons on an infrequent basis, the mobile soda shop remains dry-docked for the moment.
“We go around to different events and work, [but] mobile in the truck sense? Not quite, but we're really close,” says Delgado. “It should be only another week or so until we're up and running. When we are fully mobile, we'll tweet our location every day.”
As the reputation of hot chicken spreads, it's officially becoming the dish you have to try when you come to Nashville.
The latest media outlet to pay homage to pullet surprise is "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me." When the NPR game show came to Nashville in late June, host Peter Sagal tweeted a request for the best place to eat hot chicken. I tweeted "My house! For sale to the public? Prince's, but take some friends. And a book." So naturally, the crew went to Bolton's.
Doubtless they were warned about the hot, but it's also doubtless there's a much better blog post in ordering it. The hot chicken visit of pain is detailed on Sandwich Monday, a regular feature (well, really, the only regular feature) of Wait Wait Don't Blog Me.
Besides the quote in the title, here are a few of the more entertaining pronouncements over the satanic poultry.
It's like someone told us "hey, the local specialty is just getting somebody to stab you in the tongue," and we were like, "sign us up!"
Seriously, I feel like a rat in an experiment where I get shocked every time I take a food pellet. I should learn but I'm like GIVE ME MORE DAMN PELLETS.
I knew when we were in trouble when I saw they offer a side of brimstone.
My favorite touch is the cutline under a photo of a Bolton's meal in its carton. "It looks so innocent, sitting there in the styrofoam." So true: Hot chicken is the Rosemary's Baby of fried foods.
Go read the piece, and treat yourself especially to the comments, which naturally veer into flame wars over liberalism, authenticity, hot food and the spelling of "weeny."
You may have missed a previous post on un-cakes on the search for noncakes that are still tasty and festive. Bites readers made great suggestions; seems we're not the only uncake seekers. Birthday breakfast sweet rolls, birthday cobbler, watermelon, pie pops, trifle — lots of good suggestions.
This year's entry went in a completely different direction — a meatloaf, frosted with mashed potatoes and topped with confetti of peas, parsley and steamed carrots. Pretty good, huh?
Actually, it's always julep time, as far as I'm concerned. The slightly sweet, frosty drink, with just a kiss of mint is always a pleasure. The outside of the metal cup frosts over just so, and stays frozen and cold longer because of the metal cup. And mint, which won't grow in my yard, grows all year at the supermarket.
The post culminates in a recipe for a julep-like drink, but with rum and peach, from Holland House's Jeremiah Blake, to keep julep cups in use all year.
Here's the recipe — bottoms up, and congrats on the nod, HH!
I see a lot of restaurant bathrooms, and they all have their own personalities. Here was a bathroom where someone thought of everything, except for one important element.
It was really big, plenty big enough for a big wheelchair or several people.
There was a diaper deck, a thoughtful addition:
Monday belongs to diners, soul food and Robert's honky-tonk burgers, courtesy of Brantley Hargrove; Tuesday travels the map from Turnip Truck to Thai to Twin Kegs, thanks to Jim Ridley; Wednesday wings it in the name of caffeine, cake and cocktails, compliments of Carrington Fox; Thursday makes time for breakfast, gets Silly for lunch and kicks it with some Korean, due to some guy named Steve Haruch; Friday, Friday, gotta get down (and eat cow heart) on Friday with Sean L. Maloney; Saturday changes things up with some North Side brunch, sweet cocoa and Turkish delights, by way of Dana Kopp Franklin; Sunday goes from jitters to jimjams in the flash of a dim sum cart, via Jack Silverman; and finally, we realize eight isn't enough, but we round up some more favorites anyway.
I, for one, didn't have time for breakfast (again), and I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
Now they just need to get the funding in that same line, and a new city food truck will roar to life.
Delgado and Coleman's idea of bringing milkshakes to the sweaty masses of Music City was dreamed up and became a business plan in just a couple of weeks. The plan was good enough to take second place and $2,000 in a campuswide entrepreneurship contest.
Now they've begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5,000 for buying a truck outfitted with freezers. The menu will be simple at first with just a couple of classic milkshakes (chocolate and vanilla) and floats (Coke and root beer). Their goal is to be ready to go on Dead Day (May 4) a campus celebration before exams begin.
Get more info on Moovers and Shakers at their Facebook page (they'd love it if you "like" them there) or go to the Kickstarter page to see their pitch and pledge a little moolah.
The self-serve Lucy Yogurt opened in the same strip on Hillsboro Circle in mid-2010 to fill the gap, though it couldn't match TCBY in variety, or in any of TCBYs special creations.
Lucy stepped up its game latterly by offering sushi prepared by the former owner of Taste of Tokyo, according to the sushi order form.
Fish rolls hit all the high notes (California, crunchy shrimp, Philadelphia, eel, tiger), and vegetable rolls offer every lovable thing about sushi without the fish. At $3.75 for eight pieces, you can afford to sample your way through the menu to find your favorites.
Special rolls like Rainbow and Snake ($8.50) are bigger and more complex, piling extra fish on a California rolls. Two rolls — Dragon and Ninza, are spicy concoctions made with fish, seafood and cream cheese in a soy wrapper. For just the protein and seasonings, there's nigiri, two pieces of favorites like salmon, tuna and eel, for $3.75.
That ups the game for the other yogurt places proliferating. What's next? Beef jerky at Krave? Artisanal cheese at Pinkberry?
The first time we met, I talked you through the emotional roller coaster that is whipping up the perfect classic chocolate chip cookie. Remember how great you felt? If memory serves, you said things like, "I'm so excited..." and "Oh, Elizabeth!"
This time, I offer for your culinary consideration, the elusive brownie: Though I've enjoyed this gooey, chocolately treat for most of my life, I never even considered making them from scratch. Don't ask me why. They just seemed complicated, and the box is cheap and I tend to be lazy. Then my college roommate posted this recipe on her blog a couple years ago, and, after a few trials with other, less successful recipes, I've been a faithful follower.
Hate to brag, but these brownies are the best. They nail the essence of what brownies should be: They're chewy, with crisp tops and soft centers. And, they're not sick-to-your-stomach sweet. Bonus — they're easy. And dare I utter it, but they might even be easier than a box. The best part is that you probably always have the ingredients on hand, so they're simple to whip up for dessert or to drop off anytime at the Scene offices in just 30 short minutes from start to finish (travel time to Scene office excluded).
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