The skull that throbs like Deadmau5's helmet. The aching limbs. The lurching, gurgling stomach, pounding its shoe to be recognized ahead of your pickled liver and your straining kidneys. Every movement plants a knife blade behind your eyes. Every noise amplifies like someone crunching that canoe-sized stalk of celery Woody Allen lugs around in Sleeper. You try to sleep it off, but when you close your eyes you might as well be in Mammoth Cave with a marching band and a horny rhino.
Amid the news that Costco appears to have overtaken Whole Foods as the No. 1 seller of organic groceries in America, Open Thread's curiosity starts to wander.
We know shopping local is growing more and more popular in Nashville — our recent boom in farmers markets proves that. But do convictions and enthusiam stretch to shopping the organic options at area mega-marts and grocery stores? Everybody from Costco and Whole Foods (obviously) to Aldi, Fresh Market, Kroger, Publix, Trader Joe's and Walmart stocks organic items these days.
Tell us, Bites readers: Do you shop organic? And if so, where do you like to shop? Does an extra price premium matter? (Although it seems like the sticker price gap between organic and conventional is closing a bit these days.)
And what else is on your mind?
In sum, my complaints included the fact that the restaurant did not open until 6 p.m. (which was not very clear on their website). And after doing laps around Five Points for 45 minutes, we had to wait to be seated because they did not want to double-seat a section (we were third in line). They have a section just for two-tops and seated a larger party ahead of us because we had to sit in a particular section (note: the patio section for parties of two is at the side of building, which is not as lush as the back). However, the staff was very kind and polite in explaining their policy, and once we were seated, the service we got as well as the food and cocktails made up for it. But we probably won’t be back. Primarily because on the rare instance we have a kid-free night, we still have to be back in the ‘burbs by 7:30 for bedtime (so we go out pretty early), but also because crossing the river is just kind of a hassle now, particularly when Melrose and 12South have so many great options and are much closer.
I doubt The Treehouse will miss us, though; we just don’t seem to be in their target market. They open the doors late, but they also serve food late, which caters to a segment of the population that prefers to eat at a time when I’m fast asleep. Several people I know were happy to find out that there was a place still serving great food late (though the menu changes after 10 p.m.) without having to endure painfully loud live music or hang with the tourists on Broadway. As in, a place to grab some good food after concerts, hockey games and other events.
I figured this would be a great Open Thread topic. My days of late-night dining at Sunset Grill and Bound’ry are long gone, so where are the great places to have a civilized meal (good food and good service) after 9 p.m. now? I would certainly recommend The Treehouse (they do reserve some seating for walk-ins), and I suppose Bound’ry is still an option as well as the bar at City House. Chris Chamberlain recently recommended The Sutler, too. But when Sean Maloney asked just a few years ago, answers were mostly about places in the past. So, Bitesters, what places do you like for casual, reservationless late-night dining? And what else is on your minds this week?
Some people don't even like cake — I know of another person with a summer birthday who demands a fresh, juicy watermelon when her special day rolls around. And some people (gasp) don't even like sweet things. For them, there's always the meatloaf-and-mashed potato "cake." Here's Martha Stewart's version.
I was lucky this year: On my birthday I was presented with a plate bearing the letters of my first name — fashioned out of homemade chocolate chip cookie! Too bad my name is only two syllables.
New celebratory ideas are always welcome, so I appeal to you, Bites Nation. What's your favorite birthday cake alternative? And what else is on your mind this week?
We also got a chance to report the growing number of markets that accept SNAP/EBT (aka Food Stamps) as payment, a great move to help increase access to fresh local produce. (Thanks, Community Food Advocates for help identifying the list.) And we hit a few highlights of the current changes at the grandaddy of markets in our city, the municipally owned Nashville Farmers' Market just north of the capitol.
Personally, I hope to hit a many markets as I can — especially the ones I can walk to, 12South and the new version of the Vanderbilt market. (I hear it has some unique merchants selling internationally popular produce varieties.) But since every market is slightly different, I'd ideally love to visit every one.
Not that it's fair to compare, but it's unlikely I'll find anything similar to the amazing breakfast I once had at a farmers market in Marin County, Calif.: fresh Humboldt Bay oysters cooked to order over a wood fire in the back of a guy's truck. Two of those oysters, drizzled with butter and chives, filled and sustained me for the astronomical price of $2.50
Please chime in, Bites folk. What's your favorite farmers market? And do you have any farmers market memories to share?
And what else is on your mind?
She's a little hesitant to mention one of her favorites — the adorable little hidden patio at the back of Headquarters, the coffeehouse on Charlotte Pike, because it's so small and intimate. Other patios she recommends include Bella Napoli in Edgehill Village, The Pharmacy in East Nashville and the venerable Baja Burrito on Thompson Lane.
I personally have to give the edge to Rolf and Daughters, not just because Germantown is a nice neighborhood for hanging out, but also because the food is so darn good.
How about you, Bites Nation? Where do you like to dine alfresco? And what else is on your mind?
Christie Cookie, which started in the mid-1980s, moved to Third Avenue North in Germantown in 2000.
"At the time, that part of Germantown was still mostly industrial and largely vacant," Lassiter notes. But before long, the neighborhood would become one of the hottest in Nashville for residential (and eventually restaurant) growth.
Christie Cookie's president, Fleming Wilt, says the location proved better than they ever dreamed: "When we located our headquarters in Germantown 15 years ago, we never imagined the culinary, artistic and family-friendly neighborhood it would become." Now Christie Cookie is taking advantage of the fired-up vibe of the neighborhood by adding a charming little retail store.
So, let us raise the Open Thread question: What's your favorite retail cookie? Your answer need not be limited to Christie products. (Though if I were to make that judgment, I would assuredly choose white chocolate macadamia.)
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