So my girlfriend and I are packing up the car and heading down there next Wednesday for a few days (with a night in Asheville to check out what's left of the foliage).
I know many of our esteemed Bites readers have spent time in Savannah. What are the can't-miss spots? I don't mind splurging on a meal or two since there's no airfare, and I wouldn't mind a down-and-dirty option or two. Bonus points for fresh seafood. Breakfast and coffee highlights also appreciated.
I've gleaned a few possibilities online, but I want to see what y'all come up with. I trust you more than Yelp or Urban Spoon. So give up the goods.
And we've got one night in Asheville. Thoughts? And what else is going on in Bites World? Y'all as excited about Husk as I am?
Now we want to hear from you. Which entries were you glad to see get some love? Which ones filled you with the rage of a sex-deprived rhino? And come on — surely you've got some opinions about the readers' poll, which included some truly surprising upsets (most delivered from across the river).
So let's swing wide the gates on this week's Open Thread. What's your Best of Nashville?
So tonight, the powers that be treated us to some delicious pizza from NY Pie. I spent four years living in New York City, and I can tell you that NY Pie's cheese slice was close to the fine slices I'd scarf down at 1 in the morning from places with names like Famous Ray's, Original Ray's, Famous Original Ray's, World-Famous Original Ray's ... you get the idea.
We also got treated to some mighty fine DeSano pizza recently, and I was pretty impressed.
Anyway, it's got me thinking about how much the Nashville pizza scene has improved since I moved to town 15 years ago. I've found a wide variety of pies I enjoy — City House, Lockeland Table, Five Points, Manny's, Joey's, Porta Via, Bella Nashville, Pizza Perfect, the aforementioned NY Pie and DeSano. I'm not ready to declare Nashville a pizza capital — anyone who's spent time in New York, Boston, New Haven or Providence knows we have a long way to go — but compared to 1997, it's raining pizzas around here!
So here's my question: If you had to pick your favorite pie, what would it be? I know — there are so many different styles. Feel free to list a few, but don't wuss out on picking a favorite. And if I'm saying that, I'll have to pick a fave, I guess.
I'm going with:
1: City House
2: Lockeland Table
3: Bella Nashville
4: (tie) Five Points/DeSano/Manny's/Joey's/NY Pie
The bottom line? Fifteen years ago, it was hard to find one pizza I would venture out of the house for. And in 2012, I listed eight pizzas I'd gladly make the trip to eat.
OK, I've set the precedent: You can have as many ties as you want in second, third and fourth. But you can only have one No. 1. Why? Because it's my game. I brought the ball, I make the rules.
So which pie is it going to be, Bites readers? And what other food news do you want to share?
Furthermore, there are so many conflicting reports online, some suggesting that Whole Foods, too, sells products with GMOs. Not to mention Kroger, Publix, etc. But Whole Foods customers expect the store's products to be held to a higher standard than conventional supermarkets. Frankly, the information online is so plentiful and confusing that the eyes glaze over.
I'm of the opinion that genetically toying with food is not the best idea. But frankly, it's a visceral reaction, and I don't seem to have the time lately to really delve into (a) whether the foods I'm buying contain GMOs and (b) whether it matters. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.
Bites readers, do you know if your groceries contain GMOs? Do you even care?
Let us know your thoughts on the Open Thread. And while you're at it, share anything at all from your list of foodie news, silly questions and frenetically modified observations.
I've had three experiences at each of the two new EastNashville haunts, Lockeland Table and Café Fundamental, and as new Loews Vanderbilt spokesman Shaun White might put it, I am totally stoked!
My first experience at Lockeland was decent, but the next two visits were sublime. Great pizzas (I enjoyed the clams Casino pizza and margherita the most), a terrific and lovely roasted heirloom carrot and beet salad, and a Carolina Mountain trout with maple-bourbon glaze that was to die for. I am so excited to have Lockeland Table close to me, and best of all, it's open Monday, when a lot of other East Nashville restaurants are closed.
Even closer to me is Café Fundamental, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've had nothing but outstanding experiences. A great steak frites, heavenly quiche lorraine and (for Saturday brunch) a duck confit hash with two poached eggs that was ridiculously good. And perhaps the best French-style pastries in town. The pain au chocolate is decadently fabulous. Warning: Though Café Fundamental's brand-new website says it's open Sunday, it is NOT open Sunday. It's open Tuesday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, Saturday for brunch, and as of this week, it's open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday. They plan to eventually serve Sunday brunch, possibly beginning in November.
Also of note: I had a really good steak & cheddar hoagie (with butternut squash puree, gruyere, fried leeks and horseradish) at Coffee, Lunch. — across from Cummins Station, where Fiddlecakes used to be. I will definitely be back. They also have specials, sometimes featuring meats from Porter Road Butcher.
So which new places have you tried, or are you itching to try? How were your meals? Please, do tell.
Have we got good news for you scurvy dogs: this Wednesday, Sept. 19, Krispy Kreme is celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day! From the press release:
Shiver me Timbers! Krispy Kreme is getting in on Talk Like a Pirate Day with a tasty grub giveaway. On Wednesday, September 19, any buccaneer who dares enter a participating Krispy Kreme location talking like a pirate gets one FREE Original Glazed® doughnut. Blimey you say? Well there’s more. To the lad or lass wearing full pirate attire goes a bounty of one FREE dozen Original Glazed® doughnuts.
The Weekly Open Thread wants to know, how far are you willing to go? A couple of "blimey"s or "scurvy dog"s to get yourself one sinfully delicious glazed delicacy? Or are you willing to raid Keith Richards' closet so you can go for the full dozen?
And speaking of pirates: This kid dresses up for Halloween, and his dad asks what his costume is. "I'm a pirate," say the kid.
So the dad says, "Where are your buccaneers?"
The kid's answer, after the jump ...
Not safe for lunch. So if you're chowing on takeout or digging into your sack lunch, you might want to set it aside before digging into this post, as it were.
While Bites has previously addressed the issue of kids in restaurants — which joints are kid-friendly, what level of misbehavior is acceptable, etc. — we can't say we've ever pondered the possibility that something like this would happen: As reported by Salt Lake City's KSL-TV, a mother took her young twins to a Utah deli, where she proceeded to disrobe them and put them on their kiddie toilets so they could, uh, do their duty while enjoying a nice meal in a public restaurant.
Yowza! I'm getting a little nauseated just typing this, and I ate three hours ago. Anyone ever witnessed such a violation of the kids-in-restaurants behavior code?
Better yet, anyone want to change the toddler, er, I mean, subject? Whatcha got? We're all ears.
I am coming to Nashville in the end of September and am staying down town. I am from Canada and would like to try some good southern cooking. Can you recommend a few restaurants?
Now I know we've had no shortage of posts about certain Southern food items — hot chicken, barbecue, cornbread, the list goes on — but I'm not sure we've ever put forward this (not so) simple question: What constitutes Southern food? Of course, opinions will vary widely, and frankly, my main goal is really to get a list for Ken to use as a starting point for his Nashville Southern dining experience. Truth is, when I have out-of-town company who specifically want Southern food, I'm a little stumped after I get past Arnold's Country Kitchen, Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, Loveless Cafe and Monell's. (Ken, if you're reading, those are all worthy candidates. And regarding the Nashville delicacy known as hot chicken, be sure to read this and this and this and this and this.)
In fact, sometimes I'm surprised there aren't more places that specialize in traditional Southern fare. Or maybe there are, and I just don't know them. What say ye, Bites readers? What do you consider true Southern cuisine, and more importantly for our Canadian friend, where are your favorite places to get it?
What does this have to do with food, you ask? Well, by the time we cleaned the spoiled food out of our refrigerator, it was clear much of it had gone bad long before the storm, and that we waste a shit-ton (which is slightly less than a metric ton) of food.
Second, the great recipe book: Chris will be promoting his new book, The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die (and the Recipes That Made Them Famous). In it, you'll find recipes for the sweet potato pancakes at Asheville, N.C.'s Tupelo Honey Cafe; apple-cranberry crumble pie at Slatyfork, W.V.'s Elk River Inn; Loveless Cafe's watermelon ribs ... and, oh, about 97 more Southern classics.
Now the irony: We're telling you to watch Chris discuss his book on a home shopping television network — but we're urging you to buy it locally, at Parnassus. They need our support! The book is slated for release Aug. 28 by Thomas Nelson, but you can preorder now at Parnassus! Do it!
Lastly, on The Southern Foodie's Facebook page, Chris is asking that you understand if he doesn't live up to his typical movie-star good looks:
If I look a little bedraggled on my QVC appearance on 8/19, it's because I fly up to Philly for my on-air training on Wednesday night, train Thursday morning, fly back home Thursday evening, back to Philly on Saturday, appear on Sunday afternoon and fly home Sunday night. I'm actually looking forward to the whirlwind, though. Y'all tune in!
Speaking of Southern restaurants, anyone tried Lockeland Table or Hattie B's Hot Chicken yet? Anyone heading to Silo this weekend? Any other new discoveries?
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