Monday, November 23, 2015

A Tasty Bit of Nashville: The 2015 Bites Gift Guide

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 12:26 PM

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Each year, it gets a little more difficult to come up with the year's gift guide. Not because there aren't a lot of great ways to send a tasty bite of Nashville to your friends and family, but because I pretty much have the same recommendations every year. They're solid. But I do have a few new items for the list this year, some of which aren't necessarily edible.

If you prefer your gift-giving to have a charitable component, I love these tea towels from The Nashville Food Project. They also sell aprons and coffee. The folks at Y'allsome have a number of clever designs, but I particularly like the Tennessee flag "banjo" with the bottle. A portion of Y'allsome sales go to programs for foster children. Speaking of children, proceeds from Christie Cookie tins specially-designed by patients benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. And for those of us in town, it doesn't get more local than the honey at Glen Leven Farm. This honey is delicious and supports the honeybee sanctuary at the farm.

For those with a sweet tooth, there is no shortage of options. You're certain to find something (or several somethings) among the variety of flavors from Willa's Shortbread. Macarons are also a great little gift (particularly for a hostess gift) and there are several great macaron makers around town, including Le Macaron and Utterly Nashville. Another great hostess gift is the new Goo Buttons from Goo Goo Clusters and any of the candies from Seersucker (those cherry bombs are, well, you know). Though perishable, the mini cheesecakes from Tennessee Cheesecake (which come frozen) are also excellent gifts.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Third Time May Be the Charm: Ed Fryer Returns to Village Wines

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 7:41 AM

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One of the quirks of Tennessee's old liquor regulations was that a single proprietor used to be forbidden from owning more than one retail store. So serial wine entrepreneurs like Ed Fryer tended to buy and sell stores as they experimented with new neighborhoods and concepts. Some of the places where you might have encountered the personable and knowledgeable Fryer (other than appearances as a disc jockey on Hippie Radio 94.5) include Green Hills Wine and Spirits, RED in Bellevue, the former (yn) in Green Hills, and Village Wines, a Hillsboro Village shop that he has actually owned twice, most recently selling it to Hoyt Hill in March of 1999.

Last year, Fryer opened 12th & Pine Beverage Co. in the Gulch, offering a much-needed option within walking distance of the Scene offices. Now that the TABC laws have changed, multiple shop ownership is allowed, so Fryer can finally expand his empire to more than one location. So he's decided to come home to the Village by purchasing Village Wines for the third time. The location at 2006 Belcourt Ave. was most recently the home to kind of a mess of a wine store named Hillsboro & Vine, where the shelves were organized with an obscure system of wines grouped by occasion and food pairings rather than by varietal or region. With a very limited selection of spirits, most of which were priced well above the budget of most neighborhood residents or workers, Hillsboro & Vine was pretty much limited to high-end collectors looking to shop for obscure wines.

Fryer aims to change that with his newest incarnation of Village Wines. He is in the process of stocking the store with more affordable wines, spirits, craft beers and some food items and is installing a growler filling station as well.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

New Turnip Truck Grocery in East Nashville Opens Next Week — POSTPONED

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 1:06 PM

click to enlarge Quiche from The Turnip Truck - TURNIP TRUCK ON FACEBOOK
  • Turnip Truck on Facebook
  • Quiche from The Turnip Truck
UPDATE: The opening of the new Turnip Truck location in East Nashville has been postponed, according to a representative.

"Due to weather conditions, Turnip Truck's new East Nashville store will not open this Thursday morning as originally planned. The Turnip Truck team is working hard to set a new opening date," the statement said.

Bites' previous story:

The eagerly awaited new and expanded location of natural foods grocery store The Turnip Truck in East Nashville is set to open this Thursday, Nov. 19.

As Bites reported back in December, The new Turnip Truck includes a juice bar, food bars both hot and cold, a bakery with gluten-free goods and a meat department.

With 13,000 square feet of retail space, the new store is four times the size of its predecessor, the store reports in a release today.

The new store is at 701 Woodland St. near East Park. That's about two blocks southeast southwest of the old store, which is at 927 Woodland, near Five Points.

Owner John Dyke opened the original East Nashville store in 2001, and he launched a larger Turnip Truck (about 9,000 square feet) in the Gulch in late 2010. That store has proven to be a pretty popular amenity for office workers, residents and tourists in the Gulch.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sweet News: New Product From Goo Goo Clusters; Plus, Tennessee Cheesecake Now Available in Kroger

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 9:16 AM

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Things are moving right along in Goo Goo Clusters' Third Avenue Goo Goo Shop and kitchen. Just in time for the holiday giving season, Goo Goo has introduced Goo Buttons, bite-size chocolate candies with assorted fillings. Currently available are the "Classic Collection," which includes salted caramel in milk chocolate, peanut butter in dark chocolate, dark chocolate ganache in white chocolate, marshmallow in milk chocolate, and marshmallow and caramel swirl in dark chocolate. The Classic Collection Goo Buttons are available exclusively at the Goo Goo Shop.

Also available only through the holiday season is the "Celebration Collection," Goo Buttons made with wines and other ingredients from Belle Meade Winery. Some of the flavors included are Belle Meade honey apple spice jelly and vanilla bean caramel, covered in milk chocolate; and Belle Meade Celebration Riesling with cherry, vanilla, cinnamon and spiced dark chocolate ganache in milk chocolate. The Celebration Collection is available at both the Goo Goo Shop and the Belle Meade Winery gift shop. All Goo Button sets retail for less than $10 per box.

Other good news for the holiday season is that Tennessee Cheesecake is now available in local Kroger stores. Though available at Cash and Carry on Charlotte Pike as well as delivered to your door for just $5 if you live within the state of Tennessee, it's now very easy — too easy — to get this fantastic (and locally made) cheesecake. The mini cheesecake assortment and the full-size gourmet collection are both available. Visit their website for the Kroger locations where you can find it. I've seen it at the Melrose and Brentwood locations in the refrigerators near the bakery.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Total Wine Looks to Bring One of Its Gigantic Liquor Stores to Nashville

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 8:38 AM

click to enlarge TOTAL WINE & MORE ON FACEBOOK
  • Total Wine & More on Facebook
Total Wine & More, a Bethesda, Md., based company that operates massive liquor stores in 18 states, is exploring potential sites for launching in Nashville, our colleagues at the Nashville Post report.

“We are right now looking at real estate [in the Nashville area] and that is what will drive our decision,” Total Wine spokesman Edward Cooper tells William Williams of the Post. The company always leases the sites for its stores.

“Nashville will potentially be a great market for us, and we want to have a site as soon as possible,” Cooper says, adding that the company's in-house real estate specialist is scouting locations here. He declined to specify neighborhoods.

Cooper says Total Wine stores usually range around 20,000 to 30,000 square feet. That's about the size of a supermarket. (The Whole Foods store in McEwen, for example, is 40,000 square feet.)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Little Mosko's Bake Shop Will Make You Forget About Gluten

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 8:07 AM

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Last month, Lesley included a little blurb in a news roundup that Silo had begun to serve gluten-free bread baked by Lauren Moskovitz of Little Mosko's Bake Shop. That news piqued my interest, especially since Lauren is a fellow University School grad, and her parents Cindy and Scott Moskovitz used to run the beloved Rock Block shoplet, Mosko's. (Y'know, where those of us of a certain age might have bought clove cigarettes before sneaking underage into a Will Rambeaux show at the Exit/In.)

So I reached out to Lauren Moskovitz to find out more about her story, and it's quite a tale. Lauren's mother discovered an intolerance to gluten in 2009 and found out it could be hereditary. Lauren had herself tested and came back positive for celiac disease, a discovery that explained a lot about her past health issues. "I had been sick with something or another for most of my life," she recalls. "But I grew up in a house where the general remedy for any stomach ailment was a bowl of matzo ball soup and some saltines, a 'cure' which only compounded my problems."

As she sought to change her diet, Lauren discovered that finding gluten-free products would be a challenge. "Back in 2009, most of them were atrocious, really not worth eating. But I had lived in the Bay Area which was at the forefront of thoughtful eating." Without any formal training — "I studied at the Culinary Institute of Trial and Error," she jokes — Lauren started to experiment with creating gluten-free recipes in her own home where she could avoid the cross-contamination that her mother was more sensitive to than she was.

Concentrating on baked goods, Moskovitz developed her own proprietary blends of flours using rice, soy, tapioca, etc., and developed recipes for various cookies, cakes and breads. "I was cooking blind," she recalls. "Baking gluten-free involves using batters and dough that don't look at all like traditional recipes. A bread dough might look more like a cake batter, but then some magic happens in the oven and you get bread."

She began working front of house at Miel "for like 20 minutes, but I hated it." But after she brought in some of her baked goods for the Miel staff, they immediately invited her to start working in the kitchen, where she successfully made her way through just about every station and still works covering shifts. Eventually, she decided to go pro and opened up Little Mosko's Bake Shop working out of her own certified home kitchen.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Jeni's Ice Cream Pints Are Back on Store Shelves

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Jeni's pints on the shelves at Turnip Truck in the Gulch last night.
  • Jeni's pints on the shelves at Turnip Truck in the Gulch last night.
If you're a fan of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, you'll be pleased to hear the product is available again in pints (not just single servings at Jeni's scoop shops).

Jeni's yanked all its pints earlier this year after grappling with listeria contamination at its production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio. As part of the solution to the crisis, Jeni's moved its ice cream production to a partner dairy north of Columbus. The scoop shops reopened over the summer, but retail pints had been on hold until now.

In an announcement, the company says the pints are now on shelves at all 23 Jeni's scoop shops (there are four in Nashville — East Nashville, 12South, Hillsboro Village and the Nashville Farmers' Market) and at select grocery stores.

I spotted Jeni's pints last night in the cooler at the Turnip Truck store in the Gulch. It's a lineup of classic Jeni's flavors: Salty Caramel, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean, Pistachio & Honey, Darkest Chocolate in the World and Milkiest Chocolate in the World.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Gourmet Mac, Iced Coffee, Pear Cider and More That You Don't Have to Miss From Music City Food + Wine

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 7:57 AM

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By now, you may have had your fill of FOMO from reading recaps of the Music City Food + Wine Festival. But wait! This one is different. Sure, you missed a lot of stuff at the festival, but the great part is that you can check out much of it any time you want. Because along with a number of restaurants serving special bites (and big-name chefs serving at Harvest Night), there were a number of retail products you can buy just any ol’ time.

Dan’s Gourmet Mac and Cheese (pictured) — which has grown quite a bit from humble beginnings at farmers markets — is available in the freezer section of local Kroger stores as well as all across the country and online. You can find Corner Market Catering foods at their West Nashville store or several other stores around the city. Also available all around town is Switters Iced Coffee. Though the Lemonade Iced Coffee I tasted at the festival is a bit hard to find. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? It’s crazy delicious, though. Trust.

For your sweet tooth, there’s no doubt you already know that you can get Christie Cookies and Goo Goo Clusters — both made right here in Nashville — just about any time you want them. Goo Goo was sampling every premium Goo Goo from the Summer Chef’s Series, which you might still be able to get at the Goo Goo Store. Olive and Sinclair was also at the festival with their chocolates as well as candies from their new brand, Seersucker Candy Company. Those Cherry Bombs (pickled cherry cordials) and Muzzle Loaders (salted bourbon caramel-filled chocolates) are fantastic.

The adult beverage selection at the festival was (as always) overwhelming. Because of the heat, I tried to take it easy, so I stuck with gin cocktails from Hendrick’s and Jack Rudy Cocktail Company on day one and then Sixty One from Dogfish Head Brewery and The Infinite Monkey Theorem Dry Hopped Pear Cider on day two. If you want to try the Dogfish Head, it's currently on tap at Cochon Butcher (and likely elsewhere around town). The pear cider is available at Midtown Wine and Spirits. Hendrick's and Jack Rudy artisanal tonics are available just about everywhere.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Goo Goo Cluster Introduces Bite-Sized Lil' Goos

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

click to enlarge GOO GOO CLUSTER LLC
  • Goo Goo Cluster LLC
Goo Goo Cluster has introduced yet another way to enjoy their candy. Lil' Goos are bite-size versions of the original cluster and come unwrapped and in a resealable 6-ounce pouch. “Customers have been asking for a miniature version of our beloved candy for quite some time,” says Beth Sachan, marketing director for Goo Goo Cluster LLC. “We’re very excited to finally be able to give our fans what they’ve been craving!”

This comes as shocking news to those of us who didn't realize that the original Goo Goo Cluster was not already bite-size. Oops. Though I can't help but wonder if the demand is from people who want to eat more Goo Goos without having to unwrap them.

Anyway, Lil’ Goos are currently available in Goo Goo’s online store as well as the Goo Goo Shop at 116 Third Ave. S. in downtown Nashville. That's also where you'll find the best selection of the Premium Goo Goos, including those made for the Summer Chef Series. This week marks the debut of Chef Maneet Chauhan's "Bollywood Y'all" version of a Goo Goo, which contains spicy cashews, fried chickpea pearls, crispy rice snacks and caramel with a hint of lime, all covered in dark chocolate. You should also be able to find Chef Matt Farley's "South of Somewhere," which contains crispy rice treats, Nutella, toasted hazelnuts, and dried strawberries, covered with milk chocolate. The store also sells a variety of cool Goo Goo clothing and other merchandise.

As for Lil' Goos, you can also find them in select Dollar General stores nationwide. Wider retail distribution is planned for next year.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Goo Goo Cluster Announces 'Summer Chef Series' of Premium Goo Goo Flavors

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 8:41 AM

  • Beth Sachan/Goo Goo Cluster
This week, Goo Goo Cluster announced a partnership with a number of well-known local chefs to create new flavors of their premium Goo Goo Clusters, which are available only at the company store at 116 Third Ave. S. The promotion runs through September, leading up to the Music City Food + Wine Festival Sept. 19-20. The list of chefs participating are:

Matt Bolus – The 404 Kitchen
Maneet Chauhan – Chauhan Ale & Masala House
Trey Cioccia – The Farm House
Matt Farley – Southern Steak & Oyster
Hal Holden-Bache – Lockeland Table
Dale Levitski – Sinema
Deb Paquette – Etch
Karl Worley – Biscuit Love Brunch

The chefs will work with Lauren Garcia, the Goo Goo Shop’s confectionery kitchen manager, to create a Premium Goo Goo flavor that will sold at the Goo Goo Shop. The first of the special candies is available now. It's called The Gertie, based on Biscuit Love Brunch’s popular dessert biscuit (named for the Worleys’ daughter), and it's composed of peanut butter, pretzels, caramelized banana jam and vanilla wafers (in place of biscuits), all covered in dark chocolate. Whoa.

Flavors will rotate periodically, with two to three chefs being featured each month. As they're launched, the flavors will be announced via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as Goo Goo’s website. To wrap up the series, the Goo Goo Shop will showcase all of the chefs’ flavors at their table in the Grand Taste tents at the Music City Food + Wine Festival.

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