You don’t have to tell me to get tater tots, but I was thankful to get the tip for the ketchup. I liked it so much, that I packed up my little container and brought it home to re-create it. No luck; though I have both red and yellow curry powders, I couldn’t get the same flavor at home. I may have lacked some smoky flavoring; I’m not sure, but it just wasn’t right.
So I was delighted to find Burkhardt Curry Ketchup in the international foods section at Publix. It’s not quite as good as The Pharmacy’s ketchup, but it’s much better than my own. It’s also authentic; it’s imported directly from Germany.
While curry ketchup may not sound very German, it actually is. Its popularity there can be traced back to Herta Heuwer, a German woman who in 1949 combined Worcestershire sauce, curry powder and ketchup —which she got from British soldiers — with other spices to create a curry ketchup she later named Chillup. She poured the sauce over pork sausages to create the beloved German street food popularly known as currywurst. It’s also a popular topping for frites.
Luckily for me as a vegetarian, the Burkhardt ketchup includes no anchovy-containing Worcestershire sauce (it's vegan, actually). At four bucks and change, it’s a bit pricey as ketchups go, but it’s delicious and a great way to add a little kick to burgers and fries. I particularly like to put it on the Vegetable Masala Burgers from Trader Joe’s.
How close to closing time are you comfortable walking into a restaurant? If the restaurant's posted closing time is 10 p.m., are you comfortable walking in at 9:59? Would 9:45 be your cutoff? Have you ever gotten the two-minutes-to-closing eye roll? Has a restaurant ever refused to seat you before closing time? If you arrive near closing time, to you feel obligated to rush through your meal?
This is serious stuff, folks. I need to know where you stand.
And what else is on your mind?
Over on Bites' sister blog Country Life, Jim Ridley calls Egerton "one of Nashville's most esteemed literary figures, and a conscience to the city and the nation."
Ridley continues, "On issues where the South was lagging in progress, from civil rights to poverty, Egerton was dauntless and unwavering, whether he was tackling the problem of 'food deserts' in impoverished communities or charting the early fight against segregation in his landmark 1994 book Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South."
We in the food world know him most intimately for the movement he launched in 1987 with his book Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History, a work that author and historian Rien Fertel called "the urtext of contemporary culinary writing and scholarship."
As Ridley explains, in addition to Egerton's passion for social justice, "he was just as adamant about preserving and protecting the region's timeless legacies — its food and folklore — from the strip-mall predations of the New South."
"Southern Food urged Southerners to take pride in their family diners, small-town eateries, soul-food joints and handed-down recipes. Not only was it a cornerstone of the Southern Foodways Alliance, which he co-founded in 1999, it led directly to the prominence and esteem Southern chefs (and cuisine) have claimed nationally in recent decades."
While the episode summary doesn't specifically list which restaurants the show will be highlighting, It's not too hard to read between the lines. Here's the blurb, with my annotations in brackets:
"This trip, Guy digs into the unique holiday traditions in Tennessee. In Hendersonville, a barbecue joint with a storied past serves up the traditional pulled pork shoulder and a holiday ham with a fiery finish. [Gotta be Center Point BBQ. Hendersonvillagers swear by the stuff.] In Nashville, a tiny taco joint wraps up traditional Mexican tamales and unique quinoa sweet potato tacos. [Cooking Channel's Eat St. already beat DDD to Mas Tacos to get this recipe.]"
So even if some of the mystery of the participating restaurants is already gone, there's still lots to look forward to as we see our local heroes on the big screen! Go ahead and set your DVRs now.
Not only are the flavors wild and amazing, but the packaging is gorgeous (as usual for Third Man), spinning Bang Candy's signature Western revolver into rotary shapes that suggest snowflakes.
Bang Candy's most famous specialty is marshmallows, and the collection's Holiday Libations Marshmallows encompass four flavors: Jack & Ginger, Blackcurrant Absinthe, Bacon Maple Bourbon, and Malt Chocolate & Whiskey.
The other two treats in the collaboration are an elixir to jazz up beverages ("Smoked Spiced Orange Syrup, the perfect wintery, cardamom-y, peppery, hickory-y concoction to complement your dark liquor of choice") and and au courant version of traditional bark ("Electrified Peppermint Bark, a Bang Candy Co. invention featuring 'shock rocks' that sizzle and fizz on your tongue").
The announcement says "the exclusive holiday offerings" will debut on Friday, Nov. 29, and "will be available only at Third Man Records headquarters while supplies last."
Third Man Records is at 623 Seventh Ave. S.
Riverside Grillshack and Über-Tüber Hand Cut Fries takes over the small building at 1000 Riverside Drive formerly held by the Eat Well Market, and before that, Dee's Q. It's the project of Steve and Susan Richter, two restaurant veterans who met while working at Rosepepper Cantina.
After the success over the summer of the Über-Tüber truck, Susan Richter says the couple felt inspired to inquire when they saw a "for lease" sign on the little space on Riverside Drive. Everything worked out, and they opened Riverside Grillshack in mid-October.
The lunch menu features Über-Tüber Fries (of course) by the basket ($3.75), with signature dipping sauces like Horseradish Ranch, Old Bay and Hot Ketchup.
Sandwiches include a burger with grass-fed local beef from Porter Road Butcher ($7.95 including fries), and Grillshack's version of a Philly, a half-pound of grilled, shredded steak, provolone and grilled Vidalia onions on an Italian roll ($8.50 including fries). The menu also has sections devoted to spicy chicken wings and Grillshack Wedge Salads.
The owners of Chinatown restaurant in Green Hills, which has been getting positive reviews (including from the Scene) since an overhaul last year, have taken over the shuttered Lucky Bamboo restaurant space on Charlotte. They plan to reopen Lucky Bamboo in the next few weeks with dim sum service and an extensive menu of dim sum delights, something Nashville has been lacking for a while.
Details are still few, but we know the team aims to open the new Lucky Bamboo (which they are describing in an ad as "Your hot pot and dim sum H.Q.") sometime in December. And as of late last week, they were hiring, encouraging candidates to apply in person at the restaurant, 5855 Charlotte Pike, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Lucky Bamboo space is in the same retail strip that houses K&S World Market. The new owners are touting its banquet facilities, with the ability to serve up to 300 people.
This is promising news, indeed. Bites will keep you posted.
Yum! What's not to like?
Naturally, a few of us were a little squeamish about the whole concept, but we felt it was our civet doodie, er, civic duty to sample the coffee.
The upshot: Tasters were pretty unanimous in their praise for the coffee — bold and robust, but very smooth too, with virtually no acidic bite. The packaging materials included a description that mentioned hints of chocolate and caramel, which seems about right. And we were definitely wired to the gills before long. As one taster noted, the coffee produced a nice clean buzz, in the same way that high-end liquors do, compared to their cheaper counterparts.
It's worth noting that PETA and other animal rights groups claim that many kopi luwak beans are harvested from caged civets that are abused and force-fed. The packaging on the beans we used said they were harvested from the forest floor — but realistically, who can say for sure? Furthermore, I'm confident that everyone on our taste-testing team would tell you kopi luwak beans are not worth $120 for roughly half a pound. The price alone should keep your conscience clean.
Of course, as Steve Haruch posited, if a local, sustainable farm-to-cup civet bean movement were to take hold, all bets are off.
Excerpts from the lively, caffeine-fueled conversation follow. (Warning: If "civet doodie" had you rolling your eyes, there are far more egregious (and vulgar) puns ahead. Proceed at your own risk.)
Last year, I wrote about Tofurky’s parent company, Turtle Island Foods (still independent!) and their line of great vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives (most under the Tofurky brand name). This year, they’ve expanded their line to include some new convenience meals: “chick’n” pot pie, eggless quiche, and hot sandwich pockets.
They graciously sent me a sample of several of the new products to try out. I have to say, I was a bit dubious about a vegan pot pie. Not the filling so much, but the crust. Gotta have a rich, buttery crust on a pot pie; otherwise, what’s the point? But this pot pie (including the crust) was delicious. It was actually better than the pot pies I remember eating when I was a kid (and my husband agreed). I was hoping that my daughter (a picky eater) would like it, but once she finished the top crust and was just left with mostly filling, she pushed it aside. But we gladly finished it for her.
The quiche was also quite tasty. I’m not a big fan of really eggy quiches, so because this one is egg-free, I liked it quite a bit. But if eggy quiches are your preference, this version isn’t going to do much for you. The pockets were also quite good and easy to prepare. The pepperoni pizza (with an herbed crust) was my favorite. I didn’t even let my husband have the second pocket in the package. And I feel no remorse.
Now, just because these are vegan foods, don’t think they are “health food.” The pot pie has about as much fat and calories (and sodium) as a standard pot pie of a similar size. Which is why it tastes so good. The pockets, however, are definitely more diet-friendly, with each at 300 calories or fewer per pocket.
This NYC-based organization works to fight hunger worldwide, with programs like "Imagine There's No Hunger," a partnership with Yoko Ono Lennon, an annual Hungerthon auction and Bloggers without Borders, an international initiative to spread awareness about hunger issues. Hungerthon brings exclusive online auctions, social media activation and a live radiothon broadcast across the country on Dec. 5.
In fact, the first lots of the auction have already gone live at Charitybuzz.com and include some really unique items like a visit to the set of NFL Sunday and a Les Paul Gibson signed by members of Fleetwood Mac.
Nashvillian Martina McBride has kicked in two tickets and a meet-and-greet to her concert at the Prudential Center in March, where she'll be performing with George Strait. Now that's a valid reason to visit New Jersey!
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