Meatless Monday: Dine at Cha Chah
Are some of you out there wondering what the heck these Meatless Monday posts are? Perhaps you’re a newish reader of my blog and missed my introduction to Meatless Monday last year. Or some of you may have just forgotten exactly what it is. If you fall into either of those categories, you might want to take a minute and go back to this short post that explains my participation in the movement.
Over the course of the last year and half since I’ve taken the pledge, I’ve been getting more creative in the kitchen, preparing meatless meals that are both delicious and satisfying, and then sharing the recipes with you. While I would love for all of you to take the Meatless Monday pledge, I’d understand if you needed to ease yourself into it. Maybe the best way to do that would be to order a vegetarian dish instead of the steak or chicken every now and then when dining out. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be on a Monday. The whole point of the movement is to decrease our meat consumption by 15%, so every little bit you do makes an impact- be it a Monday, Thursday, Saturday, whatever day!
So as I encourage you to go veg when dining out, I want you to know that I’m out there doing the same. And while I’ve encountered several meatless restaurant meals that were really terrific, there is but a short list of those that have really blown me away. Which is why I’m here today…to share with you a meal that just might be at the very top of that “blown me away” list.
Let me take you back to a Monday evening in late October, when I sampled my way through the fall menu at Cha Chah. Plate after plate arrived at our table, and although my belly swelled to an uncomfortable size, it didn’t stop me from taking at least a bite (or two) of every fabulous dish. I left the restaurant that night completely stuffed, yet at the same time, counting the days until my next visit and the moment those flavors would tingle my taste buds again. What food could possibly leave me in this state?
For starters, this creamy bisque is beyond perfection. It warms your soul, comforts you, and at the same time tickles you with interesting flavors.
Curried Carrot Bisque
Coconut Milk, Cilantro Oil, Crispy Shallots, Mint
When I say that I am utterly enamored with this next dish, it is not an exaggeration. In fact, it is probably an understatement. In a 4 week span of time, I’ve eaten it 3 times. In the next 4 weeks I may even eat it 3 more times. That’s how incredible it is. Let me further explain that I rarely order the same entree twice when I go back to a restaurant, but this is an exception. Now I can’t imagine stepping foot in Cha Chah without ordering it!
Local Feta, Curried Vegetable Barigoule*, Tatziki
*translation: artichoke, eggplant, red onion, cauliflower, tomato & red pepper jam w/ harissa spice, cilantro, lotus root, zucchini & cucumber tatziki
I wish that I had a better photo to share with you, because the beauty of it is definitely not captured here. The vibrant colors reflect all of the vibrant flavors. SO MUCH FLAVOR. Oh my gosh, I can’t even explain. Love. Love. Love.
And it doesn’t end there. No sirree. You can cap off your meal with what is perhaps the best dessert in Nashville at the moment. The Pumpkin Crema Catalonia is a pumpkin creme brulee with maple whipped goat cheese and pepitas sprinkled on top. Swoon. Unfortunately, it was devoured so quickly both times it was placed on the table that I didn’t get a photo of it, but hopefully that only adds to the intrigue and will prompt you to get in there and order it yourself!
Funny side note regarding this dessert: As I sit here typing this blog post, I’m simultaneously on Twitter. One of my fellow Tweeters, CarrieFWeir, just happened to tweet the following-
“Dear @arnoldmyint the creme brulee with goat cheese whipped cream at Cha Chah is what dessert should be. Gracias!”
Of course I had to chime in with my wholehearted agreement and mentioned that I was, in fact, at that very moment, writing about it. Her response back to me further expanding on her dessert experience was so awesome that I just had to share-
“Totally! All our eyes rolled back in our heads and we screamed OMG! I nearly took off my top. LOL”
How’s that for a glowing endorsement?! Okay, so she may have been exagerrating about taking her top off, but I think you get the picture!
In addition to bringing you meatless recipes each month, I’ll also do my best in pointing you toward incredible restaurant dishes like these, dishes so intensely flavorful and filling that you’ll never miss the meat. Now, what are you waiting for? Call Cha Chah for a reservation and order all of the above once you’re there. You can thank me later.