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Golden Harvest Dinner

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
6 pm

The Grange at Green Door Gourmet
7011 River Road Pike
Nashville, TN 37209

Cost: $125 for James Beard members, $175 for non-members

Typically my calendar roundups are a listing of events that I’m planning to attend personally (or at least hopeful to). Unfortunately this upcoming James Beard Foundation dinner is one that doesn’t jive with my schedule, and after seeing photos of the space and the menu, I’m soooo sad I can’t make it! Alas, I’m sharing with you in hopes that some of you can go.

Green Door Gourmet, a farm in West Nashville, is hosting the Golden Harvest Dinner, a tribute to honey. “The Grange,” a new-ish upscale event barn on the farm, will be the site of the multi-course, multi-chef affair. Four chefs will create their own course, as well as contribute hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Check out the menu I’m dying over:

golden harvest dinner menu

For more details on the event visit the Green Door Gourmet website.  If you’d like to purchase tickets, simply call (615) 942-7169 or email info@greendoorgourmet.com

 

 

made-in-nashville-event

Made in Nashville

Saturday, September 14, 2013
11 am – 5 pm

Centennial Park Events Shelter
2500 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: FREE

Have I just been living under a rock that I’d never heard of the Made in Nashville festival before now? Apparently it’s an annual event. Benefiting Tennessee Literacy, it’s a “Celebration of all things local”, and it’s free to get in!

After spending several minutes on their website perusing photos from last year’s event, I’m sold. I’ll definitely be at Centennial Park on the 14th,  shopping, ordering from the food trucks, listening to some live music, and throwing back a few Jackalope brews.  For all the details, check out the Made in Nashville website or follow on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.

 

music-city-eats

Music City Eats Festival

Saturday & Sunday, September 21 & 22, 2013
See website for times

Public Square Park, Downtown Nashville

Cost: 2-day Pass $275, All-in Pass $500

I’ve already written about Music City Eats a couple of times before, but the event is quickly approaching and they recently released the full schedule and line up, so I thought I would remind you again just how AWESOME this is going to be!

A few of you have reached out with questions about the differences between a 2-day pass and an All-in pass, and I think the main site now does a good job of explaining it. Basically, the 2-day pass gets you into all of the daytime events both days. Flavors of Nashville is the name of the tasting/sampling session that runs from 11-4 on Saturday and 11-3 on Sunday.  A complete list of who will be featured each of those days can be  found here.

Celebrity chef demos and panel discussions will also be running simultaneously with Flavors of Nashville, so you can pick and choose what you do throughout the day.

With an All-in pass, you get access to the same daytime events as a 2-day pass, but in addition, the Saturday evening Harvest Dinner and Petty Fest .

To purchase tickets, or for more detailed information, visit the Music City Eats website.

 

Southern-artisan-cheese-festival

Southern Artisan Cheese Festival

Saturday, September 28, 2013
2:30 – 6 pm

Historic Neuhoff Building (Garage)
1315 Adams Street
Nashville, TN 37208

Cost: $45 (or $80 for VIP ticket)

With over 50 cheesemakers, food artisans and craft brewers sampling 150+ delicious products, the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival is nothing short of paradise.

Stinky cheeses, nutty cheeses. Hard and soft cheeses. It will quite likely be the widest assortment of cheese styles under one roof  that you’ve ever seen before. Add some cured meats, breads, crackers, pickles, preserves, jams, and chocolates, and you’ve got the makings of one fantastic party!

Stayed tuned tomorrow for even more details from me about the Southern Artisan Cheese Fest and a giveaway! In the meantime, you can visit southerncheesefest.com for more info and to purchase tickets.

 

This past year we’ve seen several new restaurants open here in Nashville, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In the coming months there are even more promising establishments on the horizon, several of which I’ve listed below. These are the ones I’ve heard the most about/am most interested by, but drop me a comment if you’ve got scoop on a great one that I’ve missed!

kitchen-at-404

The Kitchen at 404

404 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

Located next to The Station Inn in the Gulch, The Kitchen at 404 will be an intimate little restaurant that is a part of a small boutique hotel. Chef Matt Bolus, who moved here from Charleston a few years ago to work at Watermark before a stint at Flyte, will be the head chef.

I don’t have a lot of details on the concept, but I know what a great chef Matt is, so I have no doubt this new spot is going to be awesome. You can follow Matt on Twitter and maybe, just maybe, he’ll provide some inside scoop regarding the opening in the near future.

UPDATE: projected opening mid-October!

 

Burger Republic logo

Burger Republic (Gulch)

Pine Street Flats
1055 Pine St
Nashville, TN 37203

Over the past year I’ve heard lots of great things about Burger Republic in Lenox Village. I’ll be completely honest — while I’ve really wanted to try it, the thought of driving 25 minutes for a burger is not super appealing to me when I’ve got half dozen other great options 5 minutes from my house.

Good news though. In a few months that drive time will be greatly reduced as a new Burger Republic opens in the Pine Street Flats in the Gulch! (source says around Thanksgiving if all goes as planned) UPDATE: projected opening pushed to January 2014

Oh, and did I mention their boozy shakes? Yes, shakes spiked with alcohol. Maple Bourbon, Spiked Nutella, or a Strawberry Swirl Colada all sound like fantastic pairings for a big, juicy burger to me!

 

Saint Anejo

Photo of Saint Anejo’ rendering courtesy of Elizabeth Gatlin

Saint Anejo’

1120 McGavock St
Nashville, TN 37203

The M Street group – owners of Virago, Whiskey Kitchen, Tavern and Kayne Prime -  are adding to their empire over on McGavock Street with their newest venture, Saint Anejo’, a ‘comfortably cool’ cantina concept. Featuring Mexican cuisine and Latin mixology (rumor has it they’ll be bringing back some of Lime’s incredible cocktails!), Saint Anejo’ will be located next to Virago and in front of ‘The Rosewall’ Venue (also currently under construction).

They’re shooting for a mid-October opening, but you know how construction goes…we can at least expect it some time in the fall! For the full press release that includes more details, click here.

 

********************

As evidenced above, the Gulch is definitely booming with new business! In addition to the three I’ve listed above, don’t forget about Maneet Chauhan’s new restaurant that I told you about back in April. The Nashville Business Journal reported a few more details on it last week. Click here for that.

*********************

Josephine

 

Josephine

12South Flats
12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204

Just up the road a bit from the Gulch, the 12South area is getting a few new eateries too. The mixed-use development project 12South Flats will be home to the second Nashville Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams location as well as Josephine, a 130-seat full service restaurant by Burger Up owner Miranda Whitcomb Pontes.  Josephine will be open six days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

The expected completion of the 12South Flats project was originally end of summer (late August), but I’m not sure if that is still the case. Perhaps if you follow Josephine on 12th on Twitter, you’ll be the first to hear news of the opening.

UPDATE: projected opening November 2013

 

Epice

2902 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204

The old Clean Plate Club building on 12 South will soon be the new home of Epice, a Lebanese bistro. Epice is being opened by Maher Fawaz, the owner of Kalamata’s. Since Maher is Lebanese, there is promise of real Lebanese home cooking!

The space will seat approximately 38, serve wine and beer, and from reports, is scheduled to open some time this month.

UPDATE: As of early October, construction still happening. Will post opening date as soon as I have it!

 

Martins-BBQ-004

 

Martin’s BBQ Joint (Belmont)

3108 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212

It’s no secret that I’m a very big fan of Martin’s BBQ. I’ve written about it a couple of times, and publicly proclaimed my love for their smoked chicken wings with Alabama white sauce probably more than any other single food item in the state of Tennessee. I often tell people it’s worth the 20-30 minute drive to Nolensville from Nashville.

But hallelujah, I am not going to have to make that drive much more. That’s right. Come December, the building next door to Osborne’s Bi Rite on Belmont Boulevard will be the new home of Martin’s BBQ Joint! Their fourth location (Nolensville, Mt Juliet, and Morgantown WV are the others) will be within walking distance of my house. Walking distance people. I’m in trouble. Very big, happy trouble.

Projected opening early December

 

Pinewood-Social-Nashville

 

Pinewood Social

Trolley Barns at Rolling Mill Hill
33 Peabody St.
Nashville, TN 37210

This new establishment is definitely the most unique and perhaps the one I’m most excited about.

Ben and Max Goldberg, the brothers behind Nashville gems Catbird Seat and The Patterson House, are opening Pinewood Social in the Trolley Barns just up the hill from South Broadway some time later this year. The super talented Chef Josh Habiger actually left the Catbird Seat a few weeks ago to begin working on this new concept. Um, yeah. This is gonna be big.

While the menu of American diner food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night) may not sound so unique, I have a feeling they’ll be doing some fun things. The really interesting part of this space is the bowling alley. And the swimming pool. And karaoke. A little different dining experience than anything else in this town, don’t ya think?

Projected opening early December

SL Biscuits and Jam collage

Last Sunday a few friends and I (and my handsome little man) had such a fun evening at Biscuits and Jam at the Southern Living Idea House! The weather was beautiful, Holly Williams was incredible, and the biscuits were pretty darn tasty too.

If you haven’t had a chance to get out there for one of the shows, you really should! There are still two more left in the series. And if you missed my post will all of the details a couple of weeks ago, click over now to get the scoop.

Because I had such a great time, and want you all to be able to experience Biscuits and Jam too, I’m giving away more tickets! Southern Living has given me  5 sets of tickets for Sunday, August 18th and 5 sets for Sunday, August 25th. That means I’ll be choosing 10 more winners to receive a pair of tickets.

August 18thSarah Darling

August 25thDUGAS

Doors open at 5 pm and entertainment starts at 6 pm for all shows. If you aren’t one of the lucky winners this time around, you can purchase tickets on the Fontanel website for $15. (a steal if you ask me!)

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winners!

#37 Leah

   #49  Sue–anna

#46 Amy Williams

#3 Melanie Melcher

#29 Tabatha

#43 Elena

 #9 Jessie Johnson

 #17 Jess

 #52 Traci Wilbur

 #23 Katie

To enter, all you need to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me which show you’d like to see – Sarah or DUGAS. Or if you don’t care, and just want to relax and soak in the sights and sounds (and eat biscuits), tell me that!

Optional

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Live music + biscuits = happiness. Win tix to Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam at Fontanel from @betheats! http://bit.ly/16DSUmt” then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like Eat.Drink.Smile. on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on August 14th at 11:59 pm CDT. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the names here on the blog. The winners must respond within 24 hours. If I haven’t heard from them within that time frame, I’ll be forced to choose others, so be sure to check your email!

Note: I will do my best to accommodate the winners preferred dates when divvying up the tickets. However, first responders will get first dibs on which show they’d like to attend. There will be 5 winners for the August 18th show and 5 for the August 25th, so be sure to check your email early on Thursday morning and get back to me ASAP!

 

 

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 view from my room at the Westin in downtown St Louis

Last week I had a work trip to St Louis and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meals I experienced while there! I haven’t been to St Louis in years (probably 20?!?) and can’t say that I’ve ever read anything about their food scene or restaurants. I didn’t spend much time researching beforehand, but a quick tweet a couple of days before my visit rendered some good suggestions.

 

Olio-cocktail-st-louis

Gregorio’s Rx at Olio: white rum, honey, ginger, mint, lemon

First meal upon arrival was dinner on a Saturday night at Olio in a neighborhood called McRee Town. When I looked on the map, it didn’t seem too far away from my hotel. Of course, when you have a cab driver that has NO CLUE where he is going and asks you to be the navigator for a city you know absolutely nothing about….then yeah, it could take a few minutes.

A couple of wrong turns later (seriously, when I said turn right, he turned left. Worst cab driver ever. St Louis desperately needs UBER), we finally arrived safe and sound to the destination.

And after that cab ordeal I was ready for a cocktail! Thank goodness Olio has incredible ones. This is the kind of spot that I would frequent very, very often simply for cocktails and patio time if I lived in St Louis.

Roasted-Cauliflower-w-Tehini-Madras-Curry-Capers-Olio-St-Louis

Olio’s Roasted Cauliflower dressed in tehini with madras curry and capers

Not only were the cocktails fantastic, but the food was great too. Plus it was my favorite style of dining – small plates. My dining companion and I started at the bar with cocktails and hummus (with chopped nuts and smoked paprika) before moving out into the gorgeous night air on the patio.

Baby-Octopus-Salad-w-Chickpeas-Edamame-Olio-St-LouisBaby octopus salad with chickpeas and edamame at Olio

That’s when the feast began: roasted cauliflower with tehini and madras curry; burrata with black pepper, ajwain seeds and maple syrup; scallop ceviche; moroccan shredded carrot salad dressed in harissa and perfumed with orange blossom water. So many flavors!

olio patio st louis

Olio patio at night (from their FB page)

Olio

1634 Tower Grove Ave
St Louis, MO 63110
(314) 932-1088

 

rooster outside

Rooster (photo courtesy of their FB page)

After looking at the online menu, I went into Rooster thinking I was going to order a crepe. Crepes are their specialty, and they offer an extensive variety of breakfast crepes, savory crepes and sweet crepes. Yet, once seated, I found myself drawn to the “scrambles”, and one in particular.

 

 rooster-breakfast-scramble

Rooster breakfast scramble: eggs, potatoes, spinach, goat cheese, onions and tomato jam

I am not sorry that I didn’t order a crepe. This scramble was incredible. I don’t normally care for potatoes in much of anything, but I loved how these were thinly sliced and created almost a crust on the bottom of the dish. And that tomato jam? There isn’t an adjective that can adequately describe how I feel about it. Just wow.

Rooster

1104 Locust St
St Louis, MO 63101
(314) 241-8118

 Cheese-and-charcuterie-Bridge-St-Louis

Cheese and charcuterie at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar, St Louis

I went to Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar having no idea that it was part of the same restaurant group that owns Rooster. So basically I began and ended my day with tomato jam. Yes, Bridge also has tomato jam on their menu, and it’s the same tomato jam I had at Rooster for breakfast.

This time we got it as a side on our cheese and charcuterie board. My dining companions on this particular evening were not with me at breakfast, so it was fun to see their reaction after tasting it for the first time. They both felt exactly as I did – amazing.

 

Smoked-Duck-Tacos-Bridge-St-Louis

Bridge Tap House smoked duck tacos

 In fact, the entire meal was amazing. We were all blown away by how great everything was. We started with smoked paprika and sea salt popcorn, then moved on to the cheese board you see in the first pic. After that it was a flurry of small plates – roasted poblano and tomato mac & cheese; smoked duck tacos with jicama slaw, sesame cream and cilantro; braised pork belly on spicy polenta cakes with apple-fennel slaw and honey; squash stuffed with spinach, artichokes, goat cheese and asiago.

Gorgonzola Bacon Rosemary Bread Pudding Bridge St Louis

Gorgonzola bacon bread pudding at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar

Then last– the dish featured in the worst, most out of focus photo I’ve probably ever taken — the Gorgonzola Bacon Bread Pudding. I didn’t care how awful this picture was, I simply had to include it in the post because it was breathtakingly incredible. Gotta, gotta, gotta try to make this myself! Just heavenly.

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar

1004 Locust St
St Louis, MO 63101
(314) 241-8141

 

tomato art fest 2013 tomato

Tomato Art Fest

Saturday, August 10, 2013
10 am – 10 pm

I’ve lived in Nashville for 11 years. This year is the Tomato Art Fest’s 10th anniversary. It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit that in all of those years, I have not been to a single Tomato Art Fest.

However, for once, I’m in town and have the day free so as the plan currently stands, I’m going this year!

I’d love to be able to give you guys some tips and tricks on what is most important to see or do, but I clearly have no idea. This time I’m turning the tables and asking YOU for advice. What time should we plan to arrive? Where should we park? Any must-not-miss exhibits, vendors, etc?

I’m checking out the list of happenings on their website, and I’m fairly certain that with a kiddo in tow, it’ll be pretty difficult to do it all, so any advice you may have is greatly appreciated!

 

NFM Night Market

NFM Saturday Night Market

Saturday, August 17, 2013
5 – 8 pm

Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd

I just heard that for the first time ever, Nashville Farmers Market will be doing their popular Night Market on a Saturday this month. After receiving feedback from several vendors and customers that holding the events on Friday nights made lives a little hectic, they decided to test this Saturday night thing out. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I guess we’ll see how it goes…

My Saturday nights seem to be busier with weddings, supper clubs, parties, and other social events. And then, of course, you’ve got college football starting soon– that has to affect attendance, right? Well, it IS just a test, so time will tell!

 

2013 Bartender Bash

Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash

Thursday, August 22, 2013
6 – 8 pm

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
2100 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: $30 in advance; $40 at the door*

You’ve seen how much fun I’ve had at Bartender Bash in years past, and I have no doubt that this year I will have just as much (if not more). Yes, I’m thrilled to once again be judging the competition and can’t wait to see what drinks some of the best bartenders in town come up with!

As before, they’ll be competing to take home bragging rights for the Best (Belvedere) Martini and Most Creative Cocktail. In addition, everyone in attendance gets to put in a vote for “Fan Favorite”. The $30 entry into the event includes a Belvedere Martini, tastings from every bartender, and hors d’oeuvres from Mason’s.

*Take my advice and click here to get your tickets early because it tends to sell out in advance. I don’t want to see you turned away at the door on the night of!

Curious who these awesome bartenders are that will be competing? Well, here ya go:

Dennis Butler of 1808 Grille
Taylor Edwards of Tavern
Brian Busher of Virago
Faith Barnes of Hard Rock Cafe
Joshua Jackson of The Oak Bar
Doc Downs of Flyte World Dining
Nicholas Diel of Mason’s
Christian Todd of The Southern Steak & Oyster
Matt Zimmerman of The Palm
Annmarie Frenzell of {PUB}licity
Lauren Hawkins of Cabana

 

kids zone at riffs food truck jam

Kids Zone at Riffs Food Truck Jam, every Friday night in East Nashville

Riffs Food Truck Jam

Every Friday Night (until the weather turns cold)
6 – 10 pm

400 Main Street
Parking lot between 5th and Main condominiums

 

Last week on Twitter, I heard about the new(ish) Riffs Food Truck Jam, a family-friendly dining and music event happening every Friday in East Nashville. The sweet words that specifically caught my attention in those tweets? Kids Zone.

While it might seem silly that I chose to post a picture of the bouncy houses as my one visual for this event, it really is what fueled my curiosity. If you have kids, you understand this. If you don’t, you will some day!

In addition to the aforementioned entertainment for the kiddos, every week there will be at least 15 food trucks, live music, a Yazoo beer tent, and a full bar in the parking lot of 5th and Main condos. Set up sort of like tailgating, it’s probably a good idea to bring your own chairs.

The food trucks will rotate, so check the Riffs Facebook page each week to see who will be there on that particular Friday.

2243702_Biscu00101

 Photo Credit: Hector Sanchez/Southern Living

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the north side of Nashville at Fontanel the last few months. Not familiar with Fontanel? It’s the insanely huge (27,000 square feet) log cabin mansion that was built, owned and lived in by Barbara Mandrell and her family back in the day.

After Barbara and family moved several years ago, new owners took over and have turned the mansion into one of  Nashville’s top tourist attractions. And it’s not just a mansion any more. On the 136-acre Fontanel property, there are now zip lines, walking trails, disc golf, live music venues like the Woods Amphitheater, and my #1 reason for being out there – the Goo Goo Outpost.

Recently the latest and greatest attraction opened on site, the Southern Living Idea House.

Along with the opening of the Idea House came the Southern Living Biscuits and Jam concert series. Beginning in July, emerging country artists have been doing 60-75 minute acoustic performances in the courtyard every Sunday evening with the beautiful Tennessee hills as a backdrop.

 

2243702_Biscu00281

 Photo Credit: Hector Sanchez/Southern Living

As you may have guessed by the name, there is also a food element to these concerts. Yes, there really are biscuits and jam. And they’re free! The biscuits are Southern Living’s signature recipe and the jam is provided by Nashville’s very own Bathtub Gin.

In addition, there is plenty of other food and drink for sale. A $10 “plate” includes a sandwich (Ham & Cheese, Pimento Cheese, or Chicken Salad), chips, and a cookie. Beer, wine, water and soda are all available, as well as a yummy signature drink, the Honeysuckle Watermelon Cocktail.

 2243702_Biscu00044

 Photo Credit: Hector Sanchez/Southern Living

 

Though July has already passed, and I’ve missed what I’ve heard are spectacular performances by Nikki Lane, Jana Kramer, The Farm and Elizabeth Cook, there is still an entire month left to this series, and I’m planning to try to hit as many of the shows as I can! On the schedule for August are:

August 4th – Holly Williams

August 11th – Brett Eldredge

August 18thSarah Darling

August 25thDUGAS

Doors open at 5 pm and entertainment starts at 6 pm for all shows. Tickets can be purchased on the Fontanel website for $15. However…..you might just be able to go for FREE.

Southern Living has been so kind as to give me several tickets to give away to my readers! I have 5 sets of tickets for this Sunday, August 4th and 5 sets for Sunday, August 11th. That means I’ll be choosing 10 winners to receive a pair of tickets.

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winners!

#34 Tammy Taylor

#33 David Dawson

#1 Kelly

#24 Susannah

#38 Robert Jenkins

#22 Megan F

#14 Amanda

#41 Jess

#19 Sherri

#27 Shannon

 

All you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me which show you’d like to see – Holly or Brett. Or if you don’t care, and just want to hear some great music and eat some delicious biscuits, tell me that too!

Optional

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Live music. Great food. Win tickets from @betheats to Southern Living’s Biscuits and Jam at Fontanel! http://bit.ly/19v3Mbm” then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like Eat.Drink.Smile. on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Wednesday, July 31st at 11:59 pm CDT. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the names here on the blog. Because the first show is just days away, the winners must respond within 24 hours. If I haven’t heard from them within that time frame, I’ll be forced to choose others, so be sure to check your email!

Note: I will do my best to accommodate the winners preferred dates when divvying up the tickets. However, first responders will get first dibs on which show they’d like to attend. There will be 5 winners for the August 4th show and 5 for the August 11th, so be sure to check your email early on Thursday morning and get back to me ASAP!

 

music city eats logo

You may recall my excitement a few weeks back after attending a press conference for the inaugural Music City Eats Festival happening here in Nashville September 21st-22nd. Missed that post? Well check it out now for the scoop.

I’m fortunate to be working with Music City Eats as a local ambassador, sharing with them my food experiences and helping to spread the word about the event.

Last month on their blog, I offered up my picks for whiskeys/bourbons that would make great Father’s Day gifts. This month, I’m talking about the spots where you can typically find me eating brunch here in Nashville. At the end of this post, be sure to click the link taking you to the rest of my picks on the Music City Eats blog!

 

Fido brunch

Brunch at Fido in Hillsboro Village

Over the years, Fido has been mentioned here on the blog several times, but usually it’s to announce a special event or dinner they’re having. I haven’t really ever just talked about going there on a normal Saturday morning and having breakfast. Or brunch on a Sunday. Or lunch on a Tuesday. And that’s weird because I do that a lot. Like, in comparison to other places, a whole whole lot.

Sometimes the places that have been around the longest and I frequent the most often are taken for granted and that’s not fair, so today I’m giving this Hillsboro Village gem the attention it deserves!

 fido-grilled-salmon-spicy-kale-grits

Fido’s grilled salmon, spicy kale, stewed tomatoes, cheese grits, crispy onion and feta

 

Upon entry to Fido, you can’t miss the delicious aroma of locally roasted Bongo Java coffee, and while some people might think of Fido as just a coffee shop, it’s sooooo much more than that. While I pretty much always order one of their delicious coffee drinks, it’s the food that truly keeps me coming back time and time again.

Since the focus of this post is brunch, it’s probably a good idea that I let you know their breakfast menu is served all day long, every day, 7 days a week! And the breakfast menu options are extensive – egg scrambles, tortas, pancakes, bagel sandwiches, huevos rancheros & cubanos, just to name a few.

But as great as the menu is, I like to steer people toward the Daily Specials chalkboard that looms above the front counter, because in my opinion, that’s where magic happens. One delicious customer favorite that shows up quite often on the board is the Sweet Potato French Toast, served with maple, powdered sugar, caramel, pecans and whipped cream. For this one, you might want to get there fairly early (before 10?) because it can – and does  – sell out.

Fido-mac-n-cheese
 Fido’s Green Chile Mac & Cheese 
with sauteed local spinach, poblano sauce, jalapeno, feta, roasted red pepper

 

If you’re more of a savory brunch person, the grilled salmon on cheese grits is a personal fave that pops up on the board from time to time. Or, there’s always the burger.

A mixture of ground beef and lamb, topped with cheddar, caramelized fennel, fig aioli, fried onion, pickle and lettuce, Fido’s Local Burger is the best of the best. It got its start on that specials board, but has now been added to the permanent menu and is now served any time one’s heart desires it! (and for me, that’s often!)

 

1812 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 777-3436
Open 7 days a week – 7am11pm

 

Stone-Fox-Pineapple-Sage-Mimosa
Pineapple Sage Mimosa at The Stone Fox

 

While Fido has been around for many years, The Stone Fox is a relative newcomer on the Nashville dining scene. And actually, it’s not just a dining and drinking establishment – it’s also an awesome live music venue.

This little West Nashville establishment was started by the creative brother and sister team William (a full time musician) and Elise Tyler (founder of Halcyon Bike Shop and film producer). Their goal was to  create a homey gathering space for friends and neighbors, and they’ve done just that.

The funky decor of retro tables, mismatched dining chairs, velvet paintings, gold tinsel, and garlands of twinkle lights sets a playful tone and immediately puts one at ease.

Stone-Fox-Weekend-Waffle

Savory “Weekend Waffle” at The Stone Fox - prosciutto, mozzarella, bolognese, fresh herbs

While most music venues in town don’t put a lot of focus on their food, that’s certainly not the case at The Stone Fox. Here they utilize as many local ingredients as possible, and just one glance at the menu lets you know the dishes have been well thought out. It’s also nice to see that there is a good balance between healthy and some not-so-healthy breakfast dishes.

From fried chicken and waffles to the King Rabbit – a sauteed hash of seasonal vegetables, kale, sweet potatoes, onions and jalapenos – the regular menu boasts interesting options for the carnivore and vegetarian alike. Be sure to check out the specials as well, as there’s always some interesting dishes to be found there, like the savory weekend waffle pictured above.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out The Stone Fox yet, grab a friend and do so soon!

 

The Stone Fox
712 51st Ave N
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 953-1811

Brunch:
Saturday & Sunday 11am-3pm

 

Now hop over to the Music City Eats blog to see the rest of my brunch go-tos!

 

 

Urban-Belly-Dumplings

Duck and Pho Spiced Dumplings at Urbanbelly

Yes, there is a Part 2 to Monday’s Chicago post. That’s because I had two back-to-back trips to the Windy City, one in late May and the other in early June. Work turned me into a traveling fiend for a few weeks (including my trip to Atlanta for Food & Wine Festival), and although it was exhausting, I’m definitely not complaining about all of the incredible food I got to experience!

 

Urban-Belly-Short-Ribs

Urbanbelly Short Ribs with Scallions

Karl and Sarah of Nashville’s Biscuit Love truck are a bit addicted to Chicago’s Urbanbelly and for over a year, on each trip I took there, they recommended that I add it to my eating itinerary. Unfortunately, each time, it just never worked out.

But on my last visit, I arrived into the city early on a Sunday afternoon with a couple of hours to kill before I needed to be somewhere, so I decided it was time. I summoned Uber, and in the car on the way, tweeted to Karl asking him exactly what I needed to order. His response: #4, #9, #13, #16, #18.

Um, that’s sounds like a lot of food for one person! Sure enough, when I arrived at my destination and looked at the menu, it was more than I thought I’d be able to handle, so I narrowed it down to 3 of the 5.

 

Urban-Belly-wrinkle-beans

Urbanbelly Wrinkle Beans

A few minutes later, as I was waiting for my order to arrive at my table, my server brought me a bowl of short ribs, courtesy of the kitchen. Apparently someone at Urbanbelly figured I could handle 4 dishes instead of 3. They seem to know me better than I know myself, because I had no trouble polishing it all off!

 

Urban-Belly-13

Urbanbelly Rice Noodle: Hominy, Kimchi, and Spicy Pork Broth

I totally get why Karl and Sarah hit this spot every time they visit Chicago. In addition to the incredible food, they also have an awesome staff. If you find yourself at Urbanbelly any time in the near future, ask for Will and tell him that Beth from Nashville sent you!

 

Urbanbelly

3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 583-0500

 

Girl-Goat-Squash-Fritters

Girl and the Goat’s Squash Blossom Rangoon with crab, chive yogurt, toasted almonds

Another restaurant I’ve had good intentions of visiting for ages is Girl and the Goat. For as much as I loved Stephanie Izard during her season of Top Chef and for as many times as I’ve been to Chicago since the Girl and the Goat opened, you’d think I would have dined there by now. It really wasn’t for lack of trying. I’d attempted to get reservations on several occasions, but the only times available always seemed to be 5 pm or 11 pm. So each time, I just said, “oh well! I’ll try again on the next trip”. And then I would, and the same thing would happen.

Finally I decided to just take a chance on walking in the door without a reservation. I knew they allowed for some walk-ins, but had heard that the wait could be up to a couple of hours. Note: I’m not a person that likes to wait that long. However, because I had such a fantastic (and late in the day) lunch at Urbanbelly, I wasn’t dying of hunger, so figured I could tough it out.

 

Girl-Goat-Salmon-Strawberries

Wild King Salmon with braised peanuts, strawberry chimichurri, spiced beef, and shallot yogurt at Girl and the Goat

As luck would have it, we were able to get a seat in less time than it took us to finish even half of a cocktail!

After eating outrageous amounts of really oustanding food – wood grilled broccoli with smokey blue cheese, chickpea fritters with trumpet mushrooms, kona kampachi crudo (crispy pork belly with chili aioli & caperberries), squash blossom rangoon with crab & chive yogurt, wild king salmon  with braised peanuts & strawberry chimichurri, and pig face (yes, you read that correctly) – I am kicking myself for not making more of an attempt to get there before now.

Lesson learned. I will now risk a long wait and be a walk-in diner at super popular establishments, particularly this one. Long or short, it’s worth the wait.

 (PS – sorry these pics aren’t better. Again a case of bad lighting that even Photoshop couldn’t fix!)

Girl and the Goat

809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 492-6262