Taste of Nashville
Friday, November 7th, 2014
7 pm – 1 am
601 4th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203
Cost: $65 general admission; $100 VIP
There are so many food events and festivals these days that it’s hard to decide which ones to go to. Personally, I think this one should be on your “must” list!
Taste of Nashville, hosted by the The Phoenix Club and benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee and Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, is a gathering of some of the best restaurants, food purveyors, bars and beverage creators that our fine city has to offer.
Seriously, when I see names like Etch, Sinema, Biscuit Love, Moto, Union Common, Acme Feed & Seed, Silo, Treehouse, and Martin’s BBQ on the list, I have no doubt that it’s going to be good! And that’s not even a fraction of the vendors that will be in attendance. To see the full list, click here.
To purchase tickets, visit the Evenbrite ticketing page. But before you go and do that, perhaps you’d like to try your luck at winning a pair of tickets to the event?
I’ve got not just one, but two sets of tickets to give away to next week’s Taste of Nashville!
~ Contest Closed ~
And the winners are…..
#65 Sarah Woodruff
To enter, all you have to do is this:
1. Leave a comment telling me which of the restaurants/bars you’re most excited to try at the event.
For an additional entry, you can do the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for this entry.
2. Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Next Friday is @TasteofNash and @betheats has tickets to give away! http://bit.ly/1zEDvoz ”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
Contest ends on Saturday, November 1st at noon CDT. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the names here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose others, so be sure to check your email!
As many of you know, we’ve got a pretty active food blogger community here in Nashville. When my friends Lindsay, Leah and I decided to create an organized group a few years ago, there were only about 20 of us that we knew of. Since Nashville Food Bloggers was born, we’ve grown to over 100 members! It has been such a great experience getting to know many of the bloggers, and I’m continually impressed with how talented many of them are.
Which leads me here. There is one newer member of our group that I haven’t had a chance to meet personally yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to the day I do. Caitlin Weeks, aka Grass Fed Girl, is a native of Nashville, and currently splits her time between here and San Francisco. She and her husband (who is a professional chef), just wrote a cookbook with Certified Nutrition Consultant and New York Times bestelling author Diane Sanfilippo.
They will be discussing and signing Mediterranean Paleo Cooking in Cool Springs tomorrow, which is also the first day the book is available for purchase!
Authors Caitlin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar, and Diane Sanfilippo
Discussion and Signing of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking
Tuesday, October 28th at 7 pm
Barnes and Noble – Cool Springs
1701 Mallory Ln, Brentwood, TN 37027
Caitlin sent me a review copy, so I’ve been devouring the book for the past few days. As you can see from the photo below, I’ve already marked several recipes that I can’t wait to try!
While I don’t follow a paleo diet*, I do like the concept. Personally, I feel better when I eliminate processed foods, grains and refined sweeteners from my diet, so even if I don’t go at it hard core, I do like to eat that way as much as possible. After seeing all of these interesting recipes, who knows? Maybe I will go all in! Do any of you follow a Paleo plan? Would love to know your thoughts if you’re tried it.
For more information on the signing, click here. To see a preview of the book, click here.
*Paleo Diet: a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.
We all know that Nashville’s culinary scene is exploding, and I’m thrilled that my favorite food magazine, Bon Appétit, has noticed too!
This year Bon Appétit is bringing their very popular Grub Crawl to our fair city… and it’s happening THIS weekend! Tickets to the crawl have been sold out for months, but guess who has a pair of them to give away!?!?!
That’s right. I was able to get my hands on 2 tickets that one of you lovely people get to use for the first crawl of the day that begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. (pssst, I’ll be on this crawl too!)
You’ll have the opportunity to stop at several restaurants, meet the chefs and masterminds behind the food & beverages at each of the stops, and of course, eat and drink along the way. The tickets grant you access to the Closing Party at 9pm at Rosewall as well.
The stops for this particular crawl include (if you want more details, click here)-
11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
11 a.m. – begin at Pinewood Social
Robert’s Western World
9 p.m. Closing party at Rosewall
At the closing party, you’ll enjoy live music + food & drinks by Kayne Prime, The Rosewall, Virago, 404 Kitchen, The Sutler, and Urban Grub.
~ Contest Closed ~
And the winner is…..
To enter, all you have to do is this:
1. Leave a comment telling me which of the restaurants/bars on the crawl you’re most excited to visit and learn more about.
For an additional entry, you can do the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for this entry.
2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet “The Nashville @bonappetit grub crawl is this Saturday & @betheats has tickets to give away! http://bit.ly/1uG44l6 ”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
There’s a short entry window for this one, so hurry and get your comment in. Contest ends on Thursday, October 23rd at 5 p.m. CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 24 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!
Yep, that’s a boot wall.
There are so many new spots opening in Nashville these days, it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Slowly but surely I’m attempting to visit all of the best ones so I can report back on my favorites.
One that I wasn’t so slow to check out for the first time was The Sutler. In fact, I was there having a cocktail on the very first day, at the very first minute their doors opened to the public in early September. Yep, I was a little excited about it.
Years ago I frequented The Sutler when it was what I considered a dive bar on 8th Avenue. Originally opened in 1976 (I may be old, but that definitely wasn’t the year I was hanging out there), the spot was a music venue/restaurant/bar, and a beloved hangout for local musicians. When it closed in 2005, many mourned. I’m sure they’re now doing a happy dance since owners Austin Ray (ML Rose) and Joe Parkes Jr have resurrected a re-imagined version of the original.
With more than 8,000 square feet of space on two levels in the historic Melrose theater building, there’s a little something for everyone.
A dark, cozy space with a multitude of seating areas – there’s even one with a fireplace! – their “cellar” is likely where you’ll often find me holed up sipping cocktails this winter.
The Cellar at The Sutler
The upstairs bar is brighter, louder (in a good way) and livelier. With a stage at the front of the room, and roomful of tables, it’s a prime spot for not only drinking and socializing, but also dining.
Chef Nick Seabergh has built a fantastic menu around a hickory smoker and wood-fired grill. There are a lot of decadent items great for soaking up all the booze, but there are also a few lighter options if you’re not in the mood to indulge. Or you can do what I did on a recent visit and create a perfectly balanced meal of spicy fried chicken and healthy veggies.
The Sutler’s Veggies Grilled, Veggies Raw, and Nashville Hot Nuggets
The “Nashville Hot Nuggets” are buttermilk battered chicken thighs, livers, and gizzards served on texas toast with Alabama white sauce. This girl LOVES chicken gizzards and AL white sauce, so when I saw those listed, I certainly couldn’t pass it up. Add to that a plate of the “Veggies Grilled” with a pimento-thyme gastrique, and “Veggies Raw” with whipped herb chevre, and the meal was complete.
I absolutely adore the raw vegetable preparation- probably one of the most impressive vegetable dishes I’ve had. Will certainly be ordering it again and again.
Veggies Raw at The Sutler
In addition to the regular menu, just this weekend The Sutler introduced “Grass Fed Sundays”. Each Sunday from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m., there will be family-style rotating dinner with drink specials and live bluegrass music. Designed to feed four to six people, each supper will feature a main dish and three sides for a set price.
This past Sunday, my little family and some friends feasted on Tennessee Hickory Smoked “Beast” Loaf (fresh ground pork shoulder and beef wrapped in bacon), caramelized brussels sprouts, loaded mac & cheese, and pork fat fries. Yes, I know. I definitely was not counting calories at that meal.
If you’ve got young ones, you know it’s not easy to go out often, so this Sunday supper is a great option that the whole family can enjoy. As you can see, the kiddos (and the adults) were pretty impressed with the action on the stage!
Tired of hearing me ramble on about it and just want to go try it for yourself? Well, here’s your chance to do so for free! I’ve got a Sutler dinner for TWO* to give away!
To enter, all you have to do is this:
1. Leave a comment telling me if you’d ever been to the old Sutler, and a memory from those days – OR – if you’ve recently checked out the new Suttler, what you love most about. Haven’t been to the old or the new? No problem. Just let me know how much you really want to go!
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 The Sutler on Twitter (@thesutler) and tweet “I want to win dinner for 2 at @thesutler from @betheats! Don’t you? http://bit.ly/1vw0cZn”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
3. Like The Sutler 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 Sunday, October 19th at noon CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!
*Gift card, $75 value
2600 Franklin Pike #109
Nashville, TN 37204
Open Daily 4:30 pm – Late
Some of you may already be familiar with Juice Bar in Brentwood. I know I’d heard great things for a few months before I actually had a chance to get down there and check it out for myself.
Back in the summer when I was traveling a lot and eating rather poorly, I started to feel really run down. I knew it was time to do something to gain back a little energy, so when they offered to let me try their 3-day cleanse, I jumped at the chance. It was just what I needed to reboot!
Since Brentwood is a bit of a haul for me, I was pretty excited to learn that they would soon be opening a new location in Berry Hill, much closer to my own neck of the woods. It took longer than planned (what construction doesn’t?), but I’m happy to announce that Juice Bar Berry Hill is now open for business.
While I love a good juice cleanse, I know it’s not for everyone, so I want to make sure to point out that Juice Bar offers much more than juice cleanses (but if you’re interested in learning more on those, this link will provide the what’s and how’s).
Last week when I visited the new Berry Hill shop, I got to sample lots of goodies including a quinoa salad, kale chips, spring rolls, ginger shots, and smoothies. A couple of my favorite smoothies were the Mint to Be (mint, mango, pineapple, coconut milk, apple juice) and the Smooth Beet (beets, carrots, apples, pineapple, lemon, ginger, mint). I’ve actually been craving a Mint to Be for two days now, so I need to get back over there soon to satisfy this craving!
Considered an “express” location, there isn’t a lot of seating, but it’s perfect for grabbing a healthy bite to eat on the run. Which, if you’re anything like me, is awesome because rarely do I have time to sit down and eat a real meal in the middle of the day. Sadly, I often skip lunch altogether, which I know is a terrible thing to do. I’m looking forward to changing that bad habit by stopping into Juice Bar and filling my body full of nutrients in just a few short minutes.
For those of you not near Brentwood or Berry Hill, keep your ears open, as more Juice Bar locations are coming soon… Germantown and Franklin on the horizon!
522 Heather Place
Nashville, TN 37204
M-F – 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sat – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Sun – closed
I could spend days writing this blog post. Not kidding. DAYS. Our town’s 2nd Music City Food + Wine Festival has come and gone, and it was a doozy.
As I sat here going through all of my photos, it hit me hard how much I love Nashville and more specifically, our food community. This past weekend was absolutely incredible. My heart and my belly were filled as I got to eat delicious things, listen to incredible music, meet interesting new people, and spend quality time with dear friends I don’t get to see nearly enough of.
I love my life. And I love this festival.
Unfortunately, I don’t have days to spend writing, so while I can’t explain every single thing that made this weekend amazing, I’m giving you my thoughts on what was the best of the best – the food, the drink, the moments.
Day 1 – Grand Taste
One of the first bites I had when I came through the entrance was from Otaku South. That dish stayed on my mind all day long. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m still thinking about it! Tantan Mazeman – thick style noodle, sesame, chili sauce, dashi, chili oil and cured egg yolk – absolutely one of my top 3 favorites of the day.
The other two dishes that made up my Top 3?
Moto’s Housemade Burrata and heirloom tomato panzanella and Sinema’s Duck, Duck, Dumpling – frisee, butternut squash, whipped goat cheese, duck confit, and curried French style gnocchi. Both amazing.
Those may have been my Top 3, but there were a few others that I loved as well.
Biscuit Love’s 3-year-aged country ham with beaten biscuits and jam. As you can see, the ham was cut from a leg right there on the table. I may have gone by a couple of times (3, 4, 5 – who’s counting?) to nibble on the ham remnants. Hey, I love country ham. I grew up in a town that hosts the Country Ham Festival every year. It’s in my DNA.
Just in case you’re wondering, I did more than just eat at the festival. I learned to play harmonica too!
Moving on to the sweet side of things, Lisa Donovan’s (Husk) Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding with Smoked Cocoa Nib Brittle was absolutely delicious.
And this one? Well, it was pure insanity. My mind was blown and I deemed the Catbird Seat contribution to the event the ‘Best in Show’. What looked like a wheelbarrow full of potatoes and dirt turned out to be an amazing cream filled pastry with cocoa nibs (dirt)!
The Grand Taste tents at Public Square Park during the day is where the Nashville chefs show off their culinary skills, but Saturday night’s Harvest Dinner is where the out of town chefs have a chance to shine.
Held at the Walk of Fame Park behind the downtown Hilton, the lawn was set with 15 individual sampling stations for each chef, which meant lining up for each taste. A couple of the lines were so long, I just wasn’t willing to wait (sorry Tyler Florence & Morimoto), but for the most part they moved fairly quickly.
My favorites from Harvest Night (I’d definitely be willing to wait in line for a second helping of these!):
Amanda Freitag’s Falafel
Ashley Christensen’s Pimento Cheese grits, succotash, and fried okra
Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s Porchetta with Brussels Sprouts
Levon Wallace’s BBQ Manchester Farms Quail, Berbere, Watermelon Confit, Cruze Buttermilk
Mike Lata’s braised grilled squid, burnt eggplant puree and paprika
After eating my way through most of the stations, I was exhausted and starting to lose steam, so I plopped myself on the grass to listen to the entertainment. Just a few of the performers for the evening: Kings of Leon, Michael McDonald, Charles Kelley, Hunter Hayes, Ashley Monroe, Moon Taxi…
Sitting in the cool grass with the lights of the city and good friends around me, I had another “I love Nashville. I love my life.” moment. Happy times.
Day 2 – Grand Taste
First thing on the agenda for Day 2 of the festival was to get caffeinated. Day 1 was a long day, and we needed a boost! Luckily, Switter’s bottled iced coffee was there, so I pretty much guzzled it* for the first couple of hours. Let me tell you, this stuff is really, really fantastic!
Made with 8th and Roast beans, it’s currently sold at Whole Foods, Produce Place, Mitchell Delicatessen and a few other local markets, as well as on tap at some restaurants (and more to come soon). Search it out!
*there may have also been a little Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream added….
Caffeine secured, so naturally, hot chicken was our next stop. While Hattie B’s had a table full of mini hot chicken sandwiches, I wasn’t really in the mood for a sandwich, so I asked the chef if I could just get a piece of chicken sans bread. His response was to pull out a giant ziploc bag full of hot chicken skins.
How did he know the way to my heart??? After multiple trips back to that table throughout the day to secure more, I finally suggested that they start selling them by the bag in the restaurant. It would certainly be my new #1 snack food.
Other top picks for Day 2:
Sinema’s Cardamom Sugar Crusted French Toast with mulled wine poached pear, and whipped farm cheese. (Wow. Fingers crossed that this or at least something very similar will be on their new brunch menu when it launches!)
404 Kitchen’s cornbread with pickled cherries, trampetti olive oil and Hungarian white honey truffles
Mangia’s Porchetta on Focaccia
Well, there you have it. My “best of the best” list for Music City Food + Wine 2014. For those of you that were there, I’d love to hear what your favorites were! And for those that didn’t attend, start saving your change now, because you need to be there next year!
Esane Sausgae at Thai Esane
There aren’t many restaurants that I visit on a regular basis these days because, well, there are so many new restaurants to try in Nashville. But, Thai Esane is an exception. I’ve been there more than any other dining spot in the past couple of months because it’s too good not to go back to.
Opened in June at the far end of 12 South almost to the Gulch, Thai Esane has become a popular lunch spot for many of my food blogger/writer and social media friends. In fact, it’s rare that a day goes by that I don’t see someone posting on Twitter or Instagram about their meal there. And it’s all praise!
Thai Esane’s Steamed Dumplings
Nina Sayasack, the proprietor, was already known to fans of the popular King Market in Antioch, her family’s Thai Laotian cafe. When word began to spread that she was opening a place on 12 South, excitement commenced, and for good reason.
The menu at Thai Esane is huge, so it’s going to take a while to eat my way through it. Luckily I have a couple of friends that have done a great job of pointing out the best of the best. Vivek and Tabitha have both been dining partners of mine at the restaurant, and they’ve both eaten there much more than I even have, so they’re experts on the offerings. Be sure to check out their posts found here and here. (Vivek’s write up includes several ethnic eateries in Nashville. You’ll find Thai Esane if you scroll down a bit)
Papaya Salad at Thai Esane
That said, I’m sharing some pics of what I’ve found to be a few of my personal favorites so far. I love dumplings, and so I often like to start the meal with an order of the steamed dumplings, a wonton stuffed full of chicken, mushrooms, celery, carrots, cabbage and onions. The Papaya salad is also a great, light, refreshing starter to share.
Vivek turned me on to the Esane sausage, which is made with ground pork, lemongrass, onions, and ginger. Served with rice and sauce for dipping, I suggest getting an order to split with the rest of your table.
Thai Esane’s Tiger Tear Salad
My favorite dish, probably partly because it has been so darn hot lately, is the Tiger Tear salad. Made up of thin sliced beef in lime juice, fish sauce, onions, jalapenos, peppers, carrots and herbs, it’s perfectly refreshing and light (though filling!) on a warm day.
The larb (no photo of this one) is also another cold salad that’s great. It’s minced meat (I prefer pork) mixed with red onion, cilantro, green onions, chiles, lime juice and rice powder. (Side note: I order “medium” on all of my dishes at Thai Esane. I love spicy food, but their “hot” is a bit too much for me. Medium gives a pleasing heat that doesn’t overwhelm any of the flavors of the dishes.)
Thai Esane’s Kao Soi: flat thick rice noodles in tomato base with lettuce, beansprouts, cilantro and green onion (add your choice of meat)
Now, the opposite of the cooler, light options on the menu — the bowls of steaming hot soups. The last time I ate here I was with both Tabitha and Vivek. It was 90+ degrees outside, but they both ordered soup! Before then, I hadn’t tried any soups because that’s not really something I think about eating in the summer. When they both did this, I knew there must be something really special about these soups!
I got to sample Tabitha’s chicken noodle (WAY beyond typical chicken noodle) and Vivek’s kao soi, and I’ll say, I cannot wait for it to get colder because these soups will be a staple in my winter diet!
When I was leaving Thai Esane on my last visit, I was thrilled to hear Nina say they were starting delivery service. Deliveries are now up and running, so if you live within a 3 mile radius of their location, you can have all of this deliciousness delivered right to your front door. There is a minimum purchase of $25 and a $5 delivery charge, but I promise, it’s totally worth it!
907 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
M – Thurs 11 – 9
Fri – Sat 11 – 10:30
Sunday – closed
Taste of Tennessee
September 5th-7th, 2014
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
625 Smith Ave
Nashville, TN 37204
Craft beer, artisan spirits, and plenty of food and local goods will all be showcased during the Taste of Tennessee at the Tennessee State Fair this weekend. There’s so much to tell you about that I’m just going to point you toward the TN State Fair website because they’ve already done it better than I can!
Except I will fill you in on some additional details of the Music City Cookoff because I’m playing a small part in it! I’ll be a judge for the dessert round in this Super Regional competition of the World Food Championships.
Goo Goo Cluster is the title sponsor of this event, and as a part of that sponsorship, the competitors will be tasked with using Goo Goo Clusters as an ingredient in whatever their creation may be. You better believe I’m looking forward to sampling the entries!
As of right now, there are still a few spots open for home cooks, chefs, and food professionals that want to test their skills and try to make it to Las Vegas to the BIG World Food Championship in November. For more information, visit the Music City Cookoff website.
Gray’s Mix & Mingle
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Gray’s on Main – Society Level
332 Main Street
Franklin, TN 37064
Cost: $40 in advance ($45 at the door)
Back in March when I wrote about Gray’s on Main, I mentioned that they were starting to host cocktail classes. I haven’t had a chance to get to one yet, but I’m hopefully that will finally change and I can make it to next week’s where Jon Yeager will be teaching guests how to make the Sac + Lavender and the Brandy Crusta. (There will even be an option to purchase a bottle of Gray’s housemade lavender bitters).
Only 20 spots are available for the class, so call in advance to reserve your spot: (615) 435-3603. Price includes light appetizers, the class, and a few cocktails.
Eat Green for Tennessee
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Plan to go out to eat on September 17th. Specifically, plan to go out to eat at one of these 25 local Nashville area restaurants:
The Capitol Grille, City House, Rolf & Daughters, Arnold’s, Pub5, Miel, Merchant’s, Paradise Park, M.L. Rose (both locations: Charlotte + 8Th Ave.), The 404 Kitchen, Yazoo Brewery, The Stone Fox, The 12 South Tap Room, Las Paletas, Sinema, Chago’s Cantina, 360 Bistro, Gray’s on Main, Frothy Monkey (all locations: Franklin, 12 South, Downtown, 8th Ave @ Grimey’s), Lockeland Table, Two Ten Jack, Porter Road Butchers (both locations: East Nashville + Charlotte Ave. West), Bagel Face Bakery, The Perch (both locations: Green Hills + Brentwood)
Why? Because a percentage of your check will go to The Land Trust for Tennessee, to support their work protecting local farms and our beautiful state’s natural landscapes! For more information, visit the Land Trust website
Music City Food + Wine
Saturday & Sunday, September 20th & 21st, 2014
See website for times
Public Square Park, Downtown Nashville
Cost: 1-day Pass $150, All-in 2 day Pass $500, Harvest Night Only $275
Last, but certainly not least, Music City Food + Wine is happening this month!!! Last year I wrote a lot about this event (called Music City Eats then) but the best post to read out of all of them would be my recap.
For this year’s full schedule, click here and to see what talent (celebrities!) to expect, click here. Celebrity chef demos and panel discussions will be running simultaneously with Grand Taste, so you can pick and choose what you do throughout the day. This is going to be awesome you guys, and I hope to see some of you there!
To purchase tickets, or for more detailed information, visit the Music City Food + Wine website.