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 Pour Over Night cocktail at Steadfast Commons
Steadfast coffee liqueur, pisco, and heavy cream

 

Up until now, there has only been one spot in town where I’ve been able to satisfy my coffee addiction, my cocktail needs, and have a business meeting all at once — Pinewood Social. A few years ago I discovered my love of coffee cocktails (I think perhaps The Patterson House was where it all began), but it was difficult to find them on menus. Believe me, I tried. The fact that Pinewood has at least two coffee cocktails on the menu at all times is enough to keep me coming back again and again.

But now I’m happy to announce that there’s a new option that satisfies all of my needs and I’m obsessed! When I heard about Steadfast Coffee‘s plans to open a new spot downtown that served coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND cocktails, I was over the moon excited.

 

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Steadfast Commons dining area
photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton Steinwedell

 

Already a big fan of the original Steadfast Coffee in Germantown, I could not believe my luck that their new place was opening in the bottom floor of the Encore building at the corner of Demonbreun and 3rd Avenue South.

This is less than a block from my part-time office! It takes me 2 minutes to walk there. TWO minutes!!!

 

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Samples of Celeriac Salad at Steadfast Commons
apple, celery, pecans, cheddar, olive oil and lemon juice
photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton Steinwedell

 

The new Steadfast Commons is a 60-seat coffee shop, restaurant and cocktail bar that is open 7 days a week from the morning hours until late night, and I’ve already been in a few times since it opened a month ago.

My first visit was in late January for a media preview of the menu, so I was able to sample several food and drink items. Since then, I’ve been in on my own for coffee, lunch and cocktails. In fact, I’m planning to go there again today for lunch (and likely sneak in a midday cocktail).
 
The menu features Steadfast roasts (more on that in a moment), teas, pastries and lunch items during the day, and then in the evening transitions to a dinner and cocktail-focused menu. Some of my favorite food items are the Celeriac Salad, Roasted Fall Vegetables, Duck (dinner) and the Savory Porridge, which is creamy polenta with confit mushrooms, ricotta, spinach and garlic + a poached farm egg. Sooo good.

 

 

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photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton Steinwedell

 

So who’s behind this fantastic new concept and one of my favorite coffee spots in town? Three coffee-industry friends: Nathanael Mehrens, Sean Stewart and Jamie Cunningham. In June 2015, the trio opened their first brick-and-mortar, Steadfast Coffee, in Germantown. Immediately I became enamored with their coffee soda and have since spent many hours there working and getting caffeinated up.

In September, they launched their roasting company, where they craft seven single origin coffees and one decaf. These roasts are served at their Steadfast locations, and in my opinion, is some of the absolute best coffee I’ve had.

 

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 Venn diagram in Steadfast Commons menu used to illustrate how the cocktail flavors are balanced. Genius!

 

They had the coffee part perfected, but when it came time to work on the bar offerings for Steadfast Commons, they enlisted cocktail consultant Troy Sidle, a veteran of the Chicago and NYC cocktail scenes (Pouring Ribbons, The Violet Hour), to help design a unique libattions menu. Wow you guys. I am seriously blown away by this cocktail program!

After visiting a couple of times on my own, I decided I had to take my husband there to try it out because he appreciates a good drink as much as I do. For our Valentine’s Day date that wasn’t on Valentine’s Day (because I refuse to go out ON V-day), we bellied up to the bar and knocked back a few. Truly there was not a single cocktail that we didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

There are still LOTS left to conquer on the menu though, as they have a pretty extensive offering. No worries. I have no problem taking it upon myself to continue the ‘research’. Conquer I will.

 

 

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The Wolfpack Coffee Cocktail at Steadfast Commons
Matchless Coffee Soda, Ramozzotti, mint, orange peel, nutmeg

 

I’m almost a little hesitant to hit publish on this post, because I kind of like that this place feels like my own little secret right now. I have absolutely no doubt that before long it will become a top destination in Nashville and start showing up on all the lists. In the meantime, I’ll get in as many visits as I can before there’s a line out the door I have to contend with.

I suggest you do the same.

 

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 photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton Steinwedell

 

 

Steadfast Commons

299 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN 37201

Hours
M – F 7 am – 3 pm; 5pm – 1 am
Sat 8 am – 3 pm; 5 pm – 1 am
Sun 8 am – 3 pm; 5 pm – midnight

Butcher-and-Bee-Nashville

photo from Butcher & Bee Facebook page

 

First, let me say that if you’re on my email list, I’m sorry you’re seeing this lovely photo and title for the second time in less than 24 hours. Late last night I started writing this post and somehow managed to completely screw up and publish the draft. And not just that, but I deleted much of what I had written before publishing (including photos) plus completely botched a copy and paste. And no, I had not been drinking!

Long story, but in an attempt to copy my own personal comments I’d left on my friend Lesley’s post over on Bites, I accidentally copied way more than that, and when deleting the excess, I think I hit a series of shortcut keys that published. Ugh. Who knows? Dang technology. So, long story short, you got a little excerpt of Lesley’s First Bite: Butcher & Bee experience if you received that email last night! Be sure to hop over to Bites to read all that she had to say, plus the comments that others left there, because it definitely could aid you in ordering when you visit Butcher & Bee.

 

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YOU GOTTA BURRATA at Butcher & Bee, Nashville
Blood orange, peanut granola, grapefruit, sesame vin

 

Now, to tell you about my experiences! I’ve eaten at Butcher and Bee five times in five weeks (it has been open about 7 weeks) and I’m heading there again for dinner later this week. I think you could say I like it.

I’ve tried over a dozen dishes from the menu at this point, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed almost every single thing I’ve eaten. Of course, there are a few dishes that I’ve repeated ordering on each visit, and some that I’ve ordered two of in one sitting. (Hello kale salad, fire roasted carrots and blistered leeks!) Surprisingly, almost everything has been vegetarian! You know I’m a meat eater, but I do greatly appreciate vegetables done right, and Butcher & Bee is doing just that.

 

butcher-and-bee-kale-salad

KALE SLAW FTW
Peanuts, benne, soy

photo from Butcher & Bee Nashville Instagram

 

They also have their menu set up in just the way I like to eat… small plates to share. I always go for the 4 Mezzes to start for $16, then add larger plates until I can’t eat any more. If there are 4 of you dining, you’re probably going to want to order several more things from other sections of the menu. If there are only two of you, you could probably get away with ordering just a couple more items from the “fun stuff” category. There is a “sandwiches” section too, but I can’t really speak to those since I’ve only tried one and can’t say that I would recommend.

You know I’m not one to talk much about things I don’t like, but I guess I’ll put this out there and then you can make your own choices. Apparently the Pulled Squash Sandwich was named one of the best sandwiches in the country, so some really important people must like it. Not me. That said, two of my dining partners on that particular evening did enjoy it. But, like me, they didn’t really understand why it’s called “pulled squash” since the butternut squash was just sliced thin and piled on bread, and didn’t really resemble the taste or texture of bbq at all. (Which we thought was supposed to be the point, but maybe it wasn’t??)

 

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LET’S START WITH A SOUP
Roasted butternut squash soup, parmesan, bay leaf milk

photo from Butcher & Bee Nashville Instagram

On the other hand, there is another preparation of butternut squash on the menu that BLEW ME AWAY. “Let’s Start with a Soup” is not even really what I consider soup, but that doesn’t matter in the least. This butternut squash “soup” was more like a bruleed custard and paired with the Parmesan, it had this really interesting savory sweet thing happening.

I’ve only had it once, and we split it four ways that night. While I absolutely loved it, I’m not sure I could eat an entire bowl of it by myself because it’s pretty rich, but I will certainly be happy sharing it with others time and time again!

 

 

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HOT POTATOES
Sweet potatoes, red wine vinegar glaze, pickled chilies

I guess I should mention that the menu is constantly changing, so while I highly recommend all of these dishes I’m mentioning and/or picturing, you might not be able to get them all. Sorry! Just key an eye an out and maybe they’ll bring some back if they aren’t on there when you go.

 

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TIGER-STYLE BRUSSELS
Brussels + fish sauce ain’t nothing to F with

Pretty sure you don’t have to worry about the brussels sprouts going anywhere there, because I think half this town is addicted to them. I’ll be honest in that I wasn’t completely blown away by them my first time, but I think there are a couple of good reasons for that. 1) Too much hype. I’d seen a bazillion Instagram posts and Tweets about them, so I thought they were going to turn my world upside down. 2) No one explained the proper technique for eating these brussels sprouts and apparently that’s very important.

Thankfully, even though my world wasn’t rocked by them on my first visit, I ordered them again on my next visit and this time an in-the-know friend was with me to share a tip — stir those babies up to get all the good sauce that’s on the bottom! Um, wow. HUGE difference! They really are really awesome, and maybe my world didn’t flip upside down, but it did go a little sideways.

 

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FIRE ROASTED CARROTS at Butcher & Bee Nashville

There’s one thing absent from this post that you’d typically see me covering– can you guess what it is?

Cocktails! One of my New Year’s resolutions was to give up alcohol for the month of January, and since all of my visits to Butcher & Bee thus far took place in January, well, I haven’t yet had a chance to sample their drinks. But don’t you worry, now that it’s February, I’ll get on that right away. In the meantime, if you have recommendations, feel free to send them my way!

 

Butcher & Bee Nashville

902 Main Street
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 226-3322

Lunch 11 am – 2 pm Mon – Fri
Dinner 5 pm – midnight Every Day
Extended Hours midnight – 2 am Fri and Sat

Facebook Edit 2

 

Love. It’s a word that shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. When it comes to restaurants, I’m very careful about using that term, as there actually aren’t a lot of places I truly LOVE. However, when I do, I’m not shy about it.

I love Sinema. Most of you probably aren’t shocked by that news. I’ve written about this place probably more than any other restaurant in town, and here I am today writing about it again because if there is one spot I’d recommend above all others for Valentine’s Day dinner with your sweetie, this would be it. The menus they’re offering look to-die-for, and well, the space is just gorgeous and sexy, and perfect for a romantic date night.

Important to note: for their Valentine’s dinners (Saturday and Sunday) they’re offering special menus only, and they’re open for dinner on Sunday (which is not usually the case). There are 2 menus to choose from-  a 5-course and a 3-course –  and you can see them below:

 

5 course, $125 inclusive of tax

1st

Lobster Cannelloni
Lobster & Cheese Filled Pasta, Butter Poached Lobster Radicchio Salad

2nd

Local Grown Green Salad
radish, house made ricotta, hericot vert, champagne vinaigrette

3rd (Choice of)

Fried Oysters
house made cocktail

Foie Gras Mousse
Zucchini Bread

Truffle Risotto Aroncinni
nickajack cheese, house made sauce

4th (Choice Of)

Curry Dumplings
snap peas, cauliflower, butternut, cauliflower puree, honey crisp apples

6oz Bear Creek Filet
cream cheese mash, asparagus
Add Crab Oscar at no charge

Chicken
dijon spaetzle, rainbow chard, brussels, white wine au jus

Surf-n-Surf-n-Surf
scallop, shrimp, caviar, bacon milk broth, mire poix

5th

Chocolate
milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate mousse, caramel pudding, brown butter cookie crumble, root beer whip, white chocolate gravel, ganache

Citrus Sundae
lemon buttermilk sherbet, lemon curd, candied cashews, orange pate de fruit, basil syrup

IMG_0151

photo by Anthony Matula 

3 Course, $80 inclusive of tax

1st (choice of)

Local Grown Green Salad
champagne vinaigrette

Truffle Risotto Aroncinni

2nd (choice of)

6oz Filet
cream cheese mash, asparagus
Add Crab Oscar $10

Chicken
dijon spaetzle, rainbow chard, white wine au jus, brussels

Curry Dumplings
snap peas, cauliflower, butternut, cauliflower puree, boozy apricots

3rd

Chocolate
milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate mousse, caramel pudding, brown butter cookie crumble, root beer whip, white chocolate gravel, ganache

Citrus Sundae
lemon buttermilk sherbet, lemon curd, candied cashews, orange pate de fruit, basil syrup

 

Personally, I would dive headfirst into the 5-course because the Chef has brought back a dish from the early days of the restaurant that I seriously have never been able to get out out of my head! The foie gras mousse with zucchini bread is INSANE.  I want all of it. (So, like, be careful if you order it because I may be lurking just around the corner and pounce on you.)

Speaking of pouncing, you may want to hurry up and get those reservations before they’re all gone! You can click here to take care of that right now.

~Giveaway~

Contest Closed

The Winner is….

#12 Samantha

And you might also want to try your luck at my giveaway today! Sinema has been very kind to offer a five-course dinner for two ($250 value, in the form of a gift card) to one of of my readers!

 

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me about the best meal you’ve had at Sinema. Haven’t been yet? Then just tell me how badly you 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 me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Take your Valentine to @sinemanashville. Enter to win a 5-course dinner for 2 ($250 value) from @betheats! http://bit.ly/1T2pDgE”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3. Follow me (@betheats) and Sinema (@sinemanashville) on Instagram and leave a comment on my latest Instagram post, tagging a friend to alert them of this giveaway.

 

Contest ends on Sunday February 7th at Noon CT. 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!

The-Hook-Nashville-open

Photo by Anthony Matula

The Hook Opens!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

The Hook
2222 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
615-840-7144

 

I’ve alerted you guys of a soon-to-be-open restaurant in the Melrose area that I’ve been looking forward to for months, and today I’m happy to announce the day is almost here! The Hook is set to throw open its doors this Wednesday, February 3rd.

Serving lunch and dinner 7 days a week, The Hook is surely going to become a family favorite for us. I’m particularly excited by the many fish/seafood dishes they’re going to serve, as well as the fun cocktail options. Oh, and did I mention the Cheeto Chokes? Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-crusted fried artichoke hearts, served with house ranch. Yep, they’re going there.

 

the-hook-fried-fish

Photo by Anthony Matula

 

And those will be pretty perfect alongside one of their Buzz Pops (house made carbonated cocktails served in glass bottles) or a “smashed cocktail” (with flavors like lemon, basil & vodka, and thyme, rhubarb & gin). Yes, please. And if my husband is reading, they have something just for you too honey– a Frosty Pimm’s Cup.

Stay tuned for a full report once I’ve had a chance to eat and drink my way through The Hook menu!

 

chocolate-affair-website

 

Lightning 100’s Chocolate Affair

Saturday, February 6, 2016
7 – 10 pm

Riverwood Mansion
1833 Welcome Lane
Nashville, TN 37216

Cost: $25

Note: This is a 21 and up event

Lightning 100 has pulled together what looks to be a very sweet event at Riverwood Mansion this weekend. A Chocolate Affair will bring together some of Nashville’s best chocolatiers, candy, and treat makers, along with wines, craft brews, and liquors to pair.

8 Lavender Lane, Tempered Café & Chocolate, The Sweet Stash, Eat Like Kings, Nashville Cookie Company, Brittle Brothers, Goo Goo Cluster, The Loving Pie Company, Chocolate FX, Chocolate Shop Wine, Bulleit Bourbon, Tito’s, and Rum Chata are just a few that you’ll find there! For more information on the event, a full list of participating vendors, and to purchase tickets,  visit the website.

 

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photo by Phillip Fryman, Southern Fatty

 

Goo Goo Shop Dessert Bar Grand Opening

Friday, February 12th and Saturday, February 13th

Goo Goo Shop
116 3rd Ave S
Nashville, TN 37210
615-490-6685

It’s here! It’s finally here! For those that know me personally and spend any time around me, you know I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time now. The Dessert Bar at the Goo Goo Shop is open for business and we’ve got a big grand opening weekend planned just in time for Valentine’s Day!

For those that haven’t had the pleasure of  listening to me chatter incessantly about this place, let me explain…

The Goo Goo Shop opened downtown as a small scale, temporary pop-up shop in July 2014 while undergoing construction on a larger space within the building. A few months later, down came a wall and Phase 2 of the Shop was unveiled, which was our chocolate kitchen. We celebrated with a grand opening of that space last January 2015 (see pics here!).

For the past year, we’ve been cranking out candy and introducing Nashville visitors to their first taste of Goo Goo. We put together a hugely successful Summer Chef Series (it will be back this year), and created a new product called Goo Buttons. Our Premium Goo Goos were even named as Best Candy in the Nashville Scene Best Of this past fall.

(I guess I should have pointed out that I’m the Director of Marketing for Goo Goo Cluster in case you didn’t know that already)

 Goo-Goo-Dessert-Bar-2

 

All that to say — it has been a busy couple of years, and now we’re finally at Phase 3, the final phase (I think??) of the Goo Goo Shop- our Dessert Bar opening. We softly opened a couple of weeks ago, so as we’ve been training, some folks have been able to get a little taste of what was to come.  Now that February is here, it’s official. The Goo Goo Shop Dessert Bar is open for business!

It took many dessert tastings to perfect the menu, but perfect it we did. The entire menu is an ode to Goo Goo and our home – from the ingredients in each treat to their names. I’ve personally tried every single thing, and while I can’t say there is a single one I don’t like, my personal favorites are The Honky Tonk Blonde, The Clark Street Original Cheesecake, The Cumberland Ridge Pecan Pie and The Salty Southern shake. Put on your stretchy pants people.

Come join us on Friday, February 12th and Saturday, February 13th to celebrate the Dessert Bar opening and get a taste of what it’s all about! We’ll have samples, giveaways, and entertainment for the whole family both days. There could not be a sweeter way to kick off your Valentine’s Day weekend!

 

 

chilifest-logo

Nashville Chili Festival

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Yazoo Brewing Company
910 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Cost: $15

OR – $35 includes admission + 4 Yazoo Brew drink tickets

Obviously there is plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth this month, but what about the savory? Even though it might not feel like chili weather right now (hello, 70 degrees??), we all know that can change quickly around here (remember that  snowstorm last week?). If my sources are correct, Valentine’s Day should be a much chillier day than today, so I’ve got just the thing for you. Instead of going out for a fancy dinner, head over to Yazoo for the Nashville Chili Festival.

There will be tastings, live music, kids activities, beer and even a pepper eating contest! Oh, and do you think you are the ultimate chili master? If so, then make five gallons of your best recipe and bring it with you to enter the tasting contest.

For more information on the event, to enter the contest or see the rules of the contest, visit the website.

 

 

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Our Kids Soup Sunday

Sunday, February 28th, 2016
11 am – 2 pm

Nissan Stadium – Club Level West
(parking is free)

Cost:
Adult- $25
Children ages 4-17 –$5
Children 3 and under – Free

One of my favorite annual events, Our Kids Soup Sunday is coming up at the end of the month, and if I were you, I’d go ahead and secure a ticket now before they sell out (and they will). Fun for families and singles alike, Soup Sunday has a dizzying array of delectable soups, a silent auction, live music and entertainment for kids.

With more than 50 participating restaurants this year, there are definitely more soups than you can possibly eat. And there could be long lines. For those reasons, I give you these tips:

  • Only taste soups that sound really good to you.
  • If you don’t like a soup, don’t finish it. There are SO many more to choose from, you can’t waste precious belly room on underwhelming soup.
  • Attempt to sample the rich, thick, cheesy soups last so you don’t get too full too fast.
  • Don’t fill up on bread!
  • Eat while you wait in line or some of your soups are going to get cold before you get to a seat.
  • Get there early. Did I mention there will be lines? The earlier you get there, the shorter the lines should be.

Proceeds for this event go to a wonderful cause, so come join me and I bet you’ll add it to your list of favorites as I have. You may not think soup is all that exciting, but I promise you, the  participating restaurants  bring their A-game and I’m always blown away by the creativity and deliciousness of it all.

Visit the event website for more information and to purchase tickets.

 

Carrot-souffle

 

Tomorrow my kiddo turns 4 years old. FOUR. How is it already 2016? That number seems so futuristic to me. Wasn’t this and this like, yesterday? Guess not.

This past Saturday, despite the wicked snowstorm that dumped 8 inches of snow on our neighborhood, the BounceU birthday party we had scheduled still powered on! I honestly couldn’t believe how many parents braved the roads and brought their kids– it was a happy surprise. I suppose everyone was starting to develop cabin fever, and the party gave them a much needed break.

After bouncing for a couple of hours and getting sugared up on cake, we headed back home for Family Supper, where our immediate family got to partake in Archer’s favorite meal of fried chicken and carrot souffle. Last year was the first time we’d done this, but I’m hoping it will become a yearly tradition. Of course the meal changed slightly this year as he informed me last minute that he no longer liked the third dish I had planned for (and has been his favorite for over 2 years now), macaroni and cheese. He opted for tater tots instead this go round.

Bishop’s Meat & 3 in Cool Springs gets all the credit for the kid’s favorite meal. I’ve been eating there for years, and back when I worked down in that part of the world, it was sometimes even a twice weekly occurrence. As soon as Archer was old enough to eat solid foods, Bishop’s became a fairly regular take out spot, and his meal of choice has been fried chicken, macaroni & cheese and carrot souffle.

Since we don’t live in Cool Springs, I decided I needed to figure out how to recreate the magical carrot dish, as the kiddo started asking for it way too often and I wanted to save myself some trips south. Chances are, if you’ve dined at Bishop’s, you know and love the carrot souffle too and understand how he got hooked.

Well, recreation attempt number one was a failure. Then attempt number two was a failure. Not willing to waste any more carrots, I did what I had to do: track down the actual recipe for Bishop’s Carrot Souffle. My sources are top secret, but I can guarantee they are very reliable. So reliable, in fact, that they may even share a name with the restaurant….anywhoo….

My lucky little guy can now get this delicious dose of beta carotene on a regular basis and I don’t always have to drive south for it to happen. Mommy and kiddo are both happy, and so is everyone else that gets to enjoy it!

Note: Bishop’s serves their souffle with marshmallows on top, but we prefer it without, so I leave it naked. You can certainly add if that’s your thing!

Print

Carrot Souffle

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients:

2 lbs of smooth, sliced carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
3 Tbsp flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook sliced carrots in a pot of boiling hot water for 15-20 minutes, or until very tender; drain. Place carrot in a food processor; process until smooth. Add granulated sugar and next 4 ingredients (granulated sugar through butter); pulse to combine.

Gradually add flour, pulsing to combine.

Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until puffed and set.

Optional: sprinkle with powdered sugar or cover with marshmallows and brown.

 

Bonnaroo2016_TEMP

 

Last summer’s Bonnaroo was my first ever and I honestly walked around for hours thinking, “why have I never done this before???”  Truly, it was a complete blast.

Bonnaroo celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, and I plan to be there once again. While it seems that some of the lineup leaked online last week, the organizers won’t confirm, so we’ll all want to watch Conan tomorrow night to see the unveiling of the full, official list. (Tuesday, January 19th at 11/10pm CT on TBS)

 

Bonnaroo-Ferris-Wheel

 

I’m fairly certain that all of you know what Bonnaroo is, but if there is anyone out there reading this that doesn’t, allow me to enlighten you. Bonnaroo is a four day event that takes place on a 700-acre farm about an hour south of Nashville in Manchester, Tennessee. This year there will be more than 150 musicians, bands, and comedians performing across 12 unique stages June 9th – 12th.

Named by Rolling Stone as one of the “50 Moments That Changed The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Bonnaroo offers so many live music options that it’s mind-boggling. Not just rock, but also hip hop, electronic, jazz and Americana. Oh, and there’s also  comedy, cinema, a beer festival, art, and wellness programs. And the one aspect of the festival that I am quite sure hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, but was of course, pretty much my favorite part of the whole thing– the food!

 

Bonnaroo-Food-Stations

 

From the moment I arrived at Bonnaroo, I was on a mission. A mission to devour the best eats we could find, and boy, did I ever!

My friend Jesse, an avid eater like myself, was my partner in this adventure and through the power of social media, Bonnaroo’s own handy little app, and our own eyeballs, we discovered some insanely delicious and interesting foods.

Bonnaroo-Brooers-Festival

 

Ah, but let’s also not forget the drinks. In terms of alcohol, there’s only beer available inside the festival, and while I’m not a huge beer drinker, the Broo’ers Festival was a blast. The very large tent was a great place to escape from the heat and cool down with craft beers from all over the country. Jesse and I purchased a handful of tickets and spent a good chunk of time be-bopping between breweries (25+ to choose from!), swigging from 3-ounce sample cups.

 

 

Bonnaroo-Brooers-Festival-GreenFlash

 

The first beer stand we stumbled upon was Green Flash Brewing Co, and my first question to them was “are you from San Diego?” You see, when I lived in SD, there was a restaurant in my neighborhood called The Green Flash, so I was just taking a wild guess that maybe it was associated in some way. Turns out there is no association to the restaurant (which is now shuttered), but they were in fact from my beloved San Diego!

It was fun chatting with them and sharing stories of the area, but the best part was that even after visiting several other beer stands, their beers were my favorite. So happy to have discovered them and definitely planning to visit the brewery when I’m out in San Diego in a couple of months.

 

Bonnaroo-Brooers-Festival-Beer

 

Okay, now the food. My goodness, the food. There is really no way I could have covered every single thing we ate in this post, so I narrowed it down to some of the most interesting and/or delicious. I went into the experience having no idea that we’d find so much great food and simply cannot wait to go back again this year to try even more.

Bonnaroo-Hamageddon

 

Bonaroo-Baconland-Buns

 

Let me admit something: I am not a big fan of donuts. You could put a dozen different kinds in front of my face and I wouldn’t be tempted to eat even one, no matter how fantastic they smelled (and they do smell fantastic). But the Amish Baking Co. donuts at Bonnaroo rocked my world.

Good lord, those things are fantastic.

Bonnaroo-Amish-Donuts-4

 

INSANE Amish Baking Company donuts.

 

Bonnaroo-Amish-Donuts-1

 

Pastries, tamales, arepas, tacos, burgers, rice bowls, pizza, poutine, alligator, bacon flights on a stick….seriously, you name it, and Bonnaroo likely has it.

 

Bonnaroo-Tamale-1

Cuban slow roasted pork with cuban fricase sauce

Roasted red pepper and goat cheese with red pepper cream

 

Bonnaroo-Baja-La-Fajita-Taco

Unfortunately I’m not completely sure where some of my favorites were from as they all started to blur together and it’s not so easy (or fun) to take notes in the middle of a music festival.

I’ll be searching out Viva la Fajita this year, as I think they were responsible for the incredible steak tacos I had in 2015.

 

Bonnaroo-Poutine-Sign

Poutine is always better than heroin or crack.

Bonnaroo-Spicy-Pie

 Spicy pie = a crowd favorite

 

While I loved so many things I tried, my absolute, hands-down favorite of the weekend was Roti Rolls. Found in the Food Truck Oasis, they’re based out of Charleston, and I’ve since learned that they’ve won Best Food Truck there every year since their inception in 2010. I can see why.

 

Bonnaroo-Roti-Rolls-4

 Roti Rolls

Funky Farmer – coconut green curried local vegetables, pickled beets, and pickled radish

Thurman Merman – braised farm raised pork, creole mac & cheese, kimchi

 

 

Bonnaroo-Roti-Rolls-1

 

THE BEST THING I ATE AT BONNAROO 2015:

Roti Roll’s Foghorn Leghorn

coconut green curried local vegetables, grilled organic chicken, candied onions, kimchi

 

Bonnaroo-Roti-Foghorn-Leghorn-1

 

Absolute best thing I put in my mouth the entire festival — the Foghorn Leghorn. Gimme, gimme!!!

 

Bonnaroo-Buddha

 

 

 

Bonnaroo-Pickers-1

 

Back to drinking. While we enjoyed some awesome craft brews during the festival, we were thrilled to meet up with some friends that generously shared some of Nashville’s own Pickers Vodka with us.

A little Blood Orange Pickers + ginger beer + a squeeze of lime does a happy girl make.

 

Bonnaroo-Beth-Pickers

Hydrating  at Bonnaroo is important. Vodka is hydrating, right?

 

Bonnaroo-Pickers

 

 

 

Bonnaroo-Giraffe-Stage
Despite the fact that my #1 interest is food and my #2 interest is drinking, I really did take some time to listen to the music as well! ;-)

 

Bonnaroo-Kacey-Musgraves

 

If you’ve never been to Bonnaroo and you have some negative notions in your head on exactly what it is — remove them. For years I didn’t have any desire to attend, and now that I have, I can’t wait to go back again!

This year’s 15th anniversary celebration brings some awesome new amenities which includes 400 permanent toilets and hundreds of permanent shower stalls. I’m pretty sure most you aren’t fans of port-a-potties – I mean, who is?? – so this announcement is pretty exciting.

 

Bonnaroo-Arch-Sunset

 

Bonnaroo-Sunset-1

 

Looking back through all of my pics of this magical festival made me so happy. It’s really difficult to put the experience into words. In fact, I can’t. You just need to do it to feel it for yourself.

To plan your visit and follow along with all things Bonnaroo, go to www.bonnaroo.com, and/or follow Twitter @bonnaroo,  Facebook and Instagram @bonnaroo.

sweet potato breakfast bowl

 

Sometimes recipes are so simple I don’t even think about sharing them here, but when one comes along that I start making over and over again, I figure I should probably tell you about it.

A few months ago, I started using a meal planning service called Platejoy. I won’t yet go into all the details of it (more to come at a later date), but just know that I’ve really enjoyed some aspects of it and there have been a couple of dishes that I’ve been eating on a regular basis – one being this breakfast bowl.

The first time I followed their recipe exactly as directed, but felt it was too heavy on sweet potato and too light on eggs for our taste, so since then I’ve been using my tweaked version below.

Sorry that my photo isn’t better. I really hadn’t planned to put this on the blog, but after making this breakfast for probably the dozenth time, I decided to just snap a pic with my iphone when it was still pretty dark out this morning, and write up a quick post. Hopefully you’ll trust me that it might not be a beauty but it’s filling, nutritious, and best of all – so quick and easy to make! Win.

 

Print

Sweet Potato, Turkey Bacon, Spinach and Egg Breakfast Bowl

Serves 2. Adapted from PlateJoy recipe.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato
4 turkey bacon slices
2 green onions
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 eggs

Directions:

Poke sweet potato with a fork, then cook in microwave 5 minutes, or until soft.

Dice turkey bacon and green onion. Add to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook 5 minutes, until turkey bacon is browned.

Reduce heat to medium, and add spinach to skillet, stir until spinach wilts. Dice cooked sweet potato (remove skin first if you prefer) and add to skillet. Season all with salt and pepper to taste.

Add egg to pan, stir and cook until done, approximately 1-2 minutes.

thehook_circle_white

 

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a construction tour of The Hook, the soon-to-be opened fast casual restaurant in the Melrose neighborhood of Nashville. I’m really excited about this new concept, as the team behind one of my absolute favorite restaurants in town, Sinema, is responsible for the development: Colin & Brenda Reed, sons Ed and Sam Reed, and Dale Levitski.

Speaking of Sinema, The Hook is located about a half a mile from there, on Franklin Rd/8th Ave, pretty near another popular spot, The Smiling Elephant. If you’re ever over in that area, you’ve probably noticed there’s a construction boom happening (uh, as I suppose can be seen in a number of areas around town at the moment). With hundreds of new residential units being added, there is definitely a need for more fun lunch and dinner options,  and I have no doubt the food is going to be off the hook. (see what I did there?)

 

the-hook

 

The menu will feature regionally inspired chicken and seafood, sandwiches, salads & sides and the bar will offer craft beers, batched cocktails, and frozen drinks.

Executive chef and culinary director Dale Levitski just announced today that Vasisht Ramasubramanian will be The Hook’s chef. Chef V comes from Chauhan Ale & Masala House (another one of my Nashville favorites!), where he served as chef de cuisine since the opening.

 

chef v

Chef  Vasisht Ramasubramanian (photo credit MA2LA)

Mark Your Calendars:

The Hook pop up preview
Saturday, January 9, 2016
10:30 a.m.  until sell out

Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rose L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

While an opening date has not yet been announced, the chefs will host a pop up preview of The Hook menu on Saturday, January 9th, at the Nashville Farmers Market. From Chef Levitski: “Previewing The Hook’s menu at the market is a unique opportunity to get face to face feedback from guests. I look forward to what’s certain to be a fun day cooking alongside Chef V.”

Stay tuned for the opening date announcement as I have a feeling it’s coming very soon!

 

The Hook

2222 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
615-840-7144

Open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.