Last year I did a roundup of my favorite Nashville coffee shops. It’s a great list, but now there’s a new player in town that I definitely can’t leave out: Barista Parlor.
Once again East Nashville scores a cool new spot. And when I say cool, I really mean it. From the second you pull up to the building, you’ll know exactly what I’m saying. A visually stunning exterior immediately had me excited for what was in store.
Of course, as our mamas taught us, it’s what’s inside that matters. And the inside definitely does not disappoint. This is a real coffee house with baristas who are passionate about coffee.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert when it comes to coffee, but I know when the stuff is good and when it’s not. And this stuff is GOOD.
Barista Parlor is a place to go and hang with friends while you leisurely sip a lovely cup of joe. It’s not a place that you rush into and out of because you need a shot of caffeine to keep your eyes open. This is about savoring the moment. Lingering. Enjoying.
And because I’m at the point in my life that these things matter, I should also mention that they’re family friendly! When I was there, there were at least 3 toddlers hanging out with their parents, and no one seemed to mind one bit.
In addition to their interesting selection of coffees, they also have a breakfast menu featuring Porter Road Butcher, The Bloomy Rind, Dozen Bakery, and Foxy Baking.
And that’s not all – follow them on Twitter and Like their Facebook page to see the specials they run from time to time. Recently they’ve been serving up Hot Chicken and Waffles and Porter Road Butcher smoked pulled pork sliders with local pear compote and house-made pickles. Judging by the quality of the coffee, I have no doubt that the food is incredible as well!
While I’m on the subject of coffee & breakfast food, I thought I should mention some of my favorite spots for brunching in Nashville. I often get asked by readers where they should go for brunch, and 9 times out of 10 I find myself pointing people to East Nashville.
Recently I wrote a piece about all of these places for Style Blueprint, so head over there to read about them in detail.
Marche’s Cheese Plate with their incredible, I-have-died-and-gone-to-heaven Tomato Jam
Lately, and in the weeks to come, you guys may notice that I’m not posting as much here on the blog or spending too much time on Twitter. The reason? I’m all wrapped up in prep work for the big 100th anniversary celebration of Goo Goo Cluster in October!
There are going to be lots of fun happenings and events to commemorate the centennial, all of which I’ll be telling you about in due time.
Today, it’s the Goo Goo Clusters Jog n Hog!
Run, eat, run. Or jog, munch, jog. Or heck, even — walk, nibble, walk. We don’t care how you do it, we just want you to have fun while you’re doing it!
Here’s how it works: Runners will jog 1.5 miles through Shelby Park, stop at the eating station for a bag of 6 Goo Goo Clusters, and then jog 1.5 miles back to the starting line. I know what you’re thinking – 6 Goo Goo Clusters????
Of course, I’m hoping we’ll discover the next Sonya Thomas or Takeru Kobayashi, but for all the rest of you, there is no need to worry, no one is going to be force feeding clusters into your mouth! You can finish as many or few as you like. Again, it’s all in fun!
What: Goo Goo Clusters Jog n Hog
When: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Shelby Park
How Much: $40
Of course, for my special blog readers, I’ve got a discount for you! Get $5 off the race price by using code “JOGNHOGBLOG” on your entry form.
All runners will receive a unique race t-shirt and a commemorative “Hog Tag” and the very lucky person that grabs the bag with the “Golden Goo Goo” will receive a $100 gift certificate for the Goo Goo online store!
Open to everyone age 10 and up. Hurry, go ahead and sign up now at www.jognhog.com, because registration closes on October 7th at midnight!
This post also appeared in The Tennessean, where I have a monthly feature in the Taste section!
Cheese, Glorious Cheese
Cheese has the power to lift us up, transport us to another time and place. It’s a comfort food and a celebration food.
Most of us have some sort of childhood memory involving a cold winter day, a sniffly nose, our mom, and an ooey gooey grilled cheese served with a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Perhaps there were times that you were rewarded with a great big cheesy pizza for a good grade, or maybe even went out for cheeseburgers after winning a ball game.
But while I love cheese as an ingredient in a dish, I also love it all by its lonesome.
Ah, cheese, glorious cheese. There are stinky cheeses, nutty cheeses, sour cheeses, and salty cheeses. There are soft cheeses and there are grainy, crumbly cheeses. There are assertive cheeses and there are mild cheeses. There are white cheeses, yellow cheeses and blue cheeses. There are single, double, and triple cream cheeses.
Shall I go on?
It can all be a bit confusing. Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the gourmet cheese counter feeling intimidated or overwhelmed? I know I have.
With so many shapes, sizes, and labels in front of us, how is a person (especially a person who grew up eating Kraft singles) supposed to make a decision? In my wise old age, I’ve figured out the answer:
Seriously, let your mouth be your guide! In order to do that, you need to first find a cheese shop/counter with a knowledgeable staff that can help guide you in the right direction. Then, every time you have the opportunity, sample a new cheese. You never know what you might discover!
Because I’m a pretty adventurous “taster”, one of my favorites now includes Barely Buzzed, a cheese whose rind is rubbed with a blend of espresso coffee and lavender. Sounds weird, right? But it really, truly, works! If you want to see for yourself, or try a variety of other interesting cheeses, go visit my friend Kathleen at The Bloomy Rind, an artisan cheese counter located inside Porter Road Butcher in East Nashville.
Over time I’ve also developed a real fondness for blue cheeses, with two of my favorites coming from just up the road at Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Barren County, Kentucky. For folks that like more assertive flavors, their pungent Kentucky Bleu is perfect, and for those that want something that’s not quite so in-your-face, their lighter Kentucky Rose is heavenly.
Are you taste buds tingling now? Well, it just so happens that you’re in luck, as there are two great opportunities on the horizon for you to get your fill of all sorts of glorious cheeses!
Wednesday, September 19th
New Belgium Beer & Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese Tasting
Turnip Truck Urban Fair – Gulch
321 12th Ave S
Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese will be serving up samples of their Norwood, Kentucky Rose, St. Jerome, Aged Cheddar, Gouda, and a few other interesting flavors to pair with New Belgium’s beer selections.
This event is free and open to the public; no registration necessary.
Saturday, October 6th
3:30 – 7 pm
Southern Artisan Cheese Festival
Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd
The 2nd Annual Southern Artisan Cheese Festival brings more than 20 regional cheesemakers and food artisans from all over the Southeast. Attendees will sample more than 150 cheeses, wines, craft beers, and artisan foods that go well with cheese such as crackers, spreads, jams, honey, cured meats, pickles and much more.
Festival tickets are $44 each. For more information on the festival, the VIP package option, and a complete list of participating vendors, visit www.southerncheesefest.com
While I was on maternity leave back in February, Netflix and I became very well acquainted. One of the best discoveries I made during that time was the documentary, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, the story of an overweight Australian man that went on a 60-day juice fast to take control of his life. The movie was fascinating, uplifting, inspiring. And it made me curious.
Was there something to this juicing thing?
Watch this extended trailer for Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead:
I will start by saying that prior to watching this documentary I had never given much thought to juicing. Sure, I’d heard of fad diets for weight loss (like the grapefruit juice diet my college roommate attempted to do) and cleanses (the master cleanse another friend swears by), but never once had I ever considered doing any of them myself. But thanks to Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I started to view juicing not as a trendy thing, or just a quick road to weight loss, but instead a very smart way to fill your body with a massive dose of nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Enter Juice Nashville. I knew people who had done the 3-day cleanse and loved it, others that did it and were miserable. Earlier this summer I finally had a chance to meet Stephanie, the owner, at the West Nashville Farmers’ Market, and I purchased my first juice. The “Oh Yeah”, a mixture of apple, kale, collards, and lemon, was not only delicious, but made me feel like a million bucks!
That first taste sealed the deal. I knew I wanted to attempt the 3-day cleanse. Unfortunately, between traveling for my job this summer and all of the food-related events I was committed to, it was a couple of months before I actually had a stretch of time that I could fit it in.
Finally, in early August, my calendar miraculously had 4 days straight with NOTHING on it! I hopped online and ordered my cleanse.
Now let me be clear- I am not suggesting that any of you do this. I’m simply going to share my experience for those of you that may be curious. I am by no means a medical professional, so please do your own research before embarking on a cleanse yourself!
Juice Nashville 3 Day Cleanse
I started my cleanse on a Sunday, with what seemed the most breakfast-like of the juices, “C Ya”, which is made up of apple, orange, grapefruit, and ginger. By noon I still wasn’t even really hungry, but since I knew I had 4 more juices to get through for the day, I forced myself to do lunch, which was a “Whoa” and almond water. I should mention that before each of these, I also chugged down 8 oz of water, which I’m sure was part of the reason I felt so full.
On this afternoon I made dinner to deliver to our friends that just had a baby, plus cooked up some sausage to put in my husband’s egg muffins for the week. I will admit that even though I wasn’t really hungry, it still took every ounce of willpower I had to not take a few nibbles of that sausage!
To keep my mouth occupied and my mind off that sausage, I drank about half a bottle of “Snap” (apple, carrot, ginger).
Early that evening, we went over to our friends’ to see the baby and deliver the food, and towards the end of our visit, around 7 pm, I actually started feeling a bit light -headed and nauseous. I blame myself completely for this turn of events, because I’m confident that it was just because I hadn’t gotten enough juices in me at that point. When we got back home, I immediately downed the rest of the “Snap” and a little over half an “Oh Yeah”. After that, I felt completely fine and not at all hungry.
End of Day 1 = 3 + 2/3 juices + 1 almond milk
My “beet milkshake”
Started the day with 8 oz of water and a “C Ya”. By 1 pm, I was starting to feel a little hungry, so I grabbed the “I Heart Carrots”, the juice I never got around to on Day 1. That plus 8 oz of water was lunch, and I was satisfied.
Mid-afternoon for a snack, I combined a little almond milk with the “Whoa”. Eureka! This was like drinking a milkshake. A beet milkshake! I was on to something. While I actually enjoyed most of the juices and didn’t really have trouble drinking any of them, I know some people might have a tough time with that beet juice.
Problem solved. Add a little almond milk and it becomes a smooth, creamy delight!
Dinner was the “Oh Yeah” and later in the evening I drank a little bit of the “Snap”, again mixing in some almond milk for another milkshake. You may think I’m crazy, but I swear this one tasted like a dreamsicle! So yummy!
End of Day 2 = 4 juices + 1 almond milk
Mommy and Baby’s green breakfast. Peas for him and an Oh Yeah juice for me!
By Day 3 I was really in the groove and not missing food at all. Now that I’d discovered “milkshakes”, I started experimenting with mixing other juices with the almond milk. In fact, on this last day, I didn’t drink any of the almond milk completely on its own, instead putting a little bit in practically each juice I had that day.
I won’t bore you by going through the order of what I had all day long, but will tell you that this final day is the only day that I drank all 5 juices plus the almond milk. It wasn’t because I was hungrier than the other days, it was really more out of boredom. My mouth was starting to miss chewing.
End of Day 3 = 5 juices + 1 almond milk
This is no lie: When I woke up on the morning after the cleanse, I found myself craving another juice – not food!
I absolutely loved doing this. Besides that one moment late in the first day, I felt energized, alert, and focused the entire time. Now the big question that people keep asking – Did I lose weight? Yes, I lost 5 lbs. However, thanks to a series of food related activities, a week later I had gained back 4 of them. Luckily I wasn’t doing this to lose weight, so I didn’t care. I still felt better than I have in months!
In fact, I felt so great and loved it so much that just 3 weeks after doing my first one, I was back on Juice Nashville’s website ordering my 2nd 3-day cleanse that I just completed a few days ago! I don’t own a scale, instead I only weigh myself at the gym, and I didn’t do so right before or after doing this latest cleanse, so I can’t say for sure how much weight I lost, but I can definitely tell by the way my jeans fit that I did lose some.
Again, I want to stress that this is only my experience, and you may not have the same results or enjoy it as much as I did, but at the very least, check out what Juice Nashville has to offer by visiting their website, following them on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook. Go buy one or two juices to start. Maybe it’ll make you want to try the cleanse like it did to me. If you do, please be sure to let me know what you think!
Cocktail Crawl? I’ve heard of pub crawls, beer crawls, and art crawls here in Nashville, but never a cocktail crawl.
Until now, that is. And I like the sound of it!
Jon and Lindsay Yeager, the talented couple behind PourTaste, are responsible for putting together this fabulous event to celebrate Nashville’s cocktail and spirits industry.
Crawlers will be able to savor a signature Plymouth gin or Knob Creek whiskey cocktail at each participating venue, as well as visit the Tasting Room where they’ll be able to sample boutique spirits and liqueurs. Getting between all of the venues will be super easy (and safe), as Grand Avenue will provide a shuttle system with stops every 20 minutes.
It’s finally happening. Etch is opening the doors this week and I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek on Friday while they were doing a mock service in preparation.
The menu is still somewhat of a work in progress, so I’m not going to share all of the details, but please let me assure you that Deb Paquette has once again outdone herself. Every dish I tasted was like a party in my mouth. Flavors! Textures! Delciousness!
Etch’s Roasted Cauliflower Appetizer
If I could eat a dish like the Roasted Cauliflower appetizer for every meal, I could be a vegetarian. No joke. The pea pesto, salted almonds, and a feta crema (plus the mystery orange puree) were absolutely, positively incredible. Fingers crossed that this is one item that stays on the menu, because I will order it every time I walk in that door.
Japanese braised and fried Short Ribs, Korean noodles, spinach, shiitakes, sugar peas, charred carrots, shrimp relish and spring aioli
Word of advice, people: Make a reservation NOW. I want you to see for yourself how fantastic this restaurant is, and I want you to find out before the rest of the world discovers it. I have a feeling that a few months from now, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get a seat….
This Wednesday, August 29th is opening day, and the restaurant will begin taking reservations today. You can call 615-522-0685 or visit OpenTable.com.
303 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN 37201
(in the Encore)
Silo’s Deviled Eggs, 3 ways
Never do I remember a time where so many great restaurants opened their doors within such a short span. After months of not dining out very often, I recently had the unusual opportunity to get out a few nights in a row. So I seized that opportunity and hit all of the new spots just days after they opened for business.
Silo’s Red grouper, fairytale eggplant, zephyr squash, corn puree
My husband and I went out on a date night to Silo, the new Germantown restaurant that is within steps of two other popular Nashville spots, Germantown Cafe and City House.
I found that their “Southern-influenced, neighborhood bistro” description was perfect. The space is very warm, the staff friendly, and the food fresh. Oh, and did I mention they have a delightful cocktail menu? In fact, we may have ordered as many cocktails as we did plates of food!
My friend Melissa and I just had dinner together for the first time in ages. While she used to be one of my main dining partners, for the past year, we’ve both had some pretty intense schedules and major life events that have kept us from getting together.
But finally, it happened. We put a date on the calendar and when it rolled around, neither of us had to cancel or reschedule! Hallelujah!
I’d been hearing some major buzz about Lockeland Table for a few days, so my expectations were quite high going into it.
I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed. This meal was homey, a complete comfort food experience. I mean, check out that pork chop, greens and mac & cheese. The only thing left on that plate when I was finished was a bone. And even though I was completely and utterly stuffed, we ordered dessert.
Because, well, that’s what Melissa and I do. Chocolate bread pudding with chocolate Bravo gelato? Um, hell yes.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not notice that food trucks have taken Nashville by storm over the last year or so. There are a few that I go back to time and timeagain, but there are still plenty out there that I haven’t yet had a chance to try. But next weekend it looks like I’ll definitely get that chance!
Featuring more than 20 of Nashville’s mobile vendors, the “Nashville Street Food Awards” will be taking place at Centennial Park on Saturday, September 1st (which also happens to be the season kickoff of Musicians Corner, 3-6pm). The contest will consist of several delicious categories:
Best Hot Nashville
Best Deep Fried
Best of the Best (winner of most awards)
People’s Choice Awards
There will be several judges on hand throughout the day sampling blind entries, then choosing winners for all the categories, while food truck patrons will have the opportunity to name the People’s Choice Award. All winners will be named at the conclusion of the event at 6 p.m.
In addition to their regular menus, all of the trucks will also be selling small ‘tastes,’ so patrons can sample food from multiple trucks. There will be buckets at the Second Harvest Food Bank tent where attendees can donate money* to vote for their favorite overall trucks.
Nashville Street Food Awards
September 1, 2012
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
FREE. public, all-ages event
*A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Inquiring minds want to know: what trucks will be there?
Here’s the list:
Beach Bums Juice Bar
Blue Monkey Shaved Ice
The Coffee Truck
Dixie Belles Cupcakes
Hit Or Miss Ice Cream
Hoss’ Loaded Burgers
Just Like Nannie Fixed It
Ken’s Hot Spot
The Latin Wagon
The Love Shack
Moovers & Shakers
Peanut Butter Paradise
Riffs Fine Street Food
Smoke Et Al
Sum Yum Yum
The Waffle Boss
I’ve been very fortunate the last couple of years to judge some pretty cool (and delicious) culinary events here in Nashville, and now I can add this one to the list!
What I’m really excited about though, is that for the first time ever, I can help one of my readers sit in the judges seat. That’s right. One of you will have the opportunity to be a judge alongside me for this event!
Our judging time is from 12:15 – 2 pm on 9/1, so make sure your calendar is clear for that time before you enter.
the winner is #23 Samantha!
For the rest of you, be sure to check out Nashville Scene’s Bites Blog on Monday when they’ll be doing a giveaway for another judge’s seat!
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Leave a comment answering either of these things: What’s the best street food no one’s thought of? or What’s the best street food you’ve ever eaten?
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 “Want to be a judge for the Nashville Street Food Awards!? Enter @betheats’ contest! http://bit.ly/NVIKHp”, 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 Saturday, August 25th at Noon Central. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post it 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!
Hi, I’m Beth, a food and drink obsessed girl living in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting things in the culinary world, so I created this blog to share all of my adventures, discoveries, inspirations, and recipes, along with a sprinkling of just about anything else that brings a smile to my face! Follow along and I bet you'll smile too... more