Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

May 30, 2010

Quest for Peanut Sauce, try 1

Quest for Peanut Sauce, try 1
aka truth about "East Asian Food" in the USA
base ingredients for my peanut sauce

Thai inspired fresh spring rolls with rice noodles , shrimp, cilantro,
basil, lettuce and chrysanthemum leaves to dip into the peanut sauce

soybean noodles with peanut sauce, topped with left over grilled sirloin,
scallions, cilantro and crispy shallots

I have been thinking about Arnold Myint, and his peanut sauce a lot lately, and every time I look at my Suzy Wong's House of Yum blog post, I think about his peanut sauce more and more. Arnold's peanut sauce is so dang good, and I have yet to figure out how to make it. I went to google to try and find versions of peanut sauce I can put on noodles, mix with veggies, and some meat and broccoli. I found four particular website that surprised me, and where I drew my inspiration from.

All Recipes Best Thai Peanut Sauce recipe

The truth about Thai Peanut Sauce is that there isn't really Thai Peanut Sauce, and the peanut sauce the USA I have grown accustom to is a pure USA manifestation. This was a little bit of a surprise to me because I really don't know much about Thai, Vietnamese, or Lao food, and I assumed what I was eating was Thai, Vietnamese or Lao recipes. Of course, I look back, and why should I be surprised that there is no Thai peanut sauce, and the peanut sauce I have eaten in the USA is completely manufactured for a USA tastebuds. Many sushi and Chinese food dishes the USA I have grown accustom to eating are USA or western manifestations, and not real Japanese or Chinese food. There is no mayo in traditional modern nigiri sushi, and using flavored mayo is a Western approach to sushi. Western sushi with mayo may taste good and is very popular in the USA, but it is far from the origins of sushi.

Chinese food I can get in Nashville is nothing like Southern China home cooking, or Cantonese style foods. There is no sweet and sour pork, or General Tsao's chicken in real Chinese food. Again these dishes taste good to Western tastebuds, but these dishes do not resemble anything in Chinese food. I remember reading an article in the NY Times about a Chinese owned restaurant in Jefferson City, MO, and the owner makes claim of inventing beef and broccoli with brown gravy served with rice. The owner wanted a larger share of dinner market in Jeff City (that is what the locals call the place), and was trying to make a dish that would appeal to the Western taste. He knew people in and around Jeff City liked beef, gravy and potatoes, so he made one of the 1st Asian - American fusion dishes by using Chinese style ingredients and a typical American meal as inspiration. I love beef and broccoli in a brown soy sauce gravy, but the origins are claimed to be from Jeff City, MO, not China. By the way, for you geography buffs, Jeff City is the Capital of Missouri, not St L, KC, nor Columbia, as some others may be lead to believe.

Back to the peanut sauce. I want to make a Thai inspired, but completely USA manifested spicy peanut sauce. I took what I could remember from tasting many times, Arnold Myint's peanut sauce at PM Nashville Restaurant, and what I have googled, and came up with my own recipe.

My Version of peanut sauce to be best of my memory
serve either warm or cold

1/3 cup fresh crushed peanut butter
13 oz can of coconut milk
1/4 cup honey I got from my friend's rescue bees
2 hand torn dried cayenne pepper I dried 2 years ago
juice 1 lime
some lime zest
1 clove crushed garlic
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1/2 thumb size grated ginger
2 tsp really good soy sauce (or 1 tsp American brand)
couple shakes fish sauce
3 Tbs Penang red curry sauce

In a heavy pot over medium low heat
Saute garlic in sesame oil for a few seconds
add coconut milk
add hand torn cayenne peppers
add fresh peanut butter
add honey
add grated ginger
add Penang curry paste to taste
add soy sauce and fish sauce to taste
add some zest of a 1/4 lime
add juice of lime
adjust to soy and cayenne to taste
add a little water at a time if it is too thick

warm on the stove until all ingredients are incorporated and
just before the point where the sauce is about to bubble a little

refrigerate, and the next day the flavors will have bloomed and you will want to drink this stuff

The outcome is that this is the best peanut sauce I have ever had. It has the high sparkly note from the lime, some heat from the cayenne and Penang curry sauce and cayenne, and a balance for the high spark and heat from the honey and soy. M tasted it and said that is the flavor! I took some over to my Fire Eater friend's house, and we made fresh Thai inspired spring rolls to dip the spring rolls into the sauce. Fire Eater's family really liked the peanut sauce too. Fire Eater even used some of the peanut sauce on vanilla ice cream for dessert. It went surprisingly well with vanilla ice cream. I have about 1/2 cup of this stuff left, and I plan on putting it on noodles or rice, or just scooping the sauce straight into my mouth. Either way, it is really good stuff.

May 29, 2010

Eating Locally 2010

dinner Memorial Day Weekend

fresh pasta shell shape - Lazzaroli Pasta

6 slices diced free range organic bacon - West Wind
2 cups purple eye pea - forgot what farm grew these
1 head small diced organic heirloom broccoli - Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms
minced organic garlic scapes - Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms
olive oil Master Blend - The Olive Press
dried cayenne pepper ground to flakes - Smiley's Ridgetop
kosher salt

Saute bacon pieces
add purple eye peas and saute more
add small diced broccoli and stir
blend scapes, olive oil, pepper and salt into a minced paste
add paste and saute
add boiled shells and stir


May 28, 2010

Guest Blogger from Iowa

My guest blogger DG is originally from Iowa, a place where they honor hog and corn farming traditions, many Iowans in high school had the job of hand pollinating corn, and some even watch their corn grow. When she talks about her homeland food, I cannot help but listen intently. DG really loves her traditional Iowan food, and it is so fun to hear how she makes these specialties. By chance to day, I talked to my friend on the phone at lunch time. She mentioned she made two of her favorite Iowan traditional dishes, and I was so giddy listening, I made her stop working and take photos of her two dishes with her camera phone and email them to me to see what they look like. I was blown away at how good her lunch looked! The Iowan specialties looked so good, that I asked for my buddy to be my 1st guest blogger. Here are her camera phone photos of her fabulous Iowan lunch, and her story of her lunch. Thanks Buddy! Yummy!

DG's pork loin sandwich served with
a little mustard and pickle chips

DG's rhubarb strawberry pie
with a really great buttery crust

In May I made a trip back home to Iowa to visit my mom on Mother's day. My sister from Texas also made the trip and two other sisters live in Iowa still. One of my Iowa sisters cooked dinner for us all on Mother's Day. Her menu was not light, feminine food. My sister decided to cook all of the Iowa favorites - the things that we out-of-staters crave when we go back to Iowa. She made
  • Tenderloins (commonly called tenderloin, but it is actually a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich)
  • Sweet corn (always pronounced "SWEETcorn" - cut off the cob and frozen from last year's garden)
  • Mushrooms (Mother's Day is usually at the peak of morel season - those highly sought-after wild morels or houby as the local Czechs say)
  • Rhubarb pie (In mid May the rhubarb starts to go to seed, so we picked a huge mess of the younger stalks and got it all ready to freeze or make pies when we got home.)
Well, OK, she did have a salad too, so the whole meal was not fried or loaded with carbs!

Yesterday I made tenderloins and a strawberry rhubarb pie that reminded me of that substantial Iowa farm-hand style meal.

The tenderloins -- I cut 4" sections of pork tenderloin, butterflied them and then pounded them thin. They were dipped in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then in egg wash and finally in a mixture cracker crumbs. I fried them to a golden brown and served on plain white buns with mustard and dill pickle slices. Like the local tradition, the tenderloin should be much bigger than the bun. Some restaurants serve a plate sized tenderloin with two small hamburger buns.

The pie -- My strawberries were from Tennessee - grown in Cookeville. The rhubarb was from various friend's and neighbor's rhubarb patches in Elkader, Iowa. The recipe is from FoodTV's website - Grandma's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

May 27, 2010

Suzy's Patio

the patio

I have been to Suzy Wong's House of Yum many times to eat over the past 9 months or so, and I have not found the food to be all that good. But, I don't believe this place is about great preparation of food. Suzy Wong's House of Yum is about one of the best outdoor patios in Nashville with the capacity of about 75 people. This place is about a late night menu after the bars close, and getting some fun finger foods to help sop up the one-to-many before calling the cab to take ya home. It is about a place to trick your mind into believing that you are actually cooler than you really are. The patio just makes me think of the trendy South Beach bars and bar cabanas I have been to. The design is really very cool. Every time I step into Suzy Wong's House of Yum, in my mind, I get transformed from a fashionless middle-aged engineering geek, to convertible driving, halter-top mini-dress wearing, great hair day, perfect make-up, strappy-shoe young woman who is deciding on which Bombay Sapphire drink would be the the perfect accessory to the already stellar package. It is definitely a Cinderella type of feeling. Then when I leave and have to cross Church St to get to my car, I look down I see my boring geek uniform of a plain black suit skirt, plain black shoes, a plain shirt, and 10 year old sedan keys. This is why I keep going back to Suzy Wong's House of Yum, to suspend time and place, and go where I am the coolest thing that ever lived.


I like the concept of the food here where it is more about a dim sum or tapas portion for most of the dishes. There are steamed dumplings, fried dumplings, chicken wings, ribs, salads, and soups all between $3 - $11. It is possible to mix and match 4 dishes for $20 and have plenty of food. There are rice and noodle bowls for about $10 each for those who don't like the dim sum and tapas concept, and need to have a "big meal". Everything that I have had here has been over the top with flavoring, like too much salt, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, except for the crockpot chicken seemingly made with only ghee and plain rice, and the peanut sauce noodles. In my mind, there can never be enough of Arnold's peanut sauce. If there is a dish at Suzy Wong's House of Yum that has a dipping sauce, I am asking for the peanut sauce. At PM, it is the same thing, I order the peanut sauce fondue, and an extra peanut sauce to dip my entree. But, Suzy's is not really about the food, it is about cool factor, the patio, and the drinks. It is about bringing a bunch of friends with you to sit in uber cool patio to chat, laugh, drink and have snacks. For me, it is about transforming into the super cool South Beach chick, even if it is just for a moment in time.

By now, you already know that Arnold Myint, chef/owner of PM, Cha Chah's and Suzy Wong's House of Yum, has been on Top Chef Season 7, to begin airing on Bravo TV on June 16 9 pm central. I can't wait to see how it plays out, and of course, I hope Arnold wins! Break a leg Arnold! I am cheering for you and your peanut sauce! And, the super cool South Beach Me may be cheering for you at Suzy's every Wednesday night!

Suzy Wong's House of Yum on Urbanspoon


May 24, 2010

Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp
1.3 lbs about 4 cups of Diced up rhubarb
1.5 cups blueberries
2 Tbs sugar
Orange zest
Juice of 1/2 orange

Rhubarb, hand cut from the farm in Iowa, and hand carried back to me here in Nashville. Blueberries were from one of my trips to the super secret blueberry patch, and I put up in the freezer for another day like today. Sugar is sugar. I fresh zested an orange, and juiced 1/2 of an orange. I put all ingredients in a bowl and stirred it all up, and then put the mix in a greased baking dish. I didn't do this, but I now know I should, add 1 or 2 Tbs or so of corn starch or flour with the fruit, so the juice will become a nice sauce, not just fruit juice after you bake.

Crumble Crisp
Slivered almonds

I made the crumble topping a while back, and had too much and put 1/2 of the crumble in the freezer. I don't remember how I made it. Boy, did it save me a lot of time to have a frozen baggie full of crumble topping. That is my time saving tip of the week. Make twice as much crumble topping, and freeze 1/2 of it for later. When later comes, like my rhubarb blueberry crisp, I had the topping ready to roll.
Bake the Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp
50 min

Vanilla Ice Cream
3 cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Honey

I have been waiting for JD Dairy, my local dairy with 40 cows, to keep cream instead of making butter or sour cream. Finally, I was able to buy a quart of cream. It is so rare these days to be able to get the heavy whipping cream because the sour cream sells so well, JD Dairy seems to make most of the cream into sour cream. The vanilla extract I started to make in 2005. I got a pint of Absolut vodka, and put in 3 sliced open vanilla beans. What I have now is so dark, you cannot even see through the bottle. The aroma and flavor is so rich. It is amazing how the vanilla beans keep giving and giving, even after 5 years. The honey is from my friend's honey bees. During the big tornado that came through Nashville some years ago, his property was hit by a rotation and brought down one of his mature trees. He noticed that there was a hole in the tree with bees, and the hive would get really wet in the next rain. So, he called a bee keepers association near him and bought a manmade bee hive and put it next to the broken tree hive. Next thing he knew, the bees decided to take up residence in the manmade bee hive box. Ever since then, the bees have been prolifically making honey.

Make the Vanilla Ice Cream
Whisk all ingredients together
Chill to really cold
Put really cold mix in a blender until a little frothy, maybe a minute
put really cold blended mix into ice cream maker
Freeze ice cream


May 23, 2010

Sweet Relief

Looking for a sweet way to help out with flood relief? On Saturday, May 29th, Nashville’s food bloggers and their fans unite to raise money for the flood relief efforts in middle Tennessee. The Sweet Relief bake sale will run from 1:30 pm until 4:00pm (or until the goodies are gone!) on Saturday, May 29th at the Green Wagon in East Nashville. All proceeds from the event will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and their efforts to provide relief to affected by the recent flooding.

Just to whet your whistle… some of things you can expect to find at this Saturday’s bake sale: cookie dough cupcakes, mexican chocolate brownies, espresso chocolate toffee, blue velvet cupcakes, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, lemon streusel bars, and olive oil cake… hungry yet? Yeah, I thought so.

Be sure to come by and show your support by enjoying some guilt-free sweets. Your tastebuds will thank you!

Sweet Relief: Nashville Food Blogger Bake Sale for Flood Relief
Saturday, May 29th, 1:30-4:00pm
The Green Wagon, 1100 Forest Avenue in East Nashville (map)

Many thanks to Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil for organizing the event! You can find out more information and RSVP at the Facebook site.

Sweet Relief is seeking volunteers to bake or help out with the event. Food bloggers, non-food bloggers, foodies, sweet tooths, cookie monsters, food blog fans, and any great sprit are welcome (you do not have to have a food blog to contribute). Simply email Lindsay if you interested in participating.

May 19, 2010

You Silly Goose

King Kong

We saw our friends and former CSA provider the other day. I trust them when it comes to food. They grow heirloom organic food, and one of them grew up on a family farm. They know a lot about food, goats and farm dogs. They walk outside and cut the vegetables they will eat for dinner. They go to their chicken house and pick eggs to eat for breakfast. They really like farm fresh food. They mentioned they went to Silly Goose the other day, and really liked it, and thought that we would like it too. I did not want to try the Silly Goose too soon because there was such a buzz about it at all the newspapers and bloggers that I thought it would be a crazy place to eat. So, I waited 6 months after the opening, and was very happy with our meal.

To my surprise Roderick, the chef and owner of Silly Goose, came over to talk to us and welcome us to his restaurant. He is a CIA grad, had worked in some small restaurants in NYC, and he fashioned the Silly Goose after some of the NYC hole in the walls, except his kitchen is a whole lot bigger than NYC. Roderick got a couple G.F. table top grills, a panini press, a home sized ice cream maker, and the industrial juicer that the juice bar left behind, and he called his kitchen complete. It is not uncommon for a small NYC food joint to have a G.F. grill, a portable burner, and toaster oven and provide satisfying food to their customers. Silly Goose really does translate well in that tradition.

house made ice cream

Roderick really thought about his menu to include as much local organic foods as he could get. Delvin Farm delivers garden food every week, and Kenny's Cheese and Noble Cheese are fantastic local cheese suppliers and are featured in many dishes. The dishes are plenty of food for dinner. There are couscous dishes, salads, paninis, and wraps. The couscous dish I got is the King Kong, a shrimp, avocado and shrimp based dish with the rooster hot sauce and a coconut cream based curry sauce. It is so good! I love shrimp, I love avocado, I love coconut based curry flavor and I love cashews, which this dish has. It is nutty, but I wanted all those components in a dish, and there it was on the menu, as if it were made just for me. This dish is simply, deceptively simple. M has had various paninis, and just really likes it too. I like that the food is fresh, and there is nothing deep fried. The price point is just great on every dish, everything is less than $10.

Roderick was so engaging, and nice to us. We were having a conversation that even if a restaurant menu isn't that great, it helps to have really nice staff, chef and owner. Nice really takes a restaurant a long way for loyal restaurant followers. Roderick said he lives near a little Asian food restaurant that has had some consistency and deliciousness problems, but he gets takeout from there about once per week. He said that he does it because that food is passable to good, but the owners are super nice people who really made him feel so welcome in their restaurant. I feel that Roderick is really nice, and his food is delicious! As an added bonus to me, all his food has a local organic component to it, and that is my goal is to eat food with at least one local organic component to it.

So, for the our 1st of multiple visits, Roderick was nice to tell us about his restaurant, and as a bonus, he gave up a 3 dish ice cream tasting plate before we left. These ice creams were made in a home counter top ice cream maker. We had vegan coconut lime, beet and cinnamon ice creams. They were all really really good. I am inspired to make ice cream again after this. I may want to get or borrow a larger ice cream maker than the one I have, and make some ice cream.

Roderick, you are right, a nice staff, nice owner and nice chef goes a long way, and you have that part of restaurant owning down to a tee. The bonus is, the food is really good too, and I would forgive the staff greatly if they were not nice to get more of the Silly Goose.

Silly Goose on Urbanspoon

Labels: ,

Soups ON!

my pho inspired dinner

Since the man has been sequestered by clients who want to work into the evenings most of the month of May, I have been on my own for dinner. So far, I have been doing a lot of "on the run" or easy take out for the 1st part of May, but things are different now. My CSA Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms started!!! YAY!!! I have to cook now, and I have all these really great veggies I can cook with now. But, the 1st harvest is a lot of spring goodies, like spring onion, spring young garlic, and leafy greens. What do I do with these? As I walked with my bags filled with leafy greens, mint, cilantro (aka Chinese parsley), spring onions etc, my mind went to Vietnamese food, and pho. That is what I was going to make for dinner, a Vietnamese Pho inspired dish. I did not want to go buy anything new, so I dug into my freezer, looked at my dried herbs and peppers from my garden, and look in the pantry and I had the makings for my soup.

My pho inspired soup is mostly local, local organic, local organic from my garden, or made locally. Here are the ingredients I found in my house:
1. Rice noodles made fresh by King Market, which I put up some in the freezer weeks ago. These rice noodles are like udon noodles, but made with rice.
2. Small pork loin from DW Farms, which I put up in the freezer a while ago. Danny and Wendy are really nice, and it was a joy getting food from them. I cubed up the pork.
3. Greens, spring onion, young spring garlic, cilantro, mint, Italian parsley from Bells Bend CSA. These ingredients just made me think of S.E. Asian soups with greens in it.
4. Garlic clove cured from a local farm I forget which one. Sliced thin.
5. Olive Oil, not local, but organic from a small olive farm in the Sonoma Valley CA.
6. Two dried cayenne peppers hand-torn from Smileys 2 years ago. I love dried and preserved foods.
7. Canned beef broth. I know it is canned, it is not local or local organic. But I did not have enough time to make my own beef stock, and I was hungry and ready to eat before I was making my dinner.

The to do list:
1. Put olive oil in a heavy pot, stir around sliced garlic, diced spring onion, diced spring garlic greens, and hand torn cayenne.
2. Add cubed pork to brown.
3. Add beef broth and heat.
4. In a 2nd pot boil up the noodles.
5. Rough chop more spring onion, garlic greens, mint, Italian Parsley and Chinese Parsley.
6. In big glass bowl, put a pile of cooked noodles and a handful or 2 of the rough chopped greens leafy flavors and herbs.
7. Ladle the broth and pork over the greens and noodles.



May 17, 2010

Thank You Eaters Out for Nashville!

To All the Eaters Out for Nashville, THANK YOU! You did a great job! You went out for pasta to cook up, you got ice cream and gelato for dessert, you got dinner and drinks, you discovered new cupcakes and smoothies, you enjoyed meal and helped those affected by floods at the same time. You waited in LONG lines even through burst of rain, and were patient to participate. You realized that your minutes and hour of wait was just a small inconvenience compared to those who lost their homes, lost precious momentos, baby photos, pets, Ellis Island papers, the favorite skirt, cars, sheds, backyards, deceased husband's birth certificate, and the list goes on. Thank you for participating, enduring, eating, contributing to the Community Foundation of Middle TN Your dining dollars will go a long way to helping those who need help after the flood. Thank you.

Gulch getting a grocery: Turnip Truck to open - Nashville Business Journal:

Gulch getting a grocery: Turnip Truck to open - Nashville Business Journal:
The Gulch will soon have what has been at the top of the wish list for the area’s businesses, developers and residents — a grocery store.

Nashville-owned grocer The Turnip Truck will open its second location in The Gulch this fall. The grocery store — at 9,200 square feet, twice the size of its East Nashville store — will feature a full meat and seafood department, an indoor-outdoor cafe and a selection of fresh prepared-in-house foods, according to a news release. It will also feature a juice and gelato bar, an expanded health and beauty section and a selection of economical bulk foods.

Read more: Gulch getting a grocery: Turnip Truck to open - Nashville Business Journal:

May 9, 2010

Eat Out For Nashville

Update: Check it out for more info. Here is the current restaurant list with more to be added as the week goes on. Eat Out May 17th:

The Patterson House (May 18th, they are closed Mondays),
O'Charley's all locations in MidTN,

These wonderful establishments are delicious and generous. These restaurants are pledging 50% of May 17th's earnings, or 50% of a special menu for this event (call ahead and find out) to be given to the Community Foundation for Middle Tennessee
Thank you food businesses, I so appreciate you offering up your generosity again!

Help Nashville after the flood. You know you want to, your heart went out to the flooded folks, and this is a delicious and easy way to make a difference on Monday May 17th. Work those tastebuds and give to flood relief through the Community Foundation of Middle TN! To start, keep checking the Nashville Scene Food and Bites Blog, The Nashville City Paper, and The Tennessean for updates on participating restaurants. Also you can email Chris Chamberlain at or give a call to him at 615-852-7675. Also, follow on Twitter @EatOutForNash, and follow along on facebook at

Thanks folks, I will see ya Eating Out for Nashville on May 17!

Here is the background and more details:

Middle Tennessee diners are invited to eat out at their favorite restaurants the evening of Monday May 17, 2010 as part of a citywide charity event to raise money for Nashville flood victims. Participating restaurants will donate 50% of the evening’s proceeds to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee. “Eat Out for Nashville” is the brainchild of Doug Hogrefe, owner of Amerigo. As soon as the flood waters began to recede, Hogrefe looked for ways to help out displaced Middle Tennesseans and volunteers who were assisting in the recovery efforts.

“When I realized that we had been lucky to receive little damage in the flooding, I knew that I could feed individuals and small groups,” said Hogrefe. “Many other restaurants in the area were also mobilizing quickly to offer assistance to the thousands of people in need. By combining our efforts for one night on May 17, the Nashville area dining community can multiply their impact and draw even more attention to the plight of our customers and friends who need our help.”

Since this event is coming together so quickly as a grassroots effort, restaurants are being approached by local food writers and bloggers as well as their fellow restaurateurs to encourage them to participate. All sorts of establishments are invited to join the effort, from fine dining restaurants to fast casual chains. As more locations sign on, a list of participants will be maintained and publicized through local media outlets, including The Tennessean, The Nashville City Paper and The Nashville Scene. Alternative media such as, Twitter, FaceBook and Nashville food blogs will also share up-to-the-minute information on “Eat Out for Nashville” with their many followers. Chris Chamberlain from The Nashville Scene’s “Bites” food blog is working to coordinate the media efforts.

Proceeds from the evening will be collected by the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee responds in times of disaster to connect generosity with need and has activated the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund to support relief efforts throughout Middle Tennessee necessitated by the May 1, 2010 floods. Donations of any size are welcome. Grants from the fund will support relief and restoration in areas of Middle Tennessee affected by the floods.

Hogrefe concludes, “In difficult times like these, all sectors of the community must pull together. Many of our fellow restaurants and thousands of our customers are hurting right now. The food service industry is an important part of this city as an employer and as a source of nourishment. We are confident that this group will come together as it always does when people are in need.”

For more information, email or call Chris Chamberlain at
(615) 852-7675.

Follow @EatOutForNash on Twitter or at on FaceBook.

May 8, 2010

Bring Coffee, Easy Food, Water

Tomorrow, and during the week, bring an urn of coffee, cups, sugar and creamer to flood relief work areas such as Antioch, Bordeaux, and Bellevue! You can do it! I know you can! Bring easy food like sandwiches, hot dogs, sausage muffins etc too. Bring apples. Bring water. I appreciate those things so very much!

I helped my neighbors today drag carpet, bag up things to trash, breakout dry wall that was very wet. What I noticed was that I could sure use a cup of coffee. Oh that would have been heaven! A simple cup of coffee. Tomorrow morning, I am heading back into the flooded areas with an urn of coffee. I drank water, I was thirsty, but coffee, oh that would have been a nice pick me up.

Also, a local church set up a tent shovels, brooms, tools which came in handy because all I had was a hammer. They also set up a table with hot dogs, chips and water at the end of the street. Oh, by 1 pm, I was so hungry and the 2 hot dog I ate tasted so good! Thank you for the food and water! I was refueled and ready to head back in to do more.

Update on my neighborhood: Here is the aftermath of the flood that came up 10 feet into my neighbors' homes, and the flood waters took away sheds and cars, and left everything soaked with silty water.
Things are stinking really badly. The mold and bacteria are making these piles stink. I am grateful that we have not had anymore rain since the 1000 yr flood.

Please, tomorrow and the next few weeks, take some coffee, water, and easy to eat foods to areas where flood relief work is happening. Workers are going to be really happy to have some coffee, water and food.

May 3, 2010

Nashville Flood and Video, How You Can Help

Help Nashville, Help my friends who lost their whole livelihood in one swift rain storm.

Help Nashville at Hands On Nashville, a Volunteer organization

On Friday April 30th, I quickly stopped into the oldie but goodie Your Choice Restaurant 945 Richard Rd, Nashville (Antioch) TN at the corner of Richard Rd and Antioch Pike in the Antioch Shopping Center, and a quick peek into the brand new (as of Wednesday April 28th) Crown King Buffet, also located at 945 Richard Rd, in the Antioch Shopping Plaza. Both places, I wanted to blog about eventually, but I will have to wait to see if they can recover. Both of these businesses, as well as the Mexican, Middle Eastern and East Asian grocery stores in this strip mall have all been destroyed by flood waters. The taco truck located on the west corner of the building was flooded. These family owned businesses, these families' livelihoods have been destroyed. There is a video I have attached at the bottom of this blog post to show you what happened to these businesses, look at the right of the screen and you will see the building where these businesses were.

Your Choice Restaurant was just bought buy a lovely older couple, the Saengsavangsak family, originally from Laos, and they were war refugees many years ago, and they finally saved enough money to buy their own business a few months ago. They have had a hard life, and this was their big break to business ownership to live the American Dream. I was happy to talk to Mr and Mrs S, and they were more than happy to cook some rice noodles and gravy to my special order. It was truly my choice (thus the name Your Choice) of what I wanted. Again, Mr and Mrs S are super nice, and nice goes a long way to solidifying clients. They were so earnest to please my taste for noodles. I felt a real bond with them. Their restaurant is so very damaged now, with flood waters nearing the ceiling. Mr and Mrs S's American dream of being a business owner, has been dashed. Their business washed out and ruined. Their livelihood, and what they have worked so hard for is now gone. I was going to blog about them soon, but I never thought I would blog this soon and in this way.

This is Your Choice Restaurant lad nah, stir fried rice noodles
with beef and broccoli, scrambled eggs and scallions
that I got on Friday before the flood.

Crown King was going to be a 2nd blog post. I stopped in a week ago to see how the construction was going, and the young men said Wednesday they will be ready for diners to come. I went back 3 days ago to peek in, and was planning on eating at Crown King sometime this week. They said it was $8.99 for the buffet, drink and soup, that is a good deal for dinner out on the town. Crown King was a bakery, and the family was expanding the bakery to include a lunch and dinner buffet of international dishes including 100% Halal meat dishes along with rice, salads and other dishes. The young men I met draped the walls with deep purple fabric, to give this place a warm feel to it. On Friday, had I known this brand new business would be destroyed by flood water, I would have gotten a 2nd dinner there on Friday, 2 days after they opened. I mean, they literally just opened for business and now it is destroyed.

Here is the the YouTube video showing what happened to this little strip mall of delicious food. Look to the right side of this video and you will see the strip mall where these little family owned businesses are now destroyed.

Help Nashville. Help my friends from Your Choice Restaurant, Crown King, the taco truck, the Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Asian grocery stores, and the other small businesses that got washed out from flood waters. They lost their whole livelihood in one quick storm.

Help Nashville at Hands On Nashville, a Volunteer organization

UPDATE: I just saw my friend who plays in the Nashville Symphony Orchestra today. Due to flooding, and water seeping into the basement and sub-basement of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, it is anticipated that the Schermerhorn will not be open for the next 2 months to clean up and get everything functioning again.

May 1, 2010

Burger UP!

Burger Up
2901 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN

Burger Up is now open to the public. Today, May 1, May Day, is the 1st day of opening.

lamb burger with arugula, peppermint dijon, boursin cheese

Shortly after I ran the Country Music Marathon for the 2nd time, I moved to live right off of the County Music Marathon Route because I wanted to be able to train on the marathon route just in case I wanted to run it again. As a matter of habit, every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday, I jog (stagger) a long run on a part of the marathon route and the neighborhood near my house. Last weekend, I decided to go up 12th Ave So, to see what I could see. And what did I see, I saw Miranda on her hands and knees finishing the concrete floor of Burger Up. Miranda saw a need for a great burger joint with good, local, organic and healthy ingredients for the 12th Ave So neighborhood. She wanted a place where parents would feel good about feeding their kids a burger, with wholesome, hormone free and antibiotic free, free range meats. She wanted a place where there is a vegan option, and she offers a quinoa black black bean burger. Miranda does not feed her family industrial meat (that has serious E. coli USDA Class I Health Risk and Death problems month after month), she will not feed that to anyone else either. Miranda is going to serve food that is good, tasty and delicious.

truffled fries with honey dijon aioli

As I was talking to Miranda, who was covered in dry wall dust and floor sealer, chef Chris Hyler and Cat walked up. Chef Hyler is from SC, and moved here about 6 months ago, and he is the main chef of Burger Up. He is 100% on board with cooking with good sustainable ingredients and serving really good food. Cat, his main squeeze is about to open the Green Light Organic Market just a few doors down. We got into a conversation talking about Burger Up, and GLOM and the 12th Ave So neighborhood. It is time that whole ingredients, whole foods, sustainable foods, and organic foods came into the neighborhood. 12th Ave So over the years I have been here has gone from pockets of drug dealers, and a sad beer convenience store, to a neighborhood that is demanding more for a good, safe, and healthy life. 12th Ave So was a food desert, and whole ingredient/food desert for so long, but that that time is done, and we have entered a new era.

I was so excited to talk to Miranda, Chris and Cat, and they are genuinely nice (nice goes a very long way to maintaining a client base), and they invited me to the Friends and Family opening of Burger Up on Friday. By the time I got to Burger Up, it was packed with a ton of friends and family all having a great time chatting, celebrating and loving the food Miranda and Chef Hyler were offering. I looked at the menu, and I decided on a lamb burger and truffled fries. The buns are made in-house, and the meat is free range, and locally sourced where possible. My lamb burger came with wilted arugula, boursin and peppermint dijon. I ordered my lamb burger rare. The truffled fries came with a house made aioli. The fries are fresh cut potatoes, and were cooked to order, so they were nice and hot when they came to the table. On the menu are a wider offerings than meat on a bun and fries. There are salads, including beets, green, iceburg and apple. There are soups. There are fun appetizers that are showing off the low country SC influence of Chef Hyler, including fried oysters, sweet potato fries, and Yazoo beer boiled prawns to name a few. The burgers come in turkey, lamb, beef, quinoa black bean, and mushroom to satisfy any taste. Important for me, I can ask where Burger Up sources their meat, wheat flour and potatoes from, and they can tell me. I am looking forward to trying other types of burgers in the coming months. I am interested in the turkey and veggie burgers to see if they are juicy, tasty and delicious as my lamb burger was.

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