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Foods I miss from…..Nashville

So trying to remember the foods I like from the places I’ve lived has become fun and has also jogged my memory, and made me hungry. So here is the latest one, foods I miss from Nashville, where we lived from 2003 to 2010. Nashville is known for its music, but it’s also smack dab in the middle of the South, and has its own regional food but also some unexpected treasures. Here we go…..

Fried chicken at Loveless Cafe–Good luck getting a table at this institution on the western fringe of Nashville. But it’s well worth the wait, especially the fried chicken and biscuits. My goodness, my mouth is watering thinking about the crispy on the outside, moist on the inside deliciousness that is Loveless fried chicken. Their biscuits are served with homemade jams and are also insanely good.

Hot chicken–Considering my love for spicy food, I didn’t get this nearly enough, but it’s quite a regional blast of heat and flavor. I think the chicken is broiled or baked (maybe fried but at this point it doesn’t matter). What matters is that it’s dusted and doused in cayenne pepper, giving it a high level of spice but also a blast of flavor that is just awesome.

Green Curry–yeah, I know, it seems odd, but Royal Thai made some of the best green curry I’ve ever tasted. And we lived right around the corner from this spot.

Pizza--There is great pizza in most places, and Nashville is no exception–the best there are Sal’s (authentic NYC style) and Mafiaozo’s, an awesome Italian restaurant in the 12 South neighborhood. The latter had a two-for one happy hour special so that you could have kickass wood-fired pizza and two frosty beers at once served at the same time.

Rippy’s Ribs–This downtown spot served dry-rubbed Memphis style ribs–smoked and dusted with Cajun spices. Damn, I’m hungry!

Popsicles–Las Paletas is another 12 South institution, down the street from Mafiaozo’s, and the perfect dessert spot in summer. They made homemade popsicles in crazy flavors like avocado or hot pepper/chocolate or cantaloupe along with traditional flavors like strawberry. There is really nothing like this place.

Meat and three–The best place for this that I found was Arnold’s downtown. Remarkable stuff like meat loaf, fried chicken, pot roast or chicken and dumplings, that were served with three sides such as mac & cheese, collard greens, creamed corn, or a gazillion other choices. The key is the meat, and three sides….reminding you of comfort food your mom made (at least if you grew up like I did). But also, the food is outstanding at Arnold’s (which was recently featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives).

  

Bacon woes

I had good intentions with another bacon recipe to post this past weekend, but lo and behold, not every recipe I develop is any good. My plan was to take refrigerated crescent rolls, and fill them with bacon and sausage and cheese. Mmmmm, breakfast-y goodness, right? Well, not really, and this makes me wonder how many recipes out there that are really good actually fail sometimes and fail as miserably as my breakfast sandwich.

I cooked a bunch of bacon, and our 4-year old son ate more of it than I needed. That’s my boy. I was left with two slices. I cooked a link of turkey breakfast sausage. Then I took the rolls out or should I say, Mrs. Mike and I (mostly her) had to fight to open the package, which should have been our first sign. I won’t say the brand, because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here, but I will say this–the crescent rolls I bought were butter flavored. Now, you’d think that anything’s better with butter, right? The catch here is I don’t think it’s real butter we’re talking about.

Anyway, I assembled the roll by pinching two triangles together to make a rectangle, and then I laid down some cheese, bacon and the sausage link and rolled that sucker up. I baked it for a few minutes longer than what the recipe suggested, and took a bite. B-L-E-C-H. I took another bite. B-L-E-C-H. It was the butter flavored roll, not anything else that made it disgusting. I imagine that with normal crescent rolls or biscuits, this sandwich would taste really good. But I haven’t recovered from that vile butter taste to give it a go.

I will say this, though…..it’s been fun writing about bacon and coming up with recipes, so why not extend bacon week for another little while? I’ll be preoccupied for a few days but will deliver more bacon posts next week and into the following week before turning our attention to Halloween candy. Sound good? I thought so.

  

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