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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).

  

Product review: Trader Joe’s Chile Mango Popsicles

Chef JimTrader Joe’s is awesome. There, I said it. They have great, fresh food at very reasonable prices. It’s sort of like Whole Foods with less selection and at far better prices. They also have some unique food items, and last week I took a chance on another one of those–Chile Mango popsicles.

You might think, why would a food blog geared toward dudes be writing about popsicles. But note the first word–chile. These are mango and hot pepper frozen treats, and they are awesome.

Trader Joe’s makes excellent frozen fruit desserts like this, and this chile-mango combination is a great blast of cool, sweet and then spicy that makes for an amazing taste explosion. And I do mean explosion, because they are about a 6 out of 10 on the spice scale, something you wouldn’t expect from a popsicle. In fact, I had to make a concerted effort to keep these away from our 4-year old son.

But for the rest of you, go grab a 4-pack of these and serve them up during Sunday football. It might not go with beer, but hey, maybe I’m wrong!

  

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