Orlando

November 26, 2009

We made a Thanksgiving pit stop in the World of Disney. Needless to say, there were few eating options other than chain after chain in strip mall after strip mall. Our first destination was Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine–one of the better eating experiences we had had in Hawaii.   The Mai Tai and dirty martini were tasty and strong, almost worth the double digit prices. Appetizer:  “Blackened Island Ahi.”  It was a small piece of fish, unevenly cut.  The dish wasn’t as fresh as we remembered it on Kauai, and the taste of the fish–counterbalanced with the blackening  spices and the soy mustard sauce–wasn’t savory.  Entree for me was the Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish:  a white fish served with bok choy and Chinese Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette.  There wasn’t much sizzle to the dish.  AS had the Lehi fish special. The waiter recommended it heartily because it was from Hawaii. We had some misgivings about eating fish flown in from faraway,  remembering that, sadly, in Hawaii it was difficult to eat locally sourced fish.  All the best stuff is shipped to some mainland or another.   We were also skeptical about the “Sweet Potato Mousse & Macadamia Garlic Meuniére Sauce” because we had bad memories of  all the  macademia-crusted fish “specials” on the islands. The sides were actually a pleasant surprise, making it the dish of the night.  No dessert because the children at the table had to get their rest for Disney the next day.  As for the rest of our table, don’t ask about the nightmare of pleasing the various food allergic/phobic in the group.

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November 21, 2009

A devoted reader of pickled and fried writes in:

“I keep trying to have a good lunch at Noshville. I *want* to have a good lunch at Noshville–the menu is neat not gaudy and the eating environment friendly. But the food! Dreadful. How can a place that styles itself as a deli and offers good barrel pickles on the table, mess up a hamburger, make it so tasteless and dry? How can a place that styles itself as a deli mess up a chicken salad sandwich, deli staple for time out of mind? But the Noshville chicken salad is a sea of undifferentiated mush without any crunch to disguise the near certainty that the meat came out of a can. This is *not* a deli sandwich.”

Hill and Hollow: Greens

November 14, 2009

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BT picked up our veggies from Hill and Hollow today. They are a CSA (community supported agriculture). We look forward to catching up with Robin and Paul and their two adorable children on summer saturdays at the Farmers Market on 8th.  This was the last pick up for the extended fall season. And we will miss them. Although we can’t wait until they come to market with lamb after Thanksgiving.  I think these Asian style greens are tatsoi. I love how they grow like lettuce.  We also got sweet potatoes, radishes, bak choi, and a butternut squash. I am looking forward to my annual fall butternut squash sundays. To celebrate the last pickup of the season BT picked up a shrimp po’boy at Nooleys, inside the farmers market food court.

Lime: Happy Hour

November 14, 2009

We  were celebrating some good news and the end of a hectic week of applications. We headed to Lime for some drinks and snacks. The restaurant had just reopened after undergoing  renovations. They now have  four televisions suspended above the bar and  more wood paneling around the restaurant. The idea seems to be to make the place cozier in the winter and more appealing to the solo guys who watch sports at the  bar crowd. Aside from the TVs, the place looks pretty hip and urban. To our delight, we reconnected with one of our favorite Nashville bartenders, Michael. He’s totally adorable and a bundle of energy.

I ordered a fancy cocktail with the intriguing name, “Fate.” It had Cava, pineapple juice, orange juice, and some elderflower liqueur. The drink was lovely,  though pricey at $8.50. We also ordered some bar snacks which turned out to be $5 on happy hour discount. The empandas were topped with a delicious goat cheese topping, that had been made that day. The lime coconut shrimp were breaded, fried, and covered in a sweet and spicy remoulade-like sauce and sprinkled with coconuts. Big Cs martini was and I quote “ok.” I am sure this response was more about the $10 price and not the actual martini, which to my unsophisticated palatte tastes like straight vodka with olive juice.

After a long day and little time for dinner prep, ahs picked up a pound of shrimp from Harris Teeter on 21st Ave, one of the best places around to quickly pick up quality, not so expensive seafood (6.99/lb for wild caught, medium-sized shrimp–sadly, this time, a few days old).  The totsoi came from our CSA farmers at Hill and Hollow. From prep to finish, less than twenty minutes–except for the white rice, which was cooked early in the evening.

  • Fired up the wok with some vegetable oil
  • Added the chestnuts for less than a minute, then pushed them to the side
  • Added peeled shrimp, chopped garlic, fresh pepper, and two glugs of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • Once slightly pink push to the side as well
  • Add totsoi in the middle, and let wilt slightly
  • Use tongs to turn over totsoi for consistency
  • Finally, mix all together and make sure shrimp is thoroughly cooked, though not overcooked.

Voila.  Super easy. The totsoi’s hint of bitterness balances the crunchy chestnuts and shrimp nicely.  Serve on white rice.  If serving only two, there should be some  leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.

Indian Buffet

November 12, 2009

Today bt and I went to Sitar on 21st ave for buffet lunch. This was a rare weekday lunch for us. I am not a buffet fan, and when we first moved to Nashville I was nervous about going to any restaurants with buffets. But that pretty much nixed any Indian food, and I love chikken tikka masala. We were both starving. So we went for it. I piled my plate with curry, tikka masala, paneer, cauliflower, spicy potato. I am a terrible buffet eater because, as you can see, I get so excited by the options I over do it. Luckily bt ate the extra naan, but when the waiter cleared the plate I felt a little abashed. But, not about the salad, which although piled high with my favorite cucumbers, was doused in a flavorless oily dressing. I did however eat all the okra, it was soft and peppery, perfect for a fall day. The problem with eating buffet even when parts of it are good is that its hard to take the restaurant seriously for dinner. So I’ll have to go back to dinner there sometime soon.

Oysters on 12th

November 10, 2009

I just got back from a much needed late afternoon beer at 12th South Tap. It is getting cold and dark early, as dreaded winter approaches. This means that oysters are back in season and safe to eat. These gulf oysters were gorgeous. They were just the right combination of plumpness, smoothness, and brine. I love eating them with saltines and horseradish. And the good folks at the Taproom always count out just the right number of crackers. Seriously, someone counts them.