That was today’s headline on the front page of the Tennessean.  Article here.

Tennessee, tied with Alabama for second, is one of ten southern states in the top 11 most obese states.  31.6% of TN’s adults are obese.  Not surprisingly, obesity affects minorities and the poor.  Last year Tennessee spent $1.5 billion on “obesity-related health costs.”

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We just got around to watching the first episode of this season’s Top Chef–with a particular focus on Nashville restaurateur and chef Arnold Myint.  The season’s kickoff was grating and obnoxious, filled with excessive displays of masculine bravado. The episode’s front runners, Angelo Sosa and Kenny Gilbert, were puffing their chests and talking trash as if preparing for a boxing match.  It was, therefore, nice to see that Arnold avoided this week’s spotlight.  He was both exuberant and modest.  An opening clip shows Arnold joyfully dancing around as if on a home video.  In one of Arnold’s few lines, he admitted that he got a stylist for the show (see picture for below), but later he humbly said that he owned some “mom and pop” restaurants, implying that they didn’t have the kind of kitchen equipment available on Top Chef.  Sure, Arnold wants to be stylish and energetic on the show, but one also senses that his modesty requires a certain kind of confidence–but not the alpha-male variety.  Bravo, Arnold.

Click here for another take on Arnold’s Top Chef appearance.

Rich, Runny Cheese

June 20, 2010

Our penchant for ripe, runny, pungent cheese was completely satiated by Noble Springs Dairy’s “Harpeth Fleur,” a goat cheese.  We purchased it at the original Provence on 21st, but the products from this Franklin, TN can be purchased at a number of places around town.  On their website, they’ve got a list of merchants who carry their products, as well as general information about their farm.

Blind Pig Open

June 17, 2010

12th South’s Blind Pig is opening tomorrow, Friday, June 18th (they’re running through their soft opening as I type this).  They’ve been using their smokers out back for the past few days, and their large TVs, easily visible from the street, have been on.  Some folks have written about the Blind Pig; go here for an info entry.

Their menu and press release are available here, on their website.

Brunch Today

June 17, 2010

To celebrate Pickle’s return to Nashville, I made a decadent brunch:

A steamed lobster tail, atop a poached egg and a toasted open-faced English muffin.  The accompanying sauce was homemade Bearnaise sauce.  There also was a fruit salad with fresh yogurt.

Holeman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309-1173
(404) 948-1175
holeman-finch.com

Atlanta is often grating to me:  the sensory overload from all that shopping and traffic.  However, it is a city that likes to eat–having one of the highest numbers of restaurant per capita in the country.

Last night, a dear friend took me to Atlanta’s Holeman & Finch, the cheaper, adjacent, sister restaurant of the well-respected Restaurant Eugene.  Upon walking into Holeman & Finch, I noticed all the cured meats hanging in glass cases.  In the open kitchen, the cooks were meticulously prepping the food.  But I did not expect all that their menu offered.  My friend just ordered a number of little plates for the table, and it was a feast of rich, rich food:  a meat plate with delicate strips of lard, duck hearts and head, griddled pork belly, crisp pig tail, battered and fried livers, crawfish pies, and shrimp salad with perfectly fried shrimp heads.  Nothing goes to waste, and everything is wondrously defamiliarized.  All complimentary greens were crisp and subtle, mixing well with their respective dish and dressing.

This spot also has a nightly tradition of serving exactly 24 handcrafted burgers at 10 p.m. No more, no less.  We had had too much to try their pursuit of burger perfection.

An recent impassioned post by Lannae (here) on taco trucks around town (and how you can go about your own taco truck hunt).

Other great posts about Nashville’s taco trucks at:
Serious Eats
“Nashville Restaurants” blog