Local Taco

July 12, 2011

Local Taco
4501 Murphy Road
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 891-3271

Since hearing rumors that Local Taco would be opening up a  restaurant in 12th South, we decided to head to Sylvan Park for lunch. I had been there a few times but my erstwhile Fried had not. I really like the vibe there, the list of local ingredients, and seeing groups of Nashville women drinking margaritas at 12:30 in the afternoon. We ordered the Korean BBQ, the Southern Fried, and the Fish tacos. We started with tortilla chips and salsa, and had sides of rice and beans. The Korean BBQ taco tasted more Teriyaki than Korean,  topped with sesame seeds, cilantro, and a spare amount of Asian slaw. The meat was fresh and well cooked, but the taste was bland. The taco demanded some sort of Korean topping like pickled radish. The Southern Fried was good,  but it was dulled by wilted lettuce pieces. The same with the Fish taco. I am not sure why they went with tartar instead of crema, and some slaw would have been appreciated. The black beans were not to my taste, they had a strange taste and texture. We each got the lunch special, two tacos and a side for $6.75, which is a great deal because the tacos are $3.50 each and the sides $1.75.

I am not a taco purist, but these tacos needed some jazzing up. However, the fresh ingredients and the lunch prices make me want to give the place a second go.

Korean and Southern Fried tacos with rice:

Korean and Fish tacos with black bean:


The Local Taco on Urbanspoon


We love summers at the Nashville Farmers Market. This year the peaches have been spectacular. We are big fans of JD Country Milk for their drinkable yogurts and other delights. This week we indulged in  heavy cream. You have to get there by noon on a Saturday or else they will have sold out of most of the good stuff. This week we also bought Alabama peaches, which have more tang than the furry South Carolina peaches we’ve been eating lately. We bought them from the back shed where we also found some sweet ripe, local doughnut peaches. Those we devoured before we could take a photo. This morning we indulged in the peaches and cream with some local blueberries. It was decadent. If you go to the market check out the new Louisiana Seafood Company. Their fresh yellowtail, grouper, and shrimp have been selling out weekly.

Another Rich, Runny Cheese

November 22, 2010

We had written about Noble Springs Dairy’s “Harpeth Fleur,” and now we have found another ripe, runny cheese that is blog-worthy:  the “Green Hill” from Sweet Grass Dairy, from of Thomasville, Georgia (pictured below, right).  We purchased it at the Turnip Truck Urban Fare in the Gulch ($6.49 for half a wheel).  Made from “grass-based milk,” this cheese is, literally, oozing with goodness and taste.

According to pastoralartisan.com, where you can order “Green Hill” and other cheeses online:

Sweet Grass Dairy’s commitment to producing delicious and healthful milk from pasture-fed cows shines through in this small Camembert-style cheese. The unctuous paste is rich with sweet, buttery and grassy flavors. Though based on an old-world recipe, this cheese is a shining example of the finest in American artisan cheesemaking.

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.

2901 12th Ave. South
Nashville, TN

12th South’s newest burger joint is up and running.  Click here for a preview and background.

Burger Up and Green Light update:  Burger Up will have a soft, soft opening for family and friends this Friday evening and will be open to the public as of May 1st.  The chef is a South Carolinian, whose partner will be managing the Green Light organic market next door.  That’ll be opening soon as well.  Cat, the manager says there’ll be veggies, meats, cheeses, and prepared foods.  She promises me that I’ll never have to go to Whole Foods ever again.

Holland House

April 25, 2010

Holland House
935 W. Eastland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206

The skinny:  Great experience.  We’d go back for their drinks, knowing that we’re paying coinage for the urban vibe and din, as well as the cocktail know-how and history.  The food is good gastro-pub affair.

At center stage in this newly renovated brick building is a large, welcoming four-sided bar. Natural wood, exposed roof beams and brick walls give the place an urban, organic feel, barely lit by ornate chandeliers.  The dimmed light glimmers off the crystal prisms and the myriad of liquor bottles.  The crowd–from hipsters and neighborhood folks to trans-river visitors–seemed comfortable and content in the dark milieu.  (It was too dark for photos.)

Holland House is quickly gaining a reputation, as a cocktail and food establishment.  It’s a venture led by folks from the now-closed Ombi (one of our old favorite haunts), Terry Raley and Laura Wilson, along with Christian Dye, who hails from Miro District and Watermark.  (Go here for more of HH’s origins.)

They focus on elaborate, historical cocktails.  There’s an entire menu of hand-crafted drinks that span from the late nineteenth century to the prohibition period, stateside–a period heavy on the gin, aka the “Golden Age of the American Cocktail”. The cocktail names alone are delectable: Chelsea Sidecar, Straits Sling, Rum Swizzle, Caravella Mojito, Peach Julep.  All for the flat price of $10/each.  Pickled ordered an enjoyable Ramos Gin Fizz and then a glass of white wine.  The server was spot on with her suggestion of a sauvignon blanc, L’Arpent des Vaudons Francois Merieau.  I, however, am going through a vodka phase and just wanted either a vodka martini or vodka on the rocks.  Due to their allegiance to a historical period preceding the importation of vodka, their vodka selection was limited, and there was a reluctance to make a vodka martini. We respect the historical fidelity, but wonder how long it will last.  The bar didn’t stock cocktail olives, so they brought some out from the kitchen.  Accommodating, though they still charged me a pricey $10 for each drink.  Besides a boutique-ey wine list, they also have high gravity, high octane beers.

Food-wise:  The menu offers a couple of salads, some samplers and dip snacks, small plates, and featured entrees.  The entrees looked a bit too meat-heavy ($12-$19)–with the exception of a local veggie plate, and no seafood.  So we opted for a bunch of small plates ($8-$12), sized in between tapas and entree portions.  From our most to least favorite:  grilled crab sausages, house steak tartare, fish and chips, spinach and fennel salad, and the pork belly confit.  We could taste all the sausages’ subtle elements, which went well together.  The tartare, with a raw quail egg on top, rivaled some of the better tartare we’ve had.  The fish and chips had the right crisp-, fried-, and hot-ness.  The portion, however, was tiny, even for a “small plate.” The pork belly confit was an open-face BLT, the pork was overcooked–killing all tenderness and richness of pork belly.  Didn’t work.  Our meal for two just exceeded the Benjamin mark, plus tip.

Initially, the good folks attempted to push Nashville’s taste buds with dishes like “honeyfire” duck feet and steamed littleneck clams.  But Nashville wasn’t quite open-minded enough for such gnawing.  Let’s hope that all of the Holland House’s vision and artistry–from their cocktails to their food–aren’t hemmed in by our un-adventurous tastes.

Make your reservations.

Holland House on Urbanspoon