In the past 24 hours, I saw the midnight showing of Jurassic Park at The Belcourt, met a dog named Freddie Mercury, visited two East Nashville breakfast spots, and explored the neighborhood at dawn. I also heard Kylie in the grocery store.
Nashville, TN 37213
Thai Phooket Facebook Page
I love this place! It’s the best authentic Thai food in Nashville with the freshest ingredients and friendliest service. Don’t be fooled by the building exterior or seemingly desolate location. It is an extremely convenient lunch destination for anyone who works downtown, in Germantown or East Nashville.
I ordered the PAD PUK with tofu. It contained stir-fried mixed vegetables with garlic, bell pepper, crushed hot pepper and fresh basil in a house brown sauce. It also came with a large serving of white rice. I tried level four in spiciness. Everything was expertly sauteed, fresh and delicious. No vegetable was left behind, but I was only able to eat about half of the rice. I could eat this every day for lunch. It’s almost under priced at $7.95.
My date ordered the KAO PAD. This Thai fried rice was also stir-fried perfectly. Again, the fresh vegetables make this dish stand out. This is another favorite with enormous portions. The vegetarian version is priced at $7.95.
The great food is the standout characteristic of this restaurant, but the great service is also very enticing. It’s a family owned restaurant and they always act appreciative of their customers. They recognize the regulars. Visit often and you will not be disappointed.
701 Chapel Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
Eastland Cafe is the restaurant I chose to visit to celebrate my move to East Nashville. It’s a great neighborhood cafe with a spectacular back patio. After a brutal summer, the heat and humidity has final begun to subside. We decided it was only appropriate to enjoy a meal outside.
I ordered the ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD. The crisp, fresh iceberg lettuce is generously topped with bleu cheese dressing, crumbled Benton’s bacon and green onions. Complimenting the wedge perfectly was the side of perfectly fried green tomatoes resting in a pool of sweet red pepper jam. This was delicious, filling and more than reasonably priced at $7.75.
I also chose a side of GREEN CHILI MAC & CHEESE that was more than enough for two to share. This was served in a casserole dish and also well-priced at $4.
The dessert was the unexpected favorite of the evening. At the suggestion of the server, we ordered the KEY LIME PIE. I was pleasantly surprised when we received a key lime tart. The crust was thick, moist and buttery, clearly accentuating everyone’s favorite part of the dish. The key lime filling was tart and delicious, making only a small layer and the dessert was perfectly finished with homemade whipped cream. The price was $6.
A sister restaurant of the beloved Park Cafe, Eastland Cafe does not disappoint. Executive Chef Hal M. Holden-Bache artfully prepares seasonal dishes with fresh and local ingredients. The restaurant also offers happy hour specials for drinks and appetizers. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest visiting while the weather is nice enough to enjoy the patio.
Today started off great with a pre-Tomato Art Festival brunch at our place. After an early afternoon of eating and lounging, we wandered over to Five Points. By wandered, I mean drove to Five Points. The heat reached over 100 degrees again today, so a 1.5 mile walk just wasn’t in the cards.
The festival seemed larger than last year. We walked around, stopping into air-conditioned galleries and shops periodically, for at least 2 hours. There were a lot of tomato themed food samples – gazpacho, salsas, bruschetta and more. After much consideration, I decided on eating an heirloom BLT (without bacon or mayo and with guacamole). Delicious. Also, I brought my strange tomato over to the ugly tomato contest table. Although the awards had already been given, I felt mine would best be “among friends,” said farewell and left it there to pretend it won the number two spot.
The Tomato Art Festival is East Nashville’s biggest celebration of the year and this one did not disappoint. I love the spirit, community and tasty food of this event.
The Wild Cow
1896 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
The Wild Cow has been working very hard lately on their vegan and raw desserts. Most days, they offer at least four different options. These are listed on their website daily. Tonight, we braved the two block trek in unforgiving 100 degree heat for carrot cake and chocolate rosewater vegan cupcakes.
The verdict is in – sinfully moist and delicious.
1400 McGavock Pk
Nashville, TN 37206
Watanabe is an Asian restaurant nestled in Inglewood’s hottest corner – Riverside Village. It’s the best of Matt Charette’s East Nashville restaurants. The decor is simple, dark and cozy. I love the booths. It’s a great atmosphere for a date, complete with flickering paper lanterns that dangle above the dining room. I don’t know; I just like it.
The food is decent. I’ve tried a number of the rolls, fried rice, vegetable gyoza and tempura udon. Most dishes can substitute tofu for meat. It’s the type of place you feel comfortable ordering something small and it’s all reasonably priced. The service is somewhat slow at times, but redeems itself in friendliness. The staff takes pride in the place and it shows.
It’s a great Monday or Tuesday night kind of place that I will continue to frequent on Monday and Tuesday nights. I’m happy to have this restaurant in East Nashville.
Is there anyone who doesn’t miss Polaroids? I just discovered this free software that can Polaroid-ify your photos. You simply drag and drop your photo onto the Polaroid camera icon, it “snaps the photo,” wait a few minutes and the image is ready! You can even add extra dirt and scratches to the picture!
Check out my images from Mas Tacos:
Farewell, Saturday chores…
Here’s the website where you can download the software and let the fun begin!
Mas Tacos Por Favor
732 Mcferrin Avenue
Everyone is talking about Mas Tacos and I am included.
Nashville’s infamous taco truck opened up a shop on McFerrin Avenue on Tuesday. I was initially overjoyed about the opening because of the extended (and permanent) hours for devouring delectable tacos. For many months I have obsessively checked twitter waiting for a hint that she might be out serving her sinful recipe of fresh and addicting food. I have lamented, ached and suffered symptoms of real withdrawal during the weeks she carelessly wrote “see y’all next week!”
Once, I visited the store, I was excited for much more.
I love the decor. It’s an intimate, rustic room with far too many lovely vignettes to take in at once. From the mismatched chairs huddled around small round tables, cacti placed sporadically throughout, kitschy Mexican art, and bright colors – it’s a unique and hip space. And songs on the jukebox are free! Best of all, my favorite quinoa and horchata lunch combination is available in about 1/4 of the wait time.
A few of you may remember our two flickr albums – Building Broccoli and Building Broccoli – Part Two.
We built a raised bed garden in late April and planted a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs shortly after. The garden (mostly) survived the Nashville Flood, periods of record heat and sporadic care. There have been some surprising successes and dismal failures.
Here’s a two month update:
1. Peppers (banana and green bell)
I’ve seen no signs of either sets of plants bearing fruit, but the ones located on the porch have stayed much healthier. The backyard bed receives full sun all day and the the porch receives partial shade, but it’s hard to know for sure if that’s the issue. I’ve been more consistently watering and removing bugs from plants on the porch. It’s a poor experiment, but the results are still worth noting.
On intuition alone, I decided the strawberries needed a little more TLC, so I replanted them on the porch in these cool planters I bought at Home Depot. There have been many flowers on these plants and very small strawberries. I think it’s a little late in the season to be optimistic about much more, but I’ll try my best.
I can’t believe how well the watermelon have done. Almost all four plants look great. With some of the other vegetables dying and being transplanted, they have much more room now. I’m having a party if a large watermelon actually grows!
4. Summer squash
The success of this plant was also unexpected. The other 3 have died.
5. Herbs – Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Spearmint and Rosemary
R.I.P. cilantro! It was sad to say farewell to my favorite of the five. I think it did better in partial shade, in a pot on the front porch. The other four are doing well. The basil looked healthier on the porch, so I need to keep an eye on that one.
6. Bok Choy
It looked great at first, struggled and now appears to be growing some smaller sprouts.
I’m fully convinced there is no way to screw up tomatoes. I can’t wait to eat these.
8. Onions & Broccoli
R.I.P. I don’t know what the problem was with these.
Important notes for next year:
1. Read the care instructions for each plant and make an effort to follow them.
2. Read the spacing instructions for each plant and make an effort to follow them.
3. Try composting to boost the soil a bit.
4. Find an organic method for repelling insects.
5. Buy rain barrels! We really missed out this year on water we could have saved from all the rain!
The Wild Cow
1896 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
I’ll admit it; I would like this place no matter what, based solely on its close proximity to where I live. It’s great to have restaurants within close walking distance – it’s part of what I really like about living in East Nashville. The fact that it is vegetarian makes it even more attractive. The Wild Cow is one of only two vegetarian restaurants in this city and I really admire the way they have reached out to connect with the community. Months before they had opened, they already had hundreds of Facebook fans anxiously anticipating their opening celebration / benefit party for East C.A.N.
Sadly, I haven’t tried most of their menu. This is hardly intentional; I’m out of town fairly often and I really enjoy cooking at home with fresh vegetables from our CSA when I can! Last night, after a visit to the beloved, Mas Tacos Por Favor, I noticed that someone tweeted about the raw tiramisu Wild Cow has had available and my curiousity was captured.
Does this look raw to you?
Wild Cow is also unique in Nashville for being one of the first to embrace the raw lifestyle. I have recently become increasingly interested in what the diet and the preparation of raw food entails. I find my quest for healthy eating to be continually evolving. Although somewhat pricey, ($9.25 with tax), this was delicious. I can’t imagine the amount of time it must have taken to gather ingredients and prepare this delectable treat.
After this delicious experience, I started following Wild Cow on twitter – TheWildCowVeg and now have daily updates on all kinds of vegan and raw desserts. Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Cupcakes? Carrot Cupcakes with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting? Yes, please! With an ever-changing menu of daily specials, friendly and charitable staff and an unbeatable location, I really need to get to this place more often.