restaurants

Birthday Feasts

Last Friday, I celebrated my 22nd birthday! The week leading up to it, I had four friends stay with me because it was their spring break. It was great because I got to play tourist in my own city and celebrate my birthday with them as well! I took them to the Country Music Hall of Fame, some iconic Nashville spots, and the Jack Daniels Distillery. And of course, we ate some pretty amazing food. We didn’t eat out every meal so stay tuned for some new recipes I tested on my village people.   10422920_10152832039623237_6489192471436421229_n1620788_10152833828918237_554891954402108823_n 11081135_10152832037508237_301153506368428946_n

Wild Cow

This entirely vegan restaurant in East Nashville is easily one of my favorites (shocking!). Their intricate menu items show just how easy and delicious it can be to go dairy-free and meatless! We shared the nacho and spinach and artichoke dip appetizers. The spinach and artichoke dip got it’s creaminess from cashews rather than pounds of parmesan cheese, mayo, and/or cream cheese. It gave it a rich taste without being too heavy. For my entrée, I got my favorite salad of theirs – the Market Veggie – loaded with fresh vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and topped with their grilled tempeh. It blows my mind how they make such a seemingly simple salad so outrageously tasty.

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Blvd

On St. Patrick’s Day we rented out a backroom in Blvd as an early birthday celebration for myself and my KD little who turned 21 two days before my birthday. We started off with the butternut squash salad, and then I got the quinoa falafel wrap with a side of kale. Everything was extremely tasty and well priced and having the room was a great way to be able to mingle with all of our friends.

20150317-IMG_9903 20150317-IMG_9906 The Row

No visit to the south would be complete without biscuits, and I couldn’t let my village leave without trying some from The Row. Their four homemade jams – tomato, peach, strawberry, and blackberry are a perfect condiment for their flaky, warm biscuits.
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Fido

I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about Fido. Easily my favorite and most frequented breakfast/lunch spot. Their coffee is top notch, their banana nut pancakes are arguably better than Pancake Pantry (gasp!), and their hash browns could end wars (or at least massive hangovers). My go-to’s are the simple eggs (nothing wrong with a classic), the village scramble, or the huevos rancheros. But don’t forget about the baked goods! If you’ve never tried their Sweet Potato White Chocolate Chip muffin, you’re missing out.

20150319-IMG_0894 20150319-IMG_8046 20150319-IMG_5146Wild Ginger

I first visited this place back in May when my dad visited for the weekend, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have dinner with my roommate and her mom on my actual birthday here. We tried the edamame hummus (delicious!) a few new rolls (The R2D2 will definitely be a repeat offender next visit!) and of course I had to get the Amazon roll (shown with the huge shrimp on top) and the key lime pie.

20150320-IMG_0009 Mack and Kate’s

My wonderful friends, Alex and Stacey took me out for an amazing brunch out in Franklin. Alex has been multiple times and hasn’t stopped raving about it since, so I was eager to try it out myself. Our waiter gave above and beyond service with complimentary mini muffins and a huge piece of cake once he found out we were celebrating my birthday! The salad I had was so fresh with big chunks of crab meat, juicy mango pieces, and creamy avocado.

20150321-IMG_0013 20150321-IMG_0014 20150321-IMG_0017Merchants

Saturday night, I went out with my KD little’s family to Merchants downtown. The menu upstairs is drastically different than the one downstairs so I was excited to try new things. My favorite appetizer was their tuna tartare because it had olives and capers mixed right in, giving a new twist on the classic. My dinner was the roasted cauliflower salad with pine nuts and golden raisins, which made for a delicious dish with interesting combinations of flavors and textures.

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So unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but probably because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of different menu items we all tried as a group. We literally ordered every appetizer and every side dish and each one was better than the next. My favorites were definitely the grilled octopus with avocado and peanuts and the stewed swiss chard. Fun fact – it’s the first time I’ve ever liked octopus!

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Second Winter Break

Last week was my spring break – hard to believe it considering the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing across the US! I spent my vacation in New York and NJ visiting family before heading down to University of Maryland to visit a friend. Unfortunately, the icepocalypse in Nashville followed me back up north and it snowed for a majority of my trip. Luckily though I was still able to squeeze in some quality time with my friends and family, which of course included some amazing food and drinks *disclaimer it’s pretty much all terrible for you, with the exception of Hu Kitchen, but hey it’s ok to indulge every so often 🙂

Hu Kitchen

So the first day I arrived in NY, I had the whole afternoon to kill before my cousins got off of work so I had grandiose plans of meandering the city streets and doing lots of exploring since I hadn’t been since the summer. But those plans were thwarted when my best friend Stacey told me I just had to try Hu Kitchen. By now many of you may have caught on to the fact that we love cooking together and are pretty much kindred spirits when it comes to food so the bar was set high for this place. Hu Kitchen beyond exceeded expectations! It was a combination cafe, market, and coffee shop with a juice/smoothie bar and tons of “grab-n-go” snack items. Their motto is to “get back to human” so all of their foods are made from whole food non-GMO ingredients with no added sugar, preservatives, chemicals, fillers, etc. Honestly, I was in foodie heaven. I spent a solid 15-20 minutes debating what to order before deciding on their stuffed acorn squash, chili lime broccoli, curried sweet potatoes, and of course a coconut cinnamon macaroon for dessert. It was a great place to hangout as well and a friend of mine from my Israel trip met me for coffee and we got to catch up! I even tried their on tap kombucha tea, which was one of the best I’ve ever had. Between seeing her and working on meal plans for my clients, I ended up spending over 4 hours there! Before I headed out I purchased some snacks for the road – chia snap crackers, dried broccoli nuggets, and my personal favorite sweet kale chips. It’s a blessing and a curse there isn’t a location in Nashville because I’m pretty sure if there was I’d have to direct deposit my paychecks there 🙂

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Ovelia’s

Later that evening, we went to a Greek restaurant in Astoria near my cousin’s apartment. We split the tzatziki sauce as an appetizer, which is one my favorite Greek delicacies. For my entrée, I opted for the Soutzoukakia, which was essentially greek style falafel over cauliflower rice and a tomato based sauce. Perfect start to our evening out.

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Bamboo 52

The next night we went to Bamboo 52 in Hell’s Kitchen because we were all craving sushi. I had some of the most unique rolls there. My roommate and I split the Fantasy Roll which had banana topped with spicy tuna and the American Dream roll filled with scallop, lobster, jalapeño, and a honey wasabi sauce. Banana sounds so strange in a sushi roll, but trust me it worked!

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Barcelona Bar

This was a shots only bar in NYC that has over 100 shots to choose from. Some shots even come with music and props to wear while taking them. My roommate and I had the “Leggo My Eggo” one. They wouldn’t tell us what was in it but it tasted like coffee and maple syrup 🙂

The Park

The Park is a favorite spot of my cousins’ so we decided to head there Saturday night. I had only been there for brunch before (where I had the world’s best Bellini), but at night they have a great upstairs area to dance. Definitely could see why my cousins love it so much, and I’m sure it’s even better in the summer when they have outdoor areas as well.

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Amy’s Bread

This tiny cafe is famous for their hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows and since it was snowing when we were in NYC, I knew I had to take Alison here. Of course, being the weird chocolate hater that I am, I opted for a coffee instead but I couldn’t resist getting a marshmallow and I plopped it right into my drink!

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Dylan’s Candy Bar

What you are about to read will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Dylan’s Candy Bar serves candy-themed alcoholic drinks upstairs in the NYC location. Take a minute to imagine that. Yup, it’s even better than anything you could have possibly imagined. When we went, we were the only ones at the bar (granted it was 3pm on a snowy Sunday…) so the bartender had us try some new concoctions of hers. My roommate got a gummy peach ring infused whiskey drink and I got a coffee cake martini, which mostly had espresso and caramel vodkas. It was a beyond delicious way to get a little drunk sweater going before heading to Central Park to take some pictures in the snow.

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Lombardi’s

No trip to NYC would be complete without authentic NY pizza. So what better place to take my Atlanta-native roommate than the first pizzeria in NYC. It was one of my uncle’s favorite spots growing up and it’s become one of mine as well. Whenever I have a friend visit NYC with me, I always without a doubt take them here. They specialize in margherita pizza, and to try to describe it here would never do it justice, so I’ll just leave your mouth-watering with this picture.IMG_3317

Turning Point

For the middle part of our “spring” break, my roommate and I went to my hometown in NJ. So naturally I had to take her to one of my all-time favorite restaurants at my favorite beach, Pier Village (no not that’s not the one from Jersey Shore, in fact my roommate referred to it was “quaint” so there!). Turning Point is an all-day everyday brunch place (yes, you heard me right, you can brunch here every single day). You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu from their Crunchy Monkey pancakes, Hawaiian Style belgium waffle, and pesto egg skillets to a wide array of salads, sandwiches and soups. We started with their fruit bruschetta appetizer, which has chopped strawberries and mango with mint served with house made cinnamon pita. For the main event we each got benedicts – mine with lobster and avocado and hers with sautéed peppers and sausage on cornbread. Absolutely scrumptious!

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that’s sand on the snow!

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#yolkporn

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Bagel Talk

I couldn’t let her leave NJ without having a bagel from my favorite bagel shop near my house. The south just can’t seem to get it right when it comes to bagels, sorry Panera doesn’t quite cut it. I mean take a look at this baby.

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Panda House

So Nashville has GREAT sushi places, amazing Thai, but absolutely no decent chinese food. Zero. Slich. Nada. It’s probably for the best because it forces me to come up with my own much healthier recipes, but when I’m home you better believe I’m eating chinese takeout. Two of my favorite dishes are sesame shrimp and chow mein (basically lo mein with really fat noodles). But I will say, that even growing up we always ordered the steamed dishes and got the sauce on the side because it truly doesn’t need to be swimming in the thick sugary, sodium filled sauce – just a little bit goes a lonnnng way. And of course, egg drop soup is a must have starter!

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Clydz

One evening, we met my cousin Hannah for happy hour at Clydz in New Brunswick. The drink menu actually reminded me a lot of Patterson House with their unique combination of ingredients, liquors, and bitters. I got the Fig Gin Jam (made with real fig preserves), Hannah got the Cucumber Gimlet (cucumber, lime, mint and gin) and Alison got the Decadence (essentially a chocolate martini). Great place to catch up and enjoy a nice cocktail!

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L.P. Steamers

Later that week, I made it to Maryland, despite the snow’s best efforts to stop me. We took a day trip from UMD to Baltimore to go to the National Aquarium. We spent almost 4 hours in there – it was HUGE! From a gigantic 400lb sea turtle to finding nemo, a hot and humid rainforest exhibit, and being waaaay too close for comfort to a shark, this aquarium had it all. Afterwards we headed to L.P. Steamers because what better way to end a day at the aquarium than eating crab. We ordered a dozen crabs to share, which took us 2 hours to eat! Well worth the work (and everlasting old bay spice smell) though – by far the best crab meat I’d ever had and it’s off season!

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That about wraps it up! I’ll leave you with some more pictures from my trip and be sure to look out for new recipes coming your way soon!

so glad I got to see this girl after almost 2 years!

so glad I got to see this girl after almost 2 years!

this mushball is Elmo, the dog I grew up with

this mushball is Elmo, the dog I grew up with

my cousin's bf's dog - what a cutie!

my cousin’s bf’s dog – what a cutie!

delicious homemade brunch cooked by my cousin and me

delicious homemade brunch cooked by my cousin and me – whole wheat blueberry pancakes and broccoli basil egg white scramble

frozen inner harbor Baltimore

frozen inner harbor Baltimore

Aquarium Pictures

The Land of Breakfast Tacos

This past weekend I ventured into the territory formally currently known by the locals as “The Republic of Texas.” My esteemed tour guide, Ilana, gave me the complete historical, cultural, and culinary Texas experience filled with tacos, hot sauce, tequila, guns, and of course, lots of Texas spirit.

Texas State History Museum

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to head over to the Texas State History Museum. I learned a lot about the Republic of Texas and about how much charming Texas spirit its inhabitants have. We even ended our tour with an inspirational video urging us to reach our full potential as the “Lone Star leaders of tomorrow.”

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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema/Esther’s Follies/6th Street

Friday night we went to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to see the “Bangerz and Sass” Sing-along. What’s Bangerz and Sass you might ask? Well, I was wondering the same thing, so here’s a snippet of the show’s description straight from their website: “Well for starters, after going to Miley’s Bangerz tour this year we immediately knew we wanted to have a special night of Miley Cyrus amazing at the Alamo. But as great as she is, we knew that we wouldn’t be satisfied if we only played her hits and didn’t hear from any of the other leading pop princesses of today. So we went through all of our Katy Perry collection and fell in love with everything there. Then we wanted to hear some Taylor Swift, because we were starting to feel 22 and we felt like she belonged with us…Our DJs are taking all of that and mixing it together into the hottest party of July, featuring plenty of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks,” a total “Party in the USA,” and soooo much more.” It was a great prelude to a night out on 6th Street, which was essentially one big street party until 3am. And this happens EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Everything really is bigger in Texas.

Esther’s Follies is a musical comedy show downtown. A lot of the jokes centered around making fun of Texas and politics. Most of them were hilarious even with my limited knowledge of the state, and any others were easily explained by my friend and just as entertaining! There was also a magician who performed several acts, and I was honestly so impressed because I have absolutely no idea how he was able to do all of his tricks. He even used an adorable little white puppy as part of his act so that certainly didn’t hurt 🙂 Esther’s Follies is right on 6th street, which made for easy access to downtown after the show. One of the show’s jokes was about the people you’d meet on 6th, and I have to say it was HIGHLY accurate. According to the comedians, 6th street has “hicks, ganstas, UT frat stars, and cougars.” We certainly encountered many of those real life characters, which made for some very interesting stories… Finally, the award for the world’s greatest brother goes to Ilana’s brother, Ben, for driving out to come get us downtown and for stopping me from consuming too much ice cream under the influence. Thanks, bud 🙂

Red’s Indoor Shooting Range

Now for the most Texas/terrifying thing I’ve ever done… shooting. Definitely nothing like I was expecting, but I’m really glad that I could check this one off the bucket list! And I actually hit the target a lot!

Austin Food Tour

Ok so now time for easily my favorite part of the trip – the food. Friday night we dined at Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. We were given hush puppies instead of your typical bread basket to start and as an appetizer shared a gazpacho with crab meat as well as an order of the wood grilled brussels sprouts. For my entrée, I enjoyed the fish and shrimp ceviche and sipped on an amazing cocktail with coconut rum with puréed strawberries and mint.

Saturday brunch was at Kerby Lane. I ordered an omelet with mushrooms and pesto and Ilana and I split a cinnamon roll and lemon poppy seed pancake. The cinnamon roll pancake was easily the most delicious pancake I have ever eaten in my entire life! Saturday afternoon we stopped at Juiceland for a midday snack, and if you know me at all my order will not surprise you in the least (it’s a variation of the Ninja Bachelor Party juice): pineapple, spinach, kale, mint, and jalapeño. Ugh, Nashville really needs an elaborate juice bar like Juiceland. Dinner on Saturday was at Torchy’s, which had extremely unique and tasty tacos. I had one with fried avocado and the other with ahi tuna. We also split guacamole as an appetizer…obviously. Amy’s ice cream was our late night snack. It is seriously the smoothest, creamiest ice cream. And like Jeni’s, they carry some pretty interesting flavors. For example, Cop Stop was coffee ice cream with donut pieces – YUM!

On Sunday morning I was finally able to try the long anticipated “breakfast taco.” After 3 years of having Ilana talk about the wonders of this glorious yet mysterious food, it was my turn to have a taste. Did it live up to the expectations you ask? Absolutely!! Last, but certainly not least, we were able to squeeze in a visit to Hopdoddy before my flight Sunday evening. The place was very reminiscent of Burger Up, but certainly more elaborate. I had the ahi tuna burger which was topped with wasabi and teriyaki sauces, fried seaweed, pickled ginger, cucumber, and avocado. Extremely messy and difficult to eat, a fairly long wait given the time of day we went, pretty pricey, and probably a full day’s calories, but sooooo worth it. Now excuse me while I recover from the weekend’s food coma…

Thanks again, Ilana!

The Southern: Boozy Brunch Edition

No weekend adventure is complete without a proper boozy brunch to recap the previous nights’ events. Last weekend, I graced The Southern in South Broadway with my presence to see how their bellinis stacked up to the competition. The Park, in the meatpacking district of NYC held the official title for World’s Greatest Bellini. I’m sad to say that The Southern wasn’t able to steal the spotlight on this one. However, their blood orange mimosas definitely gave The Park a run for their money. They also had arguably the greatest biscuits I’ve had since moving to Nashville (sorry Loveless, better luck next time). While admittedly it’s hard to mess up biscuits (if Vanderbilt dining can bake a decent one, how hard could it be?), The Southern took theirs to a whole other level of flaky goodness.

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left: bellini, right: blood orange mimosa, center: drooool

For the actual meal, I went the lunch route and had a great salad with an even better name: “Bless Your Heart.” Since I love to create and cook my own meals, I have become pickier when I go out to eat. My favorite salads are the ones that have ingredients I wouldn’t usually buy for myself. This one certainly measured up as it was chock full of hearts of palm, beets, artichokes, roasted cauliflower, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. The combination of flavors and textures made for a picture perfect salad to accompany the quintessential weekend brunch.

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“Bless Your Heart” salad with a Bloody Mary on the side. Pro Tip: Don’t order the Bloody Mary unless drinking straight black pepper is your thing…

 

Not Another Memorial Day Weekend BBQ

This past weekend was the unofficial start to summer, and I was lucky enough to get to spend it with my dad who came down to visit. While in the past Memorial Day Weekend was filled with BBQs, beach time, and pool lounging, I was happy for a change of venue this year. We I made  a very detailed itinerary for the weekend so we could fit in as much as possible in a short few days. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with us and we were able to visit a majority of the places we had planned.

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On Friday, we had a late dinner at Margot Cafe, my absolute favorite restaurant in Nashville. We shared a basil, grapefruit, fennel and anchovy salad appetizer, and I had the soft shell crab special for my entrée. It was the first time I had ever tried soft shell crab, and it was absolutely incredible! It’s meals like these when I get sad that they change their menu daily.

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Saturday morning, my dad and I rented bikes and rode around 12 South, the Gulch, Broadway, and Germantown. In high school, on Sundays when I didn’t have cross country practice, my dad and I would bike along this 10 mile trail near our house, so it was nice to be able to do something similar with him this weekend. We took a lunch break at the Farmer’s Market where he got a BBQ plate and I had crawfish (so southern!) and a cold-pressed juice from Beach Bums. We went back later that day to buy produce that we couldn’t carry while biking, and I bought some of the best peaches and yellow tomatoes I’d ever had! Can’t wait to go there more this summer!

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Later that evening, I took my dad for pre-dinner drinks at Patterson House where I got my favorite drink of all time, the “Juliet and Romeo” which consists of gin, muddled cucumber and mint, and rosewater. My dad got a sweet whiskey drink with a pineapple liquor made in house (I may have had some influence on his drink decision…). Dinner was at Wild Ginger, an Asian fusion restaurant in Franklin. They had the most unique sushi rolls ever – wow! I needed to take 2-3 bites per roll, and they were topped with pesto, various aiolis, balsamic, and other sweet and spicy sauces! My favrite was the Amazon which had asparagus, avocado, ebi, crab, crunch, and was topped with guacamole, dynamite scallop, rice pearl dusted shrimp, alfalfa sprouts. By the end I was a super happy camper in an intense sushi coma.

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Counterclockwise starting from top left: The Amazon (my favorite), Cobra, Water-Lily, October Sky, and lastly, we splurged on key lime pie with a macadamia nut crust

The next morning we got up early to hike at Percy Warner Park. This has been on my personal bucket list for a while, and I can assure y’all I will be back very soon! Despite how confusing it was to find the entrance and our slight “detour” during the hike, I would say it was a success. We brought my friend, Stacey, and my dog, Lilly along for the fun. Little Lilly showed no signs of slowing down, even at the bitter end!

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After the hike, we headed over to 12 South for Burger Up and Jeni’s. To say my dad is a fan of bison burgers would be a huge understatement, and even so, he claimed that Burger Up’s bison burger was by far the best he’d ever had! Success! I opted for their quinoa and black bean veggie burger on top of their beet salad, which included arugula, crushed pistachios, apples, cucumbers, and avocado. Having made veggie burgers myself, I have no idea how they get their veggie burgers so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but I would LOVE to know their secret (or at least be able to buy them in bulk and freeze them!)

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On actual Memorial Day, we headed to Broadway for some day drinking. Who knew Rippy’s actually had such amazing drinks?! My dad got the Spiked Sweet Tea Lemonade and I had the Yeehaw which had sweet tea vodka, coconut rum, peach schnapps, lemonade and sprite. It had the perfect amount of sweetness and tanginess.

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Before his trip officially came to an end, per his request we went to Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro. I felt like I was on carb-overload from the weekend, so I decided to be adventurous and try a breakfast wrap. I created my own with egg whites, peppers, mushrooms, and salsa. The wrap itself was also so flavorful with lots of herbs baked right in. My dad got the pecan pancakes which were good, but way too sweet for my taste. I prefer the blueberry or peach ones, but I was also excited to discover that there is more to Pancake Pantry than just pancakes! Perfect way to end a wonderful father-daughter weekend adventure!IMG_4440IMG_4439

Hope y’all get to check out some of these places soon! Happy Friday!

 

 

Husk: A Twist on Typical Southern Food

A few weeks back my little sister in KD ran the Country Music Half Marathon. Despite battling knee injuries throughout the year, she finished strong and smiling! To celebrate, the family and I went to brunch at Husk, a great Southern restaurant just south of Broadway in Downtown Nashville. But this isn’t your typical grits and fried chicken joint. Husk transforms traditional local southern ingredients into unique dishes. Oh, and did I mention that the menu changes TWICE daily?! This ensures the freshest ingredients are used and keeps things interesting.

 

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In a recent Nashville Scene article, they listed the 12 dishes that define “New Nashville,” which describes the sophisticated shift in the restaurant scene in the last 5-7 years. Their first dish of the magazine piece was the Vegetable Plate at Husk. Of course, being a pescatarian, I was very intrigued, but before you meat-lovers write it off, hear me out. The Vegetable Plate is served on a tree trunk disk, yes you heard me, a big round tree trunk disk. The trunk hosts 4-5 hearty bowls of unique vegetarian-based farm to fork style dishes from local vendors. As I mentioned earlier, this changes twice daily. While, the Vegetable Plate entrée itself is offered daily, the accompanying dishes change. it’s a great way to try to a variety of the chefs’ daily specials at once.

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Before I go into detail about my Vegetable Plate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing, freshly baked honey sesame rolls served in a mini cast-iron dish – buttery, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good! We also splurged and ordered an appetizer of calas, which are essentially a fusion of rice balls and beignets. The chewy, sticky sweet rice is covered in a light dough and dusted with powdered sugar. Definitely felt like more of a dessert, but hey, sometimes you need dessert first!

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Now onto the main event. My Vegetable Plate consisted of a butter bean and farro succotash, savory tomato basil grits with a perfectly poached egg, sautéed mushroom medley, and pan-fried turnips. My favorite one would have to be the grits. While I’m not usually a grit lover due to the texture, the fresh tomatoes and runny, bright yellow yolk combine to make the ultimate sauce. Next up, the succotash was light yet filling and I absolutely loved the creamy butter beans. Mushrooms are a staple in my diet, so I really enjoyed trying the different varieties, especially the oyster ones! Last, but not least, the turnips were delicious, but nothing special. To borrow the words of a Food Network critic, it did nothing to transform the dish. Nevertheless I left happy and satisfied! Can’t wait to go back again soon.

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Post-Spring Break Slump

Post-spring break slump (PSBS)

[pōst spring brāk sləmp] noun
a disorder that affects many college students in late March causing lack of motivation due to the proximity of summer (also see: zero fucks)

At this point in the semester summer is just within reach, but our professors are there to remind us that thousands of pages of reading, research papers, group projects, and finals exams are still standing between us and some poolside relaxation. Motivation is at an all-time low so it takes double triple the amount of effort to get assignments done. Last Monday, I succumbed to my severe PSBS, and decided to go out with a group of my friends and explore a new restaurant in East Nashville instead of working on a paper.

Much to our dismay, there was a long wait at Wild Cow, so we were forced to try out Rosepepper Cantina, a Mexican restaurant across the street. Fortunately, it turned out for the best. The food (and company) were impeccable, starting with the chips and salsa. The tomatillo was my personal favorite because it had a unique, sweet taste to it, and the chips were thin and crispy, but not greasy or overly salty.

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For my entrée, I ordered the Fajita Fresca, which consisted of a variety of fajita vegetables and beans on top of greens inside a crispy tortilla shell. Even the guacamole came in its own individual mini shell! Not only was the presentation great, but the fajita vegetables were some of the best I ever had – especially the portobello mushrooms.

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Afterwards, a couple girls in the group had never been to Jeni’s ice cream, so we stopped to let them enjoy it for the first time. One girl even got the same combination I suggested in my post about it! (it’s the little things in life…).

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PSBS is truly a challenge for millions of college students. However, do not fret if you cannot fight your PSBS because even with the best intentions, sometimes you just need to say ‘screw it’ and do what makes you happy in the moment, whether or not it’s what you ‘should’ be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating this kind of flippant attitude as a lifestyle, but once in a while you do need to let loose. What started out as a casual outing to a restaurant with a friend, turned into a large group of KDs enjoying a fantastic Mexican meal in East Nashville. And I got to hang out with some girls I don’t normally see on a regular basis, which was an added bonus. I even went out again later that night to see The Lego Movie with my roommate. Apparently, we were the only ones crazy enough to go see it at that hour because we had the theater all to ourselves. While I may be paying the price later this week when I am finishing up a paper in the wee hours of the morning, I wouldn’t change a thing because these are the types of random memories I will always remember from my college experience.

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Left: The front of the movie theater looked like a retro roller rink. Right: Can you spot my roommate amid the dozens of empty chairs?