Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cantina Laredo for Brunch-The Gulch

January 26, 2014

Okay, so I realize if anyone reads these posts, they are going to think all I do is eat.  That is probably not too far from the truth-I'm a little embarrassed as I see I have added 3 posts this week...

Onto Cantina Laredo-

My fiance and I wanted to try something new for brunch post church this week.  Instead of our trusty and delicious Germantown Cafe that had no reservations, we went for a Mexican flare, and decided to try Cantina Laredo.

They don't open for brunch until 11:00, which is probably early enough for a lot of brunchers, but for that reason I probably won't go back anytime soon.  I am usually wanting brunch closer to 10:00 or so...

We ordered the queso which was quite tasty, but my Nate commented on how it didn't necessarily have anything that made it stand out.  It was pretty good cheese, onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos, but its not like I will be pining away for this particular queso like I do for say Local Tacos, or Baja Burritos.  The salsa were also a little unique.  One was kind of a black bean ish flavor, and one almost had a smokey bbq flavor or something-not very traditional.

Queso, Chips, and Salsa
 I had the chorizo with eggs, which comes with a side of cheesy potatoes, a DELICIOUS roll, and a cinnamon fried bread with fruit.  I thought the chorizo egg scramble was quite good! I think I would have preferred if the nixed the potatoes and gave a side of tortillas because it would have been even better stuffed into some tortillas.  The potatoes also look better than they tasted-just kind of bland.  The roll however, was so good.  I don't know what exactly they did to it, but it tasted like it was brushed with some honey butter or something. I also think the cinnamon fried thing was a little too fried and just kind of broke apart when I tried to eat it.  I expected it to be more like a sopapilla (I'm from New Mexico), so I probably didn't give it a fair chance.  The fruit was good-very fresh! The brunch items also come with a free bloody mary, mimosa, or non-alcoholic beverage which is a very nice touch.  Otherwise, bloody marys and mimosas are $2 all day-which is a great deal if you are into that sort of thing.

Chorizo Con Huevos
The meat in Nate's beef stew was very tender and fell apart, but he also commented how it was just a little bland.  I don't think he would go back and order it again.

Mexican Beef Stew
On our way home, Nate asked me what I would grade Cantina Loredo.  I think I would give a B, mostly because it was nothing that I would go back for.  In fact, given the choice between this and Germantown Cafe, I think we would both choose Germantown cafe any day of the week.  It's always good to try new things though!!

Happy Noming Nashville,


Cantina Laredo on Urbanspoon

Rumours - The Gulch

January 25, 2014 

This week was Nashville's Restaurant Week!  It is an amazing week in Nashville, where select restaurants in Nashville will offer some kind of menu special for a discounted price. Often it is a 3 course meal for either $20.14, or $30.14...see what they did there.... ;)

Anywho, my friend Christina (who will guest blog shortly about another restaurant week experience she had a Tin Angel, asked if I wanted to try Rumours Wine Bar in the Gulch.  I had heard great things about it so of course I said yes!

The picture below is of Rumours weekly specials (all the time, not just during Restaurant week).  The Monday night burger special may be calling my name soon...

All the time weekly specials

Here was the restaurant week menu! I STEAL for 3 courses!  I asked our hilarious and awesome server Courtney what she recommended and she pointed out everything on the menu (minus the cheese plate, but I mean, who would order the cheese plate...).  I want to specifically comment on how Courtney added to our Rumours experience! She was hilarious and cool, and I would go back just so she could serve me again!

Restaurant Week Menu

I chose the meatball starter, the crab cakes and the pots de creme.  Christina and Steph both chose the fried Brussels sprouts and the shrimp and Gouda grits! If I had it to do all over again, I would go for the Brussels and shrimp and Gouda grits.  Mine was delicious don't get me wrong, but I was still a little hungry at the end of it, and the fried Brussels were so unique and flavorful! I tried 3 of Christina's and probably could have eaten 100.

Meatball Small Plate

Fried Brussel Sprouts

The crab cakes were good, but came out just a little cold.  And like I said, I was still hungry when I got home.
Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes with Shrimp and Grits in the background
The pots de creme was AMAZING.  It was the perfect, cold, creamy, and chocolaty.  Not too sweet!  We all completely demolished this desert.  In fact, I may go back just for the pots de creme!
Pots de creme
Overall I would give this place an A-! It was good, the service and atmosphere was amazing! That is something I didn't mention, it is a small intimate place, and you kind of feel like you are dining in New York City when you are inside.  The restaurant also has an adjoining patio with adorable strung lights that would just be fabulous to sit under in the summertime.  I would however, have enjoyed just ever so slightly bigger portions!  Definitely give Rumours a try if you are in the Gulch!

Happy Noming Nashville,


Rumours Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Boca Loca - Hillsboro Village

January 26, 2014 Boca Loca

This week for girls night we went to the relatively new Boca Loca Cantina and Taco Factory in Hillsboro Village.  It was half price pitchers of Sangria and Margarita, which is an even better deal when split among 4 friends!  The atmosphere was rustic, the service was great, and the food was delicious!  Also, Tuesdays is half-price tacos, and Wednesday is 5 tacos for $10! Those would be great days to try all the amazing looking tacos on the menu!

We started with the Queso Fundido, which was great-but don't expect it to be queso like you normally think of queso at Mexican restaurants! It was potatoes and chorizo covered in cheese, and served with a side of their handmade corn tortillas! They also bring you fresh chips and have bottles of green and red salsa on the table.  I only tried the red salsa, but it was also very tasty.  This was a great appetizer to split, and it would really serve as one or two tacos depending on how many people are sharing, so keep this in mind while ordering.

Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido
We each ordered two tacos, to go with our queso and sangria.  I chose the chorizo taco (I am also a sucker for anything with chorizo), and the spicy shrimp taco.  Both were delicious, and I would order both again in one second.  I think my com padres ordered a variety of the shrimp, chicken, fried fish, carnitas, and steak, and I didn't hear any complaints!

Chorizo Taco and Spicy Shrimp Taco
Overall, I would say give Boca Loca a try!  It may have been a little pricey, because the tacos were SMALL, but go when they are half price, and you will leave happy and full!! Overall, I would give Boca Loca an A!

Happy Noming Nashville,


Boca Loca Cantina and Taco Factory on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 20, 2014

Silo-Germantown (And IHOP-West Nashville)

January 19, 2014

I had brunch at Silo on Sunday at 11:00, and I have come to terms with my feeling that Silo just is not my favorite brunch place in Nashville.  This is my second time to brunch here and both times I have been underwhelmed.  The menu had a breakfast skillet, a chef's omelet, a bowl of oatmeal, pulled pork eggs Benedict (which I will try if I ever find myself brunching here again), and the hot chicken sliders.  I think there were a few more things but this is all I can remember.

I asked the waitress what she would choose between the pulled pork Benedict, and the hot chicken sliders, and she said those were the best two things on the menu, but the hot chicken is out of this world.  I am a lover of all things, hot, spicy, chicken, and I also enjoy trips to other worlds, so I decided upon the hot chicken sliders. (The other girls at my table chose omelets, skillets, and one girl chose the oatmeal).

Hot Chicken Sliders. 
The above picture is how they came, and needless to say I was excited! They look delicious...but that is where the delight stops.  The chicken wasn't tangy hot, or buffalo-y hot, it was like my fried chicken dived into a bloody vat of jalapenos.  At one point the sauce stuck to the back of my throat and I thought I would have to drink 10 glasses of water.  Plus the 'biscuits' on the bottom were SO DRY that they sucked up the moisture your mouth needed to process the chicken.  The slaw was fine but nothing that I will dream about at night.

Also, as I looked around at the other girls meals, I wasn't jealous.  Nothing looked spectacular.  And it is one of those places where if you want sides (like potatoes or grits) you have to order them separately. The omelet came with 3 thin slices of honeydew melon.

I will admit, I have been to Silo at dinnertime, and got a really yummy burger and a tasty desert as I remember!  So I will continue to try Silo for my evening meal, but just not for brunch!  As an aside, here is a picture of my Breakfast at IHOP the morning before with my fiancé.

Garden Omelet with a side of bananas foster french toast and Country Omelet with a side of harvest grain and nut pancakes.

It was actually less expensive, more food, and more delicious than Silo.  I ALWAYS like to try new things, but my point is trusty IHOP did not disappoint on Saturday!

So in short- SKIP Silo for brunch, I give it a C- (barely passing).  If anyone is wondering right across the street is Germantown Cafe, and one street over is Monells, and their breakfasts are two of my favorite in all of Nashville!

Happy Noming Nashville!


Silo on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Row-Vanderbilt/Downtown

The Row - Vanderbilt/Downtown
January 16, 2014

Last night my sweet Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda were in town and wanted to take me and my fiancé out to dinner.  They were headed to the Texaco Country Music Showdown at 6:30, so we made a 4:45 reservation.  When we walked in the restaurant was pretty empty, but I'm sure that was an artifact of our eating time.  The atmosphere is really cute/rustic/country and we were sat in a very comfortable booth!  The menu has "southern" food...fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, hot chicken, bbq etc.

The Row Menu
We started with fried pickles and fried green tomatoes.  The fried pickles were sliced longways in thin strips and then fried in kind of a peppery batter.  The had white bbq sauce to dip them in, which was good! I wish the pickles were sliced a little thicker, because the batter seemed to dominate them a little.  The fried green tomatoes however (not pictured), where AMAZING.  They were fried in cornmeal, with a side of pimento cheese, and topped with a chow chow.  My recommendation is to skip the pickles and go for the tomatoes.

Fried Pickles
I ordered the pimento grilled cheese, that had pimento cheese, bacon, and a fried green tomato.  It was a little bready and a little buttery, and needed a little more pimento cheese.  It was tasty, but I wouldn't order it again, especially if I started with the fried green tomatoes appetizer, which was essentially the sandwich without the bread.  The fries also came undercooked, but I told the waitress and she brought perfectly fried new ones.  (For the record, I always feel bad sending things back)

Pimento Cheese Sandwich and Fries
Nate got The Row hamburger which is topped with pimento cheese, and a fried green tomato! He said the burger had the most perfect 'char' on it, so I think it is definitely worth trying.  Also, the bacon mac and cheese was AMAZING.  I ate most of it in fact...

The Row Burger with pimento cheese and fried green tomato with a side of bacon mac and cheese 
My Aunt Linda is not much of a meat person and so she ordered the veggie plate, which means you get to choose 3 sides.  she got mashed potatoes, cheese grits, and brussels with bacon.  She said the cheese grits were to best she ever had! She lives in Dallas, and swore she would come back to Nashville just for those grits.  They looked so good, they will be on my order list next time.
Veggie Plate- Mashed Potatoes, cheese grits, brussels and bacon
My Uncle Mike got the catfish tacos.  I almost ordered them and after he got his meal I wish I had.  They looked nicely blackened and he said they were delicious.  I think the perfect combination might be fish tacos with a side of cheese grits.  My mouth is watering as I type this.
Catfish Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Overall, I would give it an A-.  The food was good, but we were the only 4 people in the restaurant it seemed, and our service was actually somewhat lacking.  The water glasses were empty a lot, and my Uncle had to track down the waiter to pay so they wouldn't be late for their show.  If I had to do it all again, I would make a reservation for 7 pm when the restaurant has a little more activity, and I would order the catfish tacos and cheese grits!

Happy Noming Nashville!


The Row Kitchen & Pub on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Saint Anejo-The Gulch

January 14, 2014 Saint Anejo

The majority of my adventurous eating happens at girls night, which is just a group of girls who gets together once a week and eats and drinks.  Picture sex in the city, but way more boring because we are all married/engaged/in serious relationships.  We eat, we laugh, we drink...its a great time.  

Okay on to the food review.  We arrived at 7pm on a Tuesday and had to wait for 30 minutes.  Saint Anejo doesn't take reservations which is a downside, but they have a nice big bar you could stand at and get a drink or just chat.  In the summer, the windows can come up and it becomes a big open outdoor space, which will be nice when it isn't 30 degrees outside!

After we were sat, the majority of us started with Sangria Roja...the red sangria.  It was good, however, I never like when my drink accessory to beverage ratio is high.  In other words, more ice/fruit than beverage.  It was pretty fruity and sweet, but I just wanted a little bit more sangria for $7.50.
Sangria roja 
The Queso Fundido was AMAZING.  I have an intense relationship with all quesos, and this one did not disappoint.  They prepare it at your table, and add chorizo, jalapenos, and a few other things that I don't remember.  It is also served with warm corn tortillas!  It really was delicious, but as the cast iron pot cooled, the cheese got a little hard to eat because it became kind of gloopy. (Think stringy mozzarella). You also get free chips and three different kinds of salsa for free! The chips were warm, and salty, and delicious, and all three of the salsas were pretty good.  I don't exactly remember, but I think there was a green, a pico, and then another dark red.  (Descriptive I know :))
Queso Fundido
 My friend Abby and I shared the special of the day which was the Chimichanga.  It is a flour tortilla stuffed with beef, chorizo, and peppers, deep fried and smothered with chorizo queso.  It was definitely big enough to share! I appreciate her enthusiasm for our meal!  Also, for those of you who watch the show Nashville, the pretty blond girl named Scarlett was sitting at the table right next to us.  You can see her long blond hair behind Abby! I've lived in Nashville for 4 years, and this was my 3rd celebrity sighting I was pretty pumped.
My friend Abby giving a thumbs up to our chimichanga (spot the celeb in the background) 
Chimichanga with chorizo, peppers, and smothered in queso

My friend Anne got the tequila lime chicken tacos.  They come sort of fajita style with the chicken in a cast iron skillet, and pickled peppers on the side.  You can also choose corn or flour tortillas.

Tequila lime chicken tacos
Abby and I also shared a side of Mexican street corn.  It is delicious, and I think if I learned how to make this, my fiance would give me the future wife of the year award.  It is grilled corn, with a creamy tomatillo like sauce with crumbled cheese.  It is really unique and flavorful!

Mexican street corn 
Christina got the shrimp tacos! I had ordered a shrimp taco my previous visit, and I loved them! She said they were just as delicious this time around!
Shrimp tacos with corn tortillas 
We wanted a picture of 'Scarlett' (not sure on her real name), and so Anne took this of Abby (winky face).
Do you recognize Scarlett from the show Nashville? (Thanks for modeling Abbs!)
 The waiters were extra nice and friendly, and my water glass was never empty!  I'm not sure if we were getting extra nice treatment because we were sitting next to a famous person, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The queso is prepared table side, and the staff was extra enthusiastic!
Overall, I would give Saint Anejo an A! The food is good and the atmosphere was festive.  I am generally a very big fan of M Street restaurants.  They also own Virago (sushi), Kayne Prime (steak), Whisky Kitchen (southern-ish food, pizzas), and Tavern (American?).  I have eaten at all of these restaurants as well and have never had a bad meal! They are on the pricier end of Nashville restaurants however.  My check with tax and tip came to around $25!  I should also mention on our way out we saw that every Wednesday is two for one cocktails and half price tacos!! So go on a Wednesday!!!

Happy Noming Nashville!

Saint Añejo on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Burger Republic-Lenox Village

January 5, 2014

Since my boyfriend (now fiance) introduced me to Burger Republic last year, it has been a staple in our burger rotation.  With their ample selection of burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as the chance to indulge in an 'adult' milkshake, we always leave fatter and happier than we arrived.  My fiancé always comments on the decor which tries to have some sort of military theme, but I think its kind of cute...well as cute as grenades can be...anywho...onto the food.

We arrived at Burger Republic for a late lunch (around 4pm), and had less than a 10 minute wait.    We started as we always do with the Tater Tot Fondue! The tater tots are always PERFECTLY crispy and salty, and the cheese is scrumpdiliumpcious. (My fiance said his mouth is watering as I write)

Tater Tot Fondue
I (as you will learn) am a complete sucker for anything with the word buffalo in the description and always have ordered the Angry Bird.  I literally have been here 5 times and have never ordered anything else-it is just that good.  It is fried chicken, tossed in buffalo sauce, on homemade ciabatta, withe blue cheese, and jalepeno pickles.  AMAZING.  I also usually get their french fries, which are good, but not quite as good as the sandwich!

Angry Bird with french fries
My fiancé tends to go for the Fenway, even though he hates all things Boston and Red Sox.  He has done a better job of exploring the menu, but tends to come back to this trusty favorite.  The burger is mixed with italian sausage and is topped with peppers, grilled onions and provolone.  He also goes for the house made chips!  (I am kind of a frenchfryaholic, so I have never ordered them).
The Fenway with homemade chips 

The link to the restaurant is above, and a new location is opening in the Gulch, which means it will be closer, and easy to access.  Bad news for our pants, good news for our stomachs!

Burger Republic on Urbanspoon