Yummy city flavours

Pretoria News Weekend - - WELLNESS -

NASHVILLE, Ten­nessee comes by the nick­name Mu­sic City hon­estly, with the Grand Ole Opry, Ry­man Au­di­to­rium, all the honky-tonks lin­ing the neon-il­lu­mi­nated Broad­way down-town and myr­iad smaller venues through­out the city fea­tur­ing coun­try, blue­grass and in­die rock.

When you aren’t lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, you can shop at new or vin­tage guitar stores, or spend as much as you want on a pair of boots and a cow­boy hat so you look at home.

The flavours of the city have risen to match the sounds and pro­vide the fuel needed for a night of danc­ing. It’s easy to get a good meal in Nashville, but that comes with a caveat: most any place you want to go will in­volve wait­ing in line, so plan ac­cord­ingly.

The menu at Bis­cuit Love presents a prob­lem: The first two items un­der the “With a bis­cuit” sec­tion – and why are you at a place called Bis­cuit Love if you aren’t or­der­ing some­thing with a bis­cuit? – are the East Nasty and the Princess ($10 which is about R142 each).

The East Nasty is a bis­cuit with a fried chicken thigh, ched­dar and sausage gravy. The Princess pays homage to the city’s sig­na­ture hot chicken, pop­u­larised at Prince’s, with a spicy fried chicken thigh topped with pick­les, mus­tard and honey.

If you’re look­ing for a restau­rant that has the seem­ingly para­dox­i­cal en­dorse­ments of both the James Beard Foun­da­tion and Guy Fieri – and Nashville has more than one – get to Arnold’s Coun­try Kitchen.

It’s a no-frills meat-and-three that’s been around since 1982 with decor built on a palate of cin­der blocks and ply­wood that may be trendy now but feels true to util­i­tar­ian roots.

It’s open only for lunch and only on week­days. Each day has four or five meat op­tions – roast beef is al­ways one, and there’s some kind of chicken and seafood – and twice that many sides – and the stan­dard equa­tion cost $10.74. You don’t have to get a meat, and you can get as many sides as you want, but re­ally, it’s called a meat-and-three, and it seems like we should re­spect pro­to­col.

When I went, it was chicken and dumpling day, so I got that. When picking sides, if you get white beans and turnip greens, you can take some chances with the third be­cause you got those two right. Dessert is ex­tra, but just $2.75 for a piece of pie that will re­mind you of your best fam­ily pic­nic mem­o­ries.

If the spicy choco­late pie is among the ro­tat­ing op­tions, do your­self that favour.

The Ger­man­town neigh­bour­hood just north of down-town is packed with din­ing op­tions, and the one get­ting the buzz lately is Hen­ri­etta Red, which made the James Beard list of best new restau­rants this year and is led by chef Ju­lia Sul­li­van, who was just named one of Food & Wine mag­a­zine’s best new chefs.

The oys­ter bar is the cen­tre­piece of a pris­tine-white din­ing room and fore­tells the menu’s fo­cus on seafood.

The raw bar fea­tures oys­ters sourced from all along the perime­ter of the coun­try ($2.75-$4 each), and the menu is made up of small, share­able plates with a laser fo­cus on what’s in sea­son now. That al­most comes to a fault dur­ing a visit at the height of the peach sea­son when we’re six plates in and re­alise that, in­ad­ver­tently, we’re on our third in which the fruit plays an im­por­tant role.

All is for­given be­cause they’re re­ally good peaches, and each in­stance is a thought­ful use of them. Like the tomato salad ($14) with baked ri­cotta and peaches. And the po­lenta with sweet corn and peaches ($18).

Desserts are mostly sim­ple, el­e­gant af­fairs, but a sun­dae ($8) with a mix of lime, caramel and cof­fee, makes sense when you taste it. – The Wash­ing­ton Post.

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