How to shop for…The Foodie


Written by Tony Barrow

Whether you are just realizing it, dreading the coming of it, or have waited for it all year now – the holiday season has arrived. This time of year can either be Our foodie Quoc Lam is an Education Specialist at Nashville CARES. Photo credit: Derek Ward.really fun, overly stressful, or a mix of both. To help out, we have collected a couple of food favorites that might help out around this time of year.

Restaurant:  Amerigo
I have to say that if I am not enjoying a home cooked meal, I would be found at Amerigo on West End in downtown Nashville. This place is amazing. From the atmosphere and décor to staff and food, this restaurant is truly a treat. You must try the Cheese Fritters and the Gemelli and Sausage in Vodka Tomato Cream. This is certainly a night out meal easy.

Recipe:  Polar Star Cookies
The holiday time is one of friends, family, and most importantly food!  My mom and I make these cookies every year to give as gifts, and of course to eat.  I don’t really know where the recipe comes from but you will never forget the taste.  So skip that extra gym workout and make the guilt taste good with these super easy treats.

1 – 24 oz. White Almond Bark
    1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
    2 cups Spanish Peanuts
    2 cups Rice Krispies
    2 cups Mini Marshmallows


Melt the White Almond Bark in the microwave – up to 5 minutes (or until smooth) – Stirring after 2 minutes.  Stir in the remaining ingredients in listed order, and drop on wax paper.  Cool and enjoy.

Cooking Utensil:  Drosselmeyer Nutcracker

A Christmas staple around my house is always a seasonal nut selection.  If you are the same, you need this no matter what you think of Tchaikovsky!  It is one of the most powerful nutcrackers on the market, and easiest to use with only one hand.  It has a shell reservoir to collect the shells and can easily accommodate any size of nut, and is detachable for ease of cleaning.  The price, usually around $40, works for even the tightest of holiday budget splurges.

I hope these few suggestions help to light your holiday bright, and enjoy all the season has to offer.

Barrow runs a Nashville food critic blog.

Other restaurant suggestions…

Cracker Barrel 

Cracker Barrel, part retail store and part restaurant, is headquartered in Lebanon, Tenn. A Southern-themed family style establishment, Cracker Barrel will satisfy any appetite during breakfast, lunch or dinner. From bacon and eggs to turkey and dressing, the menu is brimming with old-fashioned comfort food.

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock is a haven for fans of music, food, and great times. Whether you are down for a Legendary Burger, live music, a Classic Tee, a Rock Star Suite, or the latest collectible pin, there’s something for everyone. Every Hard Rock Cafe, Hotel & Casino, or Live around the world serves up authentic experiences that rock. Since its establishment in 1971, Hard Rock has also been committed to a wide variety of philanthropic causes and activities. 100 Broadway.

Suzy Wong’s House of Yum

Located right next door to Tribe on Church Street, Suzy’s has become one of the hottest meal tickets in town. Chef Arnold Myint (a contender on this season’s Top Chef) named the joint after the popular 1950s novel, The World of Suzie Wong, the story of a beautiful Asian “lady of the evening” falling in love with an American diplomat (played by William Holden in the camp classic 1960 movie.) Get ready for, in Myint’s words “a brothel of epicurean delights.”

Marche Artisan Foods

Marche Artisan foods is a European-style cafe and marketplace rolled into one. You can dine on the savory dishes from their menu for brunch, lunch and dinner throughout the day or be adventurous and buy the trimmings necessary to create your own menu. You can call in special orders for the raw ingredients to make your own international cuisine at 615-262-1111. The cafe offers wine and changes up its menu from month-to-month so you can find something to new to enjoy every few weeks. Marche is located at 1000 Main Street in East Nashville.

Nuvo Burrito

On any given day, there is a place where you can get a “Margarito," watch the “Nuvo Network” and relax with friends while enjoying a freshly prepared “90210 Ques-Idea.” Where, you ask? Right in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood, at new hotspot Nuvo Burrito. The American-style burrito and quesadilla menu is only second in popularity to the “Glee” parties every week. 1000 Main St., Nashville, 37206.

Mad Donna’s

Across the street from the Lipstick Lounge sits Mad Donna’s, another East Side favorite. From burgers to more upscale fare, this neighborhood restaurant can suit just about any taste. And for more fun, head upstairs for Drag Bingo and other weekly activities. 1313 Woodland St., Nashville 38203.