dose. [coffee and tea]….’java nirvana’

   I discovered dose. [coffee and tea] one day when I took a wrong turn. And I’ve been thankful ever since. I turned in and grabbed a vanilla machiato and realized that I would definitely be back. I am a sucker for warm welcoming environments with good views & eats. When I returned home I plugged into google to discover they were holding a coffee and chocolate tasting that I would refuse to miss. You say Chocolate to me and done deal. The whole experience of the tasting actually elevated the way I thought of coffee and chocolate as a whole. I definitely recommend checking out the next one .

Ummm! Just thinking about a ginger infused cappuccino makes me a happy man. Something about the smell of coffee beans alone I find to be therapeutic.  I mean if there were scratch and sniff coffee scented t-shirts. I’d have one…true story. I mean I am infatuated with everything about that tiny little morsel that creates something so spectacular with the capabilities of curing my headaches, changing the state of my emotions and allowing me to like being around people at 6am in the morning. (sometimes its really hard… I kid you not)

   dose. [coffee and tea], the awesome little coffee shop and cafe in the coveted Sylvan Park area of Nashville is serving up some of the best java you will find. Keith Steunebrink and Heath Henleythe owners of this hip establishment take true pride in all that is coffee. I sat down with Heath at dose., a cozy place decor-ed in vintage wood beams, hard-wood floors, trendy art pieces,high privacy booths and dim lighting that will make you want to camp out….Don’t try it! Somewhere between that euphoric state of fresh joe and the melodic swoons Otis Redding to Bon Iver you’ll become a believer and what I like to call a ‘serial doser’.

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dose. has been open for business for 2 1/2 years  and is still cultivating ways to become a Nashville staple. I’ve encountered many who gaze at me with a look of bewilderment when asking where they get coffee and have they heard of dose. [coffee and tea]? The name itself is a bit confusing if one is not a savvy coffee drinker. But the name dose. Henley explains, “refers to a step in the preparation of espresso, namely when you transfer the coffee from the grinder to the portafilter, known as dosing the coffee.” Aaaah! It’s all coming together now isn’t it, I know, right?

In trying to discover the perfect name for the shop. The guys decided to make a list if 15 options that would be voted on by the people and dose. won the fight.

You might be thinking, OK, well dose. sounds like a pretty cool place to get coffee, but why should I go there? Well if the ginger cappuccino didn’t get you then back to Pilot for your sugary sludge. At dose. they brew coffee by the cup, none of that mass production of some unmarked silver bag that no one knows what the content holds. Just so know, you will be waiting for 4 to 5 minutes for that perfect cup of Joe. Oh! Yeah, if you’re a die hard fan of chocolate, the Omahene chocolate sauce is to die for. After you add it to your coffee ask for a bowl of it!…No, I’m serious, it’s that good. Heath & Keith (don’t you love that it rhymes) are both above and beyond knowledgeable about all that the coffee industry has to offer. Their mission statement embodies their passion for the bean.

‘Our goal at dose. [coffee and tea] is to share in the love of the products that we choose to prepare for our clientele. And to be passionate about the preparation of products and the consumption. The ability to be in control of production and the personal preparation. Lastly, to create an environment we are ourselves would hang out in.’

Heath hipped us to whats known as the ‘third way of coffee’ which is the preparation of coffee that is appreciated for its nuances. Those flavor profiles that are created as a result of soil, climate and location.

   Henley told us they are inspired to do what they do by the producers.Their objective is to ensure that they are producing the best cup of coffee that you have ever experienced because they desire to pay homage to those farmers who put a great amount of love and passion into what they harvest.  When on the hunt for new  coffee the guys bring in several samples and hold ‘cuppings’ (the technical term for slurping coffee to look for quality and those nuances) to determine what they will sell or feature next.The guys are searching for exceptional quality, unique-ness, and appearance of the product. At any given time you can try 6 different single origin coffees exported from different countries or farms all with their own unique flavor profile. You can find the feature of the month on the website if you’re ever in the mood to step up your coffee game.

I  had the pleasure of grabbing some cuisine to go. I enjoyed the Turkey & Brie with caramelized onions on a delicious Brioche Bun made by The Bobby John Bakery.  It was accompanied with a refreshing side of Caprese Salad. It was a delightfully filling meal to accompany my Ginger Cappuccino. And there was a not a patron in the room who didn’t agree the food was just as good as the java. Delicious bagels sourced from the Bagel Face Bakery and Yummy Cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese. We know it’s always better to hear from the source, so we bothered some people and here are there responses. When we asked.

Why dose. [coffee and tea]?

Brent from West Meade told us dose. has the “Best coffee in town. I typically order a vanilla latte with extra vanilla syrup.”

David, a Sylvan Park resident, said the coffee is so good. “I go simple black.”       He patronizes dose. “because the atmosphere is not overwhelming and the food and drinks are great!”

I saw two women on the patio who seemed to be enjoying themselves and  appeared as thought this wasn’t their first time at the coffee shop.

Lauren it turned out was a ‘serial doser’ who claims she practically lives at shop. She continues to return because “They serve a quality food product and the decor doesn’t feel hectic as compared to other coffee joints. It is also convenient to Sylvan Park.” She proved to be a huge advocate for the avocado and tomato bagel that she adds bacon to.

If you want to check out more on dose. [coffee and tea]. Check it out here:

Real Men Eat Quiche!….True Story.

I don’t know who came up with the silly notion that men don’t eat quiche. It’s practically a one-stop-shop for our lazy butts! Thank you to the Germans who are thought to be the originators of the delectable ‘break-fa-bruncha-linner’ treat. (You’re Welcome for the new word…no charge)

One thing you need to know before we get started is that I can tend to be an everything but the ‘kitchen-sink’ chef. If I have something in my fridge that I feel will compliment the dish I’m creating. It quickly becomes apart of the ingredient list. It’s part of the way I was raised in the respect that nothings trash, and everything has value.  I  thoroughly enjoyed how tasty the quiche was when I tried it. I’m typically a quiche Lorraine man myself.

I cooked the quiche for a food blogger event and had no idea what to whip up before Sunday. And the ingredients I had on hand minus the crust made for great inspiration.

People often think quiche to be complicated, when in reality, it is a food preparation process that I would recommend to an inexperienced cook. Without further a due. Let’s break some eggs.

Oven-Roasted Tomato & Veggie Quiche 

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 Bell Pepper, cored & seeded

1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cored & seeded

1 Sweet Yellow Onion, (1/2 small dice, 1/2 medium dice)

1 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T. butter 0r margarine

1/4 c. White Wine

4 eggs

1/4 c. 2% milk

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

Fresh Ground Black Pepper & Kosher Salt (to taste)

1 Frozen Pie Crust or if you like, make your own…Snob!

  1. Preheat your oven to 425. Oil a sheet pan with about 2 T. of  EV Olive Oil. Layer your sliced Romas in a single layer and generously S&P them. Cook them approx. 20 min. or so. It is really dependent upon your own oven as how long you will cook them. You just want the tomatoes to start to wither and get a little color on top because you’re going to let them finish cooking on top of the quiche. 1b. Also place your room temp pie crust in the oven for about 6 to 8 min. You only want to par-cook  it and allow it to finish with the filling. Set your timer and once finished. Place to the side.

2. Preheat your skillet to med heat. Add a couple drops of water and wait for evaporation to know when your pan’s hot. Add 1 oz. of EV Olive Oil and butter, let melt. Add both diced onions, sweat till almost transparent, then yellow & green peppers. Saute till tender or desired texture. Lightly S&P, then add white wine and cook for 2 more min. Just long enough to cook the acidity out of the wine. Spread mixture out in even layer on a plate and allow to cool or leave in pan if you have fridge space.

2b.At this point your tomatoes and pie crust should be finished. Turn your oven down to 325.  Break 4 eggs & and add 1/4 c. of 2% milk or heavy cream. (You’re preference, for my heart-healthy followers.) I typically mix the eggs with a whisk at a pretty rapid pace to avoid any egg clumps, but that’s just my OCD. You do as you wish, but you want to make sure all is incorporated nicely.

3Grab you’re pie crust and cooled down filling. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the crust. Proceed to evenly distribute the egg mixture across the top. You will think that it can’t take anymore filling, but grab a fork and scoot the mixture around a little to allow the egg to spread through. You only want to go to the rim of the inside of the crust.

Gently place your roasted tomatoes over the top, strategically placing them in a circular pattern. (OCD says so)

4.Place 1 tsp. of smoked paprika in a strainer and dust the top of the quiche. Or you can finish with fresh minced chives or parsley. Allow your quiche to cook at 325 for about 25 to 30 min. Once again this is subjective according to how your oven cooks. You want to be able to loosely hold a knife with your index finger and thumb, allowing it to drop in the center and remove it with no residue left on the knife. 

5.Let cool for 5 min before slicing. Enjoy!

I enjoy a little tapenade on my quiche, so if desired. Allow 1 oz. of cream cheese to come to room temp. Take a 1/2 c. of sour cream, 1oz. cream cheese, 1 T. chopped chives, 1 tsp. chopped dill, pinch of lemon zest, dash of white pepper & kosher salt. Mix on low speed with standing mixer or by hand with whip. Combining cream cheese, herbs and seasoning first, cream it together. Fold in sour cream and Enjoy!

The Painted Cupcake….It’s Artfully Delicious!

     It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! Just one of the timeless swoons you’ll hear upon entering The Painted Cupcake, a modern 30’s & 40’s inspired  cupcake bakery, nestled in the heart of Greens Hills. Duke Ellington, Jean Harlow and Dizzie Gillespie are just a few of the nostalgic tunes you’ll hear when entering the striped and floral accented shop. TPC is one of many cupcake bakeries in Nashville, but the difference between them and the rest of the competition is that they’ve got it down to a science. Simplistic beautiful aesthetics, moist cake full of flavor, and enough options to keep you coming back for more.
     I sat down with the owner, self-proclaimed MacGuyver of cupcakes, Tracey Davenport. In a hidden event room embellished in feminine decor of  black and white floral accents, a continuance of the signature black chandelier,  candle abras, and kitschy art decor that makes for a kids dream environment in which to decorate their own cupcakes and t-shirts. Tracey embarked upon this journey in 2009 during the beginning of the economy tanking. Inspired by her Grandmother and years of cake decorating Davenport stumbled upon the empty space in the nostalgic downtown  Arcade location, now relocated  to the  Green Hills location  at 2014 Glen Echo Road. “My Grandmother was an amazing cook and conservationist. I still scrape the mixing bowl of anything I make today.” Davenport tells us.  Which cupcake is your favorite? We ask. Tracey responds with a warm painted on smile . “The vanilla cupcake with the chocolate butter cream. ”  Reminiscent of that Grandma used to make.

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     The Painted Cupcake is bound to leap the idea of being a fad. Tracey is already embarking upon the changes that are to come with the quote on quote “trendy cupcake bakeries”.  At TPC you can have your child’s birthday with your customized slide show and the ‘French Chef’, a suave character who entertains your party guest with magic and a fantastic French accent. “I have to give my husband credit”, David Davenport, who is the French Chef  indeed. She tells us the dream wouldn’t be possible without his support and silent creative nature. He’s the behind the scenes man who makes it happen from plumbing to French imitations.
     We asked Tracey, what would you be doing if you hadn’t opened TPC?
“Well, I am a full-time financial advisor, but I ‘d still be baking in the form of a cupcakery, art-gallery, and floral design shop all in one.” Well, it might sound like quite the undertaking but TPC already encompasses all three components. Their floral decor-ed cupcakes with sugar and hand-piped worked are some popular sellers. And let us not forget the whimsical pieces of art on the walls created by Tracey herself.
     What advice do you have for someone who says they want to run a bakery? “You have to be willing to works a lot of hours. It takes  dedication and learning to delegate.”
     You don’t have to tell me more than once to bake cupcakes!…YUM! My wife and I  enjoyed the ‘Ike Johnson’ Red Velvet and Strawberry Fields. We’ve tried many a cupcake and not many are moist, with the perfect amount of icing. Let us also recommend the ‘The Bugsy’ Carrot Cake & Death by Chocolate.
     The smell of icing and fresh-baked cupcakes drove me crazy but it was a fascinating hour spent Tracey. Though it seems another bakery  pops quite frequently. The Local Forkful is definitely endorsing this jewel to fulfill the need s of your sweet tooth.  The Painted Cupcake can bring your cake dreams into reality. Bring in your Wedding Cake, Birthday Cake or Customized Cupcake Creation and Tracey and her devoted staff can make it come to life.  Don’t bother with the over-piled Crisco cupcakes from across the street. TPC is the real thing and we at the Local Forkful believe their here to stay.
     Well, you heard what we had to say. Push the treadmill to the dumpster and head down for some cupcakes! Tracey and her staff are waiting.

Plus de café et du chocolat s’il vous plaît?

We just knew you couldn’t afford to miss out this experience. The eclectic creators of Mast Brothers Chocolate is a new introduction to an old world favorite. The neighsayers don’t realize this chocolate is to be cherished and not mearly gobbled down like that of a…dare I say it! Hershey’s Bar. (We love you Hersh) But anyways, come and rediscover you muse for the American infatuation with edible gold.

Oh, yeah! The title of the ‘highlight’ is “More coffee and chocolate, please?”

[There are moments in life when you taste something and it completely changes your perspective on what you can get from a certain type of product. It could be an fresh-picked heirloom tomato, a masterfully crafted beer, or a hand-brewed cup of coffee. If you haven’t already had this happen with chocolate, Mast Brothers Chocolate will most certainly do it – and we’re proud to now be selling a selection of their bars at dose.

Working out of Brooklyn, NY, Mast Brothers has slowly been building critical acclaim and a widening fan base. They specialize in “bean-to-bar” chocolate, hand crafted from carefully sourced cocoa beans from around the world . Tried side-by-side, the post-fermentation smoked Papua New Guinea bar and the single farm Sambirano Valley bar from Madagascar have distinctively different and decidedly delicious flavor profiles – as do all their chocolates.

If you’re still not convinced, then take the opportunity to try some at dose. on Thursday February 9th as we lead a tasting of chocolates from Mast Brothers, Askinosie, and Ritual – paired with some fine coffees from our latest Featured Roaster, Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA! It just may be an “ah-ha” moment for your tastebuds.]

Coffee + Chocolate = <3
Thursday February 9th at 7:30pm @ dose. [coffee & tea]
This is a free event and registration is not required!

Why eat here? Why buy local?….is this ever going to end?

No one’s telling you to STOP supporting your local McDonald’s (eeewww!, but I too are a guilty patron). The true questions at the heart of the matter are Why not eat local? Why not buy here? These establishments are the back-bone of our economy. And they are the ones who took the initiative to bring their dreams into fruition. (slow clap…)

Not only that but there is something undeniably awesome about having neighborhood knick knacks that one can call their own. I mean, think about it. How heart-broken would you be to awake  one morn and discover Hillsboro Village was a memory of yester-year. OMG! Where are you gonna get your Bongo Java, indie hits  & art fix in one stop. And “Dear God” who’s gonna make your  ‘Cookie Dough Eggrolls’ at home. (Yeah, exactly). You can’t stand in the freezing cold with snot glued to your face waiting to get in The Pancake Pantry if it doesn’t exist. This doesn’t exclude farmers. When was the last time you scooped cow patties or pulled a veggie from the earth.

And the list goes on….but we won’t, you get it.      Don’t You?!

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Also, supporting local businesses means that you are supporting other local businesses (tongue-twister). There are tons of statistics and numbers I could share with you but why bother? Just take my word for it. These pie charts, graphs, dots and lines all show the domino effect when keeping your money local. Not too mention, when cities have cozy mom & pops to frequent. It makes tourist feel like they’ve been somewhere worth visiting or might even remind them of home. And everybody knows you need tourists to like you despite the bad rap they get. They drop big $’s when traveling.

Oh!, wait. Let us not forget the topic of the year. JOBS. Mom & pops create the most jobs in the nation. Somebody’s gotta cook that food, do that inventory, purchase the orders, clean the floors, take long lunch breaks, the no call- no shows, and all of those who clock-in late (I  was  saving a kitten from being hit by a car…no…it really happened), but anyways someone has to employ these people. And a pat on the back to you mom & pops for dealing with us.

Now, to sum this all up before your head droops again! Eat here! Buy Local! and tell your friends and their friends. We must stick together with our local business owners to ensure longevity and support their success in our community. They know you  and can better provide what you like and what you need because, guess what?. They live here too. Thanks for tuning in…. you may go back to your non-fat machiato or McNuggets.