Mas Tacos Por Favor

Two years later and we finally made it to Mas Tacos Por Favor in East Nashville. It was beginning to feel like a haunt that would never be confronted. You know the restaurants that people always talk about and you keep saying you’re gonna have to try it. Well, for two years this went on until this past Friday. I finally got the weekend off and if you know anything about the restaurant industry, you know that a weekend off is rare(sad face). But I managed to conquer this feat and the first thing on the itinerary was Mas Tacos Por Favor.Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local ForkfulMas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful I mean I hate to exaggerate and make it sound like this was the ‘best thing’ since sliced bread but it was delicious. I think what blew me away the most from a culinary standpoint is that everything on the menu is well executed. Although the menu is simplistic in nature and not the most authentic of Mexican cuisine. You can taste the passion and the attention to detail. That alone was enough to bring the wife and I back for round two the next day.  We spent fifty dollars here in the course of two days and I don’t regret a penny of it. The only thing we didn’t care for is the combo of pineapple and cilantro in the fresca(fruit/flowers+water+sugar=agua fresca). Big whoop! The coffee with horchata(beverage made of ground rice/nuts) and the hibiscus lime agua fresca made up for it many times over.
Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful
Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful I’m not going to go any further about the ingredients in the menu items or try to describe the ambiance just to persuade you to get here like yesteryear. When we left the first time all I wanted to do was tweet incessantly about it and eat three more ears of elote(corn). Just go already, and order one of everything, don’t forget two bowls of the chicken pozole and a chorizo brunch taco for me. Thanks!
Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful The staff was nice enough to let me grab a snap of them. The service in East Nashville isn’t always as friendly as I would like. You’ve heard it all before hipster..blah..blah..blek! Whatever, the kids at Mas Tacos are swanky, friendly and seem to love what they do. That’s all that matters. So the next time the line at The Pharmacy is out of control dot-com, head on over to Mas Tacos Por Favor, but check the hours they close early during the weekdays.
Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful
Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful Mas Tacos Por Favor Review by The Local Forkful

There is no website so you have to scurry over to the facebook page to get the 411 or follow them on twitter.

Mas Tacos Por Favor
732 McFerrin Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante Nashville


     Chef Pietro Vardeu is bringing some Miami flair to Nashville in the form of  Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante. An establishment that I’m sure will be on your top list of good Nashville eats. When it comes to Italian food I tend to be pretty skeptical because most Italian restaurants that I’m familiar with are typically watered down heavy-handed versions of the simplistic-fare that is authentic Italian cuisine. You know, the over-sized bowl of pasta drenched in sauce and covered in some low-grade Parmesan cheese. Chef Vardeu’s history of culinary accomplishments shined through in many of the courses we enjoyed.

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante in Nashville: Review by The Local Forkful

     The setting, a chic and contemporary design that gives way for Sardinia to be either, the perfect lunch, dinner or special occasion destination. The restaurant is located off Eliston Place on 25th Avenue and there’s complimentary valet. Score! If you’re at all familiar with the parking dilemma in Nashville, you know how vital this offering is to the success of one’s evening.

     The restaurant prides itself on the extensive wine selection. So if you   lovers of the grape go check it out, let me know what you think?  I started the evening off with the Tennessee Gentleman cocktail. A refreshing blend of Domaine (a ginger liqueur), Jack Daniels, and a squeeze of citrus. If you consider yourself a cocktail connoisseur, I recommend trying this at home.

     We grazed the menu in search of the perfect items to order. Translating the menu might be a little overwhelming for those of us who took French or Spanish in high school as opposed to Italian. Our server was rather helpful but also lacked knowledge in deciphering some of the menu selections.

The Tennnessee Gentleman Cocktail at Sardinia Enoteca in Nashville: Review by The Local Forkful

     The meal began with a selection of Sardinia’s artisan cheeses. Which are  imported from the country itself. (from left to right) We sampled the Manchego d.o.p. Iberico La Mancha, Pecorino sardo dolce, and the Robiola Bosina dell’ Alta Langa. Sardinia has a great selection that allows one to dip their toe in the pool without jumping in. We weren’t particularly fond of the Pecorino, but one out three isn’t bad. And be prepared to fight the temptation of cleaning that little red bowl of pear marmalade clean. It was the perfect accoutrement with our selections. I would definitely recommend the Grand Tasting of the house mozzarella which sounds fantastic. 

The Cheese Plate at Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante in Nashville: Review by The Local Forkful                                                                                                                                                            Then there was the Bietole Insalata, a delightful marriage of red beets, romaine, cherry tomatoes, onions, shaved parmesan and honey. The wife was not particularly crazy about the salad, but I could not keep her out of my dish. The dish that I am spreading the gospel about to everyone I encounter. The Cipolline al forno con funghi trifolati, onions and mushrooms, this dish was so simplistic, but all the flavors were there and dancing on my palate in a way that leads one to shake their head in disbelief after each bite. The only thing I can tell you is that, you need this in your life. If you simply choose to dine in for drinks, I’d recommend this dish and the complimentary bread alone are a great meal. And you’ll be swooning over the blend of pecorino and olive oil concoction. We thought it was butter, turns out it was better than that. It’s delicious. 

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante's Lamb Shank: Review by The Local Forkful      My entrée may have been The Best thing I’ve eaten since I moved to Nashville. The Lamb Shank  porcini with Cannonau risotto. The meat was perfectly cooked, tender and falling off the bone. It was packed full of flavor and the little bits of mirepoix in every bite transported you to a place where comfort food reigns supreme. The risotto, creamy and aromatic, infused with a popular red wine from Sardinia called Cannonau; which is often used in Sardinian cuisine, pairing well with red meat and select cheeses.

     My wife ordered the Pappardelle Cio Ciara with homemade ricotta,
tomatoes and black olives. She substituted the pappardelle for gluten-free linguine.  It was a lite and delicious dish, luckily Sardinia offers gluten-free pasta. Which was a plus, because if you know anyone who has celiac disease or is on a gluten-free diet, then you ‘re familiar with the difficulty of dining out.Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante's Pappardelle Cio Ciara: Review by The Local Forkful

     I wasn’t sure at this point if there would be any room left for dessert. But if you follow me at all on social media. You know that the wife and I do not turn down dessert. We ordered the Strawberry Tiramisu  and the Panino con Nutella. I have to say after having a wonderful meal the dessert was a let down. The strawberry tiramisu appeared to be an afterthought. Two layers of whipped mascarpone cheese with lady fingers soaked in the juice of macerated berries. And I wanted so much more because if you’ve ever had a well prepared traditional tiramisu you know the joy of those coffee dipped cookies, whipped mascarpone and egg yolk. The hint of cocoa powder and if you’re lucky maybe some bittersweet chocolate shavings(sigh). Strawberry Tiramisu at Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante in Nashville: Review by The Local Forkful

     The Panino con Nutella I had high expectations for because I’ve seen so many adaptations in Italian restaurants that were delicious. Which led me to believe that I would receive something completely rich and decadent. Sardinia’s take on this was not what I expected. Their version, a light crepe sandwich filled with Nutella, drizzled in chocolate sauce and accompanied by a dollop of banana mash and homemade ricotta. I’m led to believe with a little revamping these desserts could be more than just the court jester.

     Sardinia is sure to be a Nashville favorite and you’ll probably be fighting the crowd when sport season is in full effect. Chef Vardeu’s clearly preparing Italian cuisine made with love and attention to detail. Sardinia is also running a $36.00 3-course dinner special for June and July. They serve brunch on Sundays from 11 to 3pm. And you might want to stop in for lunch  when they offer 3-courses for $20.00. You can also book reservation on Open Table. Enjoy! and come back to let us know what you think!

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante
210 25th Avenue
Phone:(615) 320-9147

Austin,Texas Eats & Wedding Fun

While Austin might be one of the nicer cities in Texas. I don’t think I’d ever move there based upon nature’s aesthetics, but the food is a different story. We took a road trip to Austin for our ‘Best Friends Wedding’, no pun intended. And fell in love with all of it’s culinary offerings along the way. First, in a moment of desperation and lack of another food stop for 30 miles. We pulled into a Whataburger and Man! That was a bad choice. We heard that these are relatively popular but didn’t catch the appeal. It was flavorless and unnecessarily over-sized and over-priced for it’s quality. But whatchagonnado?
Kali Kate Ranch, Austin Texas

What road trip would be complete without a snack on the way? I consulted with the wife and it was unanimous! Mainly because I insisted, but puppy chow was the winner. This is one of my favorite childhood snacks and the moment I pop it in my mouth, it’s an instant trip down memory lane. The days when the only thing you had to worry about was someone saving you a seat in the cafeteria. And praying to God that mom had packed a fruit roll-up! You’re family is sure to love this recipe and you should make it, even if you don’t have kids.

Puppy Chow


2 c. Honey Nut Chex Cereal
1 c. M&Ms (I prefer Peanut Butter)
1/2 c. mixed nuts
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 T. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. first, place chocolate in microwave for 20 second intervals until completely melted. Place peanut butter and butter in a bowl and heat in 15 second intervals while stirring between until smooth and combined.

2. put dry cereal in paper brown bag and pour chocolate and peanut butter mixture over cereal in even layer. Be careful not to waste any good stuff on the bag. That would be a shame. fold down the bag and give a vigorous shake for 30 seconds. Then add powdered sugar and shake for another minute. Once mixture is evenly covered place on to sheet pan and allow to air dry for 15-20 min. Evenly distribute candy and nuts over mixture, then place into air tight container. Chow is good for up to one week. Enjoy!


Luckily, our friend stayed in an apartment complex relatively local to some great eats! We made a couple of trips to this awesome Mexican bakery that was on a couple of blocks away. The aroma of cinnamon and sugar with a bit of spice was heavenly. There were desserts such as arroz con leche, a rice custard with cinnamon and raisins. There were polvorons, cinnamon shortbread covered in sugar. Not too mention these delicious little pigs called marranitos, which are molasses cookies, so good. And I’m not typically a fan of molasses because it has such a pungent flavor but in these cookies the ingredient was mild enough that I could enjoy more than one. We usually left with a couple of bags because the prices were incredibly cheap for the artisan pastries we devoured.

20130109-200212.jpg I can’t say enough good things about Gourdough’s! Those freakin’ stuffed donuts were the highlight of the trip. And if the fact that we took three visits to have those fluffed pillows of sweet and savory perfection isn’t enough to validate them. Then, you’ll have to try them yourself. The playful menu provides you with plenty of options from elementary nostalgia, the peanut butter and jelly, to the hungover variety in the mother clucker and slow burn. We dined on the dirty berry, pb & j, funky monkey, and mama’s cake all delicious in their own right.

If you just happen to visit this nostalgic streamline trailer, just know they have recently opened a brick and mortar location as well. Don’t let the long lines deter you, you deserve one of these.


20130109-200124.jpg The Salt Lick came highly regarded by some friends and so we tried this Austin institution and well, it wasn’t bad. But I simply can’t tell you that it’s better than Franklin’s and we’ll get around to that later. The Salt Lick had the ambience to make you feel as though you’d been herding cattle through the desert and you deserved a rest for a bite to eat. The restaurant is filled is with western paraphernalia, long wooden picnic tables and a open bbq pit that leads you to salivate uncontrollably. A bevy of hanging smoked sausage, slabs of ribs dripping with sauce and chicken just itching to get on your plate.

I have to give it to the The Salt Lick, while I wasn’t a fan of the sides, a plebeian selection of beans, slaw and freakishly weird potato salad. The meat was quite delicious. The ribs were tender and juicy, and the chicken was cooked to moist perfection. But I’ll know next time to just stick with the ribs and sausage.


Now,on to the piece de’ resistance! Franklin’s BBQ is an Austin, TX institution of BBQ Amazingness! They’ve been featured on everything from No Reservations to the New York Times and Bon Apetite. I was a little hesitant at first thinking to myself. “What kind of BBQ is worth getting up at the crack of dawn for?” Well, my question was answered, and it’s none other than Franklin’s my friend. The friendly staff allowed me to come in early for some pre-chaos photos. I was also able to speak with those who scheduled carry-out orders 2 months in advance. Believe It or Not?

Well, I figured I might as well try it all. And I did. I got the combo plate and a few samples of the other items. Ribs, Brisket, Sausage, and Turkey. all ridiculously tender and full of flavor. I didn’t even remember standing in line for two and a half hours like an adolescent teen getting Taylor Swift concert tickets.
Franklin Barbecue There’s nothing fussy about the way they do things at Franklin’s bbq. As you can see the menu options are displayed upon butcher paper with electrical tape posting it up. A sign to me that this could go one of two ways and well they chose the better option. I apologize for not having a photo, but you know what happened?!

Only a couple of blocks from the casa was a local favorite by the name of Mellizoz Tacos. A trailer parked beneath a couple of oak trees. These tacos were simplistic Mexican fare done to a level of excellence. We ate here twice in one day. Their tacos and entrees only ranging from $2.25 to $6.00. It was a steal and we left full, always a plus in my book.

20130109-195319.jpg Here’s all the delicious things we ordered including queso, a must-have. First, the slow rider (front), a combination of braised Machaca beef, caramelized onion, cotija Cheese & Cilantro.

fried avocado (middle), a combination of tempura battered avocado, arugula, chipotle sherry vinaigrette, cotija & tomato.

shroom (back) sauteed portabella, caramelized onions, spinach, tomato, chipotle aioli and the wife added guacamole. (She’s addicted)

Every taco so vastly different in flavor and pleasing to the palate. That it warranted two visits in one day! Now, does it give our Mas Tacos Por Favor a run for their money? No!, but it’s a close runner up.


Summermoon was a hole in the wall coffee shop we discovered on the way back from Mellizoz Tacos. An adorable quaint coffee shop nestled between some office buildings, and adorned in the ever so popular reclaimed wood and edison lights. The perfect place to enjoy your Gourdough doughnut with an awesome cup of wood fired coffee. Yes! wood fired. They roast their beans by hand in a brick oven, over a mesquite fire, using sight, sound, and smell to consistently offer their customers a unique and superior coffee experience. It was delicious and if that wasn’t enough, they offered this wonderful 7 blend milk that would make someone lactose intolerant take the risk. It’s so good! You’ll want to purchase a gallon to take home, but I don’t think it’s for sale.

Caffe Medici is another cool place to enjoy your java in downtown Austin. Beautifully decor-ed and encouraging you to stay for a while as you enjoy your high-quality french press coffee. Though the coffee was rather pricey, it was worth every penny when noted the care that was being put into it by our barista.

Caffe Medici’s coffee is a blend conjured by none other than Cuvee. A roaster dedicated to sustainable, artisan blend, located in the Hills of Texas outside of Austin. The coffee was fruity and chocolate which I love, it ended with a smooth finish. Not the typical cup you’d slurp down for your caffeine fix.


Torchy’s Tacos is a local institution and came highly recommended by the locals. So we’d be re-missed to not check it out. I mean, it’s the place where all the cool kids go. We ordered the Brush Fire, a marry of Jamaican Jerk Chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, sour cream cilantro with their Diablo sauce. The more you eat it, you begin to get the slow build of heat and all of those flavors just meld together so well.

The Mr. Orange came highly regarded by those who recommended Torchy’s but of course they were sold out and I was highly upset. I never pass up a good salmon taco, don’t judge me, they’re delicious. And the worst part is; it was only freaking two o’clock! But any who everything else we ordered was just as tasty, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not the authentic stuff but the best Americanized Tex-Mex you’ll probably find!

And last but not least! Who doesn’t love a good Macarena? The best thing about weddings is that it’s a night when all inhibitions are thrown to the wind and you can enjoy yourself. No reliving the days of standing in the corner at prom or those college parties where everyone else was dancing but you.

….Well, actually that wasn’t my life but you know what I mean?!


Food Network’s Chopped is Coming to Nashville, TN!

If you’re a lover of  The Food Network or The Cooking Channel, then you’re familiar with all the cooking competitions such as Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef, America’s Worst Cook and Chopped! It’s no secret that Nashville, TN has recently spiked on the ‘global culinary thermometer’ (hope you like that? I just made it up) But any who, with all the Culinary Talent in this city from Roderick Bailey to duo Erik Anderson/Josh Habiger and the Pop-Up Chefs like Vivek Surti of Vivek’s Epicurean Adventure’s and Brandon Frohne of Forage South.

It was only a matter of time before they’d come through the neighborhood looking for fresh faces. Chopped is looking for professional local chefs for their next season’s line-up and it just might be you. But not to fear foodies, bloggers and amateur home-cooks a like. They want to know what skills you’ve got up your sleeve when you come face-to-face with the mystery basket?

Think you got what it takes! Professional Chefs Enter Here.

Everyone else Enter Here!

Food Network's Chopped

The Cottage Cafe…Sweets, Soups & Salads

     We discovered The Cottage Cafe on Scoutmob. Now, let it be known that you can not trust every recommendation on the deal site. You have to do the research or just take a gamble. We realized it was only a five-minute drive from our home, the cafe is nestled in a shopping strip off Old Hickory in Bellevue.
It is a quaint little hole in the wall connected to an antique shop that your grandma would die for. But anyways, it is also home to Crumb de la Crumb Bakery. You might have seen them on The Food Network Challenge. They’ve created cakes for some of your favorite Nashville natives like Taylor Swift, Josh Farro of Paramore and Lady Antebellum. The wife and I usually jump right into trying a little bit of everything in order to give you the scoop.
     We heard the She Crab soup and crab cakes were killer but I’m allergic to shellfish so that wasn’t happening. First, they bring every table cheddar jam. A blend of cheddar, seasoning & pecans topped with a fruit jam and accompanied with Ritz Crackers. We both ordered the half and half combos. I got the Carolina Classic, shredded iceberg, eggs, almonds, and hot bacon & honey mustard dressing. Please believe when I say this sounds a lot better than it looked. My sandwich, the Roasted Chicken Pesto Panini consisted of roasted chicken, provolone cheese, vine-ripened tomatoes, pesto aioli on flax-seed wheat. The sandwich was good, all the flavors were there but there couldn’t have been more than two ounces total of all those ingredients on my sandwich. Which left me rather dissatisfied. I won’t go into detail but my wife’s meal was the same caliber of disappointment. She ordered the Spinach and Cranberry Salad with the Berried Bird Sandwich. Once again, both relatively good but lacking in presentation and quantity for the price. The experience might have been better had the service not been so slow. You would think for such a small operation. It would be a great in and out lunch spot, but to our dismay it was not. Our server while very nice was taking orders on her iPhone which actually seemed to be slowing her down. I was beginning to pick up on the sense that the restaurant was an afterthought and the desserts were the cash cow.The Cottage Cafe Cheddar Jam & Ritz Crackers

Vanilla Bean Lemonade at The Cottage Cafe

Chicken Pesto Panini & Carolina Classic Salad
     After our meal we skipped out to the foyer to get some dessert. It was the week before Thanksgiving so there was no Red Velvet cake by the slice to be purchased. Bummer! So we nabbed a Red Velvet and a Vanilla Cupcake. I always get a vanilla cupcake when I first try dessert shops because I figure if you can’t do vanilla anything justice. That’s a problem. Both cupcakes were good but not a match for The Cupcake Collection or that of The Painted Cupcake. All in all , I believe The Cottage Cafe has found their demographic and it’s not a youthful crowd. It’s our parents. Lastly, if you find yourself in the Bellevue area definitely swing by The Cottage Cafe for a gallon of Vanilla Bean Lemonade. It’s that good.