NY Pie…Start spreading the news!

Start spreading the news! We’re eating today. We’re gonna be apart of it…Ok, you get the point. We were just getting into town on a rainy day in August when friends introduced us to NY Pie in the West Meade Shopping Center. It’s a forgettable location nestled between a nail salon and Blue Coast Burrito, but you won’t forget about it once you get your hands on one of those delicious pies.

The Food. I’ve never been to New York but I trust that if Greg Meyer and his gang say it’s the real thing, then its the real thing. I’ve yet to visit Manny’s in Germantown or even have a slice from City House but until then, NY Pie is where it’s at for all things Pizza. Not only do they have pizza but they offer a plethora of other Italian favorites from strombolis to cannolis. And I have had the worst luck finding a good cannoli in Nashville. Luckily, NY Pie makes a pretty legit one, but I’m still on the search for the ones I found in the North End of Boston, MA.

We typically have to get a large pie with half Greek and half pepperoni mushroom. I actually believe we’ve ordered a solid cheese pie many a time because it’s just soooo good. We’ve also tried the Garlic Chicken, take it or leave it. The NY Meat And NY Special, winners every time. And don’t forget your order of Garlic Knots, those buttery balls of dough will complete your jonesing for something that is simplistically filling. And ask for an extra side of the herb garlic butter, you can never have enough to put on them. I’ve yet find a pizzeria where I’m a fan of getting it by the slice, and same here, I’m only recommending that you get a whole pie unless you see a new one fly out the wood burning oven. It’s the only way and you won’t be disappointed. Tell them Local Forkful food blog sent you.

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The Ambiance. NY Pie is a quaint hole in the wall of the West Meade Shopping Center. They have a small bar minus the alcohol to offer you a front row seat to the pizza-making itself. Great family restaurant for kids. If weather permitting they have a nice patio out back with umbrellas and an aisle of four-tops on the inside. Enjoy some of the beautiful photography taken by Greg’s wife, Jessica. The place is adorned with snaps from real NY city sites. The place is buzzing with tunes that range from Sinatra to Jerry Vale & MJ.

Nashville Restaurant Week

It’s here again and I know you’ve been waiting for it like many of us. It’s Nashville Original’s Restaurant Week and time for you to break that wallet in a desperate attempt to snatch some of these deals. Many of Nashville’s favorite Eateries will be offering 2 for 1’s, bogo deals and pick 3’s from some of their regular menu options as well as daily specials. Here’s a list of all the offerings.

We haven’t tried all of them yet! But we’ll steer you in the direction of some of our favorite cheap eats.

And if you follow on Twitter some restaurants will even extend their deals into next week so choose your fav and visit more than once. In the future I would even like to see Coffee Shops get in on this, who wouldn’t love a pastry and a latte for $3.00?

The West End Cafe

The Ambiance. The West End Cafe warranted a visit while looking for a light lunch snack . We saw the Grand Opening sign and said, Why not? You walk into the establishment which is vaguely reminiscent of a cafeteria but with trendy decor. The Cafe is fitted with earthy tones and wood beams to provide that contemporary rustic feel that is so popular at the moment. You can enjoy the news or sports while dining because there are several flat screen t.v.s and a small bar tucked in the corner. You can also enjoy the view of West End traffic on their patio space.

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The Food. The Cafe offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. They are moderately priced and offer soups, sandwiches and appetizers. We haven’t tried their breakfast so if you know anything about it let us know.

You won’t be writing home about the cuisine at The West End Cafe. It is simplistic food made for it’s business professional, college student demographic. The first time we visited the cafe they forgot the andouille on our pepperoni and andouille flatbread, bummer, because that probably would have elevated the uninspired pizzetta in front of us. We ordered the turkey & cranberry sandwich, which had hickory smoked turkey, havarti, mesclun greens, red onions & cranberry rosemary chutney on cracked wheat bread. It was good, but I recommend asking them to toast the bread. That would make the sandwich better. The Chipotle Chicken sandwich with white cheddar, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes & chipotle mayonnaise on toasted jalapeno cheddar bread which was actually better than I had intended. I’d reccomend trying the chipotle chicken sandwich and the hummus plate. They were the items I’d order if I ever crossed paths again.

They also serve Bongo Java so we grabbed an ice coffee to go. In all honesty, the West End Cafe is in a great location for the grab and go crowd of the busy West End area but it’s not something you’d go out of the way for. If you enjoy the run of the mill sandwich shop. The West End Cafe will be your joint.

Fox’s Donut Den…Iconic Deliciousness!

Tell Ya Kids, Tell Ya Wife! These glazed bits of heaven will  have you claiming to be a morning person. The only way I’m  recommending these donuts  are  straight from the grease, by-pass the coffee dipping,  and send it straight to your tum-tum. The Donut Den has been an iconic piece of Nashville, TN history for over 30 years and the tradition of needing those donuts and pastries in your hands continues on.

I sat down with  Mr. Fox himself to discuss the nostalgic donut shop nestled in the heart of Green Hills… but not before I grabbed a maple glazed doughnut and a cappuccino. The Business originally began in your current day Pizza Perfect location on Granny White Parkway.  Mr. Fox had a friend whom  he sold books with.  This friend told him he should open a donut shop and the rest is history. The concept was derived from Harlow’s Bakery based out of Memphis, TN. The place where Fox and his staff learned one on one from the best in the business. He tackled this endeavor while in the Doctorate program at Vanderbilt University.  Fox believes…I mean, knows that their fillings, toppings, cinnamon & products are indeed the best in the game. The Local Forkful believes it and we’ve gained 10 lbs. in the last few days doing research just for you. I mean there is over 54 years of experience from Mr. Oliver Harlow himself to back it up.

They moved to their current location in Green Hills during 1977 because it was the “perfect location”. It is said that some 40k + cars pass by the Donut Den a day. Not hard to believe if you’ve ever sat in Green Hills traffic…nightmaaaare!

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I was itching to see how these tasty treats were produced, and Mr. Fox was nice enough to oblige in letting us create these infamous goodies. We spent a few hours with the man who pumps out those consistent donuts.  Thee Harold Graves is his name and he’s been working for the Donut Den since 1977.  An amicable little man reminiscent of every child’s favorite grandpa, but don’t tell grandma.

It is an understatement to say that Fox’s Donut Den is a just another piece of edible iconography. You haven’t experienced Nashville until you’re removing the icing crumbs from the corner of your lips!…or licking them, which ever you prefer. Dr. Fox says, “Everyone from the Janitors to the Senators eat here.” And I wouldn’t dare contest that statement; these donuts can’t be tamed to the realms of social hierarchy.

I’m pretty sure I’ve tried everything they offer over the course of this interview. During this venture, I’ve yet to find something I disagree with recommending to my followers. Now, I will point you in the right direction. So upon arrival, snatch some of these delicious bits. 

*The Apple Fritter-a delicious deep-fried pastry studded with cinnamon swirl and little chunks of apple, drenched in vanilla icing. Your first trip or next trip to the Donut Den tackle these or just splurge and grab a dozen….or two!

*Kolaches-A sausage cuddle-bummed in their sweet donut dough accompanied with shredded cheddar, baked to perfection. It makes for a great afternoon snack or lunch.

*Raspberry & Blackberry filled Doughnuts-my wife is a pretty picky eater so if shes says I need to add these to my recommendation list then so-be-it.

Last but not least, if the Kolaches weren’t a great way to step outside the box go ahead ans grab yourself a couple of bagels to go. The Spinach and Parmesan as well the Cinnamon Crunch are deliciooooous!

If you’re still hanging in their with your New Year’s Resolution crap, that’s a shame! And I have no idea why you’ve tortured yourself thus far. Come on! put down the ‘shake weights’ and  get some doughnuts!

Extras: Do you want to know more about Fox’s Donut Den? Check these sites and deals out!

Sweet Jack.http://www.sweetjack.com/deal/nashville/50-donut-den-10-spend-1

Grouponhttp://www.groupon.com/deals/fox-s-donut-den Catch it before it expires.

http://placesandplatypie.com/index.html They declare that Donut Den has the Best Donuts in the U.S., but we’ll let you be the judge.

Eat It Tennessee: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donut-Den/15153771875

Like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donut-Den/15153771875

Darlene’s Kakes now resides at Fox’s Donut Den Location: http://www.darleneskakes.com/#!

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.