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/#!

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.