Tennessee Sweet Potato Pumpkin

October 24, 2006

A piece in today’s op-ed section of The New York Times discusses how far the noble pumpkin has fallen as a source of good food. Seems that the ones for sale today are destined to become jack-o-lanterns, and, when cooked, taste about as good as their plastic counterparts.

The article spoke highly of Tennessee Sweet Potato Pumpkins, so I visited the website of The New Hope Seed Company, which sells 25 seeds for this variety of heirloom pumpkin for a mere $2.50.

New Hope also sells seeds for beans, cantaloupes, cow peas, and peppers, and offers six web pages of of tobacco seeds, with interesting names such as Connecticut Broadleaf, Frog Eye Orinoco, and Florida Sumatra.

The Company is located in Bon Aqua, but is not set up for retail operations–they don’t even list a phone number–so you have to deal with them by mail or on line. Bon Aqua is also home to Gusset Clothing Company ,which sells one of the few jeans still made in America.

Heirloom, Open Pollinated, Non-Hybrid Pumpkin Seeds from New Hope Seed Company

Chain restaurants put the bite on independent eateries

October 24, 2006

When I wrote Moon Handbooks: Tennessee, I would only list, as much as possible, locally owned restaurants.  A few chains, such as Corky’s and Buddy’s Barbecue and Pal’s got in there, but at least they were owned by Tennesseans.  This state has such wonderful food, I reasoned, that why would anyone want to come here and eat at Applebees?

Apparently locals and visitors alike are increasingly patronizing chain restaurants, to the detriment of locally owned and far more distinctive eateries. 

Today’s Tennessean addresses how Nashville’s independent restaurants are banding together as the local chapter of the Council of Independent Restaurants of America.  They call themselves The Nashville Originals, and consist of the following:

• Acorn Restaurant, 114 28th Ave. N.
• Bound’ry Restaurant, 911 20th Ave. S.
• Cabana, 1910 Belcourt Ave.
• Caffe Nonna, 4427 Murphy Road
• Cross Corner Bar & Grill, 330 Franklin Road, Brentwood
• Fido, 1812 21st Ave. S.
• Flying Horse, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin
• Germantown Café, 1200 Fifth Ave. N., Suite 100
• Jackson’s Bar & Bistro, 1800 21st Ave. S.
• Jimmy Kelly’s Restaurant, 217 Louise Ave.
• MAFIAoZA’S, 2400 12th Ave. S.
• Mambu Restaurant & Bar, 1806 Hayes St.
• Midtown Cafe, 102 19th Ave. S.
• Mirror Restaurant, 2317 12th Ave. S.
• Noshville Delicatessen, 1918 Broadway
• Noshville Delicatessen II, 4014 Hillsboro Circle
• Park Cafe, 4403 Murphy Road
• Provence Breads & Cafe, 1705 21st Ave. S.
• Provence Breads & Cafe II, 601 Church St.
• Red Restaurant, 1515 Church St.
• rumba, 3009 West End Ave.
• South Street, 907 20th Ave. S.
• Sunset Grill, 2001 Belcourt Ave.
• tayst Restaurant and Wine Bar, 2100 21st Ave. S.
• Tin Angel, 3201 West End Ave.
• Wild Iris, 127 Franklin Road, Brentwood
• Yellow Porch, 734 Thompson Lane
• ZOLA, 3001 West End Ave.

These are wonderful restaurants, and let’s wish them all success in banding together and staying strong.

Local eateries unite as chains invade – Nashville, Tennessee – Tuesday, 10/24/06 – Tennessean.com