This week's eats! Iron Fork & Bao Down Happy Hour

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It's time to see some of the city's best chefs duke it out in the local arena we fondly know as Iron Fork. Iron Fork starts at 6pm this Wednesday, April 16th at Vanderbilt's Commodore Ballroom. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased in advance (though they may cut it off) and at the door (credit card only).

This is the seventh year for this event, and each year it just gets better and better so I'm really excited to go. This year's competition is hosted by Arnold Myint.

Competing chefs are:

  • Kristen Gregory - Firefly Grille
  • Matt Bolus - The 404 Kitchen
  • James Peisker & Chris Carter - Porter Road Butchers
  • Hal Holden-Bache - Lockeland Table

Participating restaurants include some of my personal favorites like Lucky Bamboo (this is their first year participating), Olive & Sinclair and (a recent addition to a list of likes here in town) Antica who I hope will serve their pork belly appetizer.

Other restaurants:

  • Boca Loca
  • Amerigo
  • Two Bits
  • Drake's
  • Qdoba
  • Nashville Jam Company
  • Salsa
  • Jim 'N Nicks
  • Bar Louie
  • Music City Tippler
  • Nashville Farmers' Market
  • The District Bar & Kitchen
  • Gaylord Opryland
  • Cafe Fundamental
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Mere Bulles
  • Monell's
  • The Art Institute of Tennesse-Nashville
  • Ginger Thai

See you there!!


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I was so excited to see that someone was starting a bao truck here in Nashville. People are embracing Chinese food and it's awesome that someone is introducing them to more. Baos are snacks where I'm from. Some of you might be more familiar with the type of bao that folds and traditionally has braised pork belly in it. Ramen houses like to serve those, these baos are more like dumplings in that they're filled with.. um, a filling (usually meat or veggie or a sweet bean paste) and wrapped with the fluffy dough then steamed.

When I went to Bao Down's happy hour last week (they'll be at Kohana in Green Hills every Tuesday this month) I tried all three - char siu (barbeque pork), chicken and a mushroom bao. All three were delicious, but what stood out were the flavors. Everything they make is from scratch, they source their meat from a farm in Tennessee and because they use premium ingredients, each bao is about $3 - 3.50. What I loved the most was the dough - it was perfect. Good chew, fluffy, you can peel the skin off it, something good baos should have, and it wasn't dry or too ... doughy.

Anyway, give it a try, go see them at Kohana. Happy hour starts at 5pm.