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How To Eat Local: Part 2 – Farm to Table Restaurants

April 4, 2011

Looking back through this blog I realize I started this “series” and never got past “Part 1 – Farmers Market”. I also recently tried the search feature on Tumblr, searching “local food Nashville” and got the terrible “no results found” so I decided this should now be remedied by a post on some of our fabulous restaurants who are focusing on serving local sourced food.

Restaurants are, in my opinion, one of the biggest factors holding us back from moving towards more sustainable food practices as a nation. Yes there is the issue of government subsidies and so on and so forth, but when you think about the volume of food they dole out and the number of mouths they feed, it makes it hard to feel like our little 2 person family can actually make a difference until they decide to change as well. Your average shopper may now have much more ability to make the choice to purchase an organic apple over one covered in pesticides, but your average consumer is rarely going to take the effort to hunt out restaurants that does the same thing. 

I encourage you, however, to break that trend! Make an effort to hunt out restaurants in your area that care about where the food came from that they are putting on the plate in front of you. I realize that more often than not these restaurants are going to come with a bigger, more upscale price tag, but I am seeing more and more restaurants breaking that trend as well (case in point, my two examples below)

Below are the first of many Nashville restaurants I plan to highlight, that are kicking butt in the food sourcing world. If I miss highlighting some true gems please let me know!

Burger Up – This fantastic burger joint opened in late 2009 and was welcome by the Nashville community with open arms. I don’t think a day or hour goes by where there isnt a waiting list to get a table here, its that good. The owners goal is to use as many local farmers and producers possible, with special attention to animals that are raised humanely. They get their beef from Triple L Ranch, use Bentons BaconNoble Springs DairyHowells Produce and much much more. 

The burgers are fantastic, my personal favorite being the Lamb Burger – perfectly grilled lamb burger topped with arugula, peppermint dijon and goat cheese on the softest bun you have ever eaten. If any of you happen to watch “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Food Network, I can’t help but imagining I am on this show every time I eat this burger, it is that good. Their appetizers are all great as well – fried pickles, Yazoo beer battered mushrooms and a smattering of different seafood options. I promise, you won’t be dissapointed. 

LB’s Market House – recently opened in the space formerly occupied by the short lived Greenlight Market & Deli, just a few doors down from Burger Up. It is part tiny neighborhood market, part deli, 100% amazing. From a market standpoint it is very small, offering farm fresh eggs, a small selection of fresh produce, local milk etc – really just good for a quick stop (or if you dont want to drive all the way to the farmers market for great eggs like me). The deli is where it really shines – everything from frittatas and daily breakfast sandwiches in the morning to meatloaf, take and bake pizzas, chili and paninis all day long. The prices are reasonable – with most sandwiches in the $7-$10 range.

Any restaurant that has the following to say about themselves I want to be sure I help participate in their success:

“LB’s is committed to purchasing our products from the artisans, farmers and crafts people that make up this great region and fixing them up for you to enjoy right here or at home. Our relationship with the producers is what ensures you quality and peace of mind. We are committed to purchasing locally grown foods and serving them in the seasons during which they are grown….. All our meats at LB’s are from sustainable sources, containing no hormones or antibiotics….”

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