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The Highs (and a few Lows) of 2012

January 2, 2013

If you ask most of my friends, and especially my husband, I harbor a lot of ill will towards 2012. While I may have some really good reasons for cursing the year, there was still a lot to be thankful for, a lot of good food had, a lot of cities explored and so much more to come. So in an effort to stop and reminisce , and find some good in 2012 – here are some of our highs and lows from 2012’s food, travel, friends and exploration.

NASHVILLE RESTAURANTS

catbird_seat-2
catbird_seat-7

To kick start the year, for Alan’s birthday were able to experience all the culinary wonder that is The Catbird Seat. Josh & Erik are doing amazing things up there and people are starting to take notice. If you have yet to experience it, I highly recommend a trip. It is worth every penny spent.

rmba bar

One of the biggest food lows that come to mind from this year is the closing of our beloved Rumba. We like to say that Rumba had become our “Cheers” and post work drink life has not been the since its closing in September. We still find some of those familiar faces manning the bars of great places around town, but it will unfortunately never be the same. RIP Rumba.

But as a condolence we have added several amazing new restaurants to our list of favorites. Rolf and Daughters in Germantown has quickly jumped high on the list, as well as Lockland Table over on the East side, Mangia, the pop up restaurant down south and (new to us, despite having been around a few years) Soy Bistro takes the cake as our new favorite Asian restaurant.

TRAVELS

2012 could definitely be described as the year of travels in our books. From regular family get togethers to last minute jaunts to our favorite places, we did it all.

Charleston, SC – the anniversary trip

fig_egg

This trip was so packed full of amazing food that it had to be broken up into two posts. For the full recap I recommend starting there, but one of my favorite bites of food by far was the Coddled Sea Island Farm Egg from FIG.

St John, USVI – the family vacation

st john2

In July we traveled with Alan’s family to St John for their annual trip. Between beach relaxation, fishing and snorkeling we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect vacation. Complete with a key lime pie made from limes off the bush behind the house!

Chicago, IL – the impromptu trip

chicago photo bomb(photo from a previous trip but gives you an idea of how we feel about this city)

It is a well known fact that Chicago is one of our favorite cities. So when the opportunity to take a last minute trip there calls, we don’t say no. We squeezed in visits to two of our favorites, Avec & The Publican – but the highlight of the trip was finally getting to experience Stephanie Izard’s Girl and The Goat. Unfortunately we were so enamored with the food that we failed to photograph anything – so you will just have to check it out for yourself! But suffice it to say the cauliflower is absolutely amazing (have attempted to recreate it several times at home since…) as well as the pig face. Yup, you heard me, pig face.

Austin, TX –  or as I like to call it, Nashville’s big brother

austinThis year brought 2 opportunities to explore Austin – once with some dear friends and the other thanks to having in-laws close by in Fredericksburg. We were able to hit up a wide array of the Austin culinary scene between the two trips. Fantastic snacks at Barley Swine, impressive cocktails and even more impressive location at Midnight Cowboy. Breakfast at Cisco’s, suds at Jester King Brewery, bbq at Lambert’s. A night of restaurant hopping, course by course – happy hour sushi snacks at Uchiko, oysters at Clark’s, steak tartar and escargot at Justine’s. (and then at the end of the night realizing almost everything we ate was completely raw…)
A FEW NOTABLE FAVORITES

Favorite Celebrity Encounter: Anthony Bourdain

bourdain

Favorite New Ingredient: Vinegar Powder
(as used in Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips)

Favorite New Kitchen Tool: Omega Juicer
(we are slightly obsessed…)

Favorite New (to me) Cookbook: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

plenty

Favorite New Standby Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

Favorite New Cooking Adventure: Sausage making

Favorite New Blogging Experience: Judging the Dining Lot Street Food Festival

Okay, I guess we have come to the point where I have to say I guess 2012 wasn’t so terrible after all, and there was really one food low (RIP Rumba). We really did have some great meals and great adventures. But I have a sneaky feeling big things are in store for 2013 – can’t wait to see them unfold!

Happy New Year everyone!

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