Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans has been visited and reviewed by every major food network and blog there is. Tastes Like Travel normally tries to visit those unknown, out of the way, Mom and Pop places that get missed by the main stream media. However, Willie Mae’s is know…
Tastes Like Travel recently stumbled upon a little hole in the wall restaurant while visiting Nashville Tennessee. Mama Josie’s Home Cooking caught my eye while searching for lunch. There was a woman out in front of the store holding a sign that said Soul Food Meat & 3. The restaurant was located in a small strip mall on North Gallatin Road. Holding true to the mission of trying and reporting on small local restaurants, I had to try Mama Josie’s.
When I walked into the restaurant I was directed to the chalk board menu (it was actually a dry erase board but the intent was the same). It was obvious that this was a true Soul Food Restaurant specializing in Home Cooked meals. The choices of the day were Chicken and Dumplings, Hamburger Steak, Meatloaf and Fried Chicken. I would have had the Fried Chicken but I had a bad experience with fried chicken the night before at Jack Daniels Restaurant in the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville. The vegetable choices were macaroni and cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, white beans and creamed corn. I realized that the meat & 3 means one meat dish and your choice of 3 vegetables. I opted for the meat & 2 for $7.00 and chose meatloaf with turnip green and white beans. The meal also included either a roll or corn bread. Other choices included a vegetable plate, individual sides, and dessert.
While waiting for my food to be prepared I chatted with the nice woman behind the counter. I learned that Mama Josie’s Home Cooking had just opened 5 months ago. The menu is set Monday through Friday with various meats and vegetables. Some of the offering include Neck Bones. Pork Chops, Fried fish and other soul food choices. On the weekend the meals are put up one the chalk board.
I sat down with my home style cooking and began to eat. It was good from the first bite. It tasted like the Home Style Cooking my Mama used to make and reminding me of Sunday dinners when I was a kid. The Meatloaf was good and the vegetables were outstanding. I could tell that Mama Josie was a real home style, soul food cook who know what she was doing. I will definitely try and come back and sample more from this restaurant. The people who worked there were extremely friendly and courteous and I felt right at home here. I am sure you will as well.
If you are ever in Nashville, Tastes Like Travel recommends you get off the beaten path and go to Mama Josie’s. It is Home Style Soul Food done well. You will like this restaurant if you like best soul food, soul food chicken, soul food mac and cheese, home style cooking, soul food cafe, soul food cooking, and vegan soul food. Now Go, Eat and Explore.
The lunch lady convention hit Seattle in mid-January and I was lucky enough to go to dinner with four of them. OK, in reality these are not the typical hairnet lunch ladies you remember as a kid. These women actually are the nutrition directors from school districts all over America attending the School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual meeting. They were in Seattle to learn and educate others in the art of school nutrition. With that said Alicia, Diane, Jody, and Julie were a blast to have dinner with.
Eating at the Blueacre Restaurant in Downtown Seattle proved to be a culinary treat that I won’t soon forget as it is one of Seattle’s Best Seafood Restaurants. Gazing at the menu offerings I knew that making a selection would be hard. There were dozens of unique seafood and interesting traditional dishes. Alaskan scallops, Idaho stream raised trout, Alaskan ling cod – all fresh I might add – were just a few of the items that peaked my interest. And in the middle of the menu, fried chicken!
As a table we decided to try the chef’s choice oysters for our appetizer. There were 13 choices of oysters on the menu, most indigenous to the local waters. Letting the chef choose was a good idea as you got a sampling of 4 to 5 varieties of oysters on the half shell. We ravaged the first 12 and decided that was not enough so we went for a second round. All were very good but the appetizer was truly unique because of the sauces. There was the traditional cocktail with horseradish sauce, but the Champagne sauce with real champagne, vinegar, and red onion was unbelievable! Four of us were oyster eaters and none of us had ever had this type of sauce with oysters. It was a light, refreshing sauce that truly accents the oyster and doesn’t hide the flavor. We all agreed it was our new favorite condiment for oysters. On a side note, Alicia had never eaten oysters before but was willing to try. The look on her face was priceless as she pondered her oyster. I convinced her to go traditional and eat one on a cracker to temper the slimy treat. She conquered the bivalve and came back for more. It was a culinary experience she won’t soon forget.
Then on to the main course. I had the Black Cod, which had been marinated in kasu, which is sake lees. It was beautifully served with baby bok Choy, kabocha squash and roasted mushrooms. It was an eye pleasing presentation that was delicious and melted in the mouth. Two “Angry in Shell” Dungeness crabs showed up at the table and were devoured amidst lively discussion of how it is prepared. The crab had a crunchy batter on the shell, and the flavor was just spicy enough to be ‘angry’ but not overwhelming. Basil, Serrano chili, roasted garlic and orange zest were the ingredients listed and the combination made us happy not angry! It was a Dungeness Crab Recipe that would be hard to copy but very easy to eat. I doubt very seriously that there are any Seattle Seafood Restaurants that cook Dungeness Crab that well.
Dessert was a delight also. We shared three at the table – warm pear tart with rum raisin ice cream, a brownie sundae in a huge bowl, and angel food cake with cracked pralines and spiced porter syrup. It was hard to decide which one was our favorite, even after devouring them all, but I think the angel food cake had a slight edge.
Since our visit we have noted many reviews of Blueacre. It is obviously a hot spot in Seattle and we found out why. This group of chefs and management has put together a wonderful seasonal menu featuring local ingredients in a sleek inviting interior with impeccable service. Visit Blueacre soon and often! It is with out a doubt one of Seattle’s Best Seafood Restaurants.