Sunday, October 17, 2010

Race Food

Part of the appeal of Running for the party in "The Gulch" area of Nashville is that it has a high concentration of new and overly fancy restaurants advertising in tent format trying to drum up some business. Entry fee + sweaty me  means I get to sample a lot of these places for free and see if they're really worth the Gulchy hype.

sweat marks! crooked belt! rough race

Urban Flats
A little bit fussy, it was like they hadn't noticed they were serving out of a tent. They had chili, little inch slices of dessert samples. pita slices and flat bread with three different kinds of hummus all with pretentious names you didn't understand and instantly forgot. In my universe there was the green one, the olive one, a brown hummus with sesame and some with roasted red pepper. I liked the chili, or what I could eat of it with only a fork, but it was pretty much like any other thin variety bean chili so it didn't really make up for the uppity-ness. Out of the group I really liked the olive hummus a lot it. It was completely unique tasting which is exactly what I expect from a place that's decided to name bean dip something you can't pronounce. I liked the roasted red pepper hummus too although it was a bit too sweet for the crackers I was eating it with. I have no idea what it would pair better with but I only had a teaspoon to sample so I'll worry about that next time around.

With the desserts it was clear they were using the formula of great + great = awesome, but it that was pretty hit and miss.
 Cake 1 was like a pecan pie body surfing a moshing crowd of chocolate silk. This was something clearly made by a northern person. This just tasted wrong. It's my opinion that candied pecans and chocolate should never hang out together, sin sin sin.  Really, who ruins two wonderful deserts by combining them?
 Cake 2 Mmmmmmmmmmm. Here they got it right, this was a magnificent slice of heaven. Picture a warm sock it to me cake topped with apple pie and drizzled with caramel. Perfection. They even balanced what could have been a cloying combination of sugars by lacing it with a sort of cheescakey savoriness.

Taco Mamacita
Scratch made corn chips and a selection of dips. I'm always a sucker for a real corn chips so they had me from the get go. They had regular salsa (that was alright but didn't sing) and salsa verde but what I really loved was this dip made from corn with a kind of  warm spicy white sauce. Mmm

The Pita Pit
Pretty much subway in wrap format. A basic cold cuts on lettuce and tomato wrap in a pita. We tried the Chicken Cesar and the Club and nothing about either thrilled me. Even though there's only one in Nashville (so far) they're apparently part of a chain and that's an element I think you can really taste.

All in all I'd say their selection was no better or worse than any other money saturated portion of Nashville. But stupid name or not, I'm intrigued by the Gulch, so don't be surprised if I turn up there again to run, to party or maybe even to eat.

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