Fish & Company – Fishy Brunch

Fish and brunch are two culinary items that just don’t seem to go together. One is a water-dwelling creature with a light taste and the other is a hardy hyper-meal that is meant to sustain you for a whole day. That being said, it’s not like we haven’t done it before. But still, no one has shrimp or flounder on the mind when going out for a brunch.

That might explain why the crowd was pretty light during high-brunch time at Fish & Co.’s newest location in 12 South. But consider this one of Nashville’s best brunch secrets—because James Beard Award Winner Louis Osteen has created a menu worthy of praise.

Fish & Co. – 12 South

Pierce: Sunday’s Seafood Frittata Piquant ($12), Grits ($3) Sweet Tea ($3)

Kristen: Bourbon Vanilla French Toast ($10), Water

Shared: Apple crisp ($6)

Service Time: 17 minutes 30 seconds

First Impression: Let’s be real: Blind Pig No. 55 had its heart in the right place. But an upscale BBQ place just doesn’t work. (What’s next—an upscale taco shop?) Much better barbecue could be found for much cheaper (I’m looking at you B&C Melrose). However, there is a huge need in Nashville for more affordable (as in not $30 a dish) coastal dining places. Luckily, Fish & Co. has moved in to fill a little of the void.

The location—across from 12 South and Mafioza’s—makes getting in-and-out very easy. Add in a beautiful day and the outdoor seating and you’ve got everything a bruncher could ever need.

The Main Event: The Sunday brunch menu has a nice mix of traditional and fish-based dishes. Not one for fish, Kristen went with the Bourbon Vanilla French Toast. The lovely plate came with buttermilk sorgum and scattered with pecans. The portion wasn’t all that big—and after she was done, Kristen was left yearning for more.

Pierce, on the other hand, went the fishy route with a Seafood Frittata Piquant. The Frittata is similar to an omelet—but it’s a circular shape. The egg was mixed in with fresh shrimp, scallops, and even a little crab meat. There was some concern that the frittata alone wouldn’t be enough food, so he ordered a side of Osteen’s famous grits to go along with it. As good as the grits were, the frittata probably was filling enough on its own.

Since Kristen was still hungry, we ordered an apple crisp for bressert. It was a tough choice between the crisp and the Jack Daniels Banana Pudding. As it turns out, it seems like we made the right choice. The crisp was superb.

The Verdict: Fish & Co. wasn’t cheap. Our final bill topped out near $35—a bit more than our price range. (Then again, we’ve been cutting way back on the frequency of our brunches, so it’s not that big of a deal.) The food and service were both top-notch—and if we were a bit wiser with our food choices (not getting the unneeded grits, for instance) the bill would have been more reasonable. Overall though, Fish & Co. is a great addition to the Nashville brunch scene.

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/47/1546752/restaurant/Melrose/Fish-Co-Restaurant-and-Raw-Bar-Nashville”><img alt=”Fish & Co. Restaurant and Raw Bar on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/1546752/biglogo.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:34px” /></a>

3.75/5 Syrup Crocks

Homemade Brunch: Episode 2

Disclaimer: This was written 2 weeks ago. And Kristen is just now getting around to loading pictures. So when you are reading…imagine it being Feb 13, not Feb 27 :)

It’s been a busy week at the Belt Buckle Brunch headquarters. Kristen turned 22 on Wednesday. We didn’t celebrate until Thursday thanks to a little icy precipitation that immobilized the city. The celebration continued into Saturday with an all-night bowl-o-rama with some friends.

So, by the time Sunday rolled around, Pierce’s wallet was feeling pretty light. Luckily, the week before, we received an email from our friend Sarah, who offered to send us some Red Gold Tomatoes. (Yes, tomato companies hire out PR firms… who knew?)

Sarah sent us a few cans, along with several recipes. Considering the “ease” factor, we decided to go with the tomato pancakes–an intriguing combination.

Pierce took the lead on the cooking as Kristen uploaded bowling pictures from the night before. The first step was to separate four eggs–yolks in one bowl, whites in the other. Then, he added cream cheese, sour cream, salt, sugar, flour and, of course, the tomatoes to the yolks.

After beating the egg whites into a firmer consistency, those were added to the larger bowl, as well. Kristen offered a steady hand for pouring the tomato-y batter onto the skillet. A couple of classic pancake flips later and we were ready to go.

Up until this point, we’ve yet to disclose one extremely important element of this story. Kristen strongly dislikes tomatoes–unless they are in ketchup form. And to be perfectly honest, these pancakes didn’t exactly change her mind about anything.

That being said, Pierce enjoyed them. The tomatoes were a really nice addition to the pancake batter. (Numerous possibilities of other additions ran through his head. Ham? Green peppers?) Normally, pancakes are complemented with syrup, and these pancakes would have been better with some sort of topping. (Leave suggestions in the comments section?) Eating them plain was a little dry.

Overall, though, they were pretty darn good. Layer by layer we’re beginning to shed the myth that two normal people can’t make tasty culinary creations. Who knows what might lie ahead?

We ARE Still Alive

Thought we’d check in with our faithful readers who may be wondering….

DID THEY FALL OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

To set your mind at ease, no, we are both still here. Still kicking. Just not kicking as high.

Kristen was out of town two weeks ago…so no brunch. Then last week, she had the flu/cold/gunk and is still recovering.

Pierce has been busy with his track season and travelling, and also waiting on sick Kristen hand and foot.

But don’t you fret! We’ll be back with a Super Bowl brunch review next weekend! Thanks for hanging with us!

Homemade Brunch: Episode 1

Today was a day of reckoning. There was a debt to pay. For roughly 10 months, we’ve been gallivanting about Music City, kicking up our feet, enjoying food, and getting on our merry way. But we never really stopped to think about the food, how it was prepared, and the meticulous practice of cooking. We just sat on our snooty high horse and critiqued every place inside-out.

Well, today was time for us to step up to the plate and pay homage to the many cooks in Nashville by trying our own hand at creating edible delights.

Kristen had a recipe for her mom’s monkey bread that she wanted to make–and we also used a breakfast quesadilla recipe from Dr. Josh Axe’s “The Real Food Diet.”

The first stop after church was Publix for ingredients. While we certainly appreciated Dr. Josh for looking out for our health, the almond butter his recipe called for was a little pricey ($6 for a small container). We went with plain ole peanut butter. Also, we couldn’t find “brown rice” tortillas, so we settled for whole wheat.

When we got home, Kristen started on the monkey bread by cutting up biscuit pieces, dipping them into a sugar-cinnamon mix and placing them into a buttered bundt pan. Then, she concocted a glaze of butter, brown sugar, and sugar over the stove and let it drip over the biscuits. Next, it was off into the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, we started on the breakfast quesadillas. The recipe was pretty easy to follow. We spread the peanut butter on a tortilla and topped it off with diced apples and pears, honey, and a little bit of cinnamon. We threw another tortilla on top and popped it on the stove to heat up.

The first one was a little bit soggy, rather than the crisp crunchy texture that Dr. Josh writes about. We chalked it up to the butter we used for the skillet. The next one was a lot better, possibly because the first one sucked up all the moisture. That being said, both tasted amazing.

With about four minutes left for the monkey bread, we peeked into the oven and got a face-full, then a house-full, of smoke. We took turns fanning the smoke detector so that it wouldn’t go off and took the monkey bread out.

At first sight it looked good, but on further inspection, the inner biscuit pieces weren’t cooked through. Kristen’s mom said it might have been because of calibration issues with the oven. Still, the outer pieces were scrumptious–but the doughy inner pieces were inedible.

So, for a first try, our cooking adventure wasn’t a complete failure. We still sat full and satisfied on the couch, without footing a huge bill. At the same time, I think we also gained a new appreciation for the good folks who prepare our brunch on a daily basis. Next week’s location is still to be determined.

The Pfunky Griddle: End of our brunch pfunk

In following with the New Year tradition of goal-setting, here at Belt Buckle Brunch, we’ve decided to embrace more of the “foodie” label and actually try to make some of our own food. Not only does it save money, but it’s probably healthier and gives us more foodie street cred. (When we met up with other food bloggers in November, we felt slightly “behind.”)

But, as with any resolution, it’s never a good idea to try to give up something cold turkey. We needed a stepping stone. So, it was decided that we should visit Pfunky Griddle in Berry Hill–a place where we could still feel comfortable in a restaurant setting but still do a little cooking of our own.

The Pfunky Griddle — Berry Hill

Kristen and Pierce: Pancakes ($5.99 each), breakfast potatoes ($3.00), Two eggs ($2.20), cheddar cheese ($0.50), pink lemonade ($2.00 each)

Service time: 4 minutes

First Impression: Tucked away in a cutesy little corner of Berry Hill, the Pfunky Griddle definitely has atmosphere working in its favor. The interior is very homey and nature-centered. In our dining area, there was even a real tree that intertwined with painting on the wall. Nice touch.

It was just a little after 11 a.m. and there wasn’t much of a crowd. We were seated right away and our waitress, Katie, was pretty chill and awesome.

For those who might be unfamiliar with Pfunk, the real “catch” of the restaurant is the table set-up. In the middle of each table is a large griddle that you cook your own food on. Sound fun? It is.

The Main Event: It being our first visit to the Pfunky Griddle, we felt it appropriate to get their signature pancakes. At only $5.99 for all you can eat (or make), it’s a good deal too. We also decided to share some breakfast potatoes (with cheddar cheese) and a couple of eggs.

All of our ingredients (including sliced apples and peanut butter for our pancakes) came out in four minutes and we dove right in. Pierce started with the special multigrain organic batter, while Kristen went the traditional route. We caught on pretty quick and made some scrumptious pancakes. Kristen insisted on making one the size of her head.

Next, we decided to get creative and combine the potatoes, cheese, and eggs into a scramble. The eggs cooked surprisingly fast and we scrambled (pun intended) to get everything together. The final result was brown-ish, but tasted much better than it looked.

The Verdict: Overall, the food was good and affordable, with a check totaling just more than $21. Not only that, but the atmosphere and experience were unique and cool. The peanut butter wasn’t a great mix-in ingredient, but that was our own indiscretion. Also, the eggs (priced at $1.10 each) were a little expensive. (We would recommend a BYOE, but pretty sure that would be frowned upon.) Still, the Pfunky Griddle was good food and a good experience.

Perhaps our next brunch will be completely–gulp–self-constructed.

4.25/5 Syrup Crocks



The Pfunky Griddle on Urbanspoon

We Have A Winner!

Congrats to Kira, the winner of the first ever Healthy Holiday Giveaway. (She was randomly selected using a random number generator.) Her copy of Dr. Josh Axe’s new cookbook, The Real Food Diet, will be arriving shortly. Kira authors the “Cook, Pray, Love” blog, so maybe we will be seeing some of those recipes up on her blog!

In other news, stay tuned as we file our obligatory end-of-the-year brunch awards. We’ll be back after the first of the year with more brunches in 2011!

Healthy Holiday Giveaway!

We haven’t brunched in a while, but to make up for it, we are offering an awesome holiday cookbook giveaway featuring Dr. Josh Axe’s “The Real Food Diet.” No, we aren’t insinuating that our readers are overweight and need this book, so don’t take it personally! Besides, all of us could serve to be a little more healthy and Dr. Axe has some great cooking tips on how to do just that.

The Real Food Diet Cookbook by Dr. Josh Axe

So, if you’d like to enter, just leave a comment detailing your favorite brunch food and you’re entered to win. (Just be sure to leave a VALID email address.)

The deadline for entering is going to be Sunday, December 19, at midnight, so get to commenting! (We don’t have a ton of readers, so the numbers are on your side.)  You might even get the book by Christmas and that will give you ample time to plan out your 2011 resolutions.

We’ll be featuring a few of Dr. Axe’s recipes in an upcoming post, but that will likely be after the holidays. So, stay tuned for that as well!

Happy Holidays!