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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

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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.

[Insert blog post here]

Brunch fail. That was the theme for this morning’s adventure. We weren’t unorganized. We had a plan—it just never materialized.

The first struggle was waking up. Thus, we cancelled our church plans.

The second struggle was the same as the first. Pierce rose bright and early, did his laundry, had some Starbucks. Kristen, on the other hand, was the real root of the problem (as seen above).

By 10 am, we were on a bit of a time crunch. We decided on a place closer to us, only to find that it was closed on Sunday. By 10:45, we settled on… Panera, which doesn’t exactly fit BBB criteria.

We’ll hopefully be back in a week or two. Thanks for hanging in there!

– PG + KB