Tag Archives: Nashville

I found the burek!

25 Jan

I have long bemoaned the lack of Eastern European food in Nashville.

We’re pretty international, but really people just eat a lot of Asian and gyros.  My sister and our friend call ourselves the Sketchy Restaurant Club…we’ve had Thai, Middle Eastern, El Salvadoran, Indian, Greek, Japanese…but there are definitely unrepresented parts of the world. There ain’t no Finnish restaurants, or Kyrgyz, or even Russian ones.

But lo and behold, Nashville has gained an adorable little Eastern European place called Euro Grill. Although, they seemed a little hesitant to proclaim their true identity, as the sign says, “Mediterrainian Food” [sic]. I understand, guys. Some people need to be tricked into discovering their true love of feta-filled pastry.

Apparently the restaurant’s been open since 2010, but when I got back from Eastern Europe in 2011, I looked everywhere for Balkan food and couldn’t find it. I finally got wind of Euro Grill last year, and this was my first time going.

I was a little excited.

I was a little excited.

Not only was there legit food, but most people in the place were speaking a variant of Croatian/Serbian. There were tiny coffee cups, guys wearing sweat pants and Nikes, and a group of men playing darts basically the whole time we were there. It was literally a piece of Eastern Europe in Tennessee.

And I loved it. You will see me again, Euro Grill! (and Serbia!)

Laffy Taffys, world climates and natural disasters

4 Feb
Clouds are one of my favorite aspects of "weather" (sunset in Serbia)

Clouds are one of my favorite aspects of “weather.” (sunset in Serbia)

This week in Nashville there was a beautiful 70 degree day, a crazy storm that produced 8 tornadoes, a sudden drop to 20 °F and substantial snow. Like, “you could see it on the ground” substantial.

Welcome to Tennessee! Where no one worries about global warming because, well, it’s always been like this.

Some of my fondest memories growing up include spending spring afternoons in our basement, the tornado siren blaring outside. Occasionally we sat under a mattress. We would listen to radio dramas and eat Laffy Taffys (or, if the power was out, ice cream!). Tornado warnings seemed to come twice a week.

One December, we had enough snow to build a small igloo, and then a few days later, we wore shorts to hike on Christmas Eve.

The crazy weather made me contemplate climates in other parts of the world, so I give you…Carly’s World Weather Lists!

Best overall climate:

Faulconbridge, Australia is rumored to be rated “the most equitable climate” by the World Meteorological Organization. It sits 1, 463 feet above sea level, has evenly distributed rainfall and year-round mild temperatures. If you’re not careful, you might forget there’s such a thing as seasons.

Most alien-like:

Dotted with volcanoes and never free of hazardous gases, Danakil Desert in Ethiopia supposedly has the oddest sights, smells, landscape and temperatures in one location.  Its nickname is “Hell on Earth.” Since there is lava just waiting to bubble over the surface of the ground, temperatures can reach up to 115 degrees regularly! There are salt flats, mineral springs, sulfur pits, lava lakes and acid ponds. It has the only below-sea-level volcano. Although not ideal for a relaxing vacation, Danakil is a hit tourism spot for thrill-seekers. I like thrills, but…I…don’t know…

Biggest temperature range:

Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia, Russia, has a record high of 99.14 °F. Although that doesn’t sound high, let’s remember that it’s in Siberia. Also, their record low is -93.6 °F, giving the two extremes a difference of almost 200 degrees! And I thought Nashville weather was bipolar.

Most dangerous places to live:

Oklahoma City, OK. has been hit by more tornados than anywhere in the world.

The Phillipines cash in with the most hurricanes – they have up to 20 per year!

Japan and Indonesia are the earthquake capitals of the world. Indonesia has more earthquakes total, but Japan has more earthquakes per square kilometer.

Latacunga, Ecuador has been destroyed by the Cotopaxi Volcano four times in the past 300 years. And yet they keep rebuilding…

Well, the world has some pretty crazy places. I hope you, reading this, stay safe from disasters and have fun in your home’s climate! I still have a few months before tornado season starts, so maybe you’ll get a few more blog posts before my laptop is sucked into a swirling vortex of wind. There’s no place like home!

Fetch a pail of coffee :)

22 Nov

My new favorite coffeehouse in Nashville is called The Well. And no, it’s not an actual well out of which you can draw mugs of ever-hot coffee. Although now I want one in the kitchen of my future luxury home – “Honey, did you brew a pot already? Ah, what am I saying…I’ll just get some from the COFFEE WELL.”

Back to reality, though…The Well is a non-profit coffeehouse hoping to make a difference in the world. Part of that includes donating to organizations who build wells in places where people desperately need water. The Well also supports other charities, sells products made by the poor, and has a corner dedicated to voicing and fulfilling the needs of locals.

Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it grand? But, ladies and gentlemen, that’s not all.

The Well has astoundingly good coffee. Plus, their standard way of making said coffee is with a pour over, which allows for fresh individual brews. You can pick from the 20 or so blends they have listed on their menu.

My first time, I asked for a Bali brew made in a Chemex, which is a pour over method that uses a thicker filter, leaving you with a rich cup of coffee with fruity overtones.  So far I’ve had both the Bali brew and the Ethiopian brew. I’m not sure if it was the barista or the brew, but I liked the Bali much more because it was very strong and good. The Ethiopian was less so, and my friend’s AeroPress of the same brew was even weaker, but you could still taste the quality of the beans.

On a side note, the mugs are fantastic! My only complaint is that they are so sturdy that I can’t warm my zombie-cold hands with them. I never use a sleeve on my coffee in paper cups because those first 10 minutes are the only time my poor fingers have feeling in the winter.If you’re an awesome coffee snob like me, you can probably tell that my Chemex is on the left and my friend’s pour over is on the right. There’s just a little more foam around the top of the…yeah, I’m kidding. I don’t even remember which one was mine. But they’re both so darn adorable!

Beating the heat through agua fresca

29 Jun

It’s 108 degrees in Nashville. Everyone is either on the verge of fainting or shriveling up and crying the few tears their dehydrated bodies will allow. So how better to celebrate the intense June heat than staying in the air-conditioned house to make a refeshing and fruity Mexican drink?

I think Mexicans, who live in the “Land of the Burning Sun,” should know how best to beat the heat. This traditional Mexican drink, called agua fresca, literally translates to fresh water. So naturally, it must be the second best thing to drink besides water! It’s ridiculously simple and tasty. Just slice, blend and drink! Well, and if you’re a pansy, you’ll want to strain it so as not to drink the pulp of whatever fruit you’re using.

My manly and pulpy strawberry-lime agua fresca

During the spring and summer months, you can find agua fresca at street stands all over Mexico. They use whatever fruit is cheap or in season. I have to admit that grabbing a glass of agua fresca sounds so much healthier and more invigorating than my usual smoothie or  ice cream!

Although at the moment, Antartica sounds more welcoming than Mexico, I’ve always wanted to venture south of the border. It’s really a shame that I haven’t been yet, seeing as it’s closer to Tennessee than any other country in the world! Or, well…Canada…? Anyways. I want to go.

For now, though, I’ll sip my agua fresca and watch the heat waves radiate from the pavement outside. And dream of visiting Mexico in the wintertime!