Braly: Only one Tennessee restaurant on list of top 101 eateries

Braly: Only one Tennessee restaurant on list of top 101 eateries

May 30th, 2012 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

Once again, The Daily Meal, a website devoted to all things food and drink, has announced its list of 101 best restaurants in the nation. And once again, I'm sorely disappointed that none of our city's eateries is on the list. We have a pretty good selection of dining choices, enough that the Scenic City is actually becoming a dining destination.

So let's get busy making our own list. I'm asking you readers to submit your favorite restaurants to me at abraly@timesfreepress.com no later than June 15, then I'll announce the Top 10.

Start thinking and eating and send them my way. To keep this fair, let's limit suggestions to one per person, and don't vote on your own restaurant please. I want diners only to participate.

The Daily Meal came up with its list of 101 by asking restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers and assorted food bloggers from across the country to nominate their favorites. According to a news release, that process produced a total of 202 restaurants, which was cut in half before it was presented to a panel of judges to vote for their Top 10 favorites.

The results, according to a news release, were both "fascinating and refreshing." Not to me. And I'm sure not to you either, because not only were there no Chattanooga restaurants, there were only a handful of places in the South.

While many states were totally left off the list, Tennessee can claim one. Congratulations to The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. It's about a two-hour trip, and if you save your pennies, you'll find it's worth every one spent.

Other Southern eateries that earned a nod include The Pit in Raleigh, N.C.; McCrady's in Charleston, S.C.; and Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, which came in at No. 15.

Now for the Top 10 of the top 101. You'll find the complete list at www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-restaurants-america. Check it out. If you're traveling to one of the cities on the list this summer, you might want to give one of the restaurants a try and judge for yourself.

• 10. Citronelle, Washington, D.C.

• 9. Gramercy Tavern, New York City

• 8. Momofuku Ssäm, New York City

• 7. Per Se, New York City

• 6. Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

• 5. French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.

• 4. Eleven Madison Park, New York City

• 3. Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif.

• 2. Alinea, Chicago

• 1. Le Bernardin, New York City

Well, y'all, I mark 54 years today. To celebrate this wonderful milestone, I'm going to indulge in a carrot cake, my favorite cake. I got the recipe 25 years ago and have been making it ever since. Unlike other cakes I've tried, this one has never let me down. I even made it for a friend's wedding cake several years ago. It's scrumptious.

Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar

2 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

23/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

41/2 cups shredded carrots (about 1 pound carrots)

1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting:

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

41/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (1 pound powdered sugar is equal to 41/2 cups when sifted)

Heat oven to 375 F. Combine sugar, oil and eggs, beating until smooth. Gradually add combined dry ingredients, mixing until well blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in carrots and walnuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake 45-50 minutes or until cake tests clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to cake racks to cool completely. Frost between layers and around sides with cream cheese frosting.

To make frosting: Combine cream cheese, butter, cream and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating till light and fluffy.

Garnish cake with chopped walnuts, if desired.

Email Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.