Side Orders: A week's worth of local eating

Side Orders: A week's worth of local eating

July 10th, 2013 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

When you dine out, do you ever wonder where your food comes from? Are the fruits and vegetables from Mexico, Chile, California or Florida? And if so, when were they picked and how fresh could they possibly be? What pesticides and other chemicals were used to keep them looking good?

If you're eating at a select number of restaurants in Chattanooga starting Friday and running through July 19, set your worries aside. Now in its third year, Harvested Here restaurant week will offer menus using ingredients grown no more than 100 miles from Chattanooga. The program began simply as an awareness event, but now it has grown to include more than two dozen restaurants.

"All of a sudden our guests have a desire to know not only where their food is coming from, but how it was made," Taylor Monen, owner of Taco Mamacita, Urban Stack, Community Pie and the newly opened Milk & Honey, said in a news release. "They are challenging us, which is exactly what we want."

Tomatoes, herbs, greens, berries and more are at their peak in July and will be featured on menus during the event week.

"It's truly a coordinated effort between restaurants and growers, further enhancing those relationships to promote the use and consumption of locally grown foods," says Jeff Pfitzer of Gaining Ground, the organization sponsoring Harvested Here.

Restaurants participating in this year's event are:

• Alleia

• Back Inn Café

• Blacksmith's Bistro

• Broad Street Grille

• Café in the Corner

• Community Pie

• Easy Bistro and Bar

• Elemental

• Enzo's Market

• Famous Nater's

• Flying Squirrel

• Good Dog

• Lupi's

• Milk & Honey

• Public House

• St. John's Meeting Place

• St. John's Restaurant

• Sushi Nabe

• Taco Mamacita

• Terra Nostra Tapas and Wine

• Terra Mae Appalachian Bistro,

• The Blue Plate

• Tony's Pasta

• 212 Market

• Urban Stack

• Whole Foods

You'll find more information and special menus for the week at www.GrowChattanooga.org.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Chianti has expanded from its Soddy-Daisy location to open a second restaurant on Highway 58 near Harrison. This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in town, and I'm so happy they're not leaving Soddy-Daisy. And I also am thrilled that business is strong enough to warrant a second eatery. Have you tried Chianti's pizza? Every time I eat there, it's hard to decide if that's what I want, or the eggplant parmesan. Now I'm in for another decision-maker. Greek salads have been added to the menu. What's a lover of Mediterranean cuisine to do? Have them all. The new Chianti is open and located at 4976 Highway 58; the original is still at 8968 Dayton Pike.

COOL COFFEE

With the heat of summer bearing down on us all, many coffee drinkers turn from hot to cold, preferring ice cubes in coffee rather than boiling hot water. But the idea of waiting for hot coffee to cool down, or diluting it by adding ice cubes that will melt and weaken the flavor, is a turn-off.

Barnie's CoffeeKitchen has introduced a convenient solution - a single-serve, liquid cold-brewed concentrate called Pronto!, made from 100 percent Arabica beans, which are known to be the among the most flavorful. Just add one package to a cup of cold water, let the concentrate dissolve, then stir and drink away. It comes in seven unsweetened selections: Barnie's Blend, Cool Café Blues, Crème Brulee, French Roast, Hawaiian Hazelnut, Southern Pecan and Santa's White Christmas ... never to early for a little Christmas cheer, I guess. You'll find the products locally at area Walmart and Publix stores.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.