There are always a few restaurants that you hear good things about. They don't get recommended to you all that often. You know they are there and in the back of your mind you make a note to try it out someday. And then you are totally blown away by the food and you think: WHY THE #*&! HAVE I NOT BEEN HERE BEFORE? Such is the Yellow Porch. They were running a restaurant week special and Steve and I decided to try it because we both had never been. This was the best decision ever. What our restaurant week experience lacked at Puckett's Downtown, The Yellow Porch more than made up for it!
Back to the deal. It was $20.12 for an entree and an appetizer or dessert. Since I was with Steve, we agreed to get one appetizer and split it, order our own entrees, and then split dessert. This worked out really well because by the end of the dinner I was stuffed and I couldn't have possibly put away a full appetizer and a full dessert. Ok, maybe I could, but I shouldn't.
So for the appetizers we ordered the Tennessee Sharp Cheddar Fritters with spicy aioli and chow-chow. Steve would later refer to this dish as "heaven in the mouth." Rightfully so! These were basically hush puppies with cheese in the center. This was far and away the fanciest state fair food I ever had. The cheese was melted to perfection and the fritter crisp, not greasy. I'm also a sucker for chow-chow and The Yellow Porch made some good stuff. I highly recommend this appetizer. You are a fool if you go to the Yellow Porch and don't try these out. A FOOL.
For dinner I decided on the blackened shrimp with grits and a Napa cabbage slaw. I'm a sucker for shrimp and grits and I really liked this non-traditional take on the dish. The shrimp were expertly cooked, buttery, and full of flavor and spice. The grits had an interesting texture and flavor. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what made it different than regular grits, but who cares. It went well with the shrimp and the cabbage creating a perfectly balanced dish.
Steve had the seared salmon that was served on a salad of fresh heirloom tomatoes and crusty bread. This was an immense plate of food for one person. The piece of salmon was large, the tomato salad ample and there were two huge pieces of nice crusty bread soaking up the dressing. Also, I'm just going to insert that I'm a big fan of micro-greens. They added a freshness to the salmon that brought out its flavor. And those huge yellow tomatoes? Perfection!
For dessert I originally wanted the banana's foster bread pudding. But then I thought about it. I've had bananas foster and bread pudding, and I can make both. We decided to order the Passion Fruit Tart since we both had never had anything like that. This was heavenly! It was more like a cheesecake with passion fruit flavor. The tart was thick and tasted like rich custard. Add the whipped cream and the raspberry and white chocolate sauces, and you get one really rich dessert.
Overall, we had a great time at The Yellow Porch. This is the type of place that I want to take my parents to next time they are in town. The menu is varied and has a lot to offer those with particular tastes. The dishes are expertly crafted and the quality so good that I can't wait to come back and try the paella!