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Friday, May 31, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Las Fiestas

Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
Las Fiestas Cafe is a relatively new Mexican joint on the East Side that moved into the location formerly occupied by Cat's Music and Smiley's Soul Food Cafe. While there is a plethora of good Mexican places in the neighborhood (El Jalicience quickly becoming my favorite), Las Fiestas has been recommended most often for breakfast. There are few things in the world that get me as excited as a breakfast burrito (one of the worlds most perfect foods as far as I'm concerned) so I knew I was going to have to check this place out.
Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
The decor is "meh" at best. It looks like they picked up their dining sets from an old hotel that was letting go of their continental breakfast area. We went on a Sunday morning and the place was empty. For most of our dining experience Steve and I were the only people in the restaurant. And let me take a guess at why: They were BLASTING TV preacher Joel Osteen on the two large screen TVs. In addition to the unwanted religion I was getting with my burrito, they were playing salsa music over the televised church service. I'm all about mashups, but this was downright annoying. If I wanted to hear a sermon, I would spend my Sunday morning in church. I wanted a burrito, which has nothing to do with Christianity in the slightest. My one major recommendation for this restaurant would be to show sports/music videos on the TVs on MUTE, and play the salsa music in the background.
Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
We started out with our morning coffee. It was fresh, but unremarkable. It tasted very much like typical bottom-less cup diner coffee.
Breakfast burrito at Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
Breakfast burrito at Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
But we were there for the burritos, and boy did we get them. Las Fiestas' breakfast menu is pretty traditional American/Southern stuff, with the exception of the Burrito Loco. The Loco is filled with eggs, your choice of chorizo, bacon or beef, topped with pico and queso. Since I'm not a big queso fan, I asked for salsa verde instead. This burrito was MASSIVE, filling, and very tasty. For the price, you can't really beat this breakfast.

Let's also talk about their home fry potatoes- possibly my favorite thing at this place. They are half circles cut thin and pan fried until almost crispy and dusted with a great mix of spices. These little slices of heaven tasted really good dipped in my leftover salsa verde.
Grits at Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
Steve ordered a side of grits (because he is a southern boy) and said they were fairly average. I trust him on this because I have yet to develop an idea of what really good grits are like.
Las Fiestas Mexican Cafe in Nashville Tennessee
By the time we were finished eating, Reverend Osteen finished his programming and was replaced with an informercial on skin cream- which was also at full volume and not shut off. Overall, breakfast at Las Fiestas Cafe is pretty darn good, if only they would at least shut off sound on the TV.

Las Fiestas Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flea Market Find

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope all my fellow Americans enjoyed their Memorial Day holiday. I always enjoy the long weekends and of course this one was packed to the gills. On Saturday Steve and I headed to the fairgrounds for the flea market. We figured this would be a good place to take some outfit photos! The Memorial Weekend Flea is one of the biggest ones of year. There were tons of vendors and lots of people shopping around.
I was looking for a new desk for my office, but we didn't find one. What I did find was an awesome 1950s mint green desk lamp. All it needs is a new shade, and I'm debating between orange and gold. I always have to watch my pocket book at the flea market. There are so many amazing things- but what it comes down to is 1) I don't have the money and 2) I don't have the room in my house. I'm making a plan that I don't buy anything that doesn't have a space. This meant no vintage clothes!
On Saturday night Steve's Weezer cover band Cio Cio San & the Half Japanese girls played a show with Gladiator (a Jesus Lizard cover band) and Take the Power Back (all-girl Rage Against the Machine cover band). This show was a blast! Everyone was dancing and singing along. I'm always down for some good 90s nostalgia. On Sunday I had a cookout and marathon Arrested Development watching party (I'm only on episode 7) with some of my favorite ladies.
On Monday Steve and I had a long day of painting. My office has been a terrible ugly color since I moved in and it was way overdue for a facelift. We picked out a really pretty mint blue with a darker greenish-blue accent wall. This was my first time painting without my Dad's supervision and I'm really proud of how it turned out. Steve was a rockstar! He did all the ceiling trim, high places and touch up work. I'm really grateful for all he did to help make my office pretty.
After we were done painting we headed over to our friend's house for a BBQ. I got to spend some time with good friends and eat some tasty food. I love a good cookout!
How great is this couch we found at the flea market? It's a perfect specimen of mid-century beauty. It had a hard wood frame with built in side tables and it was newly reupholstered. If only I had room in my house for this thing (it's 10 feet long!) I would have snagged it up. Also, notice how well I match it?
Top: Modcloth
Shorts: Romwe
Shoes: Target?
Ring: Betsey Johnson

Friday, May 24, 2013

Love You

Hello readers! Today I'm over on DahliaLynn Lane talking about all the reasons I love myself. (If you can't guess, number one is my cats!) So while Sawyer here sips his wine, you should go over to Jessica's blog and check it out!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May Wish List

I apologize for how quiet the blog has been lately! I've been pretty sick for the past week or so and all I have wanted to do was sit on the couch, nap, and watch Netflix. But I finally got to see my doctor yesterday so hopefully I'm on the mend! Summer colds are the WORST. I thought I would just share a few goodies that I've had my eye on lately!
How cute is this tabby pillow from Modcloth? I really want another cat, but I know I've already hit my limit. So why not add a really cute cat pillow instead? 
BUG SKIRT! That is all!
artisan bakelite corn necklace
I love kitschy jewelry- the bigger and the louder the better! So this corn bakelite necklace is perfect!
Cat Video Director 1 inch Pinback Button
This is so true!
Ohhh Lulu The Betty High Waist Panties PDF Sewing Pattern

So I'm still learning how to sew, but how great is this panty pattern? One day I'll be able to make fancy underthings.
Dinosaur Leggings
I love these leggings! ROAR.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Guantanamera

I am always on the lookout for new Latin food places in Nashville. To my knowledge, we only have one Cuban restaurant in the whole city, Back to Cuba, which is good but due to its cafe feel, it doesn't really count as fine dining. When I heard of a new place on Nolensville Road thanks to the intrepid eating of Sean Maloney from the Nashville Scene, I knew I had to try it. Cuban food, arepas, and fried plantains? I'm there. Guantamera is a mix of Cuban, Peruvian, Venezuelan and Colombian food. While they don't offer a lot from each country, they do offer a nice sampling and there's something for everyone on the menu.

Guanttanamera restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Guantanamera is located in the old La Hacienda building according to Steve, who used to live near there several years ago. The restaurant is clean and simple. The high ceilings and wood beams give the place a nice open feel. There is even a seating area to the right of the main door that has these really cool retro orange 70s style seats. Our servers were friendly and attentive, and even complemented me on my pronunciation of arepa. I totally blushed! I guess all those years of Spanish immersion paid off!
Guanttanamera restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
I was personally very excited when I found out they had Guanabana Juice. Guanabana was something I became obsessed with during the summer I lived in Costa Rica and I always get flooded with fond memories when I find it on a menu. (I'm drifting away just thinking about guanabana milkshakes!). To me it has the texture of a banana while tasting a bit more like a pineapple. I highly recommend it!
Guanttanamera restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
In a nice change of pace, Guantamera brought out buttered bread as an appitizer instead of the ubiquitous chips and salsa. This was fairly run-of-the-mill bread with butter- nothing special. But it was served warm and fresh, so points for that!
Picada At Guanttanamera restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Steve ordered the Picada which came in this lovely bowl. It was a mixture of chorizo, blood sausage, yellow potatoes and fried pork loin with cassava chips on the side. This was a hearty meal of meat. A VERY MANLY MEAT MEAL. Their cassava was fried perfectly and was a great accompaniment to the heaviness of the sausage. Oh and those little golden potatoes were delicious.

We did have one slight issue with service which I would be remiss if I didn't mention. Our order was delivered to another table by mistake, and one person at the other table had also ordered the Picada and immediately dug right in. After the other table and the waitress figured out what happened, we had to wait a bit longer to get our food. While I wasn't a fan of the wait, this stuff happens. Plus, the staff was friendly and apologized for the mix up.
Badeja Piasa at Guanttanamera restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
I went for the meal that screamed "This might be your last meal for a while so EAT UP!" This assortment of goodness is the Bandeja Piasa or "Hillbilly plate" which features an assortment of goodies including rice with a fried egg, red beans, chorizo, fried plantain, fried pork belly, and chicharron. Needless to say, I took home some leftovers. The egg was fried perfectly and the yolk covered the rice and the chicharrones. I have to say that their chicharron was my favorite part of the dish! I have never had this style of chicharron outside of a papusa and I was really happy to see how well it held up on its own! The fried plantains were heaven- but I'm sure you all knew that.

I think Guantamera will be a new staple of mine on Nolensville road. I'm planning on heading back to try their arepas next!

Guantanamera Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sawyer Microscopy 
I have some really talented friends. My sweet friend Leah is a genius with a microscope. She shares her lovely photos on her blog, Sawyer Microscopy. I am so impressed with her work I thought I would share some of her pictures with you! 
 *** Check out Sawyer Microscopy***

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pastel Sherbert

WARNING: This post has lots of photos. Sorry not sorry.
First off let me apologize for screwing with my posting schedule. Normally outfits appear every Monday like clockwork, but I was so sick yesterday that I couldn't even compose a blog post. Perhaps it was all the NyQuil that made me incoherent but I figure I would save you all the ramblings of a mad woman and write this post when I was more cognizant. So yesterday I spent all day on the couch watching House of Cards. It took me forever to get through an episode considering I kept falling asleep every twenty minutes. But I finished the show and I have to say I really enjoyed it! I'm not one for political thrillers but this one really sucked me in.
On Saturday Steve and I headed down to the Farmer's Market to pick up the rest of the starter plants for our garden. While we were down there we stopped at Bicentennial Mall to snap a few pictures. I got some very strange looks from tourists!
We picked up a bunch of tomato plants, okra, jalapenos, pimentos, basil and cucumbers and spent the rest of the afternoon planting the garden. I'm really hoping that the garden is way more successful this year than last year. Our tomato plants always grow and look pretty, but they rarely produce an actual tomato.
On Sunday Steve and I went for a little day trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Our friends Lauren and Matt went there last week and had such a great time that we decided to copy them. We signed up for the Violet City Lantern Tour which was AMAZING. It was a 3 hour cave tour where you carry old fashioned lanterns and there's no artificial light. The idea is to see the caves in the same way as the first people who discovered them. Our guide was knowledgeable and funny, and really made the tour interesting. Unfortunately, due to the sequester, special tours like the lantern tours will be suspended throughout the summer. Bummer city! But there are still lots of other cool caves to explore, so we highly recommend it!
On to this outfit. Here I am pretending to be a melting pastel ice cream cone. I'm sherbert in the sun! When I first saw these leggings at Romwe I knew exactly what kind of outfit I would want to build around them. I'm happy that I ended up with pretty much the outfit I had in mind, without purchasing anything new. I'm trying to keep a smarter watch on my budget which means I can't just buy something to "complete" an outfit. I need a more practical wardrobe.
I have to say I'm still a big fan of Romwe tights. I have a whole mess of them now and I absolutely love them. I know that you aren't really supposed to wear leggings as pants but I guess I'm a big a offender of this fashion faux pas. I think as long as the top is long enough to cover your butt area, leggings can be pants! But, I know that this is highly controversial so I welcome debate.
In case you can't tell, this is one of my favorite outfits shoots of all time, ever.
This necklace was a great score at the Macy's sale rack. It's a Betsey Johnson necklace that was about 65% off retail. I wasn't in the market for any more jewelry, but I just couldn't pass up something so SHINY at such a good price. And I've found a lot of stuff I can wear this necklace with!
For my nails, I purchased the Red Carpet Manicure at home LED system a few months ago. I've been meaning to do a full review (and I still might) but right now I must say how much I love it! I have a few nail polish shades that I've collected and it really does last chip-free for 10 days. I love this product so much I gave one to my Mom for Mother's day!
Top: Old
Leggings: Romwe
Shoes: Anthropologie
Necklace: Betsey Johnson
Ice Cream Earring: Betsey Johnson
Hair clip: The BombPom

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Viener Fest

Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Steve and I headed over to Viener Fest early one Sunday afternoon. We went at an odd hour because the previous week we had tried to have dinner there, but the place was packed and the wait was 45 minutes. Since I was starving that night, we decided to eat somewhere else but vowed to come back. I'm glad we did, because it was the best German meal I've had in Nashville.

Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
When we got there the inside was empty, which made sense on such a pretty day because Viener Fest has a really nice outdoor patio that overlooks Centennial park. Steve and I opted for an outdoor seat to enjoy the sunset.
Pretzel bites at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Since we were hungry we wanted to start with an appetizer. I wanted to try their latkes because I consider myself an expert in the subject. I was truly disappointed when they told me they had a huge party the night before and they were out of latkes. I didn't even know how that could be possible. Could they not shred a few more potatoes? LET ME IN THE KITCHEN. I think as a peace offering they gave us complementary pretzel bites. I'm personally not a big pretzel fan and these didn't blow me away. I did like the mustard sauce that came with them though!
Beer at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Viener Fest has a pretty decent beer list, but they do have a few German beers with which we were unfamiliar. When we asked our waitress about the beers she seemed a little unfamiliar with them. I always appreciate it when wait staff is knowledgeable about their drink menu. She did go back in to ask the manager for more info on the beer styles, but by the time she came back Steve had done some Googling and decided on a Kostritzer, while I stuck with an old favorite, the New Belgium Trippel with coriander. The Kostritzer was a dark lager that tastes surprisingly light and slightly sweet, like it has a touch of honey. Both of us we happy with our choices. When we were there they didn't have any beers on tap yet, but the staff let us know that the taps should be installed in a few weeks.
Schnitzel at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
If we're at a place called Viener Fest, we are obviously going to order the Schnitzel. Since we couldn't make up our minds, Steve and I decided to order two different schnitzels. This lovely one above is the Holstein Schnitzel made with pork. It's covered in a lemon caper sauce and a fried egg. The egg was perfectly cooked with a nice thick runny yolk, just the way I like it. The lemon caper sauce had a nice tang to it and the meat was perfectly crisp.
Schnitzel at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
The other one we tried was the Rahm Schnitzel, made with pork and covered in a Swiss cheese cream sauce. This was a decadent dish and the sauce was luscious. Gosh, who would have ever guessed I would fall so deeply in love with schnitzel! My only complaint is with the presentation. I feel like the plates were pretty empty and that one slice of lemon hardly counts as a garnish. I think they need to liven it up a bit! Put some German Potato salad on there, some parsley, or even get some brightly colored plates.
Sides at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Sides at Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennessee
Our schnitzel dinner came with a choice of two sides. Steve and I both ordered the spinach spatzle. The spatzle itself was tasty, like gnocci's less attractive older cousin. Although we ordered it with spinach, neither Steve nor I saw much spinach in our dish. Perhaps they gave us the wrong thing, perhaps they don't put much spinach in their spatzle (try saying that 5 times fast). For my other side I had the braised red cabbage and boy was it SWEET. They sure used a lot of sugar! I mean, it was great, but I just couldn't get over thinking of how bad the cabbage was for me. CABBAGE SHOULD BE HEALTHY. Steve had the cucumber salad which was ok but kinda meh. 
Viener Fest German restaurant in Nashville Tennesse
Overall, we really liked Viener Fest. The outside patio is lovely if you can snag a seat out there. The schnitzel will not disappoint and I'm very excited to come back again when they have some lovely German beers on tap!

Viener Fest Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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