We marinated the steaks in garlic salt, kosher salt and Worcestershire sauce. These particular steaks were rather thin (maybe 3/4 of an inch), so they only really need a quick sear in the pan to form a decent crust and finish off the steaks. After no more than 3-4 minutes in the pan (we know, it should be cast iron, but that, along with our grill, is still in storage), a quick flip revealed a nice crust. The crust has to do with a Maillard Reaction.
We paired the steaks with some home fries and marinated tomatoes and cucumbers. If you’ve never paired a steak with the cool crispness of tomatoes and cucumbers marinated in Balsamic Vinaigrette, we highly recommend giving it a try when you’re not in the mood for a heavy, over the top steak dinner.
We topped it all off with some mushrooms sautéed with butter and finished with Arrington Vineyard’s wine. It’s a nice reminder that simple preparations and easy to fix meals are sometimes your best options on a hot summer night. My entrée was a bourbon marinated grilled ribeye with crispy fried onions, a tangy, yet smoky and sweet bourbon barbecue sauce, and a small bit of Lobster and white cheddar cheese mashed potatoes. The steak was tender and not overpowered by the bourbon marinade or BBQ sauce, but the potatoes, while creamy and a bit decadent, didn’t seem to have much lobster. Nevertheless, I was there for steak anyway, and it was delivered as expected. One highlight that drew us (mainly me) to the restaurant was the opportunity to sample a wide variety of bourbons. Unfortunately, several of their top flight bourbons were unavailable, but at least the restaurant was willing to offer anything else on their list as a replacement. While several of my secondary choices were also unavailable, it was nice to simply be able to test several different bourbons and compare and contrast their different qualities.
The Caney Fork River Valley Grille is a Family Restaurant in Nashville TN. In true Southern style, the tables are covered with picnic table style table cloths. It is well worth the drive. Caney Fork is known around the area as a hidden gem for the best BBQ in Nashville with pulled pork, ribs and the best catfish Nashville has to offer. Sarah chose the pulled pork sandwich with fries, which featured a heaping mound of pulled pork, as well as some tasty, crunchy fries to go with it. Of special note is the BBQ sauce at Caney's, which falls somewhere in between the traditional West TN, somewhat sweet tomato based sauce, and the slightly less familiar, Carolina style sauce that trends towards the vinegary, mustardy, “lighter” style of BBQ sauce. The traditional sauce has a tangy, vinegary kick, while the darker, hotter sauce was much closer to traditional West TN sauces. We both preferred the regular sauce, while the pork featured a very smokey taste, with good crunch bits, and really no need of sauce anyway. The ribs themselves are fall off the bone, with a thick, sauce that still allowed the smokiness of the meat to come through. Sides I tried included the fried okra, macaroni and cheese, and white beans. The fried okra were tasty and well fried while the mac & cheese had a thick, smokey sauce that reminded me of my grandmothers. The white beans were a little bland, but then again they were white beans, and the corn cake I got did a good job of soaking up the sauce from the ribs and the beans.
Whenever I am on vacation, I like to look for great dessert places for a little after dinner snack. While we were in Louisville, we found the best ice cream shop in Nashville, which is called Mimi's Ice Cream & Coffee Shoppe. At Mimi's they have the best coffee shop in Nashville, TN. It serves a variety of sweet and savory desserts and food. The menu at Mimi's is expansive. You can add honey, fruit, granola or walnuts to your ice cream. They also have a variety of espresso drinks.