Rye Restaurant

Rye Restaurant, a new concept by Chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts of Bluestem.

Crispy Livers and Gizzards
house hot sauce, spinach & lemon salad

Whipped Goat Cheese
grilled bread, honey, sea salt, herbs

Table Condiments

Fried Free Range Amish Chicken

Hot Buttered Shrimp
Anson Mills grits, cheddar, pulled pork, scallions

Cornbread and Yeast Rolls

H2O Melon

It's hard not to think about watermelon this time of year. I'm conducting another watermelon experiment with a root beer vinaigrette! More on this later.....

Watermelon with Goat Cheese
Mediterranean olives, sea salt, shallot vinaigrette

Hawaiian Tombo
Watermelon, black olive vinaigrette, wakame, fleur de sel

Dining with the Millennial Generation

When dining out my advice is to surround yourself with young influencers known as Millennial's. They are well informed, more connected, and more concerned about flavor, authenticity, and the wholesomeness of food than any previous generation. They don't care much for the millennial tag, but at least it starts with a more worldly metric reference.

They don't necessarily follow the traditional hours that restaurants have established, those days are changing, at least for this group. They have bucked the idea that there are set times when you must eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their approach is, "I'll eat when I ready to eat" which is a 24 hour cycle that's geared towards their lives rather than a restaurants schedule.

At first glimpse they may seem spontaneous and unorganized, going out to eat without making reservations! but don't be mistaken. When they are ready to eat you may hear something like "Let's go down to restaurant row and grab a bite". When you get to "Restaurant Row" and you are standing in front of a restaurant that looks promising they're on their cell phones looking at Yelp reviews and viewing pictures on Foodspotting. In less than a minute they decide not to eat there because of bad reviews, but the app on the phone shows a restaurant down the street that has great reviews, so off you go down the street......well informed, nimble, and connected.

Visit college campuses and observe the adventuresome eating habits of the up-and-coming generation of foodies. It's 10:00 pm and the "Grab a bite to eat" kicks in, so off you go. If restaurants are not accommodating at this hour then there's always food trucks or a handful of savvy restaurants. They may not be eating at certain restaurants because the staff at the front door has been trained to say "I'm sorry, the kitchen closed at 10:00". Hey, even if they were open would they pass the social media search that's going to happen before they make a decision? I eat out a lot with these young influencers, so believe me when I say, they want quality and would rather wait 20 minutes at a restaurant that has great reviews than being seated immediately in a restaurant with a mediocre status.....they won't eat boring food just to fill their belly's very often, moneys too precious and flavor is too important.

Here are a few pictures from a recent dining excursion hosted by these up-and-coming game changers. Eating out must be fun for this generation, its got to be worth talking about to have a repeatable appeal, something worthy of Twittering, Facebooking, Instagramming, Yelping, Foodspotting.......

Donut Shop By Day...

But at night the back end of the donut shop has a food truck permanently attached to the building. They serve some really high quality food, and of course a sampling of donuts. A maple-bacon donut is good at anytime, day or night! The real winner was the Mac'n Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich, the mac-n-cheese was so creamy with great crusty bread, hands down the best version of grilled cheese I've had.

Tacos In A Grocery Store

This Yelp review pretty much says it all, this is the info my well connected hosts accessed before eating there, pretty powerful grass roots decision making if you think about it!

"Tres Pastor Tacos, Por Favor, Para Aqui!"

I don't often speak Spanish, but when I do, it's for tacos at San Antonio Tortilleria.

It's a grocery store.  It's a butcher-shop.  They have taxidermy, religious icons, and baked goods.  They're making tortillas in the back, and they've got coolers full of any sort of south-of-the-border drinks you can imagine.  PiƱatas. Spices.  And, the reason I go there, the Tacos.

Three of them, to be exact.  I've waited in line, hovered over the condiments, and sat at their tables once a week for over a year now.  Every time I walk in and get in line in the back of the store ala a food-cart, listening to the sizzle of the lard on the griddle as they're working up the piles of meat for everything from burritos to tortas, my mouth just waters in anticipation, which only makes me speak my order with that much more lubricated fervor...