Monday, February 24, 2014

Nashville vs. Seattle Part 4

Part 4 of this ongoing subject revolves around food! Seattle is a well known foodie destination and boasts a huge amount of well known chefs and restaurants, heck, check out the latest James Beard Nominations, Seattle and Washington have tons! While this is exciting for Washingtonians like myself, I must say the ongoing culture shock continues as I find some things that are better in the Pacific Northwest and some thing that are not better.

This one might surprise you and I might be committing an unforgivable sin by saying this but here goes... Seattle has better bacon than in the South... Before you get all upset, I'm sorry but on a general level it's true, especially in restaurants. The bacon I've had up here is thicker, bolder and juicier than most if not all the bacon you get in the South. Trust me, I was as shocked as you are right now and the first time I had it, I thought it was just one place that served this thicker juicier version of my favorite cured and salted pork, but no... it's everywhere and it's amazing!While in the South, you get more of a crispier and thinner style of bacon, up here it's more like quadruped thick pork belly.

While Seattle takes the bacon battle hands down, they are absolutely massacred in BBQ. There are a few places that do BBQ here and there are a few chains like Famous Dave's but all of them don't hold a candle to what's available in Nashville. Most taste like grocery store BBQ, even the mom and pop places that smoke their goods in trailer smokers.

Cracker Barrel
Despite what you might think of their politics (which suck by the way) Cracker Barrel delivers some awesome southern food and if you've never had it, well, I'm sorry. And if you live in Washington , the closest one is hundreds of miles away... It's a horrible thing because once you've sat down and had a "Country Boy Breakfast" with steak medallions, over easy eggs, grits and cheese hash browns, you will undoubtedly get a craving for them and up in Washington, you simply have to go without.

This is an obvious one but I think it's worth mentioning. The Seafood up here is local, fresh, and available at a lot more places. There are not a ton of readily available seafood places in Nashville unless you are going to a chefy restaurant or Red Lobster. And while I won't bash Red Lobster too much, I promise, the many little pubs all over the place have superior selections of fish, clams, muscles and seafood in general.

Don't get me wrong, Nashville has a few killer sushi places but on average, Seattle has better sushi all over. You're average sushi place here is much better than the average sushi place in Nashville. The fish even looks a bit different... brighter in general. Something that is interesting is that there are not as many "fusion" sushi places in Seattle. Like it's hard to find a mango, strawberry, whipped cream sushi roll here while there are several places in Nashville that do that sort of thing.

Waffle House
Waffle House is a Southern staple. There's nothing quite like hitting one of the billions of little 24 hour diners after a party, or a movie or even on a road trip. They just make good consistent food and it's a marvel to watch them scream out the order at lighting speed and see the cooks just nail it with speed and accuracy every time. Also, if you enjoy food in any way, you simply can't deny the power of scattered, smothered, covered, and diced hash browns. Sadly there are no Waffle Houses anywhere close to Washington. So they just miss out on this wonderful part of life.

Southern Food
Another obvious one here but there is little to no Southern Food in Seattle. There is one place called Southern Kitchen in Tacoma that was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives so I got excited and went there... it was good... well, it was ok. I give them an A for effort but it just isn't the same. The thing that Seattle lacks most in food is Southern Food. I'm shocked that some transplant hasn't come up here and started a for real southern place. I think the locals would go crazy for it. As expected there are a lot of mm and pop Southern places in Nashville including the Loveless Cafe (the reigning king of all southern food joints) Something I feel like needs to be included in this category is Meat and Three's... Nashville has like twenty well known ones while I can't find a real one in Seattle to save my life. I always here Seattle has a higher suicide rate because of the rain and weather but I think it's the lack of Southern food.

I'm guessing that it's due to the climate in Seattle, but there are no Smoothie places. There are like fifty Smoothie Kings in Nashville. Of course it does get over 100 degrees on the regular in the summer in the South, but it is sort a bummer for that occasional smoothie craving.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Season of Arrows

Every now and then I like to post something about music, especially when it involves my friends. As most of you know I was in Fall With Me for a long time and most of those chaps are still kicking it today, putting out some amazing tunes. Let me introduce you to Season of Arrows from Nashville, TN.

A lot of you probably think Nashville is a purely country market but it has a kick ass underground music scene and has had a ton of up and coming bands come through there. Season of Arrows consists of all my homies and three ex members of Fall With Me. They've been honing their sound for a while now but recently recorded a record with killer producer and engineer, Mike Allred.... and holy cow does it sound good! If you like heavy stuff with a female singer this is so for you!

Seriously, check out their latest song, The Loved One on bandcamp here:

Oh, and like their Facebook page:

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I'm super excited to announce that Lizzie and I will be at Norwescon this year in Seattle WA. It's going to be at the Doubletree Hotel near the Seattle airport, a place we've actually been before when Steamcon was held there a few years ago.

We'll be selling and signing books in the vendor room so if you're attending or in the area, come say hi! We'll of course have both Thomas Riley books, Dreams of Steam and Dreams of Steam II, Her Majesty's Mysterious Conveyance and we're hoping that this might be your first chance to get the brand spanking new re-issue of Elizabeth's paranormal action romance, Bound By Blood!!

Neither of us has attended Norwescon before so we're very excited. It's been a while since we've been to an all around sci-fi con so we're looking forward to seeing some old friends and having a blast!

April 17-20 Doubltree Hotel Seattle Airport
Check out their site here: