Enjoying The Finer Things At 212 Market

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - by Willie Mae

With Phil doing better every day, Lois and I talked him into going to dinner on a double-date with me and Lou.

We went to 212 Market on Market Street just before you get to the bridge. I don’t know what it is, but whenever we visit a restaurant that has more than just burgers and fries, Lou gets a certain air about him.

This place is a landmark restaurant and is credited in part for putting Chattanooga on the map as the city worked on its makeover more than 20 years ago. It is bigger than it looks when you are inside and, though there seems to be plenty of room, they had a good-sized crowd.

We sat down at a table and were given a cardboard menu page and a paper ‘specials’ page. Lou began his know-it-all talk about items listed on the menu because Phil and Lois don’t eat out much.

When Lou ordered the Kobe Bistro Steak for $16, Phil asked what a Kobe Steak was. Lou tried to make a joke and said that it was a ‘massagenous’ cow. None of us understood his joke so he had to explain that the cow was ‘spoiled and pampered’. I wasn’t in the mood for spoiled beef, so I kept it light and chose the half watermelon salad for $5 along with the Mediterranean appetizer for $9.

Phil ordered the shrimp and grits for $21 and Lois got the 4 oz. filet mignon for $16. This was designer food and I couldn’t begin to tell you the fancy words that described them, but I could tell the chef was an artist and this place was very proud of their food. Everyone I know loves this place and we liked it too.

Lou also got an appetizer called Rabbit Risotto for $12 and grilled gazpacho. I think he was settling in for a culinary adventure all his own.

Phil and Lou talked business even though they had been retired for nearly 20 years and Lois just sat quietly listening while I was busy taking notes.

When I asked Lou how his appetizer was I could tell he was waiting for me to ask. He should have been on one of those food shows.

He said matter-of-factly, “The gazpacho is true to its nature … as in …the ingredients of summer vegetables.  The last gazpacho I had was at an Italian restaurant and it didn’t have two of the main ingredients or the right amount of spice.”

My boney hand was barely keeping up as I tried to write down his answer to my question of “How’s your soup?” I expected as much from Lou though.

I put my pen and notebook down and Lou kept going! “It falls short of the acidity in tomato flavor, but that is probably from the roasting and grilling… I’d still give it a four out of five stars.”

Well, whoop-ti-do! I forget that Lou used to have his own restaurant, but I nearly had to get a Kleenex and wipe the fog off of my glasses from all Lou’s hot air.

Quiet Lois finally decided to chime in and tell me about her food, “My salad is a little plain.” Lois is predictable, but it was actually good to only have to jot down a few words. She likes her salad swimming in creamy dressing and she was given a light vinaigrette. Phil asked the waitress to bring Lois a little more dressing and she was happy with that.

Just then, Lou’s phone rang and he answered it – right there at the table! It’s not like he is a surgeon on call or the stock market was about to crash. I don’t understand the lack of cell phone etiquette these days, but I didn’t say a word. I just minded my own business.

My appetizer that I made my meal had artichoke, quinoa and roasted, red pepper hummus. I enjoyed it with my melon salad and it was light so I could have dessert!

A conversation erupted about how to pronounce ‘quinoa’. Lou said it was pronounced “keen-wa” but Phil disagreed.

“Well, I saw a beer commercial where a guy said he always has a ‘kweeno’ sandwich because the last time he had one, his team won… they pronounced it ‘kweeno’,” Phil said as he untucked the cloth napkin from his collar. However you pronounce it – it was delicious.

The men said they were too full for dessert, so Lois and I decided to share the Chocolate Truffle cake.

Before we dug in, Lois turned to Phil and asked if she had something green in her teeth. He told her no but she said, “I can feel it, I think it’s part of my salad.” Phil looked again and said, “Well, it hasn’t taken root.”

Phil reached for the candied coffee bean garnish on our dessert and he said that was good. The truffle cake was very rich and we could only stand to eat a couple of bites.

We had a very nice dining experience and loved our meals. I would give it a Willie Mae ‘whee-ee-doggie’ but this place was too fancy for that, so to make Lou happy, I will just say it was very ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ … I have no idea what that means but it is the biggest word I know.

Hours:

LUNCH 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. every day   

DINNER:   Mon – Thurs  5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  

Fri - Sat: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.,  

Sun: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Sluggos’s North Vegetarian Café Granted Beer License After Move On Cherokee Boulevard

The main concern of the Chattanooga Beer Board is to keep people safe. The holder of a beer license is given a permit that has the potential of doing a lot of damage, said Vice Chairman of the Beer Board Christopher Keene. It is the responsibility of the recipient of that license to protect the people of Chattanooga against those that are a threat to themselves and others from drunk ... (click for more)

Rhonda On The Prowl: Mojo Burrito, The Fresh Tex-Mex Go-To

A favorite go-to spot for Flash and me is Mojo Burrito in Red Bank. It’s the perfect late night dinner hangout, with its funky local art, hip overhead music, and fresh Tex-Mex concoctions. When I go, I usually stick with the signature Mojo Burrito. “St. Elmo’s Fire chicken, Spanish rice, black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, and red onion, please.” That’s how I order ... (click for more)

County School Board Considers "Best Practices Audit" On Compliance With Board Policies

The County School Board is considering carrying out a "Best Practices Audit" to determine if board policies are filtering down to the school level. Board member Greg Martin said members of the Superintendent's Student Leadership Council told him that only a fraction of students are familiar with board policies on bullying and other topics. Steve Highlander, another board member, ... (click for more)

Several Central City Schools Overcrowded, School Board Is Told

All the county school overcrowding is not out in the fast-growing East Brainerd and Ooltewah sections, school board members were told Thursday. Several central city schools are far above capacity. East Lake Elementary - with 655 students and a capacity of 493 students - is at 133 percent occupancy. Calvin Donaldson, Orchard Knob Elementary and East Side Elementary also are ... (click for more)

Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Even Athletes

From reading Randy Smith's column on the lawsuit against UT it is pretty evident that he never took a legal course in his life. I was under the impression that in this country one was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It appears this no longer applies to athletes(particularly black athletes) in the U.S. in 2016. I have always said that if I am picked for jury duty ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Chatt2.org’ Needs You Now

A diverse yet powerful panel of community leaders in Nashville delivered a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education last week. It was signed by some top men and women who represent a wide-ranking cross section of the Tennessee’s largest city and includes education, business, religious and diversity superstars. You need to understand the urgency behind the letter. Davidson ... (click for more)