Step aside hot chicken, bbq and cornbread as Pad Kaprao Kai (Thai basil chicken), chicken tikka (Indian chicken in a creamy tomato sauce) and esquites (Mexican street corn with Queso Fresco cheese) take on the spotlight. Locals enjoyed these ethnic favs and more at the fourth annual event hosted by Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition(TIRRC). International food fans discovered hidden gems along the five mile stretch of Nolensville Road, Nashville’s international corridor. It was a festive atmosphere with a collective excitement on the curated food bus tour.
The event drew more than 1,000 attendees of all ages who gathered at Plaza Mariachi. Each bus had a different designated food route.
The first bus stop was at Carniceria Y Taqueria Don Juan for some authentic corn flour tacos. Choices of meat were pork, chicken, sausage and shredded beef and of course, a hot green sauce and an even hotter red sauce.
Moving on to the tastes and aromas of the Middle East, the next stop was Sulav International Market and Restaurant. “We are here to meet the needs of the Middle Eastern community and have been here since 2003,” stated David Ashkizari, owner of the Market. “Our naan bread is made fresh daily. The bakers arrive at 4:00am to start baking with fresh dough.” Hot naan can be purchased until 3:00 pm. Samples of the naan bread as well as fresh dates were enjoyed by the group.
City councilman Jim Shulman purchased treats from the market for every attendee. “This is my third food crawl and it is a great way to experience the diversity of our city.”
Next was Bangokville, which boasts of its own garden in the back of the building with unique Thai herbs. The Thai, Laos, Vietnamese and Cambodian culinary rule of including sweet, sour, salty and spice tastes was met within samples of Pad Kaprao Kai and Cashew Curry.
The final stop was La Espiga, a Mexican bakery. Generous portions of tres leches (cake made from condensed and evaporated milk as well as heavy cream) and la concha bread were given to attendees.
Additional samples were provided from Taj and Chismes Café upon returning back to Plaza Mariachi.
“The food crawl was wonderful. It’s always a great way to experience culture and is representative of what a diverse community we are. This is truly relic,” stated participant, Joel Sanderson, immigration attorney.
For more information, visit, www.tnimmigrant.org. And save the date for next year’s crawl which occurs on each Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
Al Rasoul Market
Azadi International Food Market
Carniceria Y Taqueria Don Juan
Dosa Hut Indian Grill
Fresh & Fresh International Market
Grassmere Grill & Kabob
House of Kabob
La Bodega Del Dulce
La Conchita Pandaeria y Pasteria
La Hacienda Taquiera
La Michoacana Garden
Pandaeria La Dorada
Pupuseria Reina La Bendicion
Sulav International Market & Restaurant
Taqueria Santa Anita #3