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Eating at Elemental

 

This post was written by Dava Stewart and Laura Howard, who are friends, long-time Chattanooga residents, and fans of delicious food. They visited Elemental on Tuesday, July 8.

Sometimes things become trendy because they are good. One of those things is the locavore, or farm to table movement. If you’ve never eaten a Elemental Salad strawberry, still warm from the sun, while standing outside, you’ve missed a miracle. The fresher the food, the better, we say! Elemental, on the North Shore is a restaurant that provides the freshest food possible by working with local suppliers.

Three of us–Dava, Laura, and Laura’s husband Carey–had dinner there on a Tuesday night, not too long ago. It was a belated birthday dinner celebration for Laura. Eating at Elemental is, for us, a special treat rather than a regular Tuesday night dinner. It’s a little pricier than many other options. Laura’s birthday seemed like a good reason for a special treat!

We started with drinks—Sparkling Lemonade (an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version) and a Moscow Mule, both from their nicely equipped bar. Not only do they have numerous cocktail, wine, and beer selections, but the local flavor is also a feature of their drinks, including Pure Sodaworks, Chattanooga Brewing Company, and Chattanooga Whiskey.

Next, we ordered a salad to share–grilled watermelon, beet, brussel leaves, fresh mint, and housemade ricotta. We all three shared the salad, and it was delicious. Grilled watermelon is unusual, but very tasty — and went well with the sparkling lemonade. It was the perfect salad to complement the hot, humid summer.

For our entrees, Carey had the burger with homemade pickles, a slice of local tomato, and a side of roasted red potatoes. He ate it all and made “mmmymmgoood” sounds while he ate, so we assume it was a delicious burger. Laura had a dish she has eaten often here–the seared chicken breast with a myriad of in-season, local vegetables. It was a substantial portion of food that she tried to share with Dava and Carey, who were both enjoying their own meals too much to take her up on the offer.

Finally, Dava ordered the Farmers’ Market Vegetable Plate.There was a delicious grit and cheese fritter, mashed celery root, creamed corn, creamed sweet potato, spicy greens, and grilled squash. The presentation was beautiful, but paled compared to the taste!  Laura and Carey always joke that when they need to veggie-load, they go to Elemental for the vegetable plate. After eating it all, Dava decided the only veggie plate that is better is one with food from her own garden.

We skipped dessert this particular evening — mostly because we were all absolutely stuffed.

It is perplexing why Elemental has struggled to find it footing in Chattanooga. It’s in a fantastic location — Laura and Carey walked to Whole Foods to do their grocery shopping after dinner — and the atmosphere is comfortable. People who love great local food and a casual atmosphere should give it a try. Eating at Elemental supports the Chattanooga economy and the local food shed, but most importantly, they serve excellent food.

 

#LovingtheLocal with the UNFoundation

Have you ever felt like you want to help Chattanooga be better but just had no idea how to go about it? Would you like to volunteer but can’t because your schedule is simply too full of work and family unfoundation logocommitments? Do you wish you could afford to fund awesome projects so they have a real chance to succeed?

  • The UNFoundation is made up of people like you — people who want to give back somehow, but aren’t in a position to donate thousands of dollars. They have harnessed their collective giving power and taken steps to bring about real change. Here’s how it works:
  • The UNFoundation is made up of trustees, who each pledge to donate $100 per month. There is no limit to the number of trustees.
  • People apply for grants of up to $2,000 to complete projects. There are few restrictions on who can apply. The general guideline is “anything that will make Chattanooga better.” Obviously, if you apply for a grant to purchase yourself a new item for personal use, you will be denied.
  • The trustees review the applications, and meet once a month to decide which projects get funded.

That’s it. It’s simple, there is very little red tape, and anyone who has a $100 to donate and time to review applications and attend one meeting each month can become a trustee. A few of the projects that have been funded in the past include:

  • The Chattanooga Film Festival
  • Yoyo Ma Concert Scholarships
  • PicNooga
  • Hill City Gardens
  • Summer Camp Scholarships
  • McCallie Murals

Chattanooga is a great place to live for lots of reasons, but the biggest reason is that groups like the UNFoundation exist. Residents here are dedicated to making Chattanooga better.

A typical UNFoundation board meeting.

A typical UNFoundation board meeting.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Ashwood Subdivision

Chattanooga is filled with different types of communities: you can live in an urban environment, out in the country, or somewhere in between. Over the next few months thenoogalife.com is going to spotlight a few of the places ‘Noogans live, and what makes them special.

The community of Ashwood is one of those “in between” places. The ‘burbs have gotten some bad press lately, but in Chattanooga, living in the suburbs doesn’t mean you have an hours’ long commute or that you have less access to grocery stores and pharmacies. In fact, in Ashwood, the opposite is true. Located just off Shallowford Road, there are lots of shopping and dining options nearby, but the neighborhood is still quiet and family-oriented. It takes just minutes to get to Hamilton Place Mall and the surrounding businesses, yet most homes are equipped with inviting yards for dogs and children. Travel is easy too because I-75 is close enough to be convenient, but far enough away that there is no road noise.

Enterprise Park, with miles of walking trails, is minutes away, as is Heritage Park where dogs are welcome. Life in the Ashwood community has much to offer! If being near downtown, having a lawn, being able to get to both shopping and parks easily appeals to you, then a neighborhood like Ashwood may be what you are looking for. The homes are beautiful, too. Take a look at this one, located at 7619 Asherton Drive, which is currently for sale:

Asherton postcard

#LovingtheLocal with #RunChattanooga

This week we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Bird, who is at the center of an enthusiastic group of people interested in running, #RunChattanooga. It’s free, it looks like a LOT of fun, and it’s guaranteed to get you moving. Courtney is the executive director of the group and she is serious about inclusiveness and camaraderie. If you are looking for a way to get fit, have fun, and make some new friends — without touching your bank account — keep reading!

The current #RunChattanooga schedule looks like this:run chattanooga group

Monday group run at 5:45pm
Tough Love on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 6:30am
Speed work at the Red Bank High School track on Thursday nights at 8pm (this time will change when the seasons change)
And a Saturday morning group run that we do with the crew at Front Runner Athletics at 7:30am
To find out more about whens and wheres, Courtney encourages everyone to get on the #RunChattanooga email list, and to follow on either Facebook or Twitter: 
Email: http://runchattanooga.org/join-the-club/
If you choose to get involved you can expect encouragement, laughter, and to sweat! Everyone, regardless of level, is invited to join. All workouts can be tailored to fit anyone, so even if you haven’t run since elementary school, you’ll be able to keep up. Several members even bring their kids — who love it! The Tough Love workouts are 30 minute, high intensity workouts that involve pushups, crunches, and always some stair climbing, because, Courtney says, “Climbing stairs is good for your butt!”
Tough - but  fun - love

Tough – but fun – love

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

Partner work is part of many #RunChattanooga workouts

When your workout feels like playing games, it's better!

When your workout feels like playing games, it’s better!

 

 

 

Chattanooga Teams

 

At&T Field

View from the stands at AT&T Field. 

Last week, we talked about where you can go to play sports in Chattanooga. This week: it’s all about where you can go to watch sports. Chattanooga may not be a big city, but there are plenty of teams to cheer for!

First, there are the most well-known teams. Right now it is baseball season, so you can see the Lookouts at AT&T Field, which is a fine way to spend an afternoon.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has the Mocs, who you can see play football at Finley Stadium, or basketball at the MacKenzie Arena. The Lady Mocs are also an amazing team.

Less well known, but equally worth your time, is the Chattanooga Football Club – the CFC. On July 12, became the Southeast Conference champions for the fourth time. They are an exciting, winning team! You can catch the south region playoffs this weekend. It’s Chattanooga FC versus Miami FC Friday, July 18, at 6pm. Tickets are only $10 at the gate.  Get out, have some fun, and support your hometown team.

For something a little different, but lots of fun, go see the Chattanooga Roller Girls. These girls are tough — and they play hard. Home bouts are at the downtown Convention and Trade Center and are exciting!

No matter the time of year, there are teams to watch in Chattanooga — collegiate, semi-professional, and professional athletes representing our city well!

Where To See Fireworks in Chattanooga in 2014

If your Independence Day celebration usually includes watching a professional fireworks display, here are a few places around Chattanooga you may want to go!

On Thursday, July, 3, you can see fireworks at:

Coolidge Park, as part of Pops on the River

after the Lookouts Game at AT&T Fieldfireworks 2

Camp Columbus, at dark

Lake Winnie, at 10pm

the Outdoor Wilderness Theater in Trenton, GA at 9:45pm

 

Then, on Friday, July 4, there will be displays at:

the Signal Mountain Golf Course

the lake in Soddy Daisy

Heritage Park in Dalton

Jasper Recreational Park

Main Street in Dunlap

City Park in Graysville

Lake Winnie at 10pm

Bradley Square Mall in Cleveland

 

Did we miss any? Please let us know in the comments! 

#LovingtheLocal with Area 61

Area 61 is part of the burgeoning arts scene on the Southside of Chattanooga. Originally, the gallery was going to feature works of art made from wood but it quickly evolved to include all sorts of beautiful, handcrafted art. From jewelry to painting to sculpture to furniture, you’ll find it all — and much, much more! Owners David and Keeli Crewe have done a fantastic job of creating a comfortable atmosphere that is a bit unusual for an art gallery. You’ll probably want to pull up a chair and enjoy the ambiance for awhile when you visit.

On May 5, 2014, Area 61 celebrated their five year anniversary. Having opened during a serious economic downturn, things were touch and go at times, but by finding and showcasing gorgeous work from local artists and craftspeople, as well as by contributing to the community, Area 61 pulled through the most difficult period for most new businesses.

A fun time to visit the gallery is during the Southside Stroll, the last Friday of each month from 5-8pm. (It’s the perfect thing to do just before Nightfall!). Many of the artists are at the gallery during the Strolls. The next Southside Stroll is Friday, June 27, and Area 61 will be featuring a new body of work by local artist Bob Fazio, called Italy Reimagined.

Take a look!

area 61 door, logo

Come on in!

 

 

David and Keeli Crewe

David and Keeli Crewe

 

There's a LOT to see!

There’s a LOT to see!

 

Every corner is filled with beautiful things.

Every corner is filled with beautiful things.

 

 

#LovingtheLocal with Southern Star Restaurant

If you like meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, pork chops, and other delectable southern food, you need to visit the Southern Star. With two SouthernStarlocations — one on the Southside, and one on Signal Mountain — the Southern Star makes it easy for Chattanoogans to get a fix of southern cooked goodness.

Operated by Rick and Nancy Adams, the Southern Star offers up the best kind of comfort food. Menu items are all house-made, and taste like someone’s grandmother is doing the cooking. One of the things that is special about the Southern Star is the carry-out convenience they offer. You can purchase a fully-cooked entree and side items to take home and reheat, in sizes that vary from a single portion to a family-sized serving.

The Broad Street location is a full-service restaurant, with a smaller carry-out section, while the Signal Mountain location is more of a carry-out shop, where you can have items heated if you want to eat in. Both locations offer special orders and catering, whether you want to buy a whole cake, or have a black-tie event catered.

Whichever location you visit, do yourself a favor and have dessert! Cakes, pies, and perfect banana pudding keep customers coming back for more. But, it’s not all sweets and fried foods — the deli cases have plenty of fresh, healthy options. The kale salad, and the quinoa salad are both low in calories but extremely flavorful.

 

 

 

Gardening in Chattanooga

There are lots of ways to garden, and it seems like most of them are going on in Chattanooga! Whether you have a big vegetable garden, a flower bed that is the envy of the neighborhood, or a few plants in containers, you are part of the gardening movement. The climate favors growing things here in Chattanooga, and the burgeoning local food movement is helping people learn about the tastiness of super fresh food.

There are tons of resources for gardeners in this town, from big retail operations like The Barn Nursery, to smaller places like Green Thumbs Galore or Possum Creek Herb Farm, where you will find a more personal touch. You can also get involved in several community garden projects:

Lemon Balm is easy to grow and makes a tasty tea!

Lemon Balm is easy to grow and makes a tasty tea!

Planting, nurturing, and enjoying the produce — whether it’s food or flowers — of even the smallest garden is rewarding, no matter your age. It’s especially fun to garden with children. A single growing season is short enough for kids to stay interested, and enough happens that they are usually amazed.

Do you garden? What do you grow? Would you encourage your neighbors to try it?

 

(Half of) the Mega Post of Things To Do in May

This post is so big that we are breaking it into two posts. Today, we offer a whole bunch of events going on in Chattanooga through Mother’s Day. If you know of something awesome, interesting, fun, or cool happening in or around Chattanooga this month that we have left off or that you’d like to see in the second half, please let us know in the comments. We’ll be happy to add your event!

Without further ado, here’s (half of) the mega list:

May 1 – May Day

May 1 – Artists of all stripes will gather at the Heritage House for the Ambi Artists Creative Cluster.

May 1 – Scenic City Roots Live at Track 29. Tickets are $10 and the show includes music from a wide variety of genres.

May 1 – Sound and Image: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights and Beyond at the Hunter Museum. UTC Professor of Saxophone and Hunter curators will explore the current special exhibition. Event begins at 6 pm.

May 1-3 – 24th Annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival. If you’ve spent much time in Chattanooga, you’ve probably seen the white bumper sticker with the silhouette of a man playing a stand up bass. This festival is a Chattanooga favorite!

May 2 – Sister Rosemary, subject of the book Sewing Hope, will speak at Christ United Methodist Church. Sister Rosemary has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Admission is free, and the event is non-religious.

May 2 – The Appalachian Pig Pickin’ Block Party at TerraMae. Tickets are $20 and include dinner and one drink. There will be music and plenty of fun!

May 2 – Here Come the Mummies at Engel Stadium. The show will raise money for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at UTC.

May 2 – Seether at Track 29. Tickets are $29 in advance and $32 the day of the show. This is a standing room only show, and restricted to those age 18 and older.

May 2 – Nightfall Kickoff with Forro in the Dark. Chattanooga’s favorite free concert series gets started with some lively Brazilian dance music.

May 3-4 The Green Thumbs Galore Driveway Sale — if you love plants, you’ll want to make it to this sale. The owners are friendly, knowledgeable, and love to talk about plants. Plus, their yard is gorgeous!

May flowers

May flowers

My 3 – 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge for all the bicyclists.

May 3 – The 8th Annual Children’s Hospital Dragon Boat Festival. Help support the Children’s Hospital and enjoy some dramatic boat racing fun.

May 3 – Make Your Own Zine at ArtsBuild from 9am to noon. Spend the morning creating your own work of art. The class will be taught by Aggie Thompson, professor of graphic design at UTC.

May 3 – Friends of Stringer’s Ridge will be holding Burger-Pint Night from 6-10pm at the Gear Closet. Tickets are $15, and all ages are welcome; ID will be required for beer.

May 4 – Bike to the Park – The Chattanooga Lookouts help kick off National Bike Month with this fun promotion. Ride your bicycle to AT&T Field and enjoy valet parking.

May 4 – The Chattanooga Market will feature authentic Mexican food, salsa dancing, and cerveza on el Cuatro de Mayo.

May 4 – First Free Sunday at Hunter. Enjoy the museum and have some fun — for free!

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo

May 7 – Society of Work presents Nuts + Bolts: The Psychology of Business. Shelley Prevost will speak about the psychological aspects of starting a business. Tickets are $10 and the event is from 5:30-7pm.

May 9 – Nightfall – Packway Handle Band

May 10 – Tennessee Aquarium Sleep in the Deep Family Sleepover – An overnight adventure and behind the scenes look at the animals in the Tennessee Aquarium. Ticket prices range from $60 to $73.50

May 10 – Indigo Dyeing Workshop. Spend an evening learning something new, enjoy a meal and cocktails, and have a great time. Tickets are $60, and the event is in Lafayette, GA.

May 10 – Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival. Beer lovers rejoice! There will be food, and lots of beer to sample, and Soul Mechanic will provide music. Pre and post parties to be held at the Terminal Brewhouse. Tickets are $50, no children or pets.

May 10 – If you prefer wine, you may want to check out the Spring Wine Fest at The Georgia Winery. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

May 10 – A music series for kids, the Grasshopper Concerts will take place at various parks throughout the summer. The first one will be at Riverview Park at 2.

May 11 – Mother’s Day

May 11 – Mother’s Day Celebration at the Chattanooga Market. There will be a special performance by the CSO!

May 11 – Moccasin Bend Brewery Tour and Tasting

#LovingtheLocal: Change-N-Go

How many times have you put off having your oil changed because you didn’t have time to get it done? A new company in Chattanooga, Change-N-Go, is revolutionizing how Chattanoogans get their oil changed. Change-N-Go comes to YOU. So, while you are at work, and your car is in the parking lot, they will come and change your oil. You don’t waste valuable evening or weekend time change n go 2— and their prices are competitive with other service stations.

Owner James Chapman says that he came up with the idea for his business by “thinking like a consumer.” He said he needed an oil change himself one day but thought, “I hate going to get my oil changed,” and he wished there was some other way to do it. He did a bit of research and found that there are services in other cities that go to customers and do oil changes, but nothing like that existed in Chattanooga.

Encouraged, James continued researching, put together a business plan, got funding, and launched Change-N-Go last October. He says they do one big thing differently than similar services in other places though: “We added some useful technology. For example, we have an app you can download for scheduling.” Makes sense that an oil change company in the Gig City would take advantage of the convenience of technology!

Sometimes, customers ask when Change-N-Go will start offering batteries, air filters, windshield wipers, and other products normally sold at service centers. He says maybe someday. “We don’t ever want our customers to feel pressured. If we do add services, they will be available, but we won’t try to upsell our customers.” For now, Change-N-Go will focus on oil changes and inspections. “All of our technicians are ASE certified, and we do a full inspection with each oil change. If there is something wrong, we will let you know, and make suggestions about where you might want to go to get it fixed. Since we don’t gain anything, our customers know we are telling the truth,” James says.

If you are intrigued and you need your oil changed, make an appointment. You can save $2 on an oil change by mentioning this blog post! You can schedule on the Change-N-Go website, or by calling 423-228-0450.

#LovingtheLocal with Chattanooga Massage Therapy

Most people think of relaxation when they think of massage, but at Chattanooga Massage Therapy you get more than an hour of relaxation. Owner Rob Eldridge prides himself on making sure clients understand the core of the problem causing their pain, and helps patients learn how to care for themselves and avoid future problems.

Operating out of the newly opened RVR City Functional Fitness Facility, Chattanooga Massage Therapy is one of several fitness and

RVR City Functional Fitness and Chattanooga Massage Therapy located just off Broad St on W. 31st.

RVR City Functional Fitness and Chattanooga Massage Therapy located just off Broad St on W. 31st.

health businesses coming together to help members reach their fullest fitness potential. RVR City Functional Fitness is set to become the city’s premier strength and fitness training facility, will offer a variety of programs for adults and kids. RVR City has applied to become a CrossFit affiliate, as well.

“We are proud to be part of this community of people focused on health and fitness,” says Rob. In addition to massage, Rob offers many other services including organic spray tanning — which is important this time of year. “No one should be taking chances tanning in the sun. Everyone who wants a tan should be getting a spray tan to avoid the risk of cancer,” said Rob.

Another new service from Chattanooga Massage Therapy is a couples training session. Rob will teach a partner or spouse massage techniques to help his client stay pain free between appointments. The training can be done either in his studio or at the client’s home.

We highly recommend Rob and Chattanooga Massage Therapy to anyone who is seeking a massage therapist who does more than help you relax for a few hours! You can make an appointment by calling 423-619-6836, or by using the handy online scheduler.