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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.

#LovingtheLocal with Alan Neal & Associates

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Alan Neal is a professional and good at what he does. He also courteous, punctual, and detail-oriented — all the qualities you want in a CPA. Alan is the owner of Alan Neal & Associates, a financial Business Chartsadvisory, accounting, and tax firm located in Chattanooga. The firm specializes in helping businesses examine how their operating systems impact cash flow.

Small business owners can feel overwhelmed with all the details involved in running a business. Alan and his team can help. They provide a personalized, tailored approach designed specifically for each client’s situation. From policies and procedures to systems and bookkeeping, Alan’s team helps businesses succeed. If you are looking for financial advice, accounting, or tax services, give Alan a call. He’ll be happy to help!

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!

Sports in ‘Nooga

Whether you are interested in playing sports yourself, or seeing professional matches, Chattanooga is a good place to be! Here’s a look at a few places Chattanoogans (and visitors) can get out and play:

Climbing gyms — There are three climbing gyms in Chattanooga: TBA (Tennessee Bouldering Authority) in St. Elmo, Urban Rocks on Appling Street, just off Riverside Drive, and Highpoint downtown. All three are good for beginners or experienced climbers. All three offer a football fieldvariety of classes.

Outdoor Chattanooga — Located in Coolidge Park, Outdoor Chattanooga offers all sorts of ways for residents and visitors to be active and have fun outside. Want to try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, or climbing? This is the place. You can also rent bicycles, and learn about different classes and events.

Chattanooga Sports Leagues is for adults who love team sports — kickball, basketball, soccer. It’s a way to still play all the games you loved in school. They welcome both individuals and teams, so if you’ve been fondly remembering high school P.E. and all the fun you had, check them out!

The Chattanooga Flying Disc Club is for ultimate frisbee enthusiasts. They are always seeking new players!

If running is your thing, the Chattanooga Track Club has all the resources you might need. They have running groups, sponsor races, offer discounts, help people find running partners and much more.

There is no doubt we have left out some fun, interesting, and exciting ways for Chattanoogans to get out and play. Tell us what we missed! And stay tuned for next week’s post on where you can go to watch matches and games!

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.

 

 

 

#LovingtheLocal with Push Hard Lumber Company

Rudd and Becky Montgomery operate Push Hard Lumber Company from their home. The shop is just steps away from their beautiful, rustic cabin, and their lush flower gardens make the view outstanding. Push Hard is locally owned and operated, and uses local lumber to the extent possible. The vast majority of the furniture built at Push Hard is from reclaimed lumber, though they will also sawmill trees that have fallen or been taken down by someone else. Rudd says, “We never sentence trees to death.”

Push Hard creations are unique pieces of art and are  of heirloom quality. Whether you need a chair, bench, table, stool, or mantel, if you purchase it from Rudd, you will be getting something that will last for generations. You are welcome to visit the shop — it’s best to call 423-517-0089 first to make sure Rudd will be there to talk with you and give you directions — or, you can see Push Hard work at the gallery Area 61 on Main Street.

PHL-Bench-21

 

 

PHchair

 

 

PHL-Walnut-Coffee-Table

Swimming in the ‘Nooga

Now that school is done, ‘Nooga parents are probably looking for things for kids to do. Watching movies and playing video games is good for a few days, but then you need something else.

Greenway Farms

Greenway Farms

Luckily, Chattanooga is packed with parks, places to swim, and fun summer activities.

Pretty much everyone goes to Coolidge Park in the summer. You have the nice breezes from the river, it’s perfect for picnics, and of course, there’s the fountain to cool off.

Warner Park Pool and Splash Park is another popular destination — because it is awesome! Swim, get sprayed, or have water dumped over you, whatever happens you’re going to be wetter and cooler than when you arrived. There is a minimal charge — between $2 and $5 depending on age and the time of day — but it’s definitely worth it.

You may also want to take a hike in the shade and enjoy some natural creeks. The North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy maintains several trails that are great for an afternoon outside.

If the lake is more your speed, a trip to Chesterfrost Park makes for a relaxing way to spend a summer day. With the sand, sun, water, a cooler of drinks, and a packed lunch, you’ll be set for the day! There are even picnic spots with grills if you want a fancier meal.

What did we leave out? Where’s your favorite spot to swim in ‘Nooga?