Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Corner 16 – Dinner in Knoxville Tennessee


Our friends Linda and Norm picked a restaurant for dinner on this occasion…one that neither couple had experienced before.  It’s been in operation for more than a year but it’s on the north side of Knoxville, about 40 minutes from our home and we just haven’t been up that way...


I lifted this exterior photo of Corner 16 from the Internet.  This is a family orientated restaurant, that’s for sure.  The outdoor patio dining area is covered and the grassed in area around it is tastefully fenced in.  Kids were playing outside when we arrived.  The patio has TV mounted around so guests can watch the latest game.  Corn-hole games, adult size and kid size, are available on the lawn.  There are even a couple of fire pits for gathering on a cooler night.


The bar area with its TVs and adult crowd is separated from the dining area by a clear glass wall…a benefit for customers on both sides of the barrier.


The indoor dining area is large and roomy.  The industrial look prevails… punctuated with TV screens.  This photo only shows part of the room.  While we were there, 3 large family groups of 10 or more people gathered for dinner/special events.  The room filled up while we dined...obviously a popular dining venue.  

So…how about the food?


After we ordered our drinks, we started our perusing the Appetizers offered at Corner 16.  Decisions, decisions, decisions!  Stuffed Jalapenos were a possibility as were the Fried Pickles and the Deviled Eggs…the latter is something you don’t often see on menus.

Norm and Linda decided on the Loaded Tater Tots. ($8.50) Deborah, who was our waitress, carefully explained that these aren’t tater tots with cheese, bacon and green onions scattered over them.  The ingredients are stuffed or blended into the tater tots which are then deep fried and served with ranch dressing.  The Loaded Tater Tots were a big hit!


Laurie and I thought about the Deviled Eggs but since Laurie makes the best version we’ve ever had, we decided on the Fried Green Tomatoes. ($8.50) The slices of tomato are dipped in buttermilk and dusted with Corner 16’s seasoned flour before going into the fryer.  Before being served they are topped with fresh grated Asiago cheese.  They’re served with garlic peppercorn dressing.
 
We thought that they were excellent…having one of the best breading mixes we’ve had with fried tomatoes.  The next time, I’m planning to kick them up even a little more by asking for a little more shredded Asiago cheese.  FYI, the portion was huge!


Linda ordered the Smothered Chicken for her entrĂ©e.  Her hand breaded Fried Chicken Breast was topped with Country Garden Gravy and it was served over bacon and cheddar grits.  Our waitress checked to make sure that the grits were OK with Linda… For her side, she selected the green beans.  They were perfect!  Later Linda said that the grits were OK but nothing to write home about.  She prefers a smoother version…

The portion was huge and Linda enjoyed her dinner.  She took home about half of it for lunch the next day.


Norm decided to order the Hickory Smoked Brisket Sandwich for his dinner. ($11.75) Sliced brisket, topped with melted smoked white cheddar cheese, was served on a toasted Brioche bun.  It was served with a very nice horseradish sour cream sauce.  For his side, he chose the Uptown Slaw… Norm thought that everything he ordered was very good and the brisket was excellent!


Laurie decided to try Corner 16’s version of one of her favorite standby sandwiches…the Chicken Salad Sandwich. ($10.75) A mound of traditional chicken salad is served on the diner’s choice of a whole wheat or Brioche bun.  The chicken salad is topped with Monterey Jack cheese and, as you can see, some lovely nice thick pieces of bacon.  For her side Laurie had the Bacon and Cheddar Grits.

She loved her sandwich…very nice chicken salad topped with the cheese and excellent bacon!  She didn’t care for the smoky flavor of the grits, a matter of personal taste and a lesson learned for future orders of grits.


I’m a pain when it comes to ordering…too many food items I don’t like.  I asked Deborah (our waitress) what Country Garden Gravy was made with.  It didn’t sound good to me and I was thinking about ordering the Chicken Fried Steak…which comes with said gravy.  She checked with the kitchen to see if any sausage gravy was left from brunch earlier in the day.  No such luck…so I ordered a different item. 

Before the order could be processed, the General Manager (and chef), Wing Wong, appeared table side.  He’d made up some sausage gravy and he provided a small dish of it to sample…along with the Country Garden Gravy.  I stuck with my original opinion regarding the Garden Gravy but I really liked the Sausage Gravy.  Wing Wong said that he’d make some up for my Chicken Fried Steak!  Hooray!  FYI…everyone else at the table really liked the Country Garden Gravy. 

To add just one more special request, I asked for an easy-over egg on top of my chicken fried steak. ($1.50) It was perhaps the best chicken fried steak that I’ve enjoyed outside of Texas!  The green beans were perfect too.  The meat was served over Corner 16’s Smokehouse potatoes.  I now know that I don’t care for smoked potatoes…but I will say that our waitress checked with me when I ordered to see if they’d be OK with me.  I am glad that I tried them…

Our waitress Deborah was helpful and had a good working knowledge of the items on the menu.  Wing Wong, the General Manager and Chef provided over the top service, going out of his way to make me happy about my menu choice and then checking back to see how all of us felt about our meals before we were done eating.  The food was considerably above average and the menu itself is quite imaginative.

Corner 16 is part of Knoxville’s Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants and it’s a winner.  This restaurant is located at 1640 Bob Kirby Road in Knoxville.  Phone: 865-801-9101.  Website: https://corner16.com/.   

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Birmingham Museum of Art (II)


Continuing with our tour of Birmingham Alabama’s Museum of Art… As I mentioned previously, many of my photos of plaques describing the objects just didn’t come out using my sports setting… Those objects will have to speak for themselves.


Entitled “Harbor at Lormont”, this Impressionistic painting is the work of Eugene Louis Boudin.  It was completed in 1875.  Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, hence his love of seascapes and ships.  He was one of the first French landscape painters to actually paint outdoors!

To view many of this prolific artist’s works, go to https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Paintings_by_Eug%C3%A8ne_Boudin.


I was really attracted to these beautiful leaded glass windows…


The Adoration of the Magi was painted by Claude Vignon between 1624 and 1626.  Vignon is well known for the vibrant colors and lighting in his works.  In addition to his paintings, he was also known as an excellent printmaker and illustrator. 

To learn more about Vignon and to see a few more of his paintings, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Vignon.


We love Asian art objects and this cabinet and these over sized vases certainly stood out for me… 


This entire display was filled with an assortment of very old and beautiful Asian metal work objects.


…and then there was this assembly of Chinese pottery objects.  The beautiful camel and the horse in the front center of the display date back to ca. 700.


We both love classic old Chinese blue and white ceramics and this grouping was a bit overwhelming.  Unfortunately, years ago during a move I dropped a beautiful large vase, the best blue and white Chinese piece we’d ever purchased.

During the 1600’s, Chinese export of blue and white porcelain became big business.  That business continued on well into the early 1800’s when European (especially English) pottery makers became major blue and white producers in their own right…


This amazing stone carving depicting of Uma-Mahesvara was created ca. 1250.  These Hindu deities are also known as the Great Goddess Paravati (Uma) and the Great Lord Shiva (Mahesvara). 

Shiva is known as the Supreme Being, God of Destruction and Destroyer of Evil as well as God of Yoga, Meditation and Arts.  Paravati, Shiva’s wife is known as Mother Goddess and the Goddess of Creative Power, Fertility, Love and Devotion.


Beautiful jar isn’t it?  This piece of Vietnamese glazed stoneware dates back to sometime during the 12th – 14th centuries.


This cylinder vessel is from the Mayan Culture in the area that is now Guatemala.  It was made sometime in the 700’s or 800’s.  It has a procession of 3 animals around its sides.  Pictured here is the jaguar while the other 2 are a monkey and coatimundi.  Note the red scarf around the jaguars neck…the same accessory adores the other animals as well.  The scarves and other decorations identify them as supernatural creatures rather than actual animals.    


This exhibit of Tlingit Peoples objects includes (from the left) a Staff, a Killer Whale Fin Totem Crest, a Dancer’s Wand and a Bentwood Box.  The items were created in the late 1800’s although the box might have been a little later into the 1900’s.

The Tlingit are indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America.  Their society is divided into 2 moieties, the Raven and the Eagle.  In turn, these 2 groups are divided into clans, lineages or house groups.  They have a matrilineal kinship system, with descent and inheritance passed through the mother’s line.  Today, there are about 17,000 Tlinkit in Alaska with between 200 and 400 still fluent in the Tlingit language.


There are a number of displays showing ceremonial and day to day objects and related artwork from various African cultures.  They are quite spectacular…


This early 2oth Century Maasai Shield is the type that was used by the warriors of the Maasai culture as they guarded their cattle.  These semi-nomadic people have historically based their culture on raising cattle.  The Maasai inhabit central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.  There are about 2,000,000 million Maasai. 

To learn more about the Maasai and their culture, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people.


This was another tile I noted that I really coveted.  I didn’t capture any information about it though…


This large display of English Wedgwood blue and white Jasperware certainly grabs one’s attention!

Jasperware is a type of pottery developed by Josiah Wedgwood in the 1770’s.  Usually described as stoneware, it’s noted for its matte and unglazed biscuit finish.  White relief decorations are characteristic of Wedgwood Jasperware.

These style pieces are named after Jasper, a mineral or stone that is an aggregate of micro-granulate quartz and/or chalcedony.  However, research has determined that the key ingredient in Jasperware is barium sulfate…


Terrific examples of Staffordshire Pottery were just around the corner.  We do have a weakness for these items!  Note the fantastical Veilleuse Teapot (2nd from the left on the top shelf).  It incorporates a ‘face jug’ or ‘face mug’ design into a ‘night light’ tea pot. 

These teapots held herbal tea, soup, etc. for the sick and the godet in the stand provided a ‘night light’ too.  The combination produced healing vapors in the sick room.  The teapots were created in many ornamental shapes including animals, people and mythological images.

In my research I discovered that the world’s largest collection of antique porcelain veilleuse theieres (night light teapots) has its home in Trenton Tennessee.  The collection of 525 teapots is available for viewing (at no charge) in Trenton’s Municipal Building.  Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.  For more information about this attraction, go to http://www.teapotcollection.com/teapot/teapot-information/museum


This is a close-up of a Wedgwood Majolica Oyster Barrel that was manufactured in 1875.


This creation is part of the Museum’s Third Space Exhibit.  The exhibit presents over 100 contemporary works of art that are part of the Museum’s collection.
This particular work is titled “The Sign of the True Cross”.  It was created by Mel Chin, a conceptual visual artist, back in 1988.  To learn more about Mel Chin and his work, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Chin.


Whitfield Lovell created “Rise of the Delta” in 2013.  His conte art on wood integrated with metal ‘plates’ did grab my attention…very creative.  Lovell is a contemporary African-American artist known primarily for his drawings of African-American people from the first half of the 1900’s.  To learn more about him, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitfield_Lovell.  

I had to look it up but Conte (sticks or crayons) are a drawing medium that are manufactured using natural pigments such as iron oxides, carbon black or titanium dioxide, kaolin (clay) and a binder (cellulose ether).  



I thought that I’d end with this display of ornate Betel Nut Nutcrackers.  Given the close-up horse version, it’s easy to tell that Laurie took these photos… All of these nutcrackers date back to ca. 1900.

Betel nuts… The areca nut (commonly called the betel nut) is the fruit of the areca palm.  It grows in much of the tropical Pacific, South Asia and parts of East Africa.  Widely consumed…and even part of the culture through much of this area…consumption of betel nuts has many negative effects on health and it is carcinogenic.  The use of betel nuts by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, especially in southern and eastern Asia, has been described as a “neglected global public health emergency”. 

Another little discovery…  The Nutcracker Museum is located in Leavenworth Washington.  Visitors can view over 7,000 nutcrackers ranging in age from Roman times to the present!  Yes, they do have a selection of these interesting betel nutcrackers or cutters too… Check out this museum at http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/index.html.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for part 2 and the conclusion of our tour of the Birmingham Alabama Museum of Art.  The museum, with its wide variety of artistic objects, is located at 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard.  Phone: 205-254-2565.  Website: http://artsbma.org.  

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, September 17, 2018

Birmingham Alabama Art Museum (I)


After lunch at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Amy went back to work but David II, Emmett Lee, Nana (Laurie) and yours truly had time to explore an attraction in Birmingham.  It was hot, so we looked for something indoors…


We decided to visit the Birmingham Museum of Art.  I took this photo of David II, Nana and grandson Emmett Lee in front of the museum.

Notes:

·         For art and design lovers, the museum is a bargain.  Both parking and admission are free!

·         My photos are intended to provide an overview of the broad scope of the artistic creations on display at the museum.

·         I did learn that by putting my camera on the sport setting, no sensor light is emitted so the works of art are protected.  However I also take photos of the information posted next to the item on display and in some instances my camera failed to take pictures clear enough for my use in writing this post.


There is a sculpture courtyard in addition to the indoor exhibits that are spread across both floors of the museum.  This sculpture, entitled “Fuel Dog” was created in 1992 by Charles Lucas.  The artist uses metal scraps and pieces as well as wood pieces in his works.  To learn more, you can go to http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3388.



Another sculpture in the courtyard was “Reclining Nude”, a work completed in 1984 by Fernando Botero.  He is an 86 year old Colombian artist who is known for creating bloated oversized images.


A number of quilts were on display in the first gallery we entered inside the museum.  This one, with a ‘roman coin’/’strip pattern’ design was completed in 1991 by Mary Maxtion.  Mary was born in 1924 and was raised in rural Alabama, learning to quilt from her mother. 


Part of the Folk Art exhibit included this untitled work of musicians with a fiddle and banjo by Shields Landon (S.L.) Jones who was born in 1901 in West Virginia.  Raised in the southern Appalachians, Jones was a skilled wood carver until he had a heart attack in the early 1990’s.  Then he took up painting, creating this work ca. 1992.    


This spooky but attention getting creation is entitled “Voodoo (Tree of Life)”.  It was created by Herbert Singleton in 1991.  Singleton is an internationally known folk artist who was born and raised in Louisiana.  Initially he earned a living as a construction worker but in the 1970’s he began carving totems and branches and his work evolved from there…


The maker of this beautiful and ornate chest is unknown.  It was made in England in the mid-1600’s, using oak, walnut, rosewood plus bone and mother of pearl in the inlays.


Laurie and I have always loved old tiles.  We would have collected them but they’ve always been too pricy for us.  This scene is made from Delft tiles.
Delftware or Delft Blue is blue and white pottery (and tiles) made in and around Delft in the Netherlands from the 1500’s on to today.  The most highly regarded period of production was from 1640 – 1740.  



This French mantle clock was made ca. 1755.  The case was made by Balthazar Lieutaud using oak, brass, gilt bronze, enameled metal and glass.  The works or movement was made by renowned scientist and watchmaker, Ferdinand Berthoud.  He was especially famous for his sea chronometers.

To learn more about Berthoud and his body of work, you can go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Berthoud.  Exquisite and very expensive timepieces are still manufactured in his name to this day…


We’ve also always loved Staffordshire pottery items…and this display certainly captured our attention.  Collecting Staffordshire pottery and porcelain is very popular with a huge selection of both average and excellent items available on the Internet. 

Note:

·         Staffordshire Potteries really refers to an industrial area in Staffordshire England.  In the early 1700’s North Staffordshire became the center of ceramic production due to the ready availability of clay, salt, lead and coal.  Hundreds of companies produced decorative or practical items.


We loved this large painting with it bucolic vision!  Its entitled “Chatsworth House and Park”.  It was painted in 1725 by Flemish artist Pieter Tillemans.  The artist is best known for his paintings of sporting and topographical scenes.  For much of his life, he lived and worked in England and he is regarded as one of the founders of the English school of sporting painting.

To learn more and to view a few more of Tillemans’ paintings, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Tillemans.


This lovely lead glaze earthen ware or cream ware teapot was made ca. 1770 in Leeds England.  I really like the color…



I think that this painting is quite striking…the ruins and the figures contemplating them and possibly what they represent. (Unfortunately I didn’t capture the artist’s information)


This oil painting on canvas is titled “Three for Five” and it was painted in 1890.  The artist was John George Brown.  Born in Great Britain, Brown moved to New York when he was fairly young and he’s considered an American painter.  He became famous for his depictions of young street vendors on the streets of the city…


This is a portrait of Oliver Hazard Perry, “Hero of Lake Erie”.  It was painted in about 1857 by Jane Stuart, who was the youngest daughter of Gilbert Stuart, the famous portraitist who is best known for his painting of George Washington.
Jane is best known for her miniature paintings and portraits, like her father particularly those made depicting George Washington.  In the early 1800’s she took on the responsibility of supporting her family after her father’s death.  

To learn more about Jane Stuart and to view few of her paintings, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Stuart.

Note:

·         Oliver Hazard Perry became a hero during the War of 1812 when he built an American Fleet at Erie Pennsylvania and then led American forces in a decisive naval victory against the British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie.  He received a Congressional Gold Medal for his effort.  As a side note, Perry is also famous for two of his quotes: “Don’t give up the ship” and “We have met the enemy and they are ours!”


This dressing table was built ca. 1820 – 1830 in Baltimore Maryland.  It’s constructed from mahogany and maple.


Charles Eugene Shannon painted this work which is entitled “Conversation Piece”.  Shannon, who was from Montgomery Alabama, focused his work on the everyday lives of African Americans.  Shannon also earned a lasting reputation as the man who discovered, exhibited and documented folk artist, Bill Traylor.  



“L ‘Aurore” (Aurora) was painted by Frenchman William-Adolphe Bouguerean in 1881.  It was first in a series of 4 paintings depicting the time of day.  In Bouguerean’s realistic style paintings, he used mythological themes, creating modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. 


Laurie was particularly taken with this oil painting.  It’s entitled “Moonlight in Virginia”.  It was painted on a panel in 1884 by George Inness.  Despite the luminous moon, the somber tones project the mood of the South recovering from America’s Civil War. 

Inness was one of the most influential American artists of the nineteenth century.  His prolific career spanned more than 40 years and 1,000 paintings.  He consistently earned praise for his ability to project depth of mood, atmosphere and emotion.  He’s often called the “Father of American Landscape Painting”.

To learn more about George Inness and to view a selection of his works, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Inness.

A further sampling of the variety of art works on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art, will be posted this week… Website: http://artsbma.org.  

Just click on any of these images to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, September 14, 2018

Lunch at Hattie B’s – Birmingham Alabama


We weren’t back home in East Tennessee for very long when we went on a family trip to Birmingham Alabama.  David II and grandson Emmett Lee had flown into Chattanooga to spend a couple of nights with Laurie and yours truly… Then it was time to drive them down to Alabama to spend a little family time with daughter-in-law Amy, who’s based there for her career...  


I’d done a little research and given my love of ‘heat’ and fried chicken, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken was a no brainer.  It didn’t hurt that everyone else was on board with this dining destination too!

The concept for Hattie B’s was derived from 2 famous and successful ‘hot (spicy) chicken’ operations in Nashville Tennessee…Bolton’s and Princes.


Some customers apparently like eating their hot and spicy chicken outdoors…in the heat.


The concept at Hattie B’s is simple.  A Simple, focused and modest menu.  Order at the counter, find a table and then the food is delivered when it’s ready.
 
Hattie B’s was named after 3 women in the family that were named Hattie.  The family has been in the restaurant business for 3 generations, with the patriarch having worked his way up in the Morrison’s Cafeteria’s organization to be the CEO…and then that company’s purchase of Ruby Tuesday.  One of his sons and that son’s grandson founded Hattie B’s.  The company was founded in 2012 with its first location in Nashville Tennessee.   


There was a heck of a line when we finally found a place to park!  Hattie B’s is a very popular place in Birmingham… Despite the line, we managed to grab a table and simultaneously make some dining decisions.


I didn’t take pictures of everyone’s lunch because basically customers can order fried chicken…or they can order fried chicken, etc.  I guess you could order a number of sides if you didn’t want chicken…but then why dine here?! 

This is a Small White Plate…the breast and wing quarter. ($9.00) All plates are served with 2 sides, bread and pickles.  The available sides are southern greens, crinkle cut fries, pimento mac and cheese, baked beans, red skin potato salad, creamy cole slaw and black eyed pea salad.

Small Dark Plates with the thigh and leg quarter are $8.50.  Large White Plates are $12.50 and Large Dark Plates are $10.50.  Other combinations are available and they do offer a Hot Chicken Sandwich for $9.00.


I ordered the Small White Plate as well, giving the greens a try.  My only regret is that I didn’t order a Large Plate!  Everyone enjoyed their lunches!  Laurie and I wish they’d open a Hattie B’s in the Knoxville area…

FYI…There are a variety of HEAT LEVELS offered at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.  Southern…no heat.  Mild…touch of heat.  Medium…warming up.  Hot…feel the heat.  Damn Hot!! – Fire Starter.  Then there is “Shut the Cluck Up!!! – Burn Notice”.  For our first dining experience at Hattie B’s Laurie and I played it safe and stuck with “Hot”.  It was plenty hot for her but I might try “Damn Hot” then next time…

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken has 6 locations, 3 in Nashville, 1 in Atlanta, 1 in Las Vegas and this one at 2808 7th Avenue South in Birmingham Alabama.  Phone: 205-578-6018.  The company’s website is at http://hattieb.com/.


This Tudor Style building across the street from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken was built in 1926.  The space was originally built to serve as a fine furniture store and it remains as one of the only Tudor Style buildings in the Southside area.  Although I wasn’t able to locate it in the files, this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is currently occupied by Bird’s Bar and Pizza at 2839 7th Avenue South.   


I always try to take photos of old in-city or in-town theaters when I spot them.  We used to have 2 of them when I lived in my old home town of Jackson Michigan and I have some fond memories from back in the day.  One was called the Capitol Theater and the other was the Michigan Theater.  At one point, downtown Jackson had as many as 8 theaters!  

In any case, the Avon Theatre at 2829 7th Avenue South is also the name used to refer to the Tudor Style building mentioned above and both are part of the same block.  From what I could determine, the theatre itself is an event center and theater that is used for worship as well.  The Red Mountain Church apparently operates this space… I did note an event planned for 9/22.  I like the fact that the space is in use and not abandoned!

That’s all for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for some Hot Chicken!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave