dinner at Hai Woon Dai Korean Restaurant, Nashville, TN

Last night a friend of mine and I met up for a Korean dinner. We’ve been to this restaurant before; for a Thanksgiving meal, in fact. Hai Woon Dai Korean Restaurant is tucked away near a random intersection in south Nashville and so far, my friend and I both agree it features big portions, many side dishes (included with your meal) and you’ll either leave very full, or with a “to go” box. The side dishes have a variety of food, from spicy broccoli to square-cut potatoes to seasoned tofu.

My dish was the Ramyeon noodles with dumplings. It’s just about the only thing they had close to a vegetarian/vegan meal, so that’s pretty much the only strike I’d have against it. My friend got JapChe Bab. The clear noodles on her plate were tough to gather up, and my meal was steaming hot for the first 15 minutes. Neither of those are a complaint by any means, because once we got it all figured out, it was delicious!

If you like Korean food or you’re feeling adventurous with your appetite, you should try this place. It’s on near the corner of Haywood Lane and Antioch Pike.

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JapChe Bab

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Ramyeon noodles with dumplings

-Out of the Wilderness

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A Nashville night to remember

One of the best nights of the year… is how the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Head and the Heart, described last night in Nashville. Although he was referring to the cool, low humidity of the evening, he was right in more ways than he knew. And he also didn’t know the memorable night actually began 4 hours earlier!

I invited one of my friends to go to this show with me and was so happy she said yes. I knew she’d be good company! The first band was scheduled to start at 7 so we went to dinner first. There were 3 choices (because anyone who knows me knows I can be slightly indecisive, or is it easy to please? I don’t know, I can’t decide…) so we drew the winner out of a hat.

We didn’t go to (A) Oishii Asian Restaurant or (C) Mellow Mushroom, the winner was (B) Rainforest Cafe in Opry Mills mall. I haven’t been there before but it reminded me a lot of Disney World with how well they paid attention to details. Plus they had tanks of some wild looking fish that were fun to look at. We even saw Dory. Or maybe it was Dhorie (as to avoid copyright infringement). 😉 We had fun talking about all sorts of things… the stars on the ceiling, a ghost cloud, the elephants and other wild animals, and of course, we ate dinner, too.

She got the Anaconda Pasta (yum) and I got the Rainforest Natural Burger (yum). Both were yum.

We macheted out of the jungle, hopped on the interstate and made it to downtown around 730. Ascend Amphitheater has a number of seating options (see below). We went with the assigned seats, a little more expensive than general admission, but when we got there I was very happy not to have to fight our way to a small spot on the crowded grassy lawn. The red box below shows our two seats.

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The first band we saw was Dr. Dog (we missed the band before them, oops!) and they were good. Any band that uses a harmonica pretty much gets an automatic thumbs up from me. Their last song was one you may have heard of (this super catchy tune) and somehow you could just tell it was destined to be a hit.

Then The Head and the Heart took the stage and it was amazing! They have so many great songs and their voices are so recognizable. I was thinking during the show that they have the kind of music that doesn’t need any help, know what I mean? Some shows you go to include complicated light moves, video screens, fire, dancers, etc. When I worked at CMT we’d call it a stunt. It’s like added embellishments, extra entertainment, that sort of thing. I often think to myself, “When you have great music, you don’t need anything else.” Now, I know that’s unfair because there are plenty of amazing performers who don’t need any help, and the things they add to the show do, in fact, enhance the live experience. But with a group like The Head and the Heart, the music and the lyrics draw you in and to have other “attractions” would just be “distractions.”

They finished about 1045 so we made our way back to the car and took our heads and our hearts back out of town. It was such a fun afternoon/night, from the very beginning to the very end. And I’m cirrus when I say, if you have a chance to see The Head and the Heart, just do it, come on!!!

-Out of the Wilderness

The time my dog ate my dinner

PiperThere I was, relaxing and looking forward to a night in. Maybe turn on Netflix? Maybe check out some YouTube videos? It was shaping up to be a good night, that much was certain.

There it was, my dinner fresh out of the oven. This particular meal was veggie burgers, one of my favorites right now. I had set the baking sheet with the burgers on top of the stove, thinking, “This seems out of the dogs’ reach.” I stepped away for a second and lo and behold, Piper surprised me.

There she was, eating something off the kitchen floor. Had she managed to paw the veggie burgers off the stove? I knew she was food driven but this was quite a feat. I was resigned to the fact that my much-anticipated dinner was down the tubes. Or was it?

There they were, two beautiful 4-ounce Sweet Earth veggie patties still waiting to be arranged atop a ketchup-layered bun. But then what was Piper eating? This is where things went in a direction I did not see coming. It took a second for my mind to process that a treat I gave Piper earlier made her stomach upset which caused her to make them reappear on the kitchen floor, along with the doggy-doo she had just eaten from outside.

There it is, the full truth and nothing but the truth– and I’ve said it before— my dog eats her own poop. But now she’s taken it to a whole new level. Not only will she eat her own poo, she’ll also vomit it back up, and eat it again.

Here I am, writing about it because well, this is my life as a dog owner. But hey, I’m a dog owner that got to eat is awesome dinner that night, so there’s a silver lining for ya!

-Out of the Wilderness