I’m back on the blog with a little life lately update! Life has been pretty full and busy lately, just the way I like it. Full and busy with what, you ask?
My life lately has been a lot of soccer and food. That’s pretty much it.
It’s kept me busy, but I thrive on staying busy. So let’s get to it!
Back in February, the U.S. men’s national soccer team played a friendly against Jamaica, right here in Chattanooga. I went on a whim, and it was one of the coolest sporting events I’ve ever seen. So much so, that I went to Nashville a few weeks ago with a few friends to watch the USMNT play Panama in the Gold Cup. I even saw one of my friends from grad school! Well, we knew we’d both be there. We even planned a scarf exchange, where we gave each other a scarf representing our clubs.
Two U.S. soccer matches in one year? I like it. Next time I need to catch the women’s team!
Chattanooga FC wrapped up its season last week with the first annual Blue Ridge Derby (an annual series we launched with league newcomer Asheville City SC). Finishing the season on a 9-0 victory was awesome, especially after our abnormally early playoff exit. This season was one of the highest ups and lowest downs, but what matters is that we were there to support our Boys in Blue each week and show them how much we love them.
I really hope we don’t have to wait until next April for more CFC. Those friendlies we had back in February were fantastic. So… hint hint.
Being a food lover in Chattanooga is a blessing. Not only are we blessed with some really wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries and more, there’s always some kind of food-centered event that highlights some of those places.
I recently had the pleasure of attending Deep Brew Sea, a food and drink event at the Tennessee Aquarium, hosted by Hand Family Companies. If you went to Handcrafted Wishes at the Hunter Museum, Deep Brew Sea was organized by the same company! Deep Brew Sea brought some of the best regional beers and local eats to the Tennessee Aquarium for a really cool night of eating, sipping and experiencing the Aquarium after hours. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.
After the success of Handcrafted Wishes last fall, there was immediate excitement and high demand for Deep Brew Sea. It was originally supposed to be only one night, but tickets sold out so fast and people were so excited that they added a second night! That means two nights of food, beer, aquarium life and live music, from Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats (Asheville, NC) and Moontower Music (Atlanta).
Highlights of the evening included beer from OddStory (Chattanooga), Mill Creek (Nolensville, Tenn.), Bell’s (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Hutton & Smith (Chattanooga), Jackalope (Nashville), Wiseacre (Memphis) and more. My favorite beer of the evening was the Lil’ Darlin’ citrus wheat beer. It went nicely with some carnitas tacos from local spot Universal Joint.
If you haven’t been to a Hand Family Companies event yet, you’ve got to check out Handcrafted Wishes 2017 at the Hunter Art Museum, which is slated for October 20! Follow Hand Family Companies on Facebook for updates.
You know how I said there is no shortage of food-related events in Chattanooga? That same weekend, I also got to check out the Station Street Sip & Savor event at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. This is put on by local iHeart Media and features many of the Scenic City’s favorite restaurants, as well as locally-distributed wines, beers and liquors. A portion of proceeds from the event benefitted Kids on the Block, a local nonprofit for children’s education about social issues.
What I loved most about the Sip & Savor was that it was held in the gardens behind the Choo Choo. The weather was perfect, if not a bit hot and humid, but nothing a cold beer or glass of wine couldn’t fix.
Some drink highlights included Goodwood Beer, Green Flash Brewing, Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey, Schlafly Beer, Clifford Bay and Beachhouse wine, and Rivulet pecan liqueur. Pecan liqueur is about as Southern as it gets, y’all. I was also super surprised at how much I enjoyed the Ballotin whiskeys. They had a chocolate mint whiskey that I bet makes a mean mint julep.
As for food (because you need a little food to soak up the beer and wine, of course), Sip & Savor had a great lineup of eats from local chefs and restaurants. Chefs from FEED Co., Bald Headed Bistro, Bitter Alibi, Flying Squirrel, DoubleTree hotel and Terra Mae were cooking up some fresh chicken for attendees to taste. Newcomer Jack Brown’s Burgers was cooking up some cowboy burgers, 2 Sons Kitchen had their pork barbecue sandwiches and Big River Grill brought the sweets with their Chocolate Ecstasy.
It’s easy to get exhausted from events like this, but the Sip & Savor is truly a well-done event and I’m already looking forward to attending another one in the future. Maybe next time the weather won’t be so sweltering! If you’re interested in a Sip & Savor event, or anything surrounding the new and improved Station Street area, follow them on Facebook for news and updates.
And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Restaurant Week. It was a whole week of exploring more of Chattanooga’s already awesome food scene and treating myself to food I normally wouldn’t eat. Check out my recap and be amazed at ALL of the beautiful food.
Life lately has been really busy, but busy with wonderful people, wonderful food and wonderful experiences, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
What have y’all been up to lately? What’s been your favorite thing about this summer?