Snack Tray: Knit Wits, Tex Mex, Chat and Chew, and the Fastest of the Fast Foods



What's shaping up as the unlikeliest craze since cupcakes? Knitting. And the doyennes of darning are Nashville's Ann Shayne and her New Yorker buddy Kay Gardiner, whose Mason-Dixon Knitting site is the last word in wool on the Web, with more than 150,000 loyal readers and counting. In advance of their appearance next week at the Southern Festival of Books, they've gone all honky-tonk on us—with a cheatin' song, no less. Hey, sometimes you need something bulkier than an afghan to warm up those winter nights.

• The bad news: Today is the last chance you'll get to eat lunch at Radius10, as the popular Gulch dining spot is discontinuing lunch service. The good news: the move is freeing up chef Jason Brumm to start Riverwalk Catering Co., which promises the "smokin' good Tex-Mex" we were hoping he'd bring to the Belmont area. (That's the second catering-company launch we've heard this week, after F. Scott's new subsidiary Zelda's.) A press release says the company will launch Oct. 13, with more details coming soon. In the meantime, don't panic: Radius10's beloved lunchtime fish tacos will move to the dinner menu.

• Want to know how your favorite (or least favorite) fast-food joint stacks up in terms of service time, order accuracy, speaker clarity and menuboard appearance? The results are in at QSR magazine, which ranks the nation's top 25 fast-food chains. Not surprisingly, Chick-fil-A takes top honors as America's best drive-thru, scoring a perfect 10 in order accuracy—but perhaps more interesting are the low scores. Rock bottom: Popeye's, with dismal .1 scores in menuboard appearance and speaker clarity. Still like the spicy, though.

• Then again, I may have to reevaluate my capsicum jones after this British newspaper report, excerpted by A Man's Gotta Eat: "An amateur chef died the day after eating a 'superhot' chilli in a bet with his friend over who could make the hottest dish, an inquest heard. Andrew Lee, 33, suffered heart failure the morning after he ate the chilli. Toxicology tests are now being carried out to see if the forklift truck driver suffered a fatal reaction to the dish or whether anything else contributed to his death." Joltin' Django still makes it sound preferable to drinking a Yuengling Lager.

• Ever heard of Wade's Chat and Chew Diner? Me either, until Eric and Katie posted an update on Nashville Restaurants. Evidently it's been there at 1200 Buchanan St. right off D.B. Todd Blvd., just waiting to corral passers-by with a cafeteria line serving oxtails, pig's feet, meat loaf and other meat-and-three staples. Plus the chat sounds pretty chewy, starting with this frank assessment of Titans QB Vince Young's recent plaints: "You can boo my ass all you want for $30 million a year."

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