Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

January 20, 2013

Tim Preston: Music City bound, ceviche cravings and the liberty to dance: 1/20/13

ASHLAND — It was an extra-short week in terms of writing a column for the Sunday edition as I was trying to carve out two days for another journey to Nashville for the second part of a series scheduled to run in Monday’s edition. This will be the second effort involving the scientific process of jumping into a truck with singer/songwriter/guitarist Eddie Riffe in search of even more proof of the Country Music Highway concept, and making it home within 48 hours complete with notes and photos.

I started a short list of people from here who are working there, and it quickly filled up a couple of pages in my notebook. To borrow a phrase from the deep South, “You can’t swing a dead cat by the tail down there without smacking a hillbilly guitar picker.” And the funny part is, the more I ask about it, the more names I add to the list. If you have some to add, shoot me a note with their names and a little information about where they work and play. I won’t say his name, but I’m really hoping to track down a guy from Sandy Hook who left that little town and went on to become one of the greatest recording-session bassists in the business.

We have a great little list to work from once we get there, although you just never know who you’ll find in Nashville without even trying. If we make it home alive (there are no atheists in the passenger seat when Eddie’s driving), this should be a good one.

Grill is open

I was determined to avoid eating another salad last weekend and proposed we enjoy a meal from the only Peruvian chef in Ashland. To my surprise, my wife loved the idea and we set a course for The Grill on 14th Street, where I was determined to sample something called “ceviche,” or seafood cooked in lime juice. Despite my own ignorance of the dish, it turns out ceviche is a favorite entree for many in the area who enjoy preparing it at home.

I was also curious to taste the favorite dish of the owner, a soup called Pariheula, after his employees reported he shows up every morning to enjoy a bowl of it for breakfast. “That food will bring you back to life,” Jose Garcia observed, and I’ve heard the phrase repeated a couple of times since.

We arrived at the restaurant to find the lights out Saturday evening, and an employee who saw us in the parking lot and let us know they were closed. Someone else who had a taste for the flavor of Peru also reported the place had been closed the night before.

I called early the next week and have good news: The Grill is not closed, the owners were just experiencing some hardware difficulties which have since been corrected. They have also expanded the beverage menu since my visit in October to include a selection of beers, and at least one local band has performed in the restaurant. I imagine we’ll make another attempt at trying the ceviche next weekend.

You may not need reservations for The Grill, but it never hurts to call ahead. For more information or to place an order, call (606) 393-3939.

Dancin’ Liberty

In the past, I’ve written about my appreciation for people who are able to embrace the job of being a costumed mascot, dancing with a sign outside of a business in hopes of attracting customers and building brand awareness (my personal best still goes to someone in a gorilla suit at the Domino’s on 13th Street).

After seeing a pretty darned good “lady liberty” working the sidewalk near the corner of Montgomery Avenue and 13th Street last week, I contacted Mary Sparks, owner of the new Liberty Tax Service, and we had a great time discussing the virtues of the job. Sparks explained she had to attend extensive training before being allowed to invest in the franchise, including a stint in full “liberty” gear in 104-degree conditions “on one of the busiest corridors of Virginia Beach.” The Grayson native and 1982 graduate of East Carter High School assured me it was an experience that gives one a whole different perspective, and invited me to come by and try it myself someday soon. I told her there was no way I would be doing that, although I must admit I’m already thinking about giving it a go.

Liberty Tax Service, which recently opened at 1205 Montgomery, will adopt new hours as of Monday, and will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Sparks advises they have some great options, including an “instant money loan,” tax refund, as well as support for the Ashland Animal Rescue Fund. For more information, call (606) 329-0826.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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