Authentic Eats

Encountering the flavors, traditions, and customs of different cultures is always an exciting experience. Fortunately for Chattanooga, there is a beautiful tapestry of global cuisine available right here! Read on to sample just a few of the worldly offerings in our Scenic City.

Encountering the flavors, traditions, and customs of different cultures is always an exciting experience. Fortunately for Chattanooga, there is a beautiful tapestry of global cuisine available right here! Read on to sample just a few of the worldly offerings in our Scenic City.


By  Katie Faulkner

Photography by  Lanewood Studio

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torta de Lomo from Taqueria Jalisco Ania


Torta de Lomo

Taqueria Jalisco Ania


Yields: 1 serving



  • 1 telera bun
  • Mayonnaise, to spread
  • Pulled pork shoulder
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Lettuce, torn or shredded
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Pickled carrots
  • Pickled jalapeño
  • Avocado


Smear mayonnaise on both halves of a bun then grill bun, face down. Add pulled pork, cheese, and veggies to one half of the bun. Top with other half of the bun and grill sandwich
on both sides, pressing down, as you would for a panini. Cut in half and serve hot. *Amounts depend on personal sandwich topping preference.


Maria Parra chef at taqueria jalisco ania

“Torta de lomo is traditionally found in the markets of Sahuayo, Jalisco. It’s an easy-to-make, tasty take on a sandwich.”

Maria Parra, Chef

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feijoada from rodizio grill



Rodizio Grill


Yields: 10 (8 oz.) servings



  • 1 gallon water
  • 24 oz. black beans, by volume
  • 4 oz. bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup yellow onions, diced small
  • 12 oz. pork sausage
  • 8 oz. lean pork loin
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt


Bring water and black beans to a boil. Cook until beans are tender. In a separate saucepan, render bacon and sauté garlic, onions, sausage, and pork for 5 minutes on medium heat. When beans are soft, blend 32 oz. of the cooked beans with some bean juice to purée. Return puréed beans to the pot along with all sautéed meats. Add salt and let simmer for 30 minutes, being careful not to over reduce water.


“Brazilian food culture is a social experience layered with conversation and flavors. The authentic cuisine experience is about individualism and fashioning your plate your way with flavors, textures, and colors. Feijoada, a celebrated national dish of Brazil, is a rich black bean and sausage stew served with white rice, collard greens, oranges, farofa, sautéed yucca flour, and topped with a spicy malagueta vinaigrette. It also pairs well with a caipirinha.” 

Ellen Vitorino, Chef & Kitchen Manager

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unadon from totto sushi & grill



Totto Sushi & Grill


Yields: 1-2 servings



For the unagi (eel) sauce :

  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sake
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • For the unagi filet:
  • 1 filet unagi (eel)
  • Oil, to coat pan
  • 1 cup sushi rice or steamed white rice

For garnish:

  • Grated ginger, wasabi, sesame seeds, chopped scallions, and carrot ribbons


For the unagi (eel) sauce:

In a small saucepan, add mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce then bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. The sauce will thicken more as it cools. 

For the unagi filet:

Preheat oven to broil on high at about 550o. Meanwhile, cut unagi into small pieces that fit inside a serving bowl. Line baking sheet with aluminium foil and brush oil lightly. Place unagi on baking sheet and into oven. Broil unagi on high for 7 minutes – no need to flip. Remove unagi from oven and brush with unagi sauce. Return to oven and continue to broil for another 30-60 seconds, until bubbles are visible on top of unagi. Place rice in a bowl, sprinkle about 1 Tbsp. of unagi sauce over rice, and top with cooked unagi on top. Garnish and serve immediately.


Shawn Lee chef at totto sushi and grill“Unagi is one of the most popular and luxurious fish in Japanese cuisine. Sweet, homemade unagi sauce drizzled over the perfectly grilled unagi filet and rice will make any Japanese food enthusiast’s mouth water.”

Shawn Lee, Chef

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Neapolitan margherita pizza from community pie

Photos by Rich Smith


Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

Community Pie


Yields: 1-2 servings



  • 1 Neapolitan pizza crust dough (we make ours in-house, from scratch using Molino Polselli 00 flour)
  • 2 oz. San Marzano tomato sauce (made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes and sea salt)
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle


Place wood in a wood-fired pizza oven, start fire, and allow oven to heat up to 800°. On a floured surface, push out pizza dough to create the crust. For authentic Neapolitan pizza, you want a pillow-y outer crust, so push dough from center, send all air to outer crust, and leave undisturbed. Try to establish a defined crust line. Spread tomato sauce evenly to crust line. Tear basil leaves into large pieces and distribute evenly atop pizza crust. Tear mozzarella into large pieces and distribute evenly atop pizza crust. Do not cover all of the sauce when making this style of pizza. Drizzle with olive oil. Ensure a roaring fire in pizza oven, with flames rising across the dome ceiling. Insert pizza into oven on a paddle and leave for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, give it a 1/3 turn. Continue to turn pizza until entire crust is cooked and cheese is melted.


jose smokey pureco chef at community pie“We make our Neapolitan pizza from simple and fresh ingredients that are intrinsic to Neapolitan cuisine: 00 flour for the dough, San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. Then, our wood-fired oven cooks pizzas at 800˚, which leaves an authentic char on the crust.”

Jose “Smokey” Pureco, Chef

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cataplana from bela lisboa



Bela Lisboa


Yields: 2 servings



  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz. white wine
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. lobster base
  • 5 mussels
  • 4 clams
  • 3 shrimp
  • 1 calamari
  • 3 oz. salmon or tuna


Heat olive oil on medium-high heat and sauté onions, garlic, bay leaves, and bell peppers. Add wine. Bring to a boil until everything is cooked/tender. Add tomatoes and protein. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Serve with a glass of white wine.


jo vagos chef at bela lisboa“Cataplana is an authentic and easy-to-make fish stew that is traditional in Portuguese culture. It originates from the Algarve region of Portugal.”

Jo Vagos, Chef

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grilled lamb chops from acropolis grill


Grilled Lamb Chops

Acropolis Grill


Yields: 2 servings



  • 1 (18-20 oz.) rack of lamb
  • 3 oz. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Greek oregano, freshly chopped or dry
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped


Cut rack every other bone for a double rib chop or between every rib for single chops. One rack will be 4 double chops or 8 “lollipop” chops. Coat well with olive oil. Heat a charcoal grill. Mix remaining ingredients together and season chops. Rest at room temperature while grill reaches 375o. Place chops on grill. Give a quarter-turn after 2-3 minutes, then a full turn and repeat. The chops are best served medium rare to medium. Serve with grilled vegetables (squash, asparagus, eggplant, or other garden vegetables) prepared with olive oil and the same seasoning mixture. It also pairs well with roasted rosemary red potatoes or Greek lemon potatoes.


nick kyriakidis owner and chef of acropolis grill“Lamb is at the heart of Greek cuisine, culture, and religion. It is eaten all year but is always part of the Easter ‘Pascha’ meal.”

Nick Kyriakidis, Owner & Chef

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