Is there ever a meal more meant for leisurely enjoyment than brunch? In Nashville we are blessed beyond belief with some of the tastiest, freshest and filling midday meals that can be had. At Marche Artisan Foods people have no problems waiting for one of the tables as long as they have their friends and a strong cup of their coffee. And why not? With a rotating menu of quiches, crepes and eggs over polenta, there is nothing that won't taste good with one of their blood orange mimosas. For flavors that are totally different, you can't go wrong at The Stone Fox thanks to their vegetarian breakfast Banh Mi, a buttered baguette topped with two sunny side up eggs, onions, pickled carrots, soy sauce and cilantro. And just about everyone can agree that a morning spent eating at Tavern is a morning well spent. Start with a Bellini Sparkle with cava, peach nectar and orange juice, then move right into a plate of White trash hash and the "nooner" - an omelet with bacon, fried oysters and spicy sour cream. As breakfast and brunch offerings are becoming more and more abundant, diners are lucking out with the pick of the brunch bunch.
The Southern Steak and Oyster
Located in the heart of the SoBro district downtown, The Southern Steak and Oyster does all kinds of things just right. Take their Bananas Foster bread pudding for example. Perfectly fine to order in the morning, but you should maybe start with some of their delicious coffee first. Then, move on to chicken and waffles or steak Benedict. Other winners are the oh-so-southern deviled eggs and barbecue shrimp. They take grits to another level when they go red and sweet thanks to berries, tapioca and creme anglaise. The atmosphere is lively but it can tend to be on the cold side the hotter it gets outside. Bring a jacket. (615-724-1762)
Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes
Germantown has really come into its own as a dining destination, and places like The Red Bicycle certainly help. A spinoff of the original location in Chapel Hill, N.C., the goal is to make customers regulars with friendly service and tasty fare. So far, they are doing it just right. Coffee is a big deal here, and their beans come from Joe Van Gogh in Hillsboroug, N.C., who source their beans direct with the farms or in consultation with a handful of trusted brokers, ensuring high-quality green beans. Seasonal ans specialty drinks join the other star, the crepes, which can be sweet like the Cinnamon Roll with brown sugar cream cheese icing, or savory like the Thai with chicken, onion, carrots and peanut sauce. (615-516-1986)
Concepted as a place where chefs would want to spend their precious time off, the gastro-pub fare is fun and creative, yet accessible. The bar features an extensive list of wines, spirits, beers, and cocktails. Cozy yet buzzy on the inside, the wraparound booths and mezzanine seating offer great views of the energetic bar scene. Fourteen televisions make it a good game day spot - along with the Philly cheese steak eggrolls and a bowl of "bazooka" guacamole with pistachios and goat cheese. DJs spin music and videos later into the night, and a large, bi-level patio offers al fresco dining and socializing. Tavern also offers private rooms for special events. (615-320-8580)
Mad Donna's in East Nashville serves up Saturday and Sunday brunch that includes a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Angus beef burgers, chorizo hash, Captain Crunch French toast (which were featured on the Food Network), and Eash Nash beignets - funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar and fresh berry sauce are just a few menu items you can expect. The quiche of the day can be filled with any number of fresh ingredients, and The Big Don features grilled Provence bread stuffed with eggs, bacon,
pepper jack cheese, tomato, and dijon mayonnaise served with cheddar cheese grits or rosemary potatoes. Service can get a little backed up only because of the popularity, but if you stick around, live music plays in the evenings in the upstairs loft. ((615) 226-1617)
Sam & Zoe's
This cozy cafe and coffeehouse, located near the Oaks Mall, serves excellent breakfast and lunch items, from bagels and pastries to soups and sandwiches. Smoothies are a favorite, like the "Chill Pill" with strawberries, bananas, peaches, pineapple juice and St. John's Wort. Of course, the desserts and coffee blends are what draw in the evening crowds, who use the relative quiet of the place to reflect on their day or discuss current events over a "TLT Deluxe" with spice seasoned tofu, lettuce, tomato, pesto, cracked wheat, avocado and cucumber. Parking can be a pain, so avoid rushes when you can. (615-385-2676)
Copper Kettle Green Hills
Sunday brunch is a bountiful buffet but they are known for their delicious omelets made to order and mimosas. They also have a carving station, smoked salmon, biscuits and gravy, and fresh fruits and pastries. During the week, they offer a variety of European-inspired sandwiches, wraps salads, and meat and threes. Two locations are available, (downtown and Green Hills). Note: they are not open on Saturdays. Diners near their SoBro location have the benefit of cashing in on their limited scooter-delivered lunch service. And with brunch limited to just one day a week, expect long lines after church lets out. (615-383-7242)
Swanky, elegant, and eclectic, Germantown Cafe showcases straightforward cuisine is at its best. The fresh, delectable cuisine comes at affordable prices and they are known for their classics with a twist - like the BrieLT with fried green tomatoes, lettuce, bacon and brie on Tuscan bread with red pepper sauce, served with a black bean salad. Situated just blocks from downtown, Germantown is the perfect place to start a night out, or cap a night off with one of their lip-smacking-good desserts. At lunch, try their classic French onion soup, simmered to salty-gooey perfection. (615-242-3226)
Margot Cafe and Bar
At this popular upscale eatery, diners enjoy seasonally-changing fare with French and Italian influences, such as pan-roasted halibut, fennel-ubbed poussin, and spaghetti bolognese. The cozy brick-walled dining room creates the perfect setting for a quiet, romantic dinner out. The Sunday brunch also offers to patrons a unique menu with varied dishes like smoked trout with crispy potato cake and French toast croissants with powdered sugar and warm syrup. The menu changes daily but the foundation remains constant with six appetizer choices, seven entrees, and five desserts. The menu is dictated by what's fresh that day, so diners can come back multiple times each week and never run out of innovative dishes to try. (615-227-4668)
Marche Artisan Foods
Brie, brie, brie! Calling all cheese lovers. Located in the heart of historic East Nashville, Marche Artisan Foods is a cafe with European flair. Situated inside the Walnut Exchange, a former telephone switching building, this cafe boasts a rustic feel that ratchets up its unparalleled ambiance. In addition to the full coffee and espresso bar, diners can find house-made pastries, fresh fish, meats, cheeses and other decadent grocery items. Breakfast and lunch menus change seasonally, and the other dinner menu options are updated monthly. Of course, backed by East Nashville favorite Margot McCormack, diners expect nothing less than delicious perfection. (615-262-1111)
About Hollie Deese
Hollie Deese is a Nashville-based writer who has spent the past 10 years falling in love with the sights, sounds and flavors of Music City. Hollie has 15 years experience as a writer and editor for regional and national publications, including The Tennessean, USA Today, Nashville Interiors, and the Nashville Ledger.
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