There's an adage that one restaurant can't be all things to all people. But a bar-meets-bakery-meets-Laundromat might come close.
Locals quickly embraced the hybrid Madeline, soaking up the sun from a few outdoor tables in the private courtyard and parking lot, while their whites and colors go through the spin cycle.
Cleveland Park's Madeline — Photo courtesy of Margaret Littman
Unlike other Laundromat/bars/restaurants, the food and drink and dining areas aren't an afterthought at Madeline. The washers and dryers are behind a full closed door, although there's a windowed wall, which makes it easy for you to check on your washables while you're in the restaurant.
That crucial design keeps laundry smells and sounds out of the restaurant and vice versa. Art from Red Arrow Gallery in nearby Inglewood helps round out the cozy atmosphere.
Inside, there's friendly table service both downstairs near the kitchen and in an upstairs loft, as well as at the counter.
The menu is well-edited for the time of day. Breakfast includes fresh-squeezed orange juice, brioche French toast, vegetarian quiche and more. (Coffee is from local favorite Eighth and Roast.)
Later in the day, you can choose from burgers, salads and sandwiches, with local twists on classics like the Hot Brown and black bean burger.
Later at night, grab a beer (draught, can or bottle); cider; or a glass of wine paired with a trimmed-down menu of snacks and cheeses. The beers on tap do change, so come back if a local favorite isn't currently available.
No matter the time of day, when you're at Madeline, you can choose from a selection of desserts to top things off. There's also a dessert case with the flourless cake pops and macarons, so you can take sweets to go. How can you say "no" to a carrot cake doughnut?
Entrée prices are in the $10 to $12 range, and there's a small but kid-friendly children's menu. Several vegetarian options are on the regular menu, and adjustments are easily made to other dishes. There are typically several specials, as well. Happy hour specials are available every weekday.
It's easy to see how Madeline might just become a go-to local hangout as well as a place for visitors to go and see where "real" Nashvillians eat. And do their laundry.