restaurants

fido – Nashville, TN

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This amazing coffee shop/restaurant, nestled in Nashville’s West End, offers a fresh and tasty menu often overlooked in the south, and breaks away from the traditional southern fare.

I opted for something hearty, given the weather was a bit on the chilly side. fido’s Local Burger, made from Tennessee beef and local sausage, with Swiss cheese, pickles, onion strips and a zesty sauce. The meat was seasoned with an amazing blend of spices that added an entirely new level to a burger. The bread was a perfect texture and not too flavorful, taking away from the meat.

The sweet potato fries were grilled, made from real sweet potatoes right on site, were tender, soft and delicious. Not heavy at all (but healthy)! Although they were tasty in their own right, my choice of side dish competed with the burger’s complexity. I’d recommend something with a bit more salt, or perhaps a side salad.

Overall, a must try when visiting Hillsboro. I’ll definitely return and perhaps try one of their daily vegetarian options, complex salads, or fish options. As their website states, the restaurant as one that, “blurs the line between coffeehouse and restaurant. Chef John Stephenson continuously re-creates the menu. With fish and steak specials, breakfast all day and a seasonal menu, Fido is known as much for its food as the coffee. Fido also serves a classy selection of beer.”

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fido is a part of the unofficial Bongo World, started in 1993 by Bob Bernstein, and consists of a wholesale coffee roasting company and four cafes – each having a unique identity and menu. Their coffee is 100% organic and bought directly from Fair Trade small-farm co-ops. Check out the Bongo Java website for more information.

fido
1812 21st Ave. S.,
Nashville, TN 37212
615-777-FIDO (3436)

Open 7 days a week – 7am – 11pm

Kanela Offers Local Ingredients Served Up Right

4.0 out of 5        http://www.kanelacafe.com/

Two posts this week. With organic and local ingredients, combined with tasty Julius Meinl coffee, this place rates as one of the best for breakfast.

Atmosphere is upscale casual, with simple lines and a comfortable space. The noise level does tend to get a bit loud but you can still hear the people sitting across from you. The Lakeview crowd, east and west, come to enjoy. We arrived pretty early so didn’t have to wait, but the place fills up quickly – and not sure if they take reservations. New parents beware – it’s not really stroller friendly.

The menu offers a selection of sweet and savory, mixing things like the loukoumades (a fried fritter with lemon-honey syrup and walnuts) and banana split crepes to a spicy feta omelette or chorizo and eggs. (I’ve only had breakfast here but the lunch items look pretty damn tasty. Either way, it’s a win-win).  The best part is that they’ve just started serving dinner!

The staff was great too. Pretty attentive and pleasant, despite the business of the place. Southport Grocery better watch themselves. They’ve got some serious competition. 😉

Kanela
3231 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-1622
http://www.kanelacafe.com/

courtesy of MIDWESTERN MASTICATORY MUSING

Electic and Earthy, Longman and Eagle Doesn’t Disappoint

Overall 4.5 out of 5          http://longmanandeagle.com/

Two friends and I hit up this hipster-meets-yuppie gastropub for dinner on a whim. Being somewhat new to the city, I hadn’t heard of it but am always up for trying something different. Here’s what to expect…

Great people watching. The patrons consist of a wide-ranging, eclectic mix of eccentric hipsters and the blazer-wearing professional crowd, sprinkled with several well-established members of the 50+ demographic. Everyone seemed to fit perfectly and enjoying the ambiance. If you have little ones, leave them with the sitter. The staff exuded a casual cool mentality. Both attentive and extremely pleasant, our table experience was pretty top-notch.

Fantastic drinks. Do not be fooled, whiskey is what they love.  Whiskey flights and sidecars seemed the items of choice the night of our arrival. I stuck with a Maker’s Manhattan and have to say, it was one of the most AMAZING Manhattans I’ve ever had. They provide a great list of beers, scotch and other beverages for almost any concoction. For the non-drinkers, you can find a great selection of bottled beverages, including Boylen’s Root Beer, ginger beer and Mexican Coke – made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.

Be prepared to wait. Sorry folks, but this was a pretty major downside to the whole night (and the only reason for not getting five stars). With no reservations, and continued popularity, wait times can last hours…literally. We arrived promptly at 7:00 pm to a completely crowded room. After putting our name down, the hostess said it would be an hour and fifteen minutes. We got settled, had a drink, and after a while, it seemed somewhat reasonable. Our patience diminished, and our hunger grew, as we ended up waiting just under two hours to get a table.

Adventurous food selection. This menu is not for the typical meat and potatoes, fish and chips patron. Dishes like tete du cochon (pigs head), sweetbreads and other unique items laced the menu along side a tantalizing mix of fish, pasta and other game. And, as the seasons change, so do the selections. As an aside, the menu we looked at online (10/1/11) was not the menu we saw that same evening. Although a few items looked familiar, the majority of the page was filled with new starters, small plates and entrees – most with an autumnal harvest feel.

We began with the meatball and polenta appetizer with pesto which, although small for three people, was pretty damn amazing. I decided on the wild boar sloppy joe with pickled jalapeno, served with beef fat fries and sea salt. It was above average but don’t know if I’d order it again. The fries were probably some of the best I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot of fries. One friend ordered the special, if you will, which was a roasted pork belly with creamy risotto. The other ordered the slow roasted cauliflower with beluga lentils and caramelized onion. The pork belly was rich and hearty, fully flavored and overall pretty tasty. All three of us agreed that the vegetarian cauliflower dish was the best. Each plate was completely distinctive, which made me want to come back and try something new. They also have a separate vegetarian menu.

Save room for dessert. We were thinking ordering one of their amazing desserts but our entrees were so rich, we decided to decline. We were extremely tempted to try the Gruyère filled donuts with fruit compote and hazelnut marscapone, or the Madagascan chocolate with espresso cream, peanut custard and coffee jelly. Perhaps next time.

Good for groups of four or less, this locale offers an amazing experience to catch up with old friends or spend a special night out with your partner. I definitely plan to go again but will make a weeknight attempt.

Date visited: Nov 2011