Early each Sunday morning, Monkey Town Donut Company's staff parks their food trailer at the Chattanooga Market and begins making their specialty mini-donuts. This routine helps ensure the sweets are hot and fresh when they reach customers' hungry hands. And although the minis are small in stature, they come in great quantities: customers can order them by the half-dozen, dozen, or bucket. To wash everything down, Monkey Town also sells cider and French press coffee.
That distinct smell of flour and warm sugar floats out of Tasty Daylight Donuts’ kitchen each morning as bakers prepare fresh donuts for the day’s crowd. They bake more than 50 flavors each day, including blueberry cake and french cruller, and inject fillings such as banana cream or peach into the doughy circles for a sneak attack on taste buds. The bakers also let customers try their hand at combining flavors to make custom donuts. They also whip up a slate of fancy sweet treats in addition to donuts, such as apple fritters and fried cinnamon rolls that pair well with lattes and cappuccinos. The donut shop also gives back to the community by selling their treats to nonprofits for a discounted price.
It's clear from their menu that Blacksmith's Bistro & Bar's cooks don't take things too seriously. They named a burger crowned with pimento cheese and russian dressing the "Gooey" and affectionately called a pulled duck sandwich smothered in cherry barbecue sauce "Duck Duck No Goose." Still, fried-chicken sliders with tomato jalapeño jam and mac 'n' cheese with chunks of andouille sausage and crawfish prove that they can create some serious eats.
That southern influence can be found at brunch, too, with entrees ranging from spicy barbecue shrimp served over cheese grits to buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy.
Feasts unfold in a down-home space where tables line wood-paneled walls and menus top wooden barrels that can later be used on the nearby Tennessee River to float customers home. At the bar, mixologists whip up craft cocktails.
Inside a restored Colonial Revival mansion a stone's throw from the Tennessee River, Chef William Oglesby blends American and international dishes. Classic southern recipes take on worldly flavors, such as fried green tomatoes crowned with prosciutto and herbed goat cheese and sweet potato-crusted shrimp with fennel slaw. Local ingredients star in dishes such as the New York strip steak rubbed with espresso from nearby Rembrandt's Roasting Co and flanked by truffle-infused potatoes. Chef Oglesby and his culinary team also meet unique dietary needs with many gluten-safe options. A terrace overlooking the river, two naturally lit sunrooms, and an intimate library create a romantic atmosphere wherever guests choose to dine.
At Whipped Cupcakes, chefs blend small batches of sweet treats, made from locally and regionally acquired ingredients, surrounded by vibrant pink and green hues that complement the whimsical murals that gussy up the walls. The bakers concoct regularly rotating flavors, such as s'mores and chocolate mint, adapting to the changing clime and square on the calendar by preparing seasonal flavors and flavors-of-the-day, including cinnamon chai. Celebratory themes, from birthdays and graduations to Halloween, festively blanket dough foundations, and myriad other confections vie for palates' attentions, including pies, cinnamon buns, cupcakes cunningly disguised as tortes, and tortes more cunningly disguised as gold bullion. Tissue-paper bees dangle from the ceiling of the fanciful space, and a bird motif established by line drawings hangs above patrons as they lean on the L-shaped countertop or press noses against the three-tiered, glass cupcake case.
Dipped Fresh's team prepares fruit-laden spinach salads and sandwiches to be enjoyed in the airy interior, as well as boxes of chocolate-dipped fruits and cookies to be taken home. The staff hand-dips these morsels of fruit and other treats into vats of rich chocolate, coating Oreos, pound cake, ice cream, and even thick-sliced bacon.
The caf?'s red and white walls host many pieces of art, from prints of flowers to impressionist-style paintings of autumn trees. An I-beam runs across the ceiling, symbolizing the support that bread provides for a sandwich and that friends provide for each other when they can't find the sandwich they just made together.