Roasted and brewed in-house, Republic Coffee’s global-savvy coffee drinks roll out a steamy rug for sandwiches stacked with smoked meats and soups made from scratch daily. Leafy greens and veggies burst from salads drizzled with just the right amount of dressing, and crostini dive into creamy baths of garlic hummus. The cozy coffeehouse’s doors open as the sun rises to greet diners with fluffy eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and malted belgian waffles. Sleek black chairs and leather booths scattered throughout the interior keep night owls comfy until closing time at midnight, when the overcaffeinated crowd works off excess steam by bouncing against exposed-brick walls.
At City East Bagel and Grille, cooks craft New-York-style bagels from scratch right in the restaurant kitchen. The doughy rings come in 16 flavors, ranging from banana nut to sun-dried tomato, and visitors can choose from eight toppings—including butter, jelly, and four flavored cream cheeses. In the dining room—decorated with black-and-white photos of old Memphis—they can also tuck into hearty breakfast and lunch dishes, from a piping-hot pastrami sandwich to breakfast skillets brimming with eggs, grilled potatoes, and peppers.
The cooks at The Cottage Restaurant, now under new ownership, dish up a menu of southern comfort-fare entrees complemented by a selection of 17 down-home sides. Chicken-fried steak and chicken-fried chicken compare their golden, crispy crusts as warm tomato gravy wraps a slab of baked meatloaf like an afghan. The deep fryers sizzle up catfish fillets, as well as savory side dishes such as fried green tomatoes and fried okra. Fresh turnip greens, candied yams, and uncandied corn fill plates with scoops of color in this friendly, casual eatery.
The Inn at Hunt Phelan is a handsome headrest for out-of-towners and in-towners alike, an antebellum mansion held together with historical architecture and invigorated by interior restorations, period furniture, and lavish décor. With today’s Groupon, visiting relatives, locally based couples, and recreational vagrants can all spend one night dappled in comfort and historical splendor. A variety of rooms are available, from the most basic 290-square-foot room with a queen-sized bed and porcelain soaking tub or whirlpool, to a larger deluxe room with a king-sized, four-poster bed and whirlpool tub. Suites also come in two flavors. The classic is 750 square feet with a separate parlor and guest room, while the private is the ultimate in southern hospitality—1,000 square feet complete with a kitchen, 1.5 baths, a washer and dryer, and more. Guests are treated to complimentary high-speed Internet access for fact-checking prior to a Civil War reenactment, a glass of champagne upon arrival, parking, and a hot or continental breakfast.
Jennifer Biggs of GoMemphis.com named Automatic Slim's bacon-wrapped bananas "Best Best: Appertizer". Yelpers give it an average of three stars, and while reviews are mixed on service, people love the eclectic menu choices and ambience. Seventy-nine percent of 160 Urbanspooners like it.