At Wired Coffee Company, guests enjoy plush seating, exposed brick, and a cozy community vibe as they pore over cups of coffee and espresso drinks. Wired’s beans retain their natural oils, which yields a bold flavor and spares the baristas the trouble of coating each bean in oil one by one. In addition to sipping on classic espresso drinks or frozen coffee concoctions, clients can down deli-style sandwiches, pizza, and chips with dip. Coffee abstainers can sip milkshakes, fruit smoothies, or blended chai tea drinks as they surf the web or participate in the café’s weekly writers’ night.
Head chef and owner Arnold Myint applies his culinary aptitude at Suzy Wong's House of Yum by crafting flavorful Asian appetizers and bowls designed for sharing. As groups swap bites of pineapple red curry shrimp or wonton nachos in a 1,100-square-foot dining room, a stretched canvas emblazoned with a colorful dragon hovers overhead, much like a knight-in-training's to-slay list. Exposed brick walls provide a backdrop for plush candlelit benches and tables, which can be crowded with wine, sake, and specialty cocktails as diners participate in weekly karaoke nights. Two patios provide even more space for cavorting, the lower tier stretches across 300 square feet, and the upper level commands 840 square feet of floor space.
At Cafe Coco, patrons don’t have to worry about eating on a schedule; they can grab specialty coffee drinks and half-pound burgers, personal pizzas, or paninis 24 hours a day. The owners set out to cultivate a laid-back gathering spot where friends could get beers or share meals at all hours of the day. Inviting guests to kick back, the roomy bar area in the back of the joint hosts all manner of merriment and memory making. The restaurant, which is housed inside a red-brick home with a covered front porch and side veranda, also hosts live music several nights a week. It also has open-mic nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays that showcase the talents of local singers, songwriters, and bands of one-man bands.
Patience is the key to great barbecue and, as it turns out, a great barbecue business. Southern boys Burke, Trey, and Herman found the job market had turned sour, so they set out to make a name for themselves in the world of barbecue. They slow-roasted meats for family and friends, spent long hours putting their recipes to the test at competitions, and finally, through their 30-foot mobile kitchen, brought their saucy meats and traditional sides to the public. In 2013, they achieved their dream of opening a sit-down restaurant, appropriately outfitted as a tribute to barbecue.
The cooks at The Big Cheesy Cafe - Nashville see the classic grilled cheese as a culinary jumping off point. They take this lunchtime staple and add on barbecue pulled pork, steak and caramelized onions, or shredded buffalo chicken to create more sophisticated melts. More than 20 toppings, including pickles, sour cream, pepperoni, avocado, allow guests to invent sandwiches so distinct that they can be used as a form of ID when travelling abroad. Diners can round out meals by choosing from a selection of housemade desserts, such as donuts and blackberry cobblers.
Because cooking at home can prove cumbersome if you’re a busy bee or a freelance astronaut, Pranzo Jersey Italian Café offers time-strapped time travelers throughout Nashville a practical alternative. Patrons can place an order by 1 p.m. and swing by anytime between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick it up. Pranzo's to-go menu changes weekly, and one type of dinner is offered each night. Recent tasty Italian fare has included turkey Marsala meatloaf with baby peas and quinoa; marinated grilled flank steak with roasted acorn squash; and shrimp and spinach risotto with Caprese salad. All meals include two side salads and bread or dinner rolls.