Thursday, September 13, 2007


Nashville Restaurants and Food
1812 21st Avenue South

7/11: See dinner updated below

Nashville leaves a lot to be desired in the breakfast department. Sure, you can find a Waffle House just about everywhere. What’s missing are the mom and pop diners that sling hash. Here in Nashville the coffee houses have attempted to fill that void with homey atmosphere and unique takes on breakfast. Fido is a Hillsboro Village favorite. It’s a coffee house with good food, and the coffee doesn’t take a back seat. They have Bongo Java brews, along with the full range of cappuccino, espresso and latte choices. They also serve up a variety of teas and cocoa.

Fido has a rather ambitious breakfast menu of about 20 entrees and sandwiches, and a bunch of sides. You can choose from a Salmon Scramble with herbed cream cheese, red onion and capers, or the Bubba Burrito with poblano peppers, jack and cheddar cheese and homemade salsa. The southwest influence comes out in a number of dishes including Pete’s Breakfast Torta and the Huevos Rancheros. The Fido take on huevos features fried eggs over hash browns, with stewed black beans, salsa, sour cream and avocado. It’s the perfect filling for the warm tortillas served on the side. A couple of shots of Tabasco added some needed extra zing.

Spuds McCheesey is hash browns with jack and cheddar cheese mixed up with onions and tomatoes. It’s a decadent take on the breakfast favorite which is usually on our Fido order. This time the counter person apparently didn’t hear that part, or we forgot to mention it. Quite frankly we had plenty enough calories in what we did order.

Fido is a good place to be a veggie eater. They have a number of choices, a few of which feature vegetarian sausage. This time around the Veggie Eater chose the Bayou Benedict special.

Veggie Eater: OK, so let it be said that I didn’t get my cheesy hash browns…In any case, had the veggie version of eggs Benedict; poached eggs atop cheesy grits, atop fresh spinach, with a light hollandaise drizzled over it. There was a fake veggie sausage served on the side. Beware: Unless you're are a veggie eater, then the veggie sausage is probably not your gig (my grandmother once bought them for me during a visit and after about five minutes of masticating stated, “Well, they certainly are chewy; I don’t think I’ll being doing this again.”)However, I am used to my fake meats and besides, the eggs, etc were wonderful. All served while observing some of Nashville’s best people watching and listening to Vic Chestnutt.

Meat Eater: We spent $21 for two entrees and a cup of Moka Java, including tax and tip. It’s a nice laid back place for a Sunday brunch and the lunch menu is pretty creative as well. We need a few more places like Fido in Nashville, and especially in East Nashville. There are plenty of fancy dinner restaurants starting up in town. Let’s not forget the most important meal of the day.

Update 7/11: We’ve done the Fido breakfast for years. They started dinner service quite a while ago and it’s taken us this long to get there. It’s still the same loud, bustling coffee joint in the evening as it is during the day and perhaps even more so. The menu is a short one and changes often. This day promised salmon, a couple of soups, a burger, ratatouille and a couple of other entrees. That Local Burger is a revelation and of unusual construction: grass-fed beef and lamb patty topped with fennel, fig, onion straws and Kenny’s cheddar cheese. It’s pretty darn good and a perfect medium rare as ordered. We’d stack this sucker up against anything at the all-burger joints. Thai chicken noodle soup is a hybrid of spicy and wholesome all at the same time. The ratatouille is the embodiment of summer: eggplant, whole cherry tomatoes, and the unusual addition of shitake mushrooms and Noble Springs goat cheese. The Veggie Eater was not offered a spoon with her soup, but soon learned it was not necessary, as it was so chunky it was easily managed with a fork. Fido may not be the place for a romantic dinner due to that bustle, but would prove an excellent choice for a fun date. We paid $23 with tax and tip.

Fido on Urbanspoon