We’ve raved about the sandwiches at Mitchell Delicatessen, and now it’s time to talk breakfast. The Riverside Village joint serves it up by the pound, and as generic as that sounds, it is a great concept for many reasons.
Mitchell Deli has made a name for itself by using top quality ingredients, carefully selected and crafted into inventive sandwich combinations. The breakfast lineup may be more traditional, but the ingredients still shine. It’s not a huge menu: this day offered biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, French toast, roasted cheddar grits and Benton’s bacon. You order at the counter. Simply point at what you want, and how much you want, and they put the tray on the scale to see how much you owe. The good news is breakfast items don’t seem to weigh much. At $6.99 a pound we averaged about $5.50 each for a filling breakfast. There are enough items to keep the vegetarian happy, although not a huge amount of choice.
The biscuits are fairly average, but that smoky sausage gravy has a deep flavor that is a nice change from the usual. There are big chunks of sausage and bits of onion that give the gravy a real country bite. The eggs are fluffy and unassuming: a savory foil for the full flavor items. The Benton’s bacon is 75 cents a slice, the only item not priced by the pound. That’s because it’s premium bacon, packed with premium flavor: saltier, smokier, greasier and tastier than the average pig. The thick slices are well worth the money. The roasted cheddar and garlic grits are surprisingly light, not the gooey cheese grits you get some places.
Be forewarned: they don’t serve coffee at Mitchell. Before you freak out, this is actually a good thing. All you have to do is step out the door and step into the Sip Café to order your java fix. We went for the full buzz with two giant 16 ounce lattes. They were expertly prepared and Sip, while small, is one of the friendliest coffee shops in town. The Mitchell folks encourage you to bring the coffee inside to enjoy with your breakfast, so it’s the best of both worlds.
Veggie Eater: I love the concept of breakfast by the pound. It allows you to determine the portions of the various items you want. For example: although I like eggs, I really only need one egg to satisfy me. So I requested just a dollop of scrambled eggs. They were well cooked; light, fluffy, well seasoned; not the rubbery crap I have frequently been served by other places. My next request was for a more generous serving of grits. Not those awful quick grits routinely served by others. These had whole heads of roasted garlic smushed into them and a bit of cheese to finish. But the star of my breakfast meal was the French toast. I’m not really a sweets eater and usually stay away from pancakes, waffles, etc. But these intrigued me and again, I could opt for just a single piece. I was surprised, but not disappointed. I think they were made with Silkies whole grain bread, which made for a real treat. They were lightly coated with batter and each bite had a chewy bit of various fresh grains. A definite do-over.
Meat Eater: We enjoyed Wilco on the XM satellite radio and a nice chat with the owner. Mitchell opens for breakfast at 7am on Sundays. We were all on our own at 8am. The East Nashville crowd probably doesn’t come in until later. Currently, they serve breakfast seven days a week from 7am to 11am, but if this is an older post we encourage you, as always, to check exact times before you go. We paid $13.60 with tax and tip at Mitchell and $8.60 with tax and tip for those giant Lattes at Sip.