Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro
700 Fatherland Street

Update: This restaurant has changed ownership and we have not had a chance to re-visit for an updated review. We leave this information up for background only.
What do we want from breakfast? A huge cup of coffee, an inventive take on our favorites and a few twists in the kitchen. A warm space, friendly wait staff and quick service. The folks at Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro get it. They’ve taken a small retail space in a residential neighborhood and created a successful breakfast and lunch venture. How successful? We arrived at 9 a.m. as they opened, to find one table already filled. By 9:30 a.m. the place was packed and people were waiting. There have been a couple of unsuccessful restaurants in the same spot, so it’s clear the Sky Blue owners have taken the pulse of the neighborhood and the neighbors have responded.
The interior is surprisingly large considering how it looks from the outside. There are about 10 tables inside and on nice days a couple out on the sidewalk. The tree lined streets and eclectic homes make for pleasant al fresco brunching.
There’s a big breakfast menu with plenty of interesting options. Start with the coffee. It’s rich and dark Drew’s Brews in a huge ceramic mug. Onto the cheese grits: creamy, cheesy and with good flavor. These appear to be stone ground, old fashion grits and we appreciate the firmer texture. Home fries have a light touch in cooking leaving them tender and nicely seasoned. Brisket Eggs Benedict leaps off the menu page. One forkful reveals it to be an excellent choice. Hollandaise, egg, brisket, barbecue sauce and muffin: the unlikely combo works well. That brisket is a highlight. It’s smoky and tender, raising the typical Benedict up a notch or two in the flavor department. The brisket is also featured prominently on the lunch menu.
There are several other interesting breakfast dishes to try. Eggs Under the Tuscan Sun places eggs on buttered French bread with parmesan cheese. Omelet Binoche features spinach and gruyere. Dakini Pancakes uses small pancakes to surround eggs, cheese and sausage.
There are a number of items for vegetairans. You can order veggie sausage and veggie chili as a substitute all over the menu. Given those possibilities it leaves many options for veggie eaters to enjoy.
Veggie Eater: There aren’t many negatives here, but let’s get them out of the way. 9 a.m. is simply too late to open if you offer a breakfast menu. I don’t generally eat breakfast, but when the hankering hits, I want the urge satisfied in a timely fashion. 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. is a long time to wait for breakfast. How about at least 8 a.m.? Second, the breakfast entrees are all a bit pricey. However, I discovered that the portions were very generous and made the prices seem like a reasonable deal. Better yet, the food was really good. I opted for the Breakfast Burrito. You can choose regular chili or veggie chili, both of which are homemade. A spinach tortilla is stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs and home fries. Mine was topped with the veggie chili which consisted of 3 beans (kidney, pinto, black?) and corn. Fresh chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, and sour cream finished it off.

There was way too much for breakfast (I had snacked on the cheesy grits as well) and per my usual modus operandi, I squirreled away the remaining for left overs. I am very sad to report that I cannot vouch for palatability of the breakfast left overs, as they were left in the car for an extended period of time (approximately 5 hours). Meat Eater and I debated the pros and cons of ingesting them anyways and ultimately logic won out and I conceded I did not want to die because of my breakfast, nor did I want to harbor an unfair grudge against Sky Blue. I’ll simply have to return sooner. There are quite a few breakfast veggie friendly entrees on the menu (sides include the much maligned soysauge) and lunch has a nod to veggie eaters as well.
Meat Eater: Wow, that’s quite the dissertation about leaving food in the car. I can’t wait for the movie version.

Lunch brings pastas, sandwiches, and salads, to Blue Sky. Some items have a southwestern theme and others sound comforting: curry chicken salad and an Island chicken salad. They tried dinner service briefly last month and soon pulled back to concentrate on breakfast and lunch. The use of high quality ingredients and a deft hand in the kitchen should make any meal service they try a cooking success. We look forward to what they do in the future. We paid $34 for two entrees, a side of cheese grits, coffee, tax and tip.
Sky Blue Coffee and Bistro on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of diner food and have eaten at Sky Blue several times. The friendliness and service is tough to beat. However, I do find the reviews about the food a tad generous. The food attempts to be creative but may be too "over-conceptualized." Everything I've eaten there has sat in my stomach for at least 2 days. And, although I'm willing to pay a little extra to support a local business, it's a little pricey, making it hard as a regular spot for me for breakfast. (I want my diner food good and cheap!) I really do like this place a lot and hope it has a long life in the neighborhood.

Amber said...

Hands down one of my favorite restaurants. The veggie chili is so hearty and good! Their breakfast burrito was the first one I ever loved and it keeps me coming back. Yum!!

Eric and Katie said...

Anon...we do get rather excited about new breakfast options. The price is a consideration.Nashville could use more good quality, cheap diners for breakfast. Amber, we did appreciate the nods to the veggie eating community. More restaurants need to consider Vegetarian options...especially in East Nashville.

mIKES said...


You had better not eat at my house if you are concerned about 5 hour old food being a health risk :-)

Like the pot of soup that we make, leave in the pot on the stove overnight, reheat it again the next day, and then once more after that~~!

The heat kills the goims! no probo.

Lastly, I just do not understand the first-meal-of-the-day desert that is Nashville. Noshville? Athens? That's it? Instead we are greeted with an endless landscape of Mapco's and mini marts offering Saran wrapped sausage biscuits and Mountain Dew. And like you also pointed out, they open at 0800 or later? What the?

Eric and Katie said...

mIKES: I think Katie is more in your camp on this issue. I'm the one forced to throw out the three week old stuff in the fridge and suggest that the sandwich left in the car on a summer day for 10 hours might not be a good idea.