Crushing on Nashville: Pastaria, Cafe Roze, Greko Street Food, and More

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Nashville Restaurants Volume 2

The Nashville food scene is on fire and we’re getting around as fast as we can. This is the Volume 2 of our Crushing on Nashville, the place I get to go beyond Instagram. Every week I try to include various types of places to eat, brunch, date night, burger, cocktails, new finds.

Nashville Brunch 

Nashville Restaurants Cafe Roze

Cafe Roze is a cozy, noisy gem that serves breakfast all day. We couldn’t wait to add  them to our Nashville brunch post.

The dish that sets them apart from other eateries is the Country Ham Scrambled Eggs on Sour Dough Toast. It’s exquisite and probably their signature dish. I took the hit on carbs with the sour dough toast, and it was worth it. The parmesan cheese has to be of the best quality because it was subtle and creamy tasting. The country ham was very thinly sliced and not at all too salty. The soft scrambled eggs are perfectly cooked. Get this dish!

Doug got the breakfast egg sandwich and while good, it was too much bun. We recommend getting bacon and eggs with a side of that scrumptious sour dough toast.

The waffles with berries and marscarpone speak for themselves. I promised on instagram to make a grain free version of this dish!

Cafe Roze Waffles

They have a specialty cardamom rose latte and while in theory sounds wonderful, I thought the rose was too much. (Doug liked it as many do, but you have to like rose flavor).  I ordered the golden tumeric ginger drink and absolutely slurped it down, although I still think it could have more ginger.

Cafe Roze is a real gem, and we will be back to try dinner!

Nashville Restaurants: Date Night

Nashville Restaurants: Barcelona (with gluten free menu)

Barcelona Wine Bar is a chain restaurant that feels big city cool, but Nashville friendly. It’s hip without being hipster! My favorite thing to do is sit at the bar, order a glass of wine, watch people, and order small plates one at a time.

They have an extensive tapas menu and several types of paella.

When they asked me if I was interested in gluten free, they went to the kitchen and came back with the menu marked from the chef. Wow! Who does that? There were what seemed like hundreds of dishes to choose from.

We especially loved the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts,  but we didn’t leave a single bite on any plate. I first went for the tortilla (the potato/egg dish) which was perfectly prepared. We swooned over the brussels, and Doug got an apple tart ala mode for dessert.

We are dying to try brunch so stay tuned for that one.

Nashville Restaurants: Tansuo from Spinach Tiger

Nashville Restaurants: Tansuo

Tansuo (Midtown), an upscale Chinese restaurant, perfect for groups or intimate date night, especially when you’re looking to share and you want great table service.

Tansuo,  excels, not just in food but in service. When I contrast our waiter to a recent very bad experience in an even fancier place in Nashville (not to be named), it’s shameful to see the difference.

When I mentioned that Doug didn’t like his cocktail, our server just whisked it away happily and brought him something else.

My favorite cocktail: Hong Kong Fooey: vodka, dry vermouth, pomegranate, benedictine, shishito pepp

We were taken through the menu in a helpful manner. We ordered two appetizers and two entrees. We could have gotten away with one entree, but as a blogger, I want to try more and the leftovers ended up being Sunday dinner. We loved the dumpling appetizer, lobster lo mein and the lychee tart was one of the best desserts I’ve had lately.

The decor is beautiful, the lighting is just right. Surprisingly the noise level is comfortable (most Nashville restaurants need sound panels). We sat on the mezzanine, which is intimate and perfect for a date night.

Nashville Restaurants: Casual Dining

Nashville Restaurants: Smiling Elephant, Our Favorite Thai

Smiling Elephant  – This is my favorite thai restaurant for two dishes, curry and Pad Kra Pao, (with blue crab). I’ve never been there when it’s not busy. People return again and again, because the food is consistent and fresh.

The one dish I return for again and again is the Pad Kra Pao.

Pad Kra Pao is spicy dish with Holy Basil, Garlic, Chili Peppers and a Fried Egg, served over Jasmine Rice. You can order it with a spicy minced pork or chicken stir fry, but I suggest you order it my way with Jumbo Lump Crab for an extra $5.

Doug always order the same thing: Shrimp Pad Thai, another stellar dish that we are all most familiar with.Nashville Restaurants: Smiling Elephant Pad Thai

Nashville Restaurants: Burgers

Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint –  Serving 100% wagyu beef, you will love their burgers. My absolutely favorite guilty pleasure is the burger thrown on the flat top, topped with cream cheese and pepper jelly. It’s called the Danny Laruso.

Don’t knock it, till you try it. Trust me.

Nashville Restaurants: Jack Brown's

Jack Brown’s is a chain that feels like a local joint, serve high quality food in a super casual bar atmosphere and fits well into the Germantown neighborhood.

Nashville Restaurants: Italian Casual

Nashville Restaurants: Pastaria from Spinach Tiger

Pastaria  headed to Nashville from St. Louis. Sometime I get snooty about restaurants that aren’t locally based, but I am learning to keep an open mind.

Why should St. Louis have all the fun, and Nashville is very short-changed on Italian restaurants.

This pizza blew me away. It’s one of the best in Nashville. I recommend sitting at the pizza bar and watching them make pizza is the 1000 degree oven, sip some wine and eat rice balls, while deciding.

You HAVE to get the broccoli too! It’s olive oil/lemony just like my grandmother used to make.

They have decent house wine in carafes, and delicious gelato in several flavors.

I recommend any pizza, rice balls, broccoli, and gelato. I haven’t had the housemade pasta, but it looks great.

I would not recommend the gluten free pasta; it’s a corn rotini (and that’s never very good).

This is a family friendly place with a bar in the back, and has something for everyone.

Greko Street Food 

Nashville Restaurants: Greko Street Food

We have eaten at Greko Street Food several times and only wish it was in our own neighborhood. Their signature dish is the chicken over french fries which are sprinkled with oregano. So good, but it’s a lot so do share. I usually get the chicken over salad and a bowl of kale that is braised and served as a cold salad.

The octopus is divine and the same octopus that used to be served at Prima. Other great bites are the block of feta, and any salad. The only dish I wasn’t crazy for was the lamb which was a little fatty. Everything else is five stars for me.

It’s super casual with outdoor patio, and order at the counter dining.

Crushing on Nashville


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