Nashville just got a little sweeter and perhaps a little goozy and a little boozy.
Last week I attended a small press event that rolled out the Goozy concept, a casual cafe that focuses on sweet!
The event was held in the Green Hills strip mall location, My first impression is how comfortable the vibe is. Think small coffee shop, wine bar, ice cream shop, sandwich shop combined into one.
Desserts are certainly the divas, but not the only stars. We were treated to tasty comfort food, including a cheese and charcuterie plate, a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on tuscan and sourdough bread, and house-made tomato basil soup.
The founder of Goozy, Christie Hauck, had a great idea 30 years ago when he and his wife, Melissa, launched the now legendary Christie Cookies, which are shipped nationwide. They have always gotten their inspiration for food ideas from their travels, especially San Francisco and Italy, and were the first to bring cookie stores and gelato to Nashville. I immediately felt a kindred spirit here because those two places have also been my personal inspiration.
The Haucks are food entrepreneurs, who keep evolving and it was time to bring yet another concept to Nashville, a dessert cafe. They already have expertise in gelato, having studied in Italy, attending the gelato convention, and making it for years. It was time to stretch beyond cookies and develop something new. I had remarked to Christie that the only other dessert bar I had ever been to was seven years ago at a place called the Candy Bar in San Francisco. Coincidentally, Christie and Melissa had also been there and even picked up a bit of inspiration. I smiled at this because at the time I thought, Nashville should open a dessert cafe, and here we are.
The cocktails are especially designed to complement dessert, or they can be dessert. Founding Mixologist is Lauren Theobald, and she has done a wonderful job combing liquor, gelato, and espresso into cocktails. The bar also serves, whiskey, after dinner drinks (port, brandy, sherry) coffee drinks, beer, and a variety of wines and bubbly including Italian house wine.
I had a refreshing bubbly cocktail to start.
The Dom of Greyhounds, Tito’s, St. Germain, fresh lime and grapefruit juice, Prosecco.
I also enjoyed a Chocolate Martini. Tinto’s Trader Vic’s Chocolate Liqueur, Frangelico, Cream.
I love this version because it’s not heavy, but cleaner and smoother, more like a real martini. It was delicious, chocolatey, and boozy.
If you want your cocktail to be dessert, you have to order a boozy shake or float. We all got to try what I think will become their signature shake.
The Bourbon Caramel Shake. Salted caramel gelato, Old Hickory Bourbon, house-made rye whiskey sauce and whipped cream.
Alcohol is served only at the Village Green Shopping Center, 4117 Hillsboro Pike at this writing.
Before I get into the desserts, there are yummy, savory items available.
The Savory Food
Chef Chris Haston, formerly of Mambu and Fat Bottom Brewery, has a lot of experience creating interesting food with flavor and he knows his beer.
He has created cheesy, gooey gourmet grilled cheeses sandwiches either on Tuscan or sourdough bread, all with a twist. My favorite was the Nashville Grilled Cheese made with pimento cheese, house-pickled jalapeno and Benton’s bacon. They also serve salads and home-made tomato basil that was so fresh tasting, and so not like the generic tomato basil that is delivered through the back kitchen door in a lot of places. You will taste the difference.
All my favorite foods on one plate. Add to that roasted roots or a salad, but save some room for a sweet treat.
Now the fun part, The Amazing Goozy Desserts
They knew desserts would be front and center and they hired pastry chef, Leisia, who comes from the Opryland Hotel.
We started with a bread pudding that was light and heavenly, not dense, nor overly sweet.
They have gooey chocolate cakes. They come as dark chocolate, raspberry or nutella. Pretty amazing, especially paired with the house made gelato.
This is the Nutella chocolate cake.
This is the raspberry chocolate cake.
Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with your choice of gelato, hot fudge sauce.
Crème Brûlèe with Grand Marnier marinated berries. Creamy and balanced, and the berriers great with that Grand Marnier.
This apple pie was the favorite of at least two of us at the table. Not too sweet and perfect pastry.
The one thing we didn’t have and I can’t wait to try is the Chef Leisa’s butter cake, that promises to be quite the inspiration. I’ll come back and tell you all about it.
Goozy Coffee and Coffee Drinks
The coffee beans are from Just Love Coffee, a local roaster who also donates part of their funds to missions. The remarkable part of the coffee experience at Goozy is the way the espressos and lattes are made. They have a Modbar, a modular brewing system that is mostly hidden under the counter, the first of its kind in the Nashville area.
Goozy’s has a collection of vinyl. PIck an album and they’ll play it for you. They also support the music health alliance; ask them about it. This is another example Goozy’s heart in the community. How cool is that drum light?
The Green Hills Mall Goozy Location, Sweet & Savory and Made for Shopping
The items at the Green Hills Mall will be slightly different. There is no alcohol, but there are more savory choices, including a walking taco, and plenty of sweets.
All locations are kid friendly with Goozy Kids menu.
Nothing pleases me more than seeing our locals experience success. As a person who gets her inspiration for cooking from dining out and traveling, it was a pleasure to meet the Haucks, who are very like minded, enjoy life’s food adventures, and have helped to sweeten Nashville for over 30 years through innovative thinking and hard work. The secret to their success is to never get too comfortable. A good idea needs to be revisited from time to time, and this exciting new concept is just yet another example of the food buzz and excitement that is happening in Nashville, a great city to be in for foodies and food adventures.
I would love to hear back from you after you visit Goozy and let me know what your favorite dessert is.