(behind Rainbow Fashion)
|Herbal iced tea |
We were sitting at City House bar for dinner, as we do as often as our disposable income allows, and we always seem to meet interesting people having dinner too. Stephanie introduced us to Andy, owner and coffee barista extraordinaire of Barista Parlor. Since I am so behind the times of all that is shiny and new Nashville, I didn't really know about Barista Parlor until this time. So, we chatted with Andy about food, local food, local organic food, Porter Road Butcher and the Bloomy Rind. I love being a locavore (I wear that badge proudly), so it was just so fun talking to Andy who really is embracing the local and artisan ingredients in his shop. I like knowing where the ingredients in my food come from, and I know exactly where the ingredients come from in any breakfast sandwich I get at Barista Parlor.
|Porter Road Butcher sausage in a house made biscuit|
When we sat with Andy at dinner, we were talking about Philadelphia, Lancaster, and areas in and around the Southeastern Pennsylvania area where we both lived in our former lives. We talked about scrapple (City House Sunday Supper) and the scrapple Andy grew up eating, and the scrapple I ate when I lived in Philadelphia. We talked about gravy fries that seems to be a thing in Philadelphia. We talked about the Mennonites I used to live near. We talked about how there is a solid food tradition from many backgrounds in Philadelphia, where the "old ways" the crafts-person ways, the artisan ways are respected and expected in Philadelphia. I mean, the good Italian food, good cheese steaks, and good family style Amish meals are all house-made, they are not pre-made food distributor concoctions, they are made the real way, the old-school way, and the expectation is for really food. We talked about the Pennsylvania agriculture tradition, and and how the Amish and Mennonites, and many people in Pennsylvania were doing farm-to-table for their whole time in Pennsylvania, and doing it before it became a cool thing, a hip thing to do.
After talking to Andy, I truly believe that he lives to his core a sustainable business with fair trade, local organic ingredients, and excellence in preparing a simple glass of water to a perfect cup of coffee. His dad too plays into Barista Parlor by being behind the scenes in the kitchen making batch after batch of biscuits trying to get them just yummy for breakfast. Some days, hot and humid, or cool and dry really do effect the biscuits, so everyday the biscuits are a work in progress. I know it is a bit Portlandia of me, but I find the way Andy runs Barista Parlor empowering for me to choose exactly what I eat, and knowing that I am not eating a bunch of antibiotic meats, or highly processed manufactured MSG foods. I don't make antibiotic meat and MSG laden food in my house, so why do I want to pay top dollar and tax and tip for it outside of my house.
|Gluten free raisin toast with egg, Bloomy Rind cheese |
and Porter Road Butcher sausage
Andy not only goes sustainable and excellent in food and beverage, he goes into reduce, reuse, recycle materials as well. The structure is reclaimed. All the wood tables and chairs are reclaimed. All off the fixtures are reclaimed. Barista Parlor's furniture and fixtures are respecting the wood by being reused and repurposed and allowing the wood to shine again in all its glory, and not rot in a landfill. Reusing, reclaiming, an recycling furniture is a wonderful ideal I would like to do myself, but I haven't yet. I have a lot of Ikea furniture, not reclaimed and reused furniture.
|Cold drip iced coffee in the make|
We love Barista Parlor. We have gone to have Sunday breakfast when ever we can get over to Barista Parlor. Andy has these breakfast sandwiches that we love. This is how I get it. Gluten free toast, Porter Road Butcher sausage, farm egg, and grated Bloomy Rind cheese. The last few times the gluten free bread has been raisin bread, and it goes so well with the spicy sausage, and the fattiness of the cheese and egg yolk. That was my standard Sunday breakfast for weeks. The biscuits are house made everyday, and getting a sausage biscuit is always fresh. And it is best to get to Barista Parlor before 11:00 or noon because once they are are out of sausage and biscuits for the day, they are out until the next morning. The hot coffee, now the hot coffee is made with a Japanese swirl filter while swirling in hot water. Each cup is swirled to order. There is iced coffee available too. The iced coffee is cold drip, about 40 - 60 drips per minute through coffee grounds and then a condensed cold coffee is collected in the collection chamber for the next day. It takes all day to make iced coffee. Coffee isn't the only beverage available. There is hot tea, and iced tea as well. The last time I went, I already had 3 cups of coffee at home, so I really did not need anymore caffeine, so I opted for an herbal mint iced tea. They had to brew the tea first, and then ice it for me, and it was just a nice refreshing beverage with my breakfast sandwich.
OK, so it may seem to be expensive, say an extra dollar or two per item here than at the comparable coffee shops in Nashville. I also think it is about the same cost for coffee here than the St@rbuks. A extra large cup at the big chain, cost about the same. The difference is, Barista Parlor coffee isn't bitter, isn't scorched, what it is, is made with care, in an artisan manner by people who really care about the coffee making method. The little extra cost is the true cost of real food and real beverages that don't take any short cuts from growing to plate. This place is not for everyone, but it is a place for me.