Even though I've been extremely busy with work lately, it hasn't stopped me from enjoying one of my favorite pastimes: eating! Recently, the hubby and I had lunch at Republic Coffee, a quaint coffeehouse in Midtown, Memphis. Committed to Slow Food and sustainable resources, the folks at Republic Coffee aren't afraid to inform their customers about the admirable steps they've taken to being a “green” establishment. They plan to be completely “off the grid” by 2010 by taking advantage of solar energy sources.
When you first walk into Republic Coffee, the first thing you'll notice is that it doesn't look much different from other coffeehouses: they provide free WiFi and art produced by local talent decorates the wall. Alt-rock hits from the 90s play quietly, and there are several students with laptops set up at the booths along the walls. Republic Coffee has a drink menu that puts Starbucks to shame.
I began my meal with a vanilla nut latte frappé, a frothy blend of vanilla and hazelnut syrups, espresso, and ice. It was a delicious beginning to the meal that even Tom (a non-coffee drinker) could appreciate. For my meal, I chose the McKnight, a turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread with cheddar cheese, herb aioli and a strawberry reduction. It was absolutely delicious; there's no other way to describe it. The combination of flavors exploded on my tongue. For my side item, I chose two (I'm greedy that way :P): the carrot soufflé and the Roman macaroni and cheese. The mac n' cheese had good flavor and texture. I wish it had a bit more salt, but otherwise a great take on a classic Southern accompaniment. The carrot soufflé was a huge surprise. I'm not a huge fan of carrots (but I'm always up for trying new things). It looked a bit like mashed sweet potatoes, but the flavor was out of this world. Delicate and sweet, it was some of the best carrots I've ever eaten...period.
Tom chose The King: a smoked BBQ chicken sandwich with chipotle sauce and slaw. In a city full of pulled BBQ sandwiches with coleslaw, it was a decent representation. The chipotle didn't offer much of a kick. It was good, but not great. Tom had a bit of entrée envy :) For his side, the cheese grits, a milled version complete with cheddar and Gouda. I thought they were tasty, but I really enjoy grits; Tom does not. In an attempt to try new things, he ordered the grits in hopes that they would change his mind about grits overall. They didn't do it for him, but I appreciated the use of Gouda (which is not a standard cheese used with grits). There was also a nice smokiness that added to the complexity of the dish.
Final Impressions: Have some coffee! It's great! And while your there, try the McKnight sandwich with a side of carrot soufflé. You won't be disappointed. Everything at Republic Coffee is deliciously fresh and locally grown. It's obvious to see how the attention to detail that they take with their food and drink will satisfy your hunger whether it's 8:00 in the morning or 8:00 at night.
Favorite Part: The McKnight
Tom's Favorite Part: The McKnight
Tiffany's Rating: :) :) :) out of :) :) :) :)
2494 Walnut Grove
Memphis, TN 38111
Average Coffee Price: $3-$6
Average Sandwich Price: $3-$10
6:00am-12:00am (midnight) daily