Nearly Native Eats: Caviar & Bananas

I’m not much of a lunch person. While others use their lunch hour to escape from their offices, their shops, or just the general daily grind, I usually recover my predictably prepped meal from the murky office refrigerator and retreat back to my desk. You know what I’m talking about – while everyone takes care of their own household, they can’t seem to clean their junk out of the communal office fridge, resulting in piles of unknown smells and abandoned Tupperware. Regardless, I rarely indulge in lunch excursions, but some destinations I’ll make an exception for. When it comes to finding the perfect anti-afternoon food coma fuel, I look to Caviar & Bananas to help me escape the perils of the office fridge.

Located in the ground floor of the massive Aerston conglomerate in the Midtown neighborhood of Nashville, Caviar & Bananas has traveled from Charleston, NC to give us the benefits of a sit-down cafe and a convenience-oriented market in one. While it might be littered with students at all times of the day, when lunchtime hits their backpacks blend with briefcases of local professionals who have a hankering for a fresh salad, deli sandwich, or baked good. We’re not talking some wilted, pre-packaged iceberg lettuce-based salad either – build your own or select a C&B recommendation and you’ll get fresh spinach and kale, fruits and vegetables, ciabatta and multigrain bread. Even if you’re just stopping in for a quick breakfast, their full-service coffee bar has everything you need to get your day going (even for those of us who love almond and coconut milk).

So Caviar and Bananas has you covered when it comes to the first half of your day (including weekend brunch!), but they certainly don’t forget about evening activities. Their wine bar opens for business every afternoon with a wide variety of shared small plates, and cheese and prosciutto boards (plus frose!). This cafe and market is not kidding around when it comes to all-day service. Whether you’re escaping the daily grind for just a few moments to grab a quick snack or you arrive in the morning for coffee and remain until it’s time for wine, Caviar and Bananas has something for every diet restriction or random craving.

Sometimes you just need a break – even if you’re not much of a lunch person like me, Caviar and Bananas is worth taking a timeout away from the office fridge.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!

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Nearly Native’s Guide to This Weekend (08/25 – 08/27)

FRIDAY, August 25, 2017

SATURDAY, August 26, 2017

SUNDAY, August 27, 2017

Nearly Native Eats: Emilia

The Double Date. A sometimes daring, often times entertaining excursion for two couples to come together in commonality over a meal or drinks. Just when you think you’ve escaped the perils of dating – outfit insecurities, nervous talking, jokes that fall flat – you and your partner can feel them resurfacing as you prepare to meet your couple counterpart out for a night on the town, especially when it’s for the first time. Not to add to the pressure, but selecting the proper venue is key. Nothing to crazy or too quiet because getting to know a new couple needs a comfortable space. So where to go?

Tucked in to Knoxville’s charming Market Square sits Emilia, the trendy Italian oasis that’s the perfect place for your couple’s night out. With expert execution and just enough flavor familiarity, from its Insalata Caprese to its Carbonara, this eatery is a refreshing taste of Italy that will help you calm your double date jitters. The menu’s classically Italian characteristics come with freshly prepared house-made pasta and a variety of options to satisfy everyone from the steak-loving carnivore to ricotta-loving vegetarian. With wine (or cocktails) flowing and some fluffy focaccia in your belly, conversation will come easily in the open and inviting interior of Emilia. Plus, if you really want to be prepared, they take reservations so that you can plan ahead!

While you can’t just pull up and park at Emilia, due to it’s convenient Market Square location, parking is not far off at accessible garages on the next block. If you happen to have a wait, there are a number of bars within walking distance either on Market or nearby to snag a drink and get the evening going.

Having your partner might be like a built-in best friend, but there comes a time when involving others in the mix might help you get out of your relationship comfort zone. Don’t let the your old dating habits creep back in, especially fretting over the selecting the perfect location –  mix things up and dare to double date at an Italian spot that impresses with ease.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!