When traveling I always seek out local coffee shops, not only do I crave a tasty brew, but cafes also serve as a reflection of their local community. Barista Parlor, in East Nashville, has been open for less than a year but has already received accolades from both local bloggers and received national press, including an article in The New York Times.
The praise is well earned, Barista Parlor wowed Sarah, Kyla and I from the moment we stepped through its doors. It's housed in a former garage space so the interior is open, airy and bathed with natural light even on a gloomy day. Everything from the counters crafted from hundred-year-old reclaimed wood to the aprons worn by the baristas was sourced by owner Andy Mumma from local artisans and craftsmen. I particularly enjoyed the rows and rows of single-source chocolate bars housed in vintage soda crates and a large wall mural of a sinking ship by artist Bryce McCloud.
The quality of the coffee matched Barista Parlor's atmosphere, they utilize beans from well known American roasters including Portland's Stumptown and Chicago's Intelligentsia. Brewing methods include siphon pot and Chemex for regular coffee and a rare Slayer machine for espresso-based drinks. A row of towers, that looks a little like a science experiment, cold brews the iced coffee. On our first visit I ordered the salted caramel whiskey latte that featured a housemade syrup. It's by far the most complex espresso-based drink I've ever tasted; it had a smoky, almost savory rounded flavor, with a touch of sweetness on the back end. On our second trip I tried the bourbon vanilla latte, it had a silky mouth feel but didn't have the same depth as the salted caramel.
Surprisingly the best bite I had in Nashville was also at Barista Parlor, in the form of its addictive sandwich, featuring a Porter Road Butcher sausage patty and Delvin Farms strawberry jam on the most buttery, flakey biscuit I've ever had (and I grew up in the South!). Besides the sinful biscuit sandwich, Barista Parlor also offers waffles, seasonal casseroles and pastries like eclairs and cookies.
If you find yourself in Nashville be sure to stop by Barista Parlor, 519B Gallatin Avenue, you won't regret it!
Behold the heavenly biscuits, Sarah ate the center version that featured egg and cheese. Photo courtesy of her instagram, @sazzou.
Photo courtesy of Kyla's instagram @lostandfind