Two Great Reasons to Go to Bellevue: Perl Café and {Pub}licity

It’s been a while since I’ve done any restaurant reviews here and I’ve got a bunch to tell you about, including some surprising places to find really good vegetarian food in Nashville. I’ll start with two restaurants that have opened in the last few months out in Bellevue (really, just west West Nashville, ha!). They’re both at the corner of Highway 70 South and Old Hickory Boulevard, so they’re really only a few minutes off I-40 and not that far from Brentwood, either.

Perl Café & Market

Chef Robert Spinelli—a longtime favorite of mine at tasting events and the West Nashville Farmers Market—opened this space with his wife, Elizabeth. Originally, the restaurant only served breakfast, lunch, and prepared foods to-go, but they have added some dinner hours and also host special events.

The space is open and pleasant with a dining room in the front and the market in the back. The market not only sells Perl’s mustards and jams, but also pastries, dinner items, and various local products like Tru Bee Honey and Vegan Vee treats.

Perl_Cafe_dining_room

Perl Cafe Dining Room

The Market in Perl Cafe

The Market in Perl Cafe

I’ll be honest; I haven’t been for breakfast, but I have made it out for brunch and dinner. I only eat breakfast out on vacation and sometimes not even then. But breakfast items are available for brunch, so I can tell you that the biscuit sampler is a big winner. I, however, always get the vegetarian sandwich. I love this sandwich so much that I wrote about it for The City Paper’s 25 Great Sandwiches feature. I may eventually get one of the very tempting salads, but it’ll be tough.

Perl_Cafe_Vegetarian

Look at this beautiful sandwich. So delicious.

I did branch out at dinner and got the acorn squash pot pie. It was delicious and filling (and vegan!). I lost the puff pastry top to  Mini Eats, however. She loved it.

perl_kids_menu

Speaking of Mini Eats, the restaurant has a wonderful kids menu, filled with some things you’d expect plus a few nice surprises that make it very evident the Spinellis have dealt with toddlers before. On our first visit, Mini Eats announced that she wanted cheese and crackers and there it was on the menu. Happy toddler = happy parents.

{Pub}licity

Caddy-corner from Perl Café (which is in the same shopping center as Lemongrass and TJ Maxx) is {Pub}licity. The restaurant is managed by a friend of mine who is a major beer enthusiast, so this is definitely a place to go if you are a connoisseur of beer. I am not, so I’m happy to tell you that it’s also got great food (at reasonable prices) and is kid-friendly (it’s non-smoking). There are also quite a few vegan options, which isn’t something I’m accustomed to seeing on pub menus. I’ve been told there is a kids menu, too, but we have always ordered a “flatbread” (pizza) for Mini Eats.

The restaurant definitely has a pub vibe to it; this is not a quiet and romantic space. There are TVs on, a shuffleboard table and a lot of bar seating to inspire a very pubby atmosphere. This is great for those of us with toddlers who don’t yet have volume control. Each time we’ve visited, Mini Eats has made great friends with the neighboring diners, who actually seemed very happy about it.

Mr. Eats also loves {Pub}licity for two big reasons: a bacon sampler appetizer and a bargain-priced plate of moules frites (mussels with fries). He commented that the mussels were as good as any he’s had anywhere else, including Portland, Oregon.

Moules frites

Moules frites

Of the vegan items, I’ve only had the Mediterranean sampler, but I have to say that the olive tapenade is some of the best I’ve had. Not overly salty as some tend to be.

And though I could get a really healthy (and probably tasty) salad, I usually get the veggie panini. I love this sandwich. These guys definitely know what to do with an eggplant. Never rubbery; just right. Plus, the fries! Look at all those delicious waffle fries.

Vegetarian pannini

Vegetarian pannini

{Pub}licity also has a pretty awesome happy hour(s) from 3:30 to 6:30 every weekday. They’ve got special small plates and $4 craft beers (along with some other great specials).

Perl Café
7114 Hwy 70 South
Nashville, TN 37221

{Pub}licity
7073 Hwy 70 South
Nashville, TN 37221

 

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4 Responses to Two Great Reasons to Go to Bellevue: Perl Café and {Pub}licity

  1. I am ashamed to admit that I have yet to eat at Perl. Your choice of their fry bread sandwich in the CP round-up has eeked it up on my to-eat [now!] list. Lunch date sometime maybe?

  2. I’ve yet to eat at either – how sad is that?! Must get out to try both of ‘em soon!

  3. Thanks for the heads up on the vegan items at these two joints. I’ll definitely have to check them out next time I’m in Nashville.

  4. Melissa says:

    Is Perl’s Vegetarian sandwich vegan without the cheese?