Let me just start by saying that I don’t sport a single tattoo nor do I have any “interesting” piercings (defined by saying my mother has seen them all and they are all in my earlobes in “traditional” locations). I realize that this doesn’t have anything to do with food but I do think that people of a certain age tend to hang and/or work at the coffee house under discussion and I want to make it clear that I am not of that age anymore. Though… even when I was, I still didn’t have any tattoos or face tackle.
The reason I want to clear this up is to say that if you have passed that age when too-low low rise pants look good on you, Fido can still be an excellent place to hang. There are definite perks to the atmosphere, including the free Wi-Fi. It is also fabulous people watching. Nashville’s hip, both the genuine article and the would bes tend to frequent. Unlike the original rush of 1990s coffee houses it is smoke free, unless you want to sit on the teeny porch outside with the smokers. The music is always interesting and not in that it must be a terminally obscure band that only three people (including their mothers) know about. The staff is friendly if you are. Keifel seems to attract flirtation by male and female staff members alike. I admit he looks cooler than me (I’d like to think we are equal in all things) with his sexy dreads, tats and pierced tongue. The thing is they always flirt with him even when I am next to him, hell, even when Julian and I are both next to him. I deal. And I think it just goes to show that I do indeed love the place.
We popped in the other night after roaming about downtown to look at Keifel’s 15 minutes of fame on the building wrap at 411 Broadway for the CMA Music Festival. If you’re a Nashvillian you can go see my honey in all his farting cow glory. Julian and I had already had dinner so we ordered a drink and a sweetie. Keifel ordered the chipotle chicken with mash. It was beautifully messy on the plate and just enough spice to have that chipotle kick in the pants. Really their food is almost always good. It’s eclectic diner food without the Waffle House Shuffle and 27 years of dirt layered in the grout on the floor. The special is worth the investment most days.
As far as their coffee goes, it really is some of the best to be had in the Metro area. My latt้ always has that perfect thin layer of silky foam on the top and not a gob of dry nasty Styrofoam milk-type product. The coffee to milk flavor ratio is decidedly on the coffee side. On our most recent visit I opted for hot chocolate with whip. Yum. Not too syrupy and lots o’ whip. Julian ordered his standard, a cherry Italian soda. Julian says they are the best because they put in enough syrup to make it look like they put in enough syrup.
The Jules and I also had muffins. I have to come clean here and say that I am truly addicted to the almond shortbread muffins. They are like a little pocket of damp, almondy cake heaven and I have walked out without ordering when they have been out. Julian got the double chocolate which was just shy of bitter with chocolatey goodness.
The only downside here is that with people camped out with laptops it is occasionally difficult to get a table, especially on the weekends. I think they do try to discourage weekend camping with gentle signs and a no outside food or drink policy and camping is definitely a no-no during the lunch rush. But I love that I can go by myself and read awhile or take Julian for a treat or we can go as a fam and not worry about corrupting the child any further.
My final word of praise: I do love that some brilliant person taped a polite note to the counter where one orders that states that they will wait for you to finish your cell phone conversation before taking your order. Thank you! I wish we could tape one of those up at Ye Olde Pot & Pannery but I am certain that is against policy. I loathe and despise trying to ring someone up while they are chatting away merrily. I have questions and I deserve your undivided attention for the three minutes it takes me to scan your stuff. People used to do it when I was working in the Novel Cafe at the Bookstore and it drove me insane. How am I supposed to take a food order if the patron can’t extract his or her phone from his or her ear long enough to tell me how he or she would like his or her steak? I rant more than I thought…
Go, I say. Go to Fido. They have yummy food, good coffee and the natives don’t bite even if they do, on occasion, look they might not be able to clear a pre-flight metal detector.
1812 21st Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: (615) 777-FIDO
Hours (from the web site. call ahead.):
Monday Thursday 7am 11pm
Friday 7am 12 am
Saturday 8am 12am
Sunday 8am 11pm