Red Bicycle Coffee & Crêpes

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red bike Red Bicycle is located in Historic Germantown. We don't know what happened here, but apparently, it was historic. This area of town is quaint, with several different shops and restaurants hidden among the houses. They're seriously kind of hidden. Drive slowly, park where you find a free spot, and search on foot. It's the only way.

The area is adorable and just outside downtown. It's perfect for a Saturday in the spring. Red Bicycle chose to open their Nashville branch along the brick sidewalks of this little neighborhood (the other RB is in Chapel Hill, NC). It is a great Nashville setting for a crêperie (please say that with a fake French accent, since that's how we typed it.).

Atmosphere

Red Bicycle has an awning, so you can tell where it is once you're on the sidewalk. There's a small porch with cast iron tables and chairs, which we imagine would be lovely in the spring.

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Inside, the room is long and narrow, with the counter in the back. There's one large, long community-esque table (so you can get cozy with your new bffs), a few booths, a bar facing the wall, and a couple of two-top tables. They do put a few fake airplane windows on the wall above the bar seating, to help make you feel like you're not eating lunch facing the wall like you're in time-out.

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The art is eclectic, industrial, and fun. Think antique bicycles, metal street signs and advertisements, and your standard coffee shop local art/photography.

The counter has a really cool fifties-looking blue espresso maker, which we loved, and the menu hangs above on wooden chalkboards.

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We were also seriously tempted by some $5 t-shirts they had for sale at the register. (We find it difficult to pass up cheap or free t-shirts.) They keep their teas in mason jars inside an antique coca-cola crate and tied the homemade labels with twine. It's perfect pinterest-hipster fusion and it made Elizabeth want to try all of them.

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The people are mostly what we're calling "professional hipster." We imagine they are creative professionals. They probably started or work for a business that was funded by Kickstarter and definitely has a "Social Media Coordinator." They're go-getters, but they believe in wearing jeans and beanies to work.

Other patrons include "cool parents" who bring their small children to coffee shops and either have dreads or wear hats reminiscent of Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopez (RIP), the occasional worldly cultured gentleman who, quote, "is usually in Africa somewhere," and sweet old ladies.

It's definitely a multi-cultured experience, seeing as it's a French restaurant located in Germantown, there's the guy who is typically overseas (NBD), a British telephone box sits in one corner, and there was even a flyer for Spanish Lessons with Emily D. (SIDEBAR by Laura - I'm totes doing this. Not even kidding. [Compradoras de Café coming soon.])

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(Inside the phone booth is a take a book, leave a book system.)

Taste:

E: I got the chai latte and it was mostly average, with emphasis on the cinnamon. I also ordered the "Funky Monkey" crêpe--nutella, peanut butter, banana, and walnuts.

Tea Taste Rating: 6

Crêpe Taste Rating: 10. It's really difficult to go wrong with those ingredients. It was so big, you could easily split it with a friend, or your amour.

L: I got my typical vanilla latte, and it was delicious. Perfect ratio of sweet-to-coffee. I also got the spinach crepe, which had chicken, mozzarella, mushrooms, spinach and balsamic.

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Coffee Taste Rating - 9

Crêpe Taste Rating - 3.  This is partially my own fault, but I didn’t know just HOW balsamic-y it would be. It was very balsamic-y. So if you like that sort of thing, go for it. But I wasn’t a huge fan. It might just be because I’m not fancy enough. Should’ve gone with the pizza crepe. When in doubt, always go with pizza. Pizza has never let me down.

Presentation/Service:

Latte Art Grade: 1. There wasn't really any art on my latte, but I gave it a 1 because, well, I'm not heartless.

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The crêpes looked beautiful. Just see for yourself.

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The service was nice. Our drinks were made before we even paid and the barista and cashier were both smiling and seemed to enjoy their jobs. The girl running the cash register (can we even legally call them that anymore since it's basically just an iPad and a smile?) even asked us how our New Year's Eve was going so far. (Splendid, thank you for asking.)

They seemed to have a lot of "regulars" in the shop, and the baristas and owners knew them well. One asked a patron how his favorite team was doing, and how his festivus went. We hope his grievances were aired and no one was seriously injured in the feats of strength! (Is that how you say "Merry Christmas" in Costanza?) Only in Nashville would that be a question. The aforementioned sweet old lady also had to have her drink specially made, and the barista was very patient and kind. From the research Elizabeth did beforehand, it appeared that at least two of the baristas while we were there were also the owners/founders of the shop.

We've heard a rumor that if you mention them on social media, they give you a discount. We completely forgot about this when we were there and so, sadly, we can't confirm. (Though, word to the wise, there is a ScoutMob deal going on right now, which we took full advantage of.)

Service at the Red Bicycle gets an A++.

Ratings Round-Up

Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: 3. It was a bit crowded at lunch time, and smaller than we expected, so we did get some stares when we walked in, but nothing major. It's a cute shop and feels pretty welcoming.

Fedora count: 1 (!!) Guys. The fedora count is BACK.

Level of Pretentiousness: 2. Though all signs would seem to point to this place being pretentious, we experienced very little (if any) of it. The service was kind, people were happy to be there, and nothing about it made us feel out of place.

Parking: Because this is kind of in a neighborhood, all the parking is street parking. Laura may have failed epically at trying to parallel park the first time ("Oh, I can TOTES fit in there" [2 minutes later] "NOPE."), later realizing Elizabeth happened to be behind her and saw the whole embarrassing thing. But we didn't have trouble finding a spot. Weekends may be more difficult.

Disheveled facial hair count: 0. (See the word "professional" in front of "hipsters.") Though one barista did have a well-kept mustache.

Neither of us had been to the Red Bicycle before, but overall we had a great experience. We've already picked out the menu items we want to try the next time, so you could say we're fans.

Have you been to The Red Bike? Which crêpe did you get? Do you know what that symbol above the in crêpe is called? Can you confirm or deny the social media discount?

Posted on January 8, 2014 and filed under coffee, Nashville, Shop Review, tea.