We here at Coffee Shoppers like to be the first to know about everything coffee happening in Nashville. Sometimes, we're successful. Like when the radio station we listen to announces a new coffee shop opening downtown. We're on it.
We found out The Perch was opening a shop downtown because they announced it on Lightning 100. Seriously, that was basically the only way to possibly find out. When we heard they were giving free prizes on opening day, we knew we should be there (spoiler alert: we didn't win any prizes).
The Perch Downtown is located on James Robertson Parkway, near a bunch of government/lawyer-type buildings. The location is not super convenient for those who do not work on James Robertson, but we persevered. Though it is fairly visible, it's kind of hard to navigate where to park and how to get there.
The Perch Downtown has a sort of rustic industrial look. Meaning, there are beams in the ceiling, but also exposed pipes. There are lots of tables inside and it's actually a pretty big space. Much larger than its Green Hills and Brentwood counterparts.
It has a very clean, lunch-place feel which is perfect for their more corporate-like surroundings. There was also a conference room, great for breakfast or lunch meetings. Or if you just want to feel important and sit at the head of a table and say things like "dang it, Brad, we needed that TPS report YESTERDAY."
They have a nice porch out front, as well. It would be the perfect place to grab lunch and enjoy a bit of sunshine this time of year.
It was pretty busy the day we went, but not overwhelmingly so. It seems like a bunch of family and friends came out to support the owner on his first day. Half the line seemed to know each other, but didn't know anything about The Perch, which was somewhat confusing to us. We doled out some recommendations (cinnamon sugar crepe) while waiting in the longer-than-necessary line. (We would suggest two registers, if anyone asked.) There were also several corporate-types, probably from the surrounding buildings.
The menu is admittedly hard to read, at least from the back of the line. There are many (many) options, so we would suggest looking online at the menu before arriving unless you are good at decisions under pressure. (We are not.)
E: I got a smoked honey ham, muenster, dijon crepe and an iced chai. When I ordered, the girl at the register said, "Let me see if we can do that." It's on the menu, so I didn't understand why it was being met with a complicated order answer. The chef replied that they had one left, so it was my lucky day. [Real quick: Why is there "one" left? These are custom-made crepes. Did they only have a teaspoon of dijon left? Laura also ordered ham with her omelet and it was no problem. I do not get this.] Please note it was 12:22 on opening day. They had one ham, muenster, dijon crepe left. But here it is, in all its glory:
Crepe Taste Rating: 7. The dijon was a little more spicy than I like, but it was still pretty great.
Chai Taste Rating: 7. It's a concentrate, but still pretty good.
L: I got an omelet with cheese and ham, and a cinnamon-sugar-butter crepe. Both were very delicious. I also got a vanilla iced latte with almond milk.
The line was pretty long, but our food was prepared and served quickly. This could be in part because everyone was still training. In addition to the "one left" debacle mentioned earlier, the girl at the register didn't give Elizabeth her change. Elizabeth avoids conflict like the plague and felt like asking for 20 cents was kind of petty, so she let it go. But it should be noted here.
The crepes are always presented nicely. It makes you feel fancy when you get your plate.
Ratings Round Up:
Level of Uncomfortableness Upon Walking In: 0. We were perhaps the only people in there who had been to a coffee shop before, so there wasn't much intimidation.
Overheard: "You just get in line." "In line?" "Yeah. Just get in line. The menu is all right there in front of you."
Level of Pretentiousness: 0.
Overheard: "I put it in my MapQuest."
Parking: 4. There were a few spots in a lot around back, but everything was paid. We ended up parking at a meter on the street.
Overall, we're glad to have a new lunch spot. We're sure the kinks will get worked out over time and we hope they stick around for a while. After all, they put in custom tiling that's just adorable:
Have you been to one of the Perch's locations? Would you have asked for the 20 cents? Do you still use mapquest? Let us know.