While searching for somewhere to eat with my friend to catch up, I came across Jefferson Street Café. The pictures on yelp look great, but my friends are picky so I decided that I would go there by myself one day. After church one Sunday, I decided to go and try them out. On my ride down, I started to think about how much Jefferson Street had changed due to gentrification. Most of the migrants do not know the history and value of preserving Jefferson Street. So not only will I review the café but give a little history on Jefferson Street.
If you are not from Nashville, Jefferson Street is the Holy Grail for black culture. It’s where three of the most famous HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and University) TSU (Tennessee State University), Meharry Medical College and Fisk University are located. Jefferson Street at one point in time housed so many black owned businesses. Jefferson Street was also known for its booming musical scene way before Nashville was deemed Country Music City. According to Jeffersonstreetsound.com, some of the greatest artist like Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, BB King, and James Brown all performed in clubs on Jefferson Street.
Not only was it famous for music, but it’s also an important part of the civil rights movement. Jefferson Street was the center of the Nashville Sit Ins in the 1960s. It was the place for planning the sit ins that we’re carried out in downtown Nashville.
In the midst of gentrification, a cute little café opened with culture oozing from it. The café pays tribute to the historical North Nashville. Historical Nashville newspaper articles printed as table tops, black art on the walls for sale, and soulful music playing in seating area. The menu is eclectic. The menu ranges from avocado toast, to hash brown waffles, to smoke salmon.
When I entered the restaurant, I was immediately greeted. The waitress was very knowledgeable and suggested some items to try. I decided on the Hash brown and Honey Waffle with bacon and a Chai Tea Latte. You have to order your food first and then seat yourself.
First impression of the hash brown waffle was “this is interesting.” It looked like a hash brown put in a waffle maker. The first bite was amazing! It tasted like a hash brown and waffle. It was crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I don’t know what’s exactly in the butter, but they need to sale it. It was like honey sugar butter and made the waffle even better. There was maple syrup but I really did not need it because of the creaminess of the waffle and the flavor of the butter.
My favorite item was the Chai Tea Latte. When I go to a coffee shop, I get one or two things, a Chai Tea Latte with a shot of caramel and toffee nut or a Dirty Chai with a shot of caramel and toffee nut. If it is a new coffee shop I am trying, I always get a regular Chai Tea Latte first. I want to see if I need to add anything and also if can I taste the spices. This Chai Tea Latte was perfect. I did not add anything to it and that’s rare. Thinking about it now makes me want to get out of bed and drive 25 minutes to Jefferson Street to get another one.
Overall, I really like this café. I love that they pay homage to the African American culture, but also to the history of Jefferson Street. If you are ever in the Nashville, Tennessee please stop at Jefferson Street Café.