Share with your friends!

We all know the usual suspects for brunch in Nashville: Marche, Jackson’s, Tavern, Midtown, BrickTops, Germantown Cafe, Table 3, and a bevy of others. They are all fabulous and guaranteed to satisfy. But, the question today is: where do you go when you’re craving something different that leaves you unable to even contemplate dinner because you simply had to eat every last bite of midday deliciousness? We gladly offer you three places for your brunch-seeking weekend self: ML Rose (two locations: Charlotte and 8th Ave), Garden Brunch Cafe (Germantown near Fisk) and Guantanamera (Nolensville Road near the Zoo).

M.L Rose

You may have been to ML Rose for lunch or dinner, but what about brunch? Our first experience at ML Rose was being turned away, as we had our three kids in tow and it was 5:30 p.m. So, note to families: after 5 p.m. kids are not allowed. But, this means that brunch is in play and proves a perfect time to bring the kids and enjoy sitting amongst a diverse group of singles, groups, and basically an 80-year age span. During brunch hours, ML Rose is pulling from all sides of Nashville; one look at their menu will show you why:

ML Rose Brunch Menu
ML Rose Brunch Menu

I had two of my kids with me and we took pictures to taunt my husband and middle daughter who were at a soccer tournament. We will be back as a whole family because this meal completely surprised us all and we want more. This is a fun place to watch football on a weekend and slow the hectic pace of life down just a bit. Here is what we ordered:

StyleBlueprint Bloody Mary ML Rose
I had no intention of ordering a Bloody Mary, but one went by on the serving tray and all resolve was lost. I got the spicier version and my picky Bloody Mary self gives this one high marks. I prefer a salted rim, but this is still one of the best in town.


StyleBlueprint Fried Okra Pickles Jalopenos at ML Rose
Off the regular menu, we order the Bottle Caps: fried fresh okra (sliced in half), pickles and jalapenos served with the thickest ranch out there. Not a crumb was left.


StyleBlueprint Brunch Bowl at ML Rose
I ordered the Green Chili Brisket Hash Stacks and asked for avocado to be added. This was fabulous and I couldn’t finish it. I wish the hash browns weren’t the patty fried kind–I prefer shredded. But, that’s just a personal preference. This dish is executed well and provides just enough heat for the masses (i.e. it’s not too spicy).


StyleBlueprint ML Rose Brunch Burger
With a fried egg on top, just waiting to be popped, this cheddar cheese + bacon hamburger, called the Good Morning Burger, is hard to beat. Served with hash browns.


StyleBlueprint Cinnamon Bites ML Rose
My kids said these Cinnamon Bites were the best “cinnamon sugar anything” they had ever had. That is high praise and just $3.95.


StyleBlueprint ML Rose
A view of the front of ML Rose on Charlotte Ave.

For more information on ML Rose, click here.

Garden Brunch Cafe

I had heard about this place over the past couple of years but never seemed to make my way over to the Fisk University area to check it out. On Labor Day Weekend we decided have Sunday brunch somewhere we had never been and Garden Brunch Cafe won, but really we were the winners.

When we arrived at 9:45 a.m., there was already a 45 minute wait and my sweet husband, with a growling stomach, was not too happy with my choice. But, we stayed and my family sulked while we waited–thank goodness for smart phones. Fast forward to the end of brunch and everyone was asking when we could come back and my hubby was full of apologies for initially wanting to leave. So, the moral is: Be prepared to wait, but it’s well worth it!

The highlights were:

StyleBlueprint The Garden Brunch Cafe Bananas Foster Pancakes
The Bananas Foster Pancakes are large and addicting. The sugar crash later may be severe, but you sure are happy when eating them!


StyleBlueprint The Garden Brunch Cafe Crab Cake Benedict
The “winner” of the all that we ordered was, in my opinion, the Crab Cake Benedict, topped with shrimp. This was the special, but our server (who was SOOOO nice. Malcolm, I think?) said he was hoping this became a regular menu item. And those fried potatoes? Delicious. We ordered another side as everyone was eating mine.


StyleBlueprint The Garden Brunch Cafe Smoked Salmon Benedict
The Germantown West Benny is a house specialty. It’s good, really good, but we still liked the Crab Cake Benedict better. Please make it a regular menu item!

For more information on Garden Brunch Cafe, click here.

Guantanamera (UPDATE: permanently closed)

Guantanamera is a Cuban restaurant owned by a man from Colombia and his wife from Cuba, whose care for their food truly shines. Full disclosure: I am writing this basking in the glow of my meal, having just eaten there, and I’ll need to skip dinner as I over-indulged (with absolutely no guilt).

For starters, my coffee came with cream that had been warmed (although I did need to ask for cream). Whenever a restaurant takes the time to heat the cream, my expectations go up and I know I’ve made a good choice. This proved the case once again.

I will say that the menu is incredibly varied, and not just Cuban. It may take time to find your personal favorites, but it’s bound to be a delicious journey. We had some standout favorites today, which we will be back to enjoy again very soon, and some that were simply “good.” The service is friendly, but the food does not come out fast. This wasn’t an issue for us, but it may be for others, so a heads-up, since proper expectations usually lead to a more satisfying experience.

StyleBlueprint Guantanamera Sunday brunch Paella
Paella. I think if this had been fresh, which I’m thinking it was on Saturday night, (we ate Sunday morning) it would have been terrific, but this is my unconfirmed speculation. As it was, it was too heavy on the seafood flavor that comes with leftovers. It was on special, so a discounted price. I did find a review in the Scene just now that mentions that the paella is amazing and takes 45 minutes to cook. That would be your clue: if they can serve it up quickly, don’t order it. If it takes 45 minutes, you are most likely in for glory. We missed the glory, but I still ate a lot of it.


StyleBlueprint Guantanamera Sunday brunch tamale
This is the tamale and I wasn’t sure what to expect when we opened it up. But, this ended up being one of our two favorite things ordered.


When you open the corn husks this goodness awaits. Seriously one of the best things I have tasted in Nashville, ever.
When you open the corn husks, this goodness awaits inside. Seriously one of the best things I have ever tasted in Nashville.


StyleBlueprint Guantanamera Sunday brunch empanadas
Be sure to order the empanadas. These, ordered as a side for everyone to share, were a favorite, along with the tamales.

So, to recap: order the paella, but only if they say it will take 45 minutes to prepare and the tamales and empanadas were hands down amazing and will call us back. The owners, a married couple from Colombia and Cuba, offer up food from the entire Caribbean, Central American and South American regions. The menu may be overwhelming, but I promise that it is well worth the effort to ask your server for advice–there is so much good food to be had!

Are you inspired? Get out and enjoy Nashville restaurants: both the well known places and the ones found off the beaten path.


Share with your friends!
About the Author
Liza Graves

As CEO of StyleBlueprint, Liza also regularly writes for SB. Most of her writing is now found in the recipe archives as cooking is her stress relief!