Viva NoshVegas!

Viva NoshVegas!

Food Fun in Nashville, TN

Couva Calypso Cafe

Calypso is one of those places you either love or you hate. I fall on the LOVE side of the spectrum.

Their mission is to serve up high quality, hearty dishes at a reasonable price in a fun, relaxed, and efficient setting. Mission accomplished AND they serve delicious fruit tea, do I even need to post further?

If you went once and where underwhelmed, please bear with me and try again with one of my recommendations. I have several friends that wrote it off after one trip with a stinker order. They came back with me and we are now equally addicted.

1) Fruit Tea ($1.65)

I never like it too sweet and usually mix with un-sweet tea to even things out for myself, I do 1/2 1/2 here. Calypso’s is heavy on the orange and pineapple juices. Ask to take a cup to go ($.26), add vodka or rum when you get home. Party at your house!

(Spiced sweet potatoes and black beans)

2) Cuban Black Beans ($1.83)

They have got to be laced with crack, our CEO insists it must be stronger, possibly heroin, because there is no saying no. Topped with tangy red onions and a dollop of sour cream, they cannot be beat. My standard cheap order is the $6 Beans & 3 (sides.) I order the beans on top of double side salads with sprouts and lite vinaigrette and a side of their delicious spiced sweet potatoes with shredded coconut. Based on my dining companions selections, I’d have to say the Black Bean Salad is their best seller. Its the side salad with beans, bbq sauce, and either chicken, beef, or rice.

(double side salad… under dress your salad, depending on your appetite it can usually pass for 2 servings. We’ve all tried saving leftover dressed salad, it doesn’t work.)

3) Lucayan Chicken Salad ($7.41)

Chicken, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, vinaigrette and these delicious Boija sweet corn and coconut muffins. (Be sure to ask for those heated, they are a bit dry served straight up) Try it once and you’ll crave it for the rest of your natural born life. I quit ordering it at Calypso and just started making it at home, but I can’t seem to duplicate that dressing.

4) Chicken ANYTHING.

Calypso is known for their Rotisserie Chicken. Served with BBQ, Jamaican Curry, or Jerk sauce and your choice of healthful sides, this is the health conscious foodie’s dream stop.

(pulled BBQ sandwich with slaw and spiced sweet potatoes)

The boyfriend was anti-Calypso until he got his hands on the pulled bbq white chicken sandwich. At $6.64 with 2 sides, it can’t be beat.

I’ve been known to add white meat chicken to the delicious Veggie Pita ($5.86) with a cup of soup and a side salad and have enough for two meals. Color me happy, healthy, and content.

For Families and Crowds:

There is a kids menu, and even the pickiest kids can usually find something good to eat here.

Calypso does fantastic take out business, mostly because its always packed and you are sitting on ridiculous plastic patio furniture. You cant feed your family any cheaper or easier than you can at Calypso. Grab a Family Special of 1 whole chicken (quartered or whole) with choices of sauce and 6 servings of side items. Or grab a pound of pulled BBQ chicken, 4 buns, 4 servings of side items and a side of sauce for $15.93. Vegetarian families are covered with 3 pints of side items and 4 Boija muffins for $11.94. They also do catering for large parties.

It’s not that I’m a picky eater, per se, its that I know what I want and how I want it. You should have seen me during fitness boot camp when I had to write everything down that I put in my mouth. I pretty much only ate at Kalamata’s and Calypso during that 10 weeks of hell. They are happy to work with you to get your order the way you want it. I tend to ease them into it with, “I hate to be a pain in the ass, but can I get ____ but with ___ instead of ___ and add a side of ____ and go easy on the ____. ” The answer is always “Absolutely, that is not a problem.” And you know what? They get it right EVERY TIME. I can’t even get the BBQ sauce with my nuggets at Wendy’s.

Things to know before you go:

Every location is slightly different. It might take a few shots to find YOUR Calypso Cafe.

Every Calypso features the same menu, the same quirky island decor, the same uncomfortable plastic lawn chairs, and mostly the same M-S 11-9 and Sunday 11:30-8 hours.

(100 Oaks Calypso)

Elliston is ALWAYS packed and parking is ALWAYS a nightmare, but the staff is fantastic. The diners are largely professionals, hippies, and college kids in workout clothes. In college, I used to look forward to my oil change light coming on. I’d leave my car with Jiffy Lube and I’d get a Calypso fix without having to deal with that tiny awkward parking lot.

I’ve never had great service at the Belle Meade location, but they have slightly more space and patio seating. Their parking is only marginally better than Elliston.

Cool Springs, tucked away by Sperry’s on Frazier Drive, is NEVER busy. EVER. I’ve been at several times of day and am almost always the only one in there. Parking is definitely not a problem and you certainly can’t ask for better service than when a place is dead. Calypso Cool Springs’ Sunday Hours are 11-4, Monday through Saturday are the same as the other locations.

(festive picnic tables at 100 Oaks Calypso)

100 Oaks is probably my favorite location because they have plenty of parking, plenty of space, plenty of staff, and they even have this ridiculously funky outdoor dining space. You have to order your food to go and then take it outside, but have no fear, they will still refill your Fruit Tea if you don’t mind popping in for your refill (over and over again ;))

There is also one in East Nashville, but we already know I don’t get out there much. They have the most variant hours. 11-9 Monday-Friday, 11-4 Saturday, and 11-8 on Sunday.

Those baked goods at the register look fantastic, but they are just ok. Give those a pass, and ask for the Blue Mountain Chocolate Mousse. $1.88 for a frozen mocha treat with whipped cream.

Vegetarian, Vegan, and figure friendly. What have you got to lose?

Red Stripes up!


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