A Midtown franchise arrives, bringing nutritious grilled fare and plenty of take-out.
Written By: Chris Chamberlain
Photographers: Ron Manville & Supplied
The latest link in a small Southern chain of charcoal grill cooking-based restaurants, Urban Cookhouse, was opened by local franchise owner Leah Bentley. After growing up on a family farm near Winchester and graduating from Vanderbilt, her new venture utilizes aspects from both parts of her life. There’s an emphasis on fresh ingredients, produce from local farmers, and meats cooked over hickory wood and lump charcoal on the made-from-scratch lunch and dinner menus. And it sits in the heart of the Vandy neighborhood.
There are no microwaves—and there’s not even a freezer, for that matter—at Urban Cookhouse, so all the food is made fresh to order, down to the sauces and vinaigrettes. The menu is divided into sandwiches, wraps, greens, and “fork and knife” (or larger plates), which arrive as composed meals. There’s also a short children's menu, with grilled chicken strips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and grilled peanut butter fluff sandwiches.
For big kids, the kitchen offers lime-marinated steak, chipotle-braised pork, and grilled chicken, plus fruit salad and roasted vegetables on the side. Take-home tubs of freshly made soups, chicken salad, broccoli salad, and addictive bake-at-home orange rolls are fine options to grab on the way out. For nights when you don’t feel like cooking, Urban Cookhouse offers a “Take It to the House” option that feeds four. Choose a meat, like grilled pineapple ham, wood-fired shrimp, or smoked turkey, to pair with two sides, such as hot-cheddar pasta or rice pilaf.
As convenient as the take-home options are, dining at the restaurant is a treat, as well, thanks to ample parking, a cool urban vibe, and two large decks featuring outdoor televisions. Sit back with a drink from the affordable list of wines and craft beers, or maybe a glass of their famous strawberry lemonade, and finish things off with one of their gooey, half-baked cookies served in a skillet and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
1907 Broadway, 615-953-6449; urbancookhouse.com