Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Tomato Head - Knoxville, TN

The Tomato Head, 12 Market Square, Knoxville, TN
Brunch menu

Karisa: In the interest of full disclosure, there was a period of time not so long ago in my life that I ate at Tomato Head every Sunday for brunch. I frequented a different (and I'd argue superior) location, but the menu was the same. I was a regular, and proud of it. A few meals were comped for frequent patronage, and when I moved away to Virginia, they gave me a t-shirt to remember them by. I loved the place; leaving it was like leaving a dear friend. I haven't been to Knoxville since moving, so when I found myself in Market Square on a Saturday morning, I knew I had to brunch at Tomato Head. It would have been wrong not to.

It was a busy morning in Market Square, bustling with the Farmer's Market and the excitement for the impending UGA v. UT football game (go dawgs!) With so many people around, I was surprised when my dining and football-going friend and I were seated immediately. There was a waffle bar that I'd never seen before, but aside from that, everything felt familiar, even in a different location. Local art on the walls, hippy have-they-showered servers, and an inventive menu with tons of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

I started with my standard coffee, water, and a mimosa. The coffee was fantastic and local (of course); I had several cups. The mimosa was served in a wine glass with a good ratio of bubbly to quality OJ. I've started to enjoy the tartness of a poinsettia more than a standard mimosa, so I had one of those too. I do love sparkly drink options.

In my every Sunday at Tomato Head days, I ordered the same thing practically every week, a take on Huevos Racheros, Zipolite. I never did learn how to properly pronounce it, but I loved it every week. Not wanting to ruin my Zipolite memories and branch out just a bit, this time I tried another Huevos derivative, Eva. In hindsight, I'm not sure why Eva wasn't part of my typical rotation, as it contains lots of things I love, most notably apples, spinach, and avocado. The mole was a wonderful base for the tortillas, eggs, veggies, and cheese; the spicy apple salsa just spicy enough. I ate half of it and was immensely sad to be full and that I couldn't take it with me. Luckily it did not go to waste, as my friend finished it up, along with his thoroughly enjoyed Rosita (another type of Huevos.) It was a perfect meal to start a fantastic day.

Rating: 4
Food - Very good. We both really enjoyed separate takes on huevos rancheros. Truly delicious with great portion size, not too big and too small.
Service Good. She was exactly as she should be, a little hippy and perfectly pleasant. Water and coffee were always refilled promptly and she never left us looking for her.
Atmosphere Good. Local art on the walls, comfortable seating, and a little loud, with good people watching inside and out. Just as you'd expect from a college town.
Coffee - Very good. Locally roasted at The Golden Roast which we were told is near campus. It was a very smooth blend, and I felt no need to doctor it up with milk. Several cups were happily enjoyed.
Mimosa - Very good. My first mimosa love. Served in a wine glass, but I didn't even miss the Richmond style. Excellent bubbly to orange juice ratio that left me wanting more, a feeling I happily indulged.

Tomato Head on Urbanspoon

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