One thing it's been a little short on is independent restaurants. Type "37214" into yelp or urbanspoon and you get mostly fast food and traveler-friendly options, plus Becker's Bakery, Greek Deli, Ellendale's, Darfon's, Bar-B-Cutie Phat Bites, McNamara's— all places I like, or even love.
I wondered why the seafood-oriented Mexican spot Las Islas Marias my first-ever Bites entry wasn't listed — its ceviche was just great.
Sadly, Las Islas Marias has closed, and in its place is Cocina Mexican Grill, one of a small chain of eateries in the style of Baja Burrito, Chipotle, Baja Fresh and Blue Coast Burrito, where you work your way down a cafeteria line, choosing your options for wrapper, fillings, etc.
Oh good, I thought, I'll get a fish taco. But there weren't any fish tacos, despite what the menu said. So I got a bean and cheese enchilada, just to see how an enchilada goes here.
Not at Cocina, which I was afraid of.
What I got was a burrito (a flour tortilla filled with various ingredients, tucked into a bundle) — slathered in enchilada sauce and cheese dip. So that was a disappointment, and it should really be renamed or removed from the menu.
That said, there were plenty of other customers in the room, the workers were really nice, the price is right, and the food was fresh. I would like a reason to go back, so if you go and get something good, please tell Bites Nation.