Today's Takeout Picks: Chivanada and Merengue Cafe
Today's Takeout Picks: Chivanada and Merengue Cafe

Merengue Cafe

Much of the restaurant industry had to rapidly change its business model due to COVID-19, and we’re highlighting the Nashville places that are attempting to stay open. Here in Phase 3, we’re continuing to give you a critic’s pick for a restaurant and a dish, as well as a running list of restaurants offering takeout, delivery or outdoor dining that you can support. Today: Chivanada and Merengue Cafe. 

For weeks I’ve had Merengue Cafe on my list of places for an upcoming Takeout Pick. For two years the sweet Berry Hill house has been home to my go-to empanada. The welcoming eatery serves Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican specialties, including fried plantains as mofongo or tostones, topped with chicken, meat or vegetables. Beans of the day and Cuban sandwiches are also on the menu. I usually peruse and then go for the tempting aforementioned empanadas. Merengue Cafe’s take on the half-moon shaped meat pies has a light, pastry-like flaky dough and filling choices including chicken, beef and cheese. They are fried and crispy, but not greasy or heavy. 

Merengue Cafe is set up cafeteria-style, with lots of room for social distancing as you go through the line and look at the day’s specials. Call 615-915-3642 to place an order for curbside pick up, or go through the line and choose from not one, but two outdoor dining areas (one covered, one not). Takeout containers are standard divided Styrofoam containers with compartments, so you can keep all your different Caribbean delicacies separated. Merengue Cafe is the kind of super-friendly place where they make you feel like they have been waiting to see you again as soon as you walk in, even if you haven’t been in a while, and even if they’re facing a long line of socially distanced hungry customers. 

Today's Takeout Picks: Chivanada and Merengue Cafe

Chivanada

Then I went to Columbia’s First Friday, 45 minutes south of Nashville. This is the unsung gem of area art crawls, with reliable sunsets creating a magical glow over the Public Square. I was perusing the food trucks in the New South Marketplace parking lot when my eyes met Chivanada, a black-and-white painted beauty with a selection of empanadas ranging from the classic ground beef to the creative chocolate y queso. I ordered a couple (regretfully, not the chocolate and cheese). The fried pockets steamed with gooey joy and melted Dutch gouda. The carne was a spicy ground beef with the right amount of paprika. The dough was breadier than the Merengue Cafe variety. The empanadas are served in a clever paper takeout basket with a sliding cardboard cover so that your food and sauces stay in good shape until you get home or wherever you are planning to eat. (I ate mine right there in the parking lot, but, you know, for future info.)

Daniel Yarzagaray and his brother Kai opened the food truck two years ago. They use to serve up their Colombian-style empanadas by bringing the truck to live music festivals. They even have a waterproof portable dance floor for non-pandemic times and private events. “That’s what’s missing from food trucks,” Yarzagaray says. “We want to go beyond good food and serve art and culture.” They had plans to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant this year, which they are postponing until 2021. Instead, they are hitting apartment complexes and residential neighborhoods, posting where the truck will stop for the coming week on Instagram (@chivanada). You can also sign up for text alerts and get the empanada 411 sent to your phone so you can know just when to get that chocolate-and-cheese empanada you didn’t order before.

In the past Chivanada also had the more labor-intensive arepas on the menu, and in the future, Yarzagaray plans to bring those back as well as adding breakfast, too. But it is in the name, so empanada will always reign. The business’s name is a combination of “chiva,” the brightly colored buses seen all over Colombia, and “empanada.”

Unlike, say bagels, which I grew up eating, I don’t have emotional opinions about what makes for the ideal empanada recipe. So, for me, two favorite local empanada-makers (and thus two takeout picks) is a good problem to have.

 


Below is a list of Nashville restaurants (with links) remaining open for takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 shutdown. While some may have had existing relationships with delivery providers, most of this list are offering the service for the first time. Most offer curbside pickup, but check when you order. As this list is a moving target, please leave any changes, suggestions or omissions in the comments.

Places with takeout or delivery as of Wednesday, Oct. 14

12South Taproom (Postmates)

312 Pizza Co. (Grubhub)

400 Degrees

5th & Taylor

51st Deli (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

51st North Taproom (11 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday-Sunday)

615 Deli (DoorDash. Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats)

8th & Roast

Adele’s/The 404 Kitchen (Friday-Sunday)

Amerigo

Answer

Arnold’s Country Kitchen (Most delivery services)

Athens Family Restaurant

Attaboy at Lakeside Lounge

B1281 (Uber Eats)

Baja Burrito

Bar-B-Cutie

Barcelona Wine Bar

Barista Parlor (Postmates)

Barr’s Music City Soul Food (Uber Eats, Tuesday-Sunday)

Bartaco

Big Al’s Deli

Big Bad Breakfast (DoorDash, Uber Eats)

Big Shake’s Hot Chicken

Biscuit Kitchen by Loveless Cafe

Biscuit Love

Black Dynasty via Bar Sovereign

Black Rabbit

Blue Coast Burrito

The Bluebird Cafe (Grubhub)

BokBox

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish

BoomBozz West (DoorDash)

Brightside Bakery (Ordering open at 3 p.m. Tues.-Sat. for next-day pickup Wed.-Sun.)

Brother Z’s Wangs

Burger Joint (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

Burger Up 12South

Butchertown Hall

Cafe at Thistle Farms

Caffé Nonna (Uber Eats, Postmates)

Cafe Roze

The Cake Project

Capitol Grille

Cal’s Country Kitchen

Carniceria y Taqueria Don Juan

Central BBQ (DoorDash, Postmates)

Chicken Salad Chick

Cinco de Mayo (9 locations)

Chago’s Cantina

Char (Postmates)

The Chef & I

Chef’s Market

Chile Burrito

Cilantro Mexican Grill (Eighth Avenue location)

City House

City Winery (Grubhub, Uber Eats)

Cole’s Kitchen

Coneheads

Corner Market Catering

Corner Pub (DoorDash)

Cupcake Collection (Sunday-Friday)

D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

Daddy’s Dogs

Dalt’s Grill

Darfon’s

Del Frisco’s Grille

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Diskin Cider

Doll’s Family Cafe (Postmates, DoorDash)

Donks Bar & Grill

Donut + Dog

Double Dogs (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

Dozen 

Earnest Bar & Hideaway

East Nashville Beer Works

Eastern Peak (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

East Side Banh Mi

Ed’s Fish House (Thursday-Saturday)

Edley’s

8 Hour BBQ

Ellington’s Mid Way Bar & Grill

Emmy Squared

Epice

Etch

Etc.

Far East (Postmates)

The Farm House

Farm Burger (DoorDash)

Fat Bottom Brewing

Fat Boy’s BBQ

Fat Kat Slim’s (Uber Eats, Grubhub)

Fattoush Cafe

Fido (ChowNow)

Five Points Pizza (Postmates)

Flavor Catering

Fleet Street Pub

The Food Co.

Folk (Postmates)

Fox’s Donut Den

Frothy Monkey (Postmates, Uber Eats)

Gambling Stick

Gray & Dudley

Germantown Pub

Gino’s East

Ghot Wingz (Tuesday-Saturday)

GReKo Greek Street Food

Green Chile (Friday-Sunday)

Green Hills Grille

The Grilled Cheeserie

H&T’s Home Cooking

Hathorne

Hattie B’s (Uber Eats)

Helen’s Hot Chicken

Henley

High Class Sweets

HiFi Cookies

HoneyFire Barbeque Co. (Grubhub, DoorDash)

Hugh Baby’s (DoorDash)

Hunters Station (The Grilled Cheeserie, Vui’s Kitchen, Hugh Baby’s, Tacos Aurora, Citizen Market)

Hurt’s Hot Chicken

IT’Z A Philly Thing (Wednesday-Sunday)

J. Alexander’s Redlands Grill

J. Christopher’s

Jack’s Bar-B-Q (Trinity Lane location only)

Jamaicaway (DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates)

Jim ‘N Nick’s

Jonathan's (Grubhub)

Josephine (Postmates)

Joyland

Kalamatas

Kay Bob’s

Kien Giang

King Market

Korea House

The Kupcake Barr

Ladybird Taco

Lafayette Soup Company (Richland Park Farmer’s Market)

Lakeside Lounge

Las Palmas (DoorDash)

Lemongrass Sushi & Thai

Local Distro (Tuesday-Saturday)

Lockeland Table

The Loading Dock

Long Hollow Pizza & Pub

Loveless Cafe

Love, Peace and Pho

Lucky Bamboo

Mane & Rye

Mangia Nashville

Margot Café & Bar

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

Maru Sushi & Grill

Mas Tacos

McCabe Pub

McDougal’s (Hillsboro Village only)

Midnight Oil

Miel

Miss Saigon (All delivery services)

Mitchell Deli

Mixed Grill Cafe

M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers (Postmates)

Monell’s

Mother’s Ruin

Moto (Uber Eats)

Nada

Nashville Chicken & Waffles

Nations Bar & Grill

Nicky’s Coal Fired (Postmates)

Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen

North Italia (DoorDash)

Nectar Urban Cantina (Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates)

Nomzilla! Sushi Et Cetera (Uber Eats, Postmates)

Noshville

Oak Steakhouse

O-Ku Sushi 

Old Glory

The Old School

Otaku Ramen

Otaku To Go

Pancho & Lefty’s (Uber Eats, DoorDash)

Park Cafe

The Party Line (Julia Sullivan’s catering service through Strategic Hospitality)

Party Fowl (Uber Eats)

Pastaria

PDK Southern Kitchen and Pantry

Peach Cobbler Factory

Peg Leg Porker

The Pharmacy Burger

Phat Bites

The Picnic Cafe

Pinewood Social (Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats)

Pizza Perfect

Pork Belly Cafe (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates)

Portland Brew

Potato Mountain 615

Prince’s Hot Chicken (Nolensville Road)

Proper Bagel (Takeout & delivery only)

Radical Rabbit

Rated V

Red Bicycle (Postmates)

Redheaded Stranger

Red Phone Booth (DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates)

Rib Doctor BBQ

Riddim N Spice (Postmates,DoorDash)

Rise Biscuits

Rocky’s Wing Shack

Rolf and Daughters (Postmates)

Rosemary & Beauty Queen (Postmates, Uber Eats)

Rosepepper Cantina (Postmates)

Rosie’s Twin Kegs

Saint Anejo (Uber Eats)

Sam & Zoe’s

Sambuca

Sam’s Place 

San Antonio Taco Co. (DoorDash)

Santo

Scout’s Pub

Seafood Sensation (DoorDash)

Shugga Hi Bakery & Cafe (Friday-Saturday; Uber Eats) 

Sinema

Sitar

The Slider House

Slim & Husky’s (DoorDash)

Slow Burn

Smokin’ Thighs

SmoQe Signals BBQ

Sonobana

The Southern Steak & Oyster

The Southern V

Southside Grill (DoorDash)

Soy Bistro

Sperry’s

Stoney River Steakhouse

Stateside Kitchen

Stay Golden

STK Steakhouse

StrikeOut Wingz (Grubhub)

Subculture Urban Cuisine & Cafe (Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates)

Sugarlips Bakery

Sunflower Cafe

Superica

Surreal Spice Creations

Sushi Circle

Sweet 16th (Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Swett’s

Tacos y Mariscos Lindo Mexico

Taco Mama

Tacos With A Twist

Taj (Uber Eats)

TailGate Brewery (Postmates)

The Tasty Wheel (Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash)

Taqueria Andrea and La Mini Michoacana

Tavern at Bobby

Taziki's (Postmates, Grubhub)

Tennessee Brew Works

TennFold (Grubhub, Postmates)

Thai Esane

Tinwings

TKO (Postmates)

Tower Market and Deli (Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash, Bite Squad)

Trattoria Il Mulino

Treehouse

Twilight Tavern

Two Ten Jack

Urban Cookhouse

Urban Grub

Urban Juicer

Valentino’s

Vege-licious Cafe (Tuesday-Saturday; Chow Now)

Veggie Village

Village Pub & Beer Garden

Virago (Uber Eats)

Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen 

VN Pho & Deli

Vui’s Kitchen

Walden (Postmates)

Waldo’s Chicken & Beer

The Wild Cow (Postmates, DoorDash and Chow Now)

Wildman Smoothies, Soups & Salads

WKND Hang Suite

Woodlands

The Yellow Porch

’Za Wood Fired Pizza (Grubhub)

Zilla’s Pit BBQ

TBD

Green Pheasant

CLOSED THIS does not go in the Takeout list. If one of the above restaurants closes, add it down here and then into Chris’s post with a new timestamp

Alladin’s Hookah Bar & Lounge CLOSED (permanently)

Antonio’s CLOSED (permanently)

Cabana CLOSED

Calypso Cafe CLOSED (still taking catering business)

Charcoal Cowboys CLOSED (permanently)

Clawson’s Pub & Deli CLOSED at least until 4/12

Dino’s CLOSED

Dozen Bakery CLOSED

E3 CLOSED

Gabby’s Burgers CLOSED

Henrietta Red CLOSED

Marché Artisan Foods CLOSED (permanently)

McDougal’s White Bridge CLOSED

Nash House CLOSED

Parson’s Chicken & Fish CLOSED (temporarily)

PM CLOSED

Saltine CLOSED

Shalimar CLOSED (permanently as of 5/26)

Silo CLOSED (permanently)

Silver Sands Cafe CLOSED (assuming they will open back up based on Tandy’s fundraiser)

Slow Hand Coffee CLOSED

Sutler CLOSED

Sunda CLOSED

Tànsuǒ CLOSED

Yeast Nashville CLOSED

Like what you read?


Click here to make a contribution to the Scene and support local journalism!