It was a lovely, warm weekday and I was out and about downtown, dipping in and out of a few eclectic, local stores. Walking down Market Street, I noticed the porch at Public House, packed with people enjoying the sun and a late lunch. I decided to stop by.
With a pale wooden floor and white napkins already set in place at the tables, the vibe inside the restaurant was classy. I immediately understood that it was the kind of place where servers box up your leftovers for you—the kind of place where people order a glass of wine and appetizers in the middle of the day to meet up with friends or chat with business partners.
Without even looking at a menu, I also realized Public House was perhaps a little fancier and a little pricier than the typical restaurants Lionel and I frequent, but since it was just lunch, and I was alone, I figured I'd give it a shot.
I got a small, wooden table outside where I sat on a long, cushioned bench. The atmosphere was really fantastic, right down to the background music coming in through the speakers and the plants growing over the rails of the porch. I could tell it would be beautiful at night in the summer.
The water was served in tall, glass bottles that stayed at your table while you ate. I would have preferred my glass iced, but I didn't bother asking.
My server was knowledgeable and attentive. The soup of the day was Southern Vegetable Minestrone with black beans and okra ($5.00), but it was too warm out for me to imagine eating something so hot and hearty. The selection of salads was nice, and there was a whole list of cheese to choose from if that's what you wanted to snack on with your wine.
Though there were items as basic as fried chicken ($8.50 – included two sides and a cheddar muffin), there was also a decent amount of seafood on the menu, as well as some pretty interesting dishes like Duck Confit ($14.00) or a small plate of Stuffed Quail Andouille with apple and grits ($11.00).
I went with a marinated mushroom and goat cheese grilled cheese sandwich, which came with seasoned shoestring fries ($10.00). The fries and the sandwich were both good, but it wasn't a lot of food, and for a grilled cheese there was hardly any cheese at all.
I was still a bit hungry, so I decided to order dessert. They happened to have my very favorite dessert of all time so I splurged. I couldn't help it. A couple minutes later, out came an order of crème brûlée ($6.00).
I have to say, I was a little hesitant to order a dessert that cost almost the same amount as my entree, but I sure didn't regret it. It was delicious, creamy and rich. I always love cracking that brittle caramelized shell, and this one was perfect.
The late lunchers finished up around me, and after a while I really had the porch to myself. I used the free restaurant wi-fi to dash out a couple articles as I enjoyed the nice weather. Lionel was going to be very jealous of my crème brûlée.
Location: Warehouse Row, 1110 Market St., Chattanooga, Tn 37402
Hours: M - Sat 11 am - 2:30 pm, 5 pm - 9 pm
Sun - Closed