This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Otherlands Coffee Bar

My "Other Land"

Lately, I've been spending time at the Otherlands Coffee Bar in Midtown to work on various things using my laptop. Consequently, I got around to sampling some of the stuff on Otherlands' menu, including its two feature sandwiches, the Tuna Melt and the Turkey and Cheese Melt Down.
The Tuna Melt sandwich, consisting of tuna, cheddar cheese and tomato between slices of well-toasted bread (either sourdough or wheat; I went with wheat), isn't anything special, for other than those ingredients, there isn't any discernible qualities about it as far as unique taste is concerned. The sandwich components mesh nicely together, and with tortilla chips as a side, makes for a light meal. It would have been nice if I had a choice of chips, for potato chips are a much better complement to a tuna sandwich than corn-based tortilla chips, in my opinion.
Otherlands' other signature sandwich is the Turkey and Cheese Melt Down that comes with sliced turkey, cheddar cheese, tomato and a "secret sauce" that included some kind of green spice. For this sandwich, I went with the sourdough bread as opposed to wheat, and I'm glad I did. The sourdough was toasted perfectly, so it didn't detract from the strong cheesy flavor of the sandwich. Because the portion of the turkey was smaller than the tuna in the aforementioned sandwich, it seemed more like a grilled cheese sandwich, although not merely as weighty as what can be ordered at other places like the Majestic Grille. Then again, the sandwich, like the Tuna Melt, wasn't meant for those with huge appetites, but with tortilla chips (which complemented this sandwich much better) makes for a nice light meal. In my opinion, the Turkey Melt is clearly the better sandwich, although tuna lovers might disagree with me.
Otherlands also serves breakfast, although my experience with one of its menu items wasn't good. I had the Breakfast Burrito, a small 6" (maybe less) burrito stuffed only with scrambled eggs and accompanied with a slice of tomato and a small (shot glass size) cup of salsa. Diners can also get turkey sausage included in the burrito, which is what I ordered for lunch (all breakfast items can be ordered during all operating hours). From the first bite, I can't say that I was impressed. The tortilla wrap was hard, so biting into and eating it from my hands was very difficult. Even when using utensils to cut into it, the burrito still proved very tough to tackle. As for the stuffing inside it, it was mostly scrambled eggs with small chunks of turkey sausage sparsely mixed in. The eggs, while well cooked, lacked seasonings like salt and pepper so the taste was a little on the bland side. Fortunately, the salsa made up for the lack of flavor. I would have liked to put the salsa in my burrito, but the tortilla wrap was so hard and overcooked that it was too unmalleable to squeeze and sealed too tight to unwrap. After pouring the salsa over the top of the burrito, eating it along with the sliced tomato made for an okay meal, but I can't see myself ordering it again (it's a good thing that I don't wear dentures).
For those not looking for a full meal but just something to snack on, Otherlands offers various pastry options such as toast and muffins, but my personal favorite is the "Bagel Sandwich Thing." Although I'm not a big bagel fan, Otherlands' bagel sandwich (which I eat "open-faced") can be ordered with either plain cream cheese or one of its "fancy" cream cheeses for an extra 25¢. Among the flavors offered, strawberry is my favorite.
As far as the beverages that are sold at Otherlands, I can't say too much about them because I only had a few items, such as the coffee and hot chocolate. For the most part, everything I've had is on par with most places such as Starbucks and Cafe Eclectic, so the quality is good.
Overall, Otherlands Coffee Bar, while far from being a five-star restaurant, offers decent food and beverages in a relaxed, cozy environment that is conducive for working and meeting friends, in addition to dining. On Fridays and Saturdays, the coffee shop serves as a venue for various musical acts, mostly within the folk music genre. Also, Otherlands has a gift shop that sells art created by local artists; the art is displayed throughout the coffee shop. Given all that Otherlands offers (including Wi-Fi), it is one of my favorite coffee shops in Memphis. I like it not because of the food, but for the friendly staff who have been gracious hosts to me and many others who visit there. I hope this place is around for many years to come.


Otherlands Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

LabelsBreakfast, Coffee Shop, Midtown, Sandwiches



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