Where: The Camp House
Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Price range: $3-$7.50
The sign outside The Camp House bills it as a coffeehouse, but it's much more than that.
The space inside the nondescript building on a side street on the Southside serves triple duty. On various days, it is also a place to worship or listen to live music.
Though the breakfast and lunch menus are limited, the choices are enticing.
The breakfast menu offers a variety of egg sandwiches, oatmeal, granola, waffles and bagels.
Egg sandwiches combine scrambled eggs on a ciabatta bun with a choice of cheese (mozzarella, feta, muenster, cheddar, goat), vegetables, basil pesto and sriracha sauce. They average $3.75.
Oatmeal dishes ($3-$3.75) have toppings of cinnamon, brown sugar, fresh seasonal fruit, date sauce, Granny Smith apples or French vanilla almond granola. A yogurt/granola dish sells for $4.50.
There are also waffles. One version is served with Belgian sour cream, butter and maple syrup for $4. The other has Belgian sour cream, butter, yogurt, granola, strawberries, blueberries and date sauce for $6.
Bagels with cream cheese cost $2; with butter and jam, $1.75.
The lunch menu lists soups (daily specials), salads (spinach, ginger avocado, club) and a hummus plate. Costs range from $4 to $6.50.
Paninis, such as roast beef, turkey, Caprese, spicy turkey and spicy avocado, can include cheese, baby spinach, tomatoes, basil pesto, goat cheese, Granny Smith apples, avocado, cucumber and other options. The price: $6.50 to $7.25.
Flatbread wraps available are spicy turkey and cheddar, curry turkey, California wasabi and humus, all priced at $7.
And there's a single-layer pepperoni pizza, $7.50, and a double-layer Naan flatbread cheese for $6.50.
I ordered the Turkey No. 2 panini ($7). The turkey was topped with goat cheese, Granny Smith apples and honey. It came with a choice of a side salad (for an additional $1) or ciabatta roll chips. The salad was served with a generous portion of delicious basil pesto. In addition to pouring it on my salad, I used the basil pesto as a dipping sauce for my sandwich.
My friend selected the curry turkey flatbread wrap ($7). It included grilled turkey, melted muenster cheese, avocado, roma tomatoes and homemade espresso-infused curry aioli. My friend rated the dish excellent. She also liked the ciabatta roll chips.
Ordering takes place at the cash register, just across from the entrance. At 11:30 a.m., there was no wait.
It took about five minutes before our order was ready, giving us time to shop at Mission Exchange, an in-house thrift store whose profits benefit Mission Chattanooga, the church that occupies The Camp House. Most items are $5 or less.
Diners bus their own tables.
The industrial space is wide open but intimate, with tables, chairs and a few sofas. There's a cabaret-style stage equipped with audio and visual equipment, a drum set and an altar.
The tables aren't placed too close to one another, so a private conversation with your lunch partner is feasible.
Internet is free, and there are ample outlets for charging.
The Camp House offers reception and event packages with seating up to 150.
I was disappointed that both times I ate at The Camp House, they weren't serving soup. And when I ordered tea, I was told they weren't serving tea that day either. A negative two for two, I thought.
But when I took my first bite of the panini, I didn't think about the soup or the tea. It was delicious and filling. My friend and I cleaned our plates and left the restaurant knowing that we'll return.
Contact staff writer Karen Nazor Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karennazorhill. Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karennazorhill.
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...