Named for the owner's first two children, OliBea has carved itself a comfy little spot in the downtown Knoxville food scene. Serving breakfast and brunch food using ingredients from local sources, owner Jeffrey Dealejandro believes in making food that makes people happy. He believes in befriending the farmers that provide him with so many of the high quality ingredients he uses to create his dishes, going as far as traveling to the farms themselves to see exactly where his food is coming from. You just can't beat the amount of personal passion that has gone into the creation of OliBea and it makes Matt and I feel good to support such a wonderful business.
109 S Central Street Knoxville, TN 37902
Saturday & Sunday 8am-2pm
Menu: View menu online
We were greeted with warm smiles and friendly dispositions from the staff at OliBea. We were given a good laugh when we were asked if we had been there before and when we replied that it was our first time, the host said innocently, "Are you new in Knoxville?" We laughed as we told her that no, we've been in Knoxville for a good long time, we just have small kids and limited opportunity to go out alone together! So funny, and affirmed what we already knew about the love the locals have for OliBea.
We were seated in a sunny little corner of the restaurant and served hot coffee (from local Honeybee Coffee) in charming cups. The coffee at OliBea is incredible and we went through more than our fair share of caffeine for the day, because we couldn't stop drinking it. We've had cappuccinos and lattes from Honeybee Coffee itself and if you haven't gone there... you need to.
** UPDATE ** I was just made aware that OliBea now serves Vienna Coffee instead of Honeybee, but we still LOVE Honeybee's coffee and now we know that we love Vienna's, too!
After much hemming and hawing and changing my mind, I finally decided to get the Carnita Tostada - confit chesire pork shoulder, refried beans, crumbled queso fresco, an egg, and your choice of red or green salsa served in the most crispy, crunchiest fresh tortilla ever. "Yum" is all I have to say.
That pork will blow your mind. It is so tender it practically melts as soon as your fork touches it, and when you get that perfect bite that includes all of the elements of meat, beans, eggs, cheese, salsa, and a bit of crunch from that tortilla... oh, man. Hello breakfast. This is one of the most flavorful dishes I have ever had in my life!
Matt is a Benedict man so he couldn't shy away from ordering the Tennessee Benedict - OliBea's famous biscuit, local ham, smashed potatoes, two poached eggs, and Rushy Springs Hollandaise. Whatever you order at OliBea, make sure your order includes one of their biscuits. They are buttery and fluffy and possess a perfect tender crumb on the inside with a satisfying bit of crunch on the outside. The mature, developed flavor of the ham paired with all of the elements of the dish and topped with that lemony Hollandaise makes everything about this dish satisfying and delectable.
And would you just look at the velvety perfection of those poached eggs?
My only regret about OliBea is that it took us so darn long to finally find some time to go and try it out. It's an amazing participant in the Knoxville food scene and I'm so proud that we have it available to us. We will be back!