As promised (notice how I pretend people will read this), here's more on Chattanooga. This time, it's food.
If you like pizza, you have to visit Lupi's. This is probably the best pizza I have ever had. It's just two blocks down Broad Street from Aquarium Plaza, on the left. (The front is painted purple; you'll know it when you see it.) You'll pass a Mellow Mushroom almost immediately–don't stop! Lupi's is way better, and I'm not the only one who thinks so! All the food is of the highest quality, and the crust is as close to perfect as it can possibly get. Their selection of toppings is also impressive.
Obviously Broad and Market Street are heavily travelled by tourists (though Lupi's is quite popular with locals; most tourists seem to choose Mellow Mushroom). A quick trip across the river, however, allows you to escape some of the bustle. The Riverfront district is more residential; it's slower, a little more eclectic, with more "mom and pop" businesses. Several good restaurants face Coolidge Park, which is directly across the river from Aquarium Plaza.
We chose Mudpie Restaurant & Coffeehouse, a family business and a referral from a local. It was definitely the right choice! The menu was much broader than that of the typical coffehouse, with vegetarian options. (My brother is a "veggiesaurus", so I always check.) Again, excellent quality. The burritos are great, and very reasonably priced since they come with a side. My husband had a most unusual grilled cheese sandwich: wheat bread with cheddar, mozzarella, and feta. Very yummy! The coffee was great, too: we had a mocha, made with Ghiradelli dark chocolate (yum) and a single shot of espresso, topped with whipped cream. (You could get it with a double or triple shot, but we aren't that brave!) It was perfect, and huge!
The "Monkey Hips and Rice" is supposed to be popular, but unfortunately none of us ordered it. (I was really hoping someone would, if just for the name!) If anyone tries it, post your opinion! (Note: contains no actual monkey…)
Later I'll talk about other fun stuff in Chattanooga.