Project Green Fork Restaurant of the Month: Otherlands Coffee Bar

(WMC TV) - PROJECT GREEN FORK RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH:  Otherlands Coffee Bar, 641 S. Cooper St, Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, (901) 278-4994, http://otherlandscoffeebar.com/

Futons simply weren't in Karen Lebovitz's future.

That's what Otherlands Coffee Bar was -- a futon store. Until 1994, when Lebovitz traded couches for coffee, local foods and an environmentally-conscious business plan before that kind of thing was cool.

Now families, friends and colleagues who appreciate recycling, quiet weekdays, live music-Fridays-and-Saturdays, good coffee and great local foods call Otherlands' back deck Midtown's "home base."

"Anytime you want to see anybody, and you don't know where they're at in Midtown, you just come here, and they are probably on the deck," said Eva Trimble of Cooper-Young.

Otherlands earned its Project Green Fork (http://projectgreenfork.org) certification through Lebovitz's extensive recycling program. Not only does her staff recycle cardboard, plastics and glass, but also the very locally-produced coffee grounds that flavor Otherlands' distinctive brew.

"We put them in buckets and put them at the back of the parking lot and different gardeners come and get them," Lebovitz said. "They're great for your garden."

Otherlands is great for escaping the cookie-cutter coffee shop. Lebovitz designed Otherlands as a European-style "cafe society." Part coffee bar, part gift shop, part getaway -- what the baristas and hipsters call their third place.

"You've got home. You've got work. Then you've got the place you hang out, and this has very much been that," said Lebovitz. "People from all over the world come in here as well as a lot of 'Memphibians.'"

'Memphibians' like T.J. Janus appreciate Otherlands' support of local farmers, producers and bakers. Homemade muffins, breads, pastries and soups grace the menu next to veggie burgers, bagel sandwiches and quiches.

"I love that they buy local," said Janus. "It's delicious."

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  The Coffee (any variety!), Blended Frozen Drinks, Breakfast Burrito w/Turkey Sausage, Groovy Fruit Granola, Tuna Melt.

SCORES OF THE WEEK:

Taco Bell, 4811 Navy Rd., Millington, TN, 98 on May 22

Just In Thyme, 5063 Old Summer Rd., Berclair/E. Memphis, 97 on May 22

Sonic Drive-In, 3790 S. Houston Levee Rd., Collierville, TN, 97 on May 24

Sekisui of Collierville, 2130 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, TN, 97 on May 24

Marciano Restaurant, 780 W. Brookhaven Circle, White Station Area/E. Memphis, 96 on May 23

Pei Wei Asian Diner, 2257 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 95 on May 22

Bonefish Grill, 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 95 on May 21

Lenny's Sub Shop, 153 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 95 on May 24

Java Cabana, 2170 Young Ave., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 95 on May 23

R.P. Tracks, 3547 Walker Ave., U of M Area, 95, date not listed

Rafferty's, 505 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 94 on May 21

Panera Bread, 714 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 94 on May 21

J. Alexander's, 2670 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 94 on May 23

Newk's Express Café, 3680 Houston Levee Rd., Collierville, TN, 94 on May 23

Kabob International, 2050 Dexter Rd., Cordova, TN, 94 on May 23

Pizza Italia, 175 Peabody Place, Downtown Memphis, 94 on May 24

Chuck's, 5960 Highway 51 N., Millington, TN, 93 on May 23

Kooky Canuck, 97 S. 2nd St., Downtown Memphis, 93 on May 25

The Blue Monkey, 513 S. Front St., Downtown Memphis, 93 on May 24

Popeye's Fried Chicken, 1105 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, TN, 93 on May 24

Automatic Slim's, 83 S. 2nd St., Downtown Memphis, 93 on May 25

Itta Bena, 145 Beale St., Downtown Memphis, 92 on May 22

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, 310 S. Front St., Downtown Memphis, 92 on May 24

Sweet Grass, 937 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 92, date not listed

Jasmine Thai & Vegetarian Restaurant, 916 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 92 on May 24

Soul Fish Café, 862 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 92 on May 24

Jack Pirtle's Fried Chicken, 1217 S. Bellevue Blvd., South Memphis, 92 on May 23

Corky's Bar-B-Q, 5259 Poplar Ave., Pleasant Acres Area/E. Memphis, 91 on May 23

El Porton Mexican Restaurant, 1016 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, TN, 90 on May 24

Flying Fish, 105-107 S. 2nd St., Downtown Memphis, 90 on May 25

RYU Sushi Bar, 5137 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 89 on May 21

Wendy's, 4761 Navy Rd., Millington, TN, 89 on May 22

The Butcher Shop, 101 S. Front St., Downtown Memphis, 89 on May 23

The Majestic Grille, 145 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 89 on May 24

Erling Jensen, 1044 S. Yates Rd., East Memphis, 89 on May 23

Stone Soup Café & Market, 993 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 89 on May 23

Lucchesi's Ravioli & Pasta Company, 540 S. Mendenhall Rd., Mendenhall Commons/East Memphis, 88 on May 21

B.B. King's Blues Club, 143 Beale St., Downtown Memphis, 88 on May 22

Logan's Roadhouse, 2710 N. Germantown Pkwy, Wolfchase Area, 88 on May 23

Blue Fin, 135 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 88 on May 24

The Beauty Shop, 966 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 88 on May 22

Tsunami, 928 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 88 on May 22

Celtic Crossing, 903 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 87, date not listed

Memphis Downtown Diner, 116 S. Fourth St., Downtown Memphis, 86 on May 23

Lot A Burger, 2260 S. Third St., South Memphis, 86 on May 20

Cockadoo's, 85 S. 2nd St., Downtown Memphis, 86 on May 25

Yum's Restaurant, 3582 Summer Ave., Highland Heights/East Memphis, 85 on May 22

Otherlands Coffee Bar, 639 S. Cooper St., Cooper-Young/Midtown Memphis, 85, date not listed

Bubba's Ale House and Grille, 7041 Highway 64, border of East Memphis/Bartlett, 85 on May 24

Shaky Jakes, 4750 Navy Rd., Millington, TN, 84 on May 22

Yang's Deli, 4985 Summer Ave., East Memphis, 81 on May 21

Blue Plate Café, 5469 Poplar Ave., Pleasant Acres Area/East Memphis, 80 on May 23

Subway, 2953 S. Third St., South Memphis, 79 on May 22

Dixie Queen, 1181 S. Bellevue Blvd., South Memphis, 78 on May 23

Don Don's Hot Wings, 2926 S. Third St., South Memphis, 78 on May 23

Pete & Sam's, 3886 Park Ave., U of M Park Ave. Campus Area, 78 on May 24

Rain Premier Sushi Bar & Bistro, 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 72 on May 21

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.