That’s when Det. Carl Maskew, from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, decided, well, then, “It’s good enough for me.”
Maskew was eating a tuna sandwich — “Great!” — with home fries — “Crispy, just like they should be,” he said. — created by the same chef who prepared meals for the likes of Nicholson, Joan Lunden, Ray Liotta — a regular diner, Don DeLuise, and a lot of other stars. So many, the walls of the Florida restaurant was covered with signed autographs of the celebrities who had eaten there.
Maskew was talking about the food created by Josh Gouveia, chef and owner of the newly opened restaurant, the Cobblestone Grille. The owner has run his own restaurants in Florida for the past 20 years, as well as being their chef, starting with the one he opened with his parents at the young age of 17.
“I grew up in the business,” he said. “And I developed a love for food.”
But he has relatives here in Southeast Tennessee and he wanted to be near them. Plus, his mom and dad also have decided to move here from Florida.
Now here in Cleveland, Gouveia’s current restaurant is nestled in one of the shops across from the Courthouse in downtown Cleveland — where Diamond Lil’s used to be. The Cobblestone Grille restaurant opened for business roughly two months.
Lt. Dennis Goins from the Special Opps/Crime Suppression Unit of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, and two of his co-workers, had their first taste of the Cobblestone Grille’s food the other day. Goins had a ham and cheese egg white omelet with a homemade biscuit and sausage gravy, with a side of grits.
“Grits are a big seller,” Gouveia said.
And the trio all vowed to come back the following Saturday — and bring their families.
“And the coffee is great too,” said Dep. Chad Nave from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department. For his first meal at the Cobblestone Grille, he had the Farmer’s Garden Omelet, made with fresh, seasonal local veggies he’s never tasted on an omelet — zucchini, squash, carrots, and mushrooms — and cheddar cheese, with a large biscuit and gravy on the side. “Best omelet I’ve had ... And the service is great!”
Gouveia prides himself on making Southern comfort food. His meat loaf sandwich and his turkey with dressing sandwich are current top sellers, as are his biscuits and gravy.
“I developed different dishes learning from my dad,” Gouveia said. “And I am constantly coming up with new dishes.”
Other menu items range from appetizers, such as mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers to soups, such as homemade chunky chicken noodle soup and salads, such as taco salad; from individualized meat combo platters to a variety of burgers; from a long list of specialty sandwiches, such as the meatloaf, made with a thick slice of homemade meatloaf served cold or grilled on Texas toast or the Philly cheesesteak with roasted beef — on the premises — fresh mushrooms, onions and melted provolone, wraps and rolls, such as a slow-simmered BBQ pulled pork served on a kaiser roll. Other options include such dishes as a BLT with egg, buttermilk biscuits, home fries, omelets, such as a meatloaf, bacon and cheese omelet, a steak and cheese omelet with thinly sliced roast beef, onions, mushrooms and provolone cheese, pancakes, such as blueberry granola pancakes, and French toast.
“My dad taught me how to cook ... It was his passion,” Gouveia said. Gouveia remembers waking up every Saturday and Sunday — early — to watch his dad cook. He also remembers his home being filled with family and friends, “There were always a lot of people in the house. We cooked so much at home. Dinners every night. Hand and hand with my dad in the kitchen, I developed a love for food.”
The Cobblestone Grille also offers a coffee bar, with flavors such as vanilla, fat-free vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel, as well as lattes and cappuccinos.
“We grind our own beans on the premises,” Gouveia said. “We get the beans from a Southeast Tennessee company, the Chattanooga Roasting Company.”
The Cobblestone Grille also offers lots of delectable pastries, such as homemade blueberry, banana nut, carrot cake, chocolate chip, and M&M muffins and cookies, to name just a few. The selection varies every day, and all pastries are made right at the restaurant.
“And all served in a warm atomosphere with welcoming decor — cheery and bright. I wanted something very inviting,” Gouveia said. “And all at reasonable prices.”
Two televisions also are available for patrons — one set on sports and the other on news. Catering also is available onsite with special menus for office parties, holiday parties, etc., since the restaurant is closed to the public at night.
An official grand opening will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 2.
“I want this to be a community and church restaurant,” Gouveia said. He’s already held a fundraiser to help raise money for the United Way in the short time he has been open.
The Cobblestone Grille is located at 170 N. Ocoee St. It is open for breakfast starting at 7 a.m., as well as serving lunch until 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Saturdays, the Cobblestone Grille is open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon. Seniors are offered a discount on their breakfast meal. For more information, call 790-7006.