In 1958, the first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant opened in Japan. While the concept spread far beyond Japan, most conveyor-belt eateries still focus on sushi. But at Culture and Co. in Nashville, the small plates that pass by seated diners are filled with elegant arrangements of cheese and charcuterie instead.
While London is home to the first cheese conveyor-belt eatery (Pick & Cheese in Covent Garden), Culture and Co. is the first stateside example. Opened in 2020 by a mother-and-daughter duo, the restaurant is located in the middle of a food hall. Diners sit on stools at a counter, while two conveyor belts carry plates of cheese and other snacks back and forth.
The way it works should be familiar to any sushi aficionado. Diners pick out appealing-looking plates as they pass by, with prices tallied up at the end of the meal. There’s also a menu so that people know what’s on each plate, along with detailed tasting notes and the origins of each cheese.
Each plate is composed like a tiny charcuterie board, with an extra item or two that compliments the cheese. A plate of hot-honey goat cheese, for example, comes with a ramekin of smoked honey and pickles as a palate cleanser. A serving of salami, on the other hand, might arrive with a dab of fennel honey butter. There is even vegan cheese and charcuterie available, with options like seitan salami and milk-free gouda.