Monday, March 14, 2016

Nashville Vegan Eats

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Nashville hanging out with Paul, who has taken a job there for a few months. He's mostly been coming home on his weekends off, but this past weekend, he wasn't able to get off two days in a row. So I made the three-hour drive to visit him. He didn't get off work until 6 p.m. on Saturday, but I really wanted to check out Vegan Vee — a new-ish gluten-free vegan bakery — and they closed at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

So I woke up in Memphis at 5 a.m. on Saturday (after going to bed way too late Friday night), got a 4.5-mile run in, and then headed to Nashville to make it there by noon! That's dedication. I really wanted to try their gluten-free doughnuts. I'll do just about anything for a doughnut. There were plenty of doughnuts left when I arrived. I went with the Vanilla Sprinkled Doughnut and the Chocolate Dipped Doughnut! These were cakey doughnuts, and they were outrageously good. I'm not gluten-free, and I don't always love gluten-free baked goods. But you couldn't even tell these were gluten-free!

Vegan Vee had all kinds of treats — cupcakes, bars, cookies. And most were sweet, but they did have these savory Pizza Rolls. And it was right at noon, and I'd been driving for hours. I was really hungry for something substantive. I had to have one. Bonus: They were still hot from the oven! This soft bun was flecked with sundried tomatoes and whole kalamata olives, and it was all topped with vegan cheddar. Seriously — one of the best things I've had to eat in a long time. Again, you couldn't tell it was gluten-free. It just tasted like the most amazing pizza roll in the world. After I ate it (in my car, after leaving the bakery), I considered going back for another. But I knew I had so much more eating to do in Nashville, so I talked myself out of it.

The folks at Vegan Vee were so nice! They threw in a free Chocolate Chip Cookie, which I enjoyed on the drive home Sunday night. Excellent! No weird gluten-free taste. Just a sweet, soft, chocolatey cookie.

Even though I ate my pizza roll right away, I was still pretty hungry. And I had lots of time to kill before Paul got off work at 6 p.m. So I headed over to another newish Nashville vegan place. Avo is an almost-too-cute-to-be-real raw vegan restaurant. It's located inside a shipping container, next to another shipping container that houses a CrossFit gym. And there's a volleyball court in the back. On nice days, one whole wall of the container rolls up, and the whole place basically becomes an open-air patio. 

The whole menu looked amazing, but I wanted something lighter since I'd already had the pizza roll and I still needed to fit one of my doughnuts in before dinner. I couldn't resist the Tree Nut Cheese Plate — aged nut-based cheddar, aged nut-based "goat" cheese, raw flax crackers, locally sourced pickles, fig jam, apple slices, and edible flowers. Y'all, this place is so fancy that the cheese plate is served on a log!!!

The nut cheeses were divine. Both were tangy, but the cheddar was slightly more sharp. It paired really well with the green apple slices.

I enjoyed the goat cheese schmeared on flax crackers with the fig jam. I really took my time with this plate, enjoying a book as I ate. I wanted to savor every single amazing bite.

After my special snack time, I hit up the Trader Joe's to stock up on goods I can't get in Memphis (we don't have a TJ's yet — later this year!). And then I stopped by the Whole Foods and Whole Body (they have a whole separate WF beauty & body shop!) in Green Hills. By the time I was done, it was time to meet up with Paul. We headed downtown for dinner because I wanted to check out Two Boots Pizza, a vegan-friendly pizzaria. Y'all, they have vegan pizza BY THE SLICE!

The V is for Vegan has artichokes and basil and red pepper pesto! And they're big ole New York-style slices. I grabbed one for dinner and a second one to go (ate that cold in the car on the way home Sunday).

I also got a salad to eat with my pizza for dinner. I love that their basic side salad has chickpeas!

After dinner, we had a couple beers downtown and then turned in for the night. But we got up bright and early for brunch at Wild Cow, a (mostly) vegan (they do have dairy cheese by special request) restaurant in East Nashville. I never visit Nashville without stopping in for a meal at Wild Cow! 

They don't have a brunch menu, but they do offer smoothie bowls on Sundays. And they had a special tofu scramble side. But it's been more than a year since I've eaten at Wild Cow, so I just had to go with my old stand-by — the French Quarter Dip. It's a French dip sub with seitan, portabella mushrooms, vegan cheese, & au jus. For my side, I went with Vegan Queso and Chips cause when you're going in, you just gotta go all in.

Look at the adorable mug they served my coffee in!

It was a delicious and fun-filled weekend!

9 comments: said...

That looks like such a fun weekend. I wanna eat everything you ate!

Susan said...

Looks like so much amazing food! It is fun to get away for a weekend of lots of eating.
I am glad to hear that the pizza passed the most important test and was good cold the next day.

vegan peace said...

I want it all! I agree that most gluten free baked goods have a distinctive gluten free taste. It's awesome that maybe things are improving. The pizza slice looks so tasty. Looks like a really nice weekend!

Dana said...

Yum!! Josh and I have really been wanting to check out Nashville, so this looks like an excellent start.

Woman Journal said...

Those foods look so delicious!! :)

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

It all looks good, especially the chips and queso... totally craving that now!

Eric Nupp said...

I live in Nashville and did not know about Two Boots Pizza, let alone that they have vegan pizza offerings. Thanks :D

Jesse Ashby said...

Memphis is getting a Trader Joe's? I wish Little Rock would get one!!! I might have to stop by that one when it comes in!

Bianca said...

Hey Jesse! Yes!! Well, technically, it will be in Germantown, which is right outside Memphis. But supposed to open by last quarter of the year!