Blackstone … not good for vegans. Seriously, don’t waste your time. The only reason I came here was because it was the restaurant of choice of the birthday boy. I feel like this is always happening to me: I have to go to a seriously non-vegan-friendly restaurant for someone’s birthday. I usually manage to ask some questions about the menu and get some kind of custom thing that is pretty good. That was not the case here. First, I had french fries. French fries are part of my three basic vegan-eating-out food groups: french fries, chips and salsa, and hummus. If I see this items on a menu, I order them without fear. I did not ask any questions about these fries (for instance: animal-based natural flavorings, shared cooking oil) and if those issues are important to you, you should ask about them before ordering these fries. They were actually pretty good, though certainly not the best I’ve had in town, as that honor belongs to Beyond the Edge.
Here it is: the only food of any real filling substance you can order as a vegan at Blackstone. Black beans and rice is a side dish costing $3.00 on the dinner menu. It’s on the lunch menu for $6.50 with extra toppings and what I assume is a larger portion, but this plate was enormous. The dish really wasn’t half bad. The beans were spicy and the rice was flavorful, and long-grain with veggies. I was pleasantly surprised. If memory serves, I think the dish came out with cheese on top and I had to send it back, even though my server and I had a pretty extensive conversation about veganism and what it is so I could be sure the dish was vegan.
I will probably never go back to Blackstone again unless friends are really insistent on it. It wasn’t that the food that I had was bad, it was just unimpressive and there are not a lot of choices. They have some salads that could probably be veganized, there’s a nacho appetizer that could be veganized (or just ordered as chips and salsa), they have pizzas that may be vegan (I didn’t ask about the crust while I was there), and there are a couple other sides like asparagus and apple sauce that may be vegan. There are lots of other restaurants in town with more and better vegan options. The best thing about Blackstone is the beer: they brew it on-site and even have a hand drawn ale. If you find yourself here, grab a hand drawn Nut Brown Ale and a big bowl of black beans and rice and you’ll be just fine.
1918 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203