If you asked me to describe The Wild Cow’s grand opening in one word, I would say this: intense. The line was out the door, people were crammed into the cozy space, and lots of people had to eat standing up. So all in all, I guess it was a huge success!
I arrived at The Wild Cow around 7:00, and the place was already packed with a line out the door into the cold, cold night. There was a little buffet line, but I missed out on some dishes (like the Hail Seitan) because they ran out. I managed to load my plate up with vegan lasagna, marinated and grilled tofu and tempeh, a “chicken” salad sandwich, some carrot sticks, asparagus soup, and hummus with chips. I also got a glass of hard cider. I really wanted to take more pictures of the spread, but the place was so packed I only managed the photo of the lasagna pan, above. My party and I were extremely lucky to grab the very last available table in the joint, and we didn’t see anyone leave a table while we were there–there was a lot of standing and eating going on.
On to the food: it was good. Overall, I wouldn’t call it fantastic, I would call it good–but I think that had more to do with the way I acquired it than the food itself. What I mean is, by the time I got through the line, found a seat, and was able to eat, it was cold. First, I really didn’t like the soup. I think I might have liked it if it was hot, but it was room temperature by the time I took a bite and I thought it was gross. I had two dining companions, and one felt the same way as me and the other absolutely loved it and ate every bite, so go figure. Next, the lasagna: awesome, even if it was kind of cold. I could eat that stuff every day and be happy. It doesn’t seem to be on their regular menu. Third, I didn’t really like the tofu/tempeh either. I’m not a big tempeh fan, so it’s not The Wild Cow’s fault that I wasn’t feeling it, but I thought the tofu was weird. This is hard to explain, but it seemed way too … dense. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was, well, dense. Also, too salty. Moving on to the hummus: average. It tasted like hummus. There were tortilla chips and carrot sticks. I’ve had better. Finally, the “chicken” salad sandwich: a total winner! It was really good, and I didn’t even like chicken salad back when I used to eat meat. To sum: I would definitely have the lasagna and the “chicken” salad sandwich again. I would get the hummus again if I was sharing it with other people. I would pass on the marinated tofu/tempeh and the asparagus soup. Also, the hard cider was pretty good, and I don’t usually like fruity alcohol. They were also serving red and white wine–one of my dining companions had the white and it was intense.
Still, the best thing about this experience wasn’t the food, it was the people. It was really amazing to see so much community support for an all-vegetarian, almost all-vegan eatery. We have come such a long way from our only options while dining out being wilted iceberg lettuce salads. Also, I got to meet The Traveling Vegetarian in the flesh for the first time, and she gave me a big hug, which was awesome. Her take on the opening is available here; she also talks about her trip to Orlando, which is my hometown. If you ever find yourself in Orlando (where I’ll be soon for the holidays), take it from both of us: go to Ethos!
My adventure at The Wild Cow’s grand opening did exactly what the owners hoped it would: it made me want to go back. I’m really anxious to head down there and order off the menu, when the place isn’t crammed to the gills with people. I suggest you do the same ASAP.
The Wild Cow
1896 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206