A not-very-definitive guide to eating (and living) as a vegan in Nashville.

The Wild Cow December 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 12:54 pm


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.

My Plate

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



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4 Responses to “The Wild Cow”

  1. Christy Says:

    In my opinion, the food is medicore and wasn’t anything I couldn’t make on my own.

    I’ve been twice, once right after it opened. I went with my hubby (non-vegan). He had a tofu rueben with chips and I had the tofu buffalo grinder with mac-n-cheese. Mine didn’t have any buffalo sauce on it and the mac-n-cheese was taste-less mush. His on the other hand was amazing. Perfect marble rye bread and really nice flavor combination. The tofu was very dense and somewhat “egg” like. But overall a good vegan sandwich.

    My next visit was for the first Sunday brunch. I was super excited to try the “french toast”, but was dissapointed to hear they weren’t serving it that day. I took a vegan friend with me this tome and we both ordered pancakes and hashbrowns. The pancakes were very heavy and somewhat dry. The maple syrup was really yummy, even if it was an extra $.50. The hashbrowns were on the greasy side, but still pretty good. The most dissapointing part of this experiance was that I got my food at least 10 minutes before my friend. Being polite, I didn’t want to start eating before her. So, my food was cold by the time she got hers. On a side note, they did give her a side of fruit for waiting, but they delay dampered the experiance.

    We both also purchased a cinnamon roll on the way out and ate it the next day for breakfast. It was super yummy!

    I will go back and am sure it will get better as they get established.

    • Nashvegan Says:

      Bummer! I still haven’t been yet. It’s a little ridiculous that there’s an upcharge to have maple syrup with your pancakes.

  2. baba Says:

    the food at wild cow is beyond awesome. i have traveled across the country in search of good vegan dining – the wild cow has got a fuckin 9 in my book. i can’t believe that such a newly opened restaurant would have their shit so together. it’s really impressive. and, that vegan mac and chz? well, the awards won in atl at veg soul should be shared with wild cow. they are just as good. long live vegan cow! who cares about 50 cents when you are talking about ethical living standards?? ooops, i guess a meat eater…

    • Nashvegan Says:

      I am so relieved to hear you say that! The other comment scared me. I think I’m going to get brunch there this weekend, so I’ll be able to see for myself. I was actually discussing the charge for maple syrup just last night and I still think it’s a little much. If you’re getting pancakes, maple syrup should be included, period. If one is so worried about the price of the syrup it should just be incorporated into the price of the pancakes. I mean, it’s not going to keep me from eating at the awesome vegan restaurant, but it’s kind of depressing.

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