Nashvegan

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

Hungry Tiger Too October 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 11:25 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Macaroni & Cheese with Caesar Salad

Macaroni & Cheese with Caesar Salad

This is my second and last Portland post.  I didn’t have as many opportunities to eat in restaurants as I would have liked because I was so busy at the conference.  But the two restaurant meals I did get to enjoy were amazing–my trip to Hungry Tiger Too was no exception.  Hungry Tiger Too has a bar area and a dining area, but my host and I sat at the bar.  They have two separate menus: one vegan menu and one “classic” menu.

Since Hungry Tiger is known for its mac & cheese, I knew that was what I would be having.  It comes in small and large, and if I had gotten the large I think I might have fainted, since I couldn’t even finish the small.  The cheese sauce kind of tasted like chicken stock, which was weird, and while I’ve made better vegan cheese sauce in my own kitchen, it was awesome to order this in a restaurant.  The noodles were a little softer than I would have liked, and the cheese sauce a little thinner.  It was topped with delicious breadcrumbs.  The real standout of this meal was the salad: this Caesar was really reminiscent of the Caesar salads I used to eat growing up, when that was the only type of salad I found palatable (wow, that was a long time ago).  The dressing was absolutely fantastic.

I hope I get the opportunity to return to Hungry Tiger.  They have vegan corn dogs, and I would love to try one of those.  Our bartender/server was fantastic and helped to make menu and beer recommendations.  If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have had the Caesar, which I loved so much.  The place has an awesome neighborhood vibe and great beer specials.  Oh man, I hope I get to go back soon!

Hungry Tiger Too

207 SE 12th Ave

Portland, OR 97214

503.238.4321

Hungry Tiger doesn’t have a wesbite, but it does have a MySpace

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

Proper Eats Cafe October 26, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Quesadilla

Spicy Black Bean Quesadilla

I had an AWESOME time in Portland, Oregon.  It is basically like vegan mecca.  I can only imagine what it would be like to live in such a city, where fantastic vegan fare can be had at nearly every establishment, and nearly every establishment knows exactly what “vegan” means.  I stayed in North Portland (NoPo) while I was in town, and as soon as I got in from the airport and dropped off my luggage my host and I popped over to Proper Eats Cafe for my first Portland meal.  Proper Eats is a natural foods store and cafe, with produce and some groceries in the front and a dining area in the back.  I was famished from spending six hours on and off various airplanes (but Southwest has some yummy vegan in-flight snacks!), and I had to restrain myself from ordering basically everything on the menu.

We started with the above Spicy Black Bean Quesadilla.  It was stuffed with vegan cheese, spinach, and black beans.  It was spicy, too!  The salsa served on the side was incredibly fresh-tasting and helped to cut through the spice a bit.  As you can see from the photo, it was topped with corn, red onion, and pumpkin seeds.  Talk about awesome!  When was the last time you had a vegan quesadilla?  I don’t think I ever had one until this moment.  I thought it was totally delicious, but it was kind of hard to eat–looking back, I should have used a fork and knife.  I ended up getting it all over myself.

Hazelnut-Arugula Penne Bake and Side Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Hazelnut-Arugula Penne Bake and Side Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

For my entree I ordered the day’s special: Hazelnut-Arugula Penne Bake and Side Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Wow, that’s a mouthful!  Seriously, this was SO. EFFING. GOOD. and I am still reminiscing about it.  I wish I could get this at a restaurant in Nashville.  I mean, I could probably cook something similar from scratch but who wants to go to all that trouble?  The pasta was just the right texture.  The cheese topping didn’t exactly melt right, but the flavor was great.  The pesto was divine.  The salad itself was pretty standard (spring mix, broccoli, carrots), and the dressing complimented it nicely.

Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sesame Peanut Noodles

My host, an omnivore, had the Sesame Peanut Noodles.  He loved it.  The noodles are cooked in a peanut sauce and served warm with ginger lime tofu, all over a bed of spinach and garnished with asian slaw, broccoli and lime.  You can see the little lime wedge in the photo, just waiting to be squeezed over the whole thing.  He let me eat a little bit of it and it was even better than it looks in the picture.  The noodles were perfect.  The tofu was amazing.  This whole dish was well-executed, well-presented, and well-made.  It also kept well and made for an excellent second, reheated meal.

If I lived in Portland, I would dine at Proper Eats Cafe all the time.  The menu is varied, covering a lot of different types of food, and their daily specials are always interesting.  They are almost entirely vegan (they offer a choice of a few dairy-based condiments), and every dish can be prepared vegan.  If you have the good fortune to make it there, be sure to check the bakery case on your way out: I got a vegan chocolate truffle.  Sorry, I didn’t take a photo.  I know that next time I’m in PDX, I’ll be stopping by.

Proper Eats Cafe

8638 N. Lombard Ave.

Portland, OR 97203

503.445.2007

Website

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

Italia October 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 11:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Drag It Through the Garden with Teese

Drag It Through the Garden with Teese

A reader contacted me to tell me there is a pizza restaurant in East Nashville that serves vegan cheese.  I don’t know how this escaped my notice, but you better believe I was excited to check it out for myself.  Italia serves Teese, a vegan cheese substitute.  Up until this particular pizza, I had never tried Teese before as the local stores don’t carry it.  I personally like vegan cheese substitutes for the most part, although I didn’t like them much when I first went vegan.  I like nutritional yeast-based faux cheese sauces, and I like a nice tofu ricotta, which is super easy to make.  Cheeses like Teese, or Follow Your Heart, are actually my least favorite of the fake cheese forms, but they have their place.  And pizzas are one of those places.

This pizza was GOOD.  Seriously.  It was almost like having a pizza with real cheese.  The crust was just the right thickness.  The vegetable toppings were awesome: I had the “Drag it Through the Garden” which comes topped with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, artichokes, broccoli, tomatoes, and basil.  It also came with a garlic dipping sauce (not pictured) that was vegan, just like the kind you get from Papa John’s.  It was awesome and you should go eat some immediately.

Italia did not look the way I expected on the inside.  I was kind of picturing a place where you would get a server, and that’s not the vibe here at all.  You order at the counter and seat yourself among the red-and-white-checkered tables.  While we were waiting on our pizza, a lot of people came in to pick up takeout orders.  They don’t serve any alcohol at Italia, but while I was eating a fellow came in and sat down with his own six-pack, so I guess it’s BYOB–don’t hold me to that, though.  It reminded me of pizza places I used to frequent in my hometown, but with a more veg-friendly atmosphere.  In addition to pizza, Italia also serves up standard Mediterranean fare like hummus, falafel, and grape leaves.  Still, if you’re going to Italia, it seems like you should get the pizza.

I will definitely be heading back here for more awesome vegan pizza.  A small is perfect for two people, or for one if you want leftovers.  You should know that the Teese doesn’t really reheat that well in the microwave (I learned this), and you might want to heat up your leftover pizza in the oven.  I’m just so excited that there’s a place in town serving faux cheese.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about it until now.

Italia Pizza & Pasta

1600 Woodland St.

Nashville, TN 37206

615.262.5001

Website

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine