Nashvegan

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

Flyte February 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 10:56 am
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Amuse Bouche

A friend and I visited Flyte World Dining and Wine during Restaurant Week.  Last September.  Hey, sometimes it takes me a long time to write about things.  We specifically chose Flyte because their Restaurant Week menu said “vegan options available.”  Vegan options available?!  Sign me up!

Besides having great food, Flyte is a beautiful restaurant space.  The lighting is not so dim that you can’t see but not so bright that it doesn’t feel cozy.  Exposed beams and pipes lend an industrial feel, and striking artwork adorns the walls.  Breaks in the warmly hued walls reveal bare bricks.  Seriously, this place is lovely.

After being seated, we informed our server that we were both vegan.  The server was very knowledgeable and knew exactly which menu items were appropriate for us.  We were both surprised when, after ordering, we received the amuse bouche pictured above.  I mean, really, vegan amuse bouche?  Clearly, this place was class all the way.

Salad

What you see here is a simple but very delicious salad.  Mixed baby greens and tomatoes are served on top of a pile of pesto.  Vegan pesto.  Pesto sans cheese.  I could hardly believe my good fortune.  A few pine nuts are hanging out on the margins for good measure.  Also, in the top right?  Yeah, I have three glasses of wine.  That’s because Flyte is known for its flights (get it? get it?).  You can choose from all sorts of flights of three, like French whites, Spanish reds … you get the idea.  I’m a sucker for any kind of “sampler” so I was sold on the idea.

Fried Stuffed Poblano Pepper
Baked Stuffed Poblano Pepper

My dining companion and I ordered exactly the same thing for all courses.  Up until this point, our food had been identical.  When our entrees came out, they were slightly different.  Our server informed us that the chef had prepared our entrees differently so we would have some variety.  We both had the stuffed poblano pepper, but one was baked and one was fried.  They don’t look so different in the photos, but they certainly had different flavors and textures.  I was presented with the baked version and my friend was presented with the fried version, but we ended up swapping.

What we have here is a giant poblano pepper stuffed with tasty things that you can’t really see (corn, beans, spices, goodness) served atop a grain whose name I cannot recall, delicious sauce, and a vegetable medley of zucchini, squash, and bell pepper.  This is an entree that was creative, bursting with flavor, and more than filling.  This is an entree that features vegetables as the main event and not just a side.  This, my faithful readers, is the gold standard in vegan fine dining.

Sorbet “Flyte”

Dessert was, appropriately, a “Flyte” of three refreshing sorbets.  Berry, blood orange, and lemon sorbets brought a refreshing end to the meal.  The blood orange was my favorite.

As soon as money starts growing on trees, I’ll be back to Flyte.  I’m exaggerating a bit about the price–it’s not exorbitantly expensive, but it’s a little out of my grad-student I-eat-a-lot-of-peanut-butter price range.  The next time Restaurant Week rolls around, you should absolutely make reservations for a $30.11 prix fixe world of awesome.  And, you know, think about treating your favorite vegan blogger.

Flyte World Dining and Wine

718 Division Street

Nashville, TN 37203

615.255.6200

Website

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Get Sconed February 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 9:29 am
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This is a special guest post from Kenny Torrella of Murfreesboro. Kenny is head of MTSU student organization Raiders Against Animal Cruelty and an all-around cool dude. So, take it away Kenny!

Who says veganism has to be a sacrifice? When I heard that there was a bakery in town that was interested in offering vegan options, I gave them a few vegan cookbooks, ran over the basics of vegan baking, and set up a taste-test meeting for a week later.

I brought the best vegan baker I knew, a vegetarian food-lover, and our non-vegetarian friend nicknamed “Cupcake. They had already set up a mountain of vegan donuts and desserts for us to test–glazed, jelly-filled, apple fritters, raspberry glazed brownies, and more. They nailed it! Everything tasted perfect–the donuts were just how I remember them and the non-vegans couldn’t believe they were eating vegan donuts that tasted just like regular donuts.

In only 3 weeks they went from having no vegan options, to having a huge vegan menu. Here’s what they have that’s vegan: glazed donuts, chocolate glazed donuts, jelly-filled donuts, donut holes, apple fritter donuts, cinnamon twist donuts, raspberry glaze brownies, chocolate glaze and peanut-topped brownies, coffee w/soymilk, hummus + pita plate, tomato soup, a grilled vegan-cheese sandwich … and they’re still experimenting to expand their vegan menu! Some days they don’t have certain donuts but they’re open to requests and suggestions.

My review: like I said, all of the vegan donuts taste just like regular donuts. It’s magic. The brownies are great, too. The hummus is made from scratch and is really good. The grilled vegan-cheese sandwich is really good–it’s hard to get vegan cheese to taste like dairy cheese so it’s not the best thing I’ve ever had, but I’d order it again. I don’t like the tomato soup, but tomato soup just isn’t my thing anyways. I’m also not a coffee drinker but my friends like it (it’s roasted in Nashville).

If you’re planning on making the trip to Murfreesboro, make sure to call in advance to see if they have some vegan goodies left (sometimes they sell out before the day ends). Though, they will hold them for you if you ask!

Get Sconed Bakery
1875 Memorial Blvd.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
615.410.3528

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Cafe Coco January 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 11:31 am
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Hummus Plate and Chips & Salsa

What could be better than an independently owned neighborhood cafe that is open 24 hours a day with clearly marked vegan menu options and raw vegan chocolate cake in the cooler?  Nothing, that’s what.  Cafe Coco is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Nashville and I’m really surprised that I haven’t featured it yet.  There is nothing not to love about this place, from the decor featuring local artists to the friendly vibe to the helpful staff to the fabulous food.  The patio is amazing when the weather is nice (which it wasn’t on this visit).  If you haven’t been there yet, go right now.  Don’t even finish reading this post, just go.  You can thank me later.

Pictured above are the appetizers of champions: hummus plate and chips & salsa.  Cafe Coco has my favorite salsa in the city, hands down.  It is so good.  If you’re thinking about getting a side of it with your meal, stop.  You need more salsa than that.  Get the appetizer so your salsa needs can be fully met.  The hummus is nothing to sneeze at though I could hardly say it’s the best in town.  Still, it’s really thick and the plates shown above can make a substantial meal by themselves–but why stop there?

Three Bean Vegan Chili and Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

It seems that Cafe Coco’s “soup of the day” is always Three Bean Vegan Chili … but I’m not complaining!  This stuff is good.  It is just spicy enough to warm you up when it’s cold without being so spicy that you don’t want to eat it.  I recognize kidney beans and black beans, not really sure what the third bean is but I don’t really care because it’s delicious.  It is a little more watery than I like my chili, but for whatever reason it works.  I recommend crumbling up those multi-grain crackers and adding them directly to the chili for maximum chili enjoyment.

The cake is a new addition.  Cafe Coco has long had tempting-looking (dairy-laden) desserts in a cooler case near the register.  Imagine my surprise to peer into this case and view RAW VEGAN CAKE.  I wish I had written down the name of the woman who makes the desserts, but I didn’t, so if you go there check on that for me and let me know what it is so I can update this post.  I was speaking with my cashier about the addition of vegan cake and she told me the dessert woman recently took a raw foods cooking class and is now really into making raw desserts.  Kudos to her because this cake is A-MAZ-ING.  It was so rich I almost couldn’t eat it (note I said “almost.”)  It took a couple days to eat the whole slice.  The next time you’re there, grab a slice.  Don’t think about it, just do it.

If you haven’t been to Cafe Coco before you’re missing out.  In addition to the above foods, I also really like “The Skinny” which is a hummus and vegetable wrap–just omit the cheese and pesto.  Plus, it’s open 24 hours a day!  And there’s free delivery at lunch time!  WOW!

Cafe Coco

210 Louise Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

615.321.2626

Website

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Bound’ry November 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 2:16 pm
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I love Bound’ry, even though this was only my second-ever full meal there.  I hang out at the bar every now and then, and they can always scrounge up some kind of vegan appetizer for me.  Plus, the bar has this awesome chilled section that you can set your drink on so it will never get warm.  I like to leave my handprint in the frost, but I digress.  I love the creativity of the menu, the willingness of the kitchen staff to make me special food that’s not even on the menu, the kindness of the servers and bartenders, and the awesome decor.  I’ve never had a bad experience at Bound’ry.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I decided to have my birthday dinner at Bound’ry, partially because that’s where I had it last year (while still lacto/ovo) and partially due to The Traveling Vegetarian’s encouraging post about how vegan-friendly they can be. I made my reservation a week in advance and indicating that I was vegan. They assured me I could be accommodated, and boy was I ever accommodated.

Bound'ry - salad

Bound'ry Salad

My server, who had celiac’s, and whose business partner was vegan, was awesome.  He offered to whip me up a vegan appetizer but I declined since my dining companions were not getting any.  I did take him up on ordering a salad, seen above.  The Bound’ry Salad consists of Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy black eyed peas, and usually ham–remove the ham and it’s vegan.  I chose balsamic vinaigrette as my dressing.  This salad was great for being so simple.  The dressing was just right (not too thick but not too runny/oily), and the crispy black eyed peas were an awesome addition.  There was also an elaborate bread arrangement that I forgot to photograph, all of which was vegan.  It was served with several different butters, but my server brought me out a dish of olive oil for dipping.

Bound'ry - entree

My Tofu Entree

My entree was not on the menu.  In fact, there was nothing with tofu on the menu.  When my server took my order for the entree, I told him I thought I would be having the Bound’ry Falafel since it was the only vegan thing on the menu.  He stopped me and told me I could have basically whatever I wanted.  This was too much choice for me, and while I stared at him dumbstruck, he asked if I would like something with tofu.  I told him that would be perfect and off he went.  I had absolutely no idea what would come out, and one of my dining companions expressed worry based on his experiences with chefs who do not know how to work with tofu properly.  Was he ever proven wrong!

This dish was AMAZING.  Seriously.  It blew me away.  I’m not really sure what it was served with, beyond being able to identify the tofu (obviously), black eyed peas (not crispy this time), carrots, and what I think were summer squash and zucchini.  I have no idea what that orange sauce was but it was delicious.  Everything was incredibly flavorful, and that orange sauce really tied it all together.  The tofu was the perfect texture–nice and firm on the outside and slightly softer on the inside.  This dish was so filling that I could not even eat it all, which is saying something, because I can eat a lot.  It also reheated well a few days later.

Bound'ry - falafel

Bound'ry Falafel

One of my dining companions ordered the Bound’ry Falafel, so I had him snap a photo.  It’s totally vegan and served with hummus, tabouli, naan, cherry tomatoes, and yummy roasted baby eggplant.  This is your vegan standby on the Bound’ry menu and the most affordable entree.  I didn’t eat any of this (too full from my own food) but I’ve had the hummus at the bar several times and can testify to its awesomeness.  Honestly, I’ve never had any food at Bound’ry that was less than stellar and I’m sure this was no exception, and my friend who was eating it said it was great.

Bound'ry - dessert

Dessert

Unfortunately, I was not able to snap a stellar photo of the dessert, but it was my birthday, get off my back.  Bound’ry does not typically offer vegan dessert.  I made my reservation a week in advance and spoke with Natalie, a manager, who told me she would discuss my vegan dessert request with the pastry chef and get back to me.  She called me back a couple of days later saying they could accommodate me and asking if I liked pumpkin.  I responded in the affirmative and that was it.

My dessert came out with candles.  I don’t really know what it was, but it was some kind of pumpkin custard-like substance.  It tasted a lot like pumpkin pie filling, and it had nuts (pecans?) in it.  There were also these little scone-like biscuit things, and fresh strawberries, and little chocolate sticks.  I was so excited to have a vegan dessert, because this is the first real vegan dessert I’ve had in this city (I don’t count cookies as dessert–cookies are not a dessert, they are a snack).

In sum, I love Bound’ry.  They have an awesome beer selection and cocktail menu, the food is phenomenal, and the service is impeccable.  It’s pricey, but totally worth it for that special occasion.  They definitely made my birthday memorable.  And I bet I’ll be back next year!

Bound’ry

911 20th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212

615.321.3043

Website

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FiddleCakes October 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 1:19 pm
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FiddleCakes - Baked Goods

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie & Chewy Oatmeal, Fruit and Nut Bar

When I read that someone in Nashville went and opened up a vegan-friendly bakery, I almost peed myself with excitement.  I went that very same day to see what they had.  Dreams of fluffy vegan cupcakes danced in my head.  Imagine my disappointment when there were no vegan cupcakes to be found.  There were only two vegan baked goods in the case, and I bought both of them, but more on them in a minute.

FiddleCakes is in the middle of that awesome part of 8th Ave. that’s home to thrift and vintage stores and my beloved Grimey’s.  I was worried I was going to miss it while driving there, but they have a huge pistachio-colored sign.  The interior of this place is simply adorable.  There’s a ton of SPACE for sitting and chatting with your friends over coffee, or working towards a deadline with vegan cookies their free WiFi.  The bakery case is front and center, and there’s also a cooler full of sandwiches.  This is their soft opening, and they’ll be having a grand opening sometime in November–don’t worry, I’ll let you know when.

On my visit to FiddleCakes, I was the only one in the place, but the proprietress informed me that the place is quite busy around lunch time.  The vegan soup of the day was Mushroom Barley, but I did not partake–I was there for baked goods.  I also scoped the sandwich selection and saw a Curried Tofu sandwich that would probably be delish.  As mentioned above, I grabbed the two vegan treats available that day: a chewy bar and a soft cookie.  The bar was chewy as promised, and flavorful.  But the cookie completely blew me away!  It was awesome!  And just in time for Halloween!  Look how many exclamation points I’m using!

Bottom line: head down to FiddleCakes.  Do it now.  Right this second.  Get a cookie.  I’m serious.

 

FiddleCakes

2206 8th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37204

615.457.2127

Website

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