Nashvegan

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

The Dog of Nashville November 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 12:13 pm
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Custom Dog with Tater Tots

I adore The Dog of Nashville.  They’re (surprisingly) super vegan-friendly and endlessly customizable.  You can dine al fresco and happy hour is every day from 5:00 PM – close.  Order the veggie dog on the sausage roll and top away to your heart’s content.  The dog above is topped with ketchup, spicy brown mustard, raw onions, relish, and sauteed mushrooms.  Now, the mushrooms (and other sauteed veggies) are not usually vegan–they’re prepared with butter.  If you’re there early in the day, around when the place first opens, if you ask nicely they will cook them in oil for you, but this is not always possible as they prep all vegetables in the first few hours the place is open.  I was lucky this time, but I have not managed to get butter-free mushrooms on any other visit.

Custom Dog with Fries

If I can’t get sauteed veggies, I like to get sauerkraut.  It doesn’t make for as nice a photo, since you can’t see anything underneath all that cabbage, but it makes for an excellent hot dog.  You may have noticed my arsenal of condiments at the top of the picture: they have a variety of freshly-made condiments every day.  Be sure to put some Dog Sauce on yours, it’s amazing and available in a pump near the soft drink dispenser.  They also have a beer mustard that they make, but it’s insanely hot and I don’t like it all that much.  Also, on this particular visit, they had a habanero-pineapple mustard.  Talk about amazing!!  I haven’t seen it since, but I’m sure it will be back again sometime.  Their fries are truly excellent, and tie with Beyond the Edge for my favorite fries in town.

I’ve never had a hot dog here I didn’t like.  I didn’t ask what brand they use, but they taste like LightLife Smart Dogs.  They’re pretty small so get a side of fries or tater tots for maximum full-ness.  And get creative with your toppings–in addition to what you see here, they have salsa, guacamole, pickle spears, jalapenos, refried beans (I don’t know their vegan status), diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sport peppers, and cucumbers.  The Dog is perfect for right before or right after your movie at the Belcourt, or on those days you feel like window shopping in Hillsboro Village.  Also, it’s a perfect place to take your omnivorous friends and relatives who are frightened of vegetables.  Go there–you won’t regret it.

The Dog of Nashville

2127 Belcourt Avenue

Nashville, TN 37212

615.292.2204

Website (it’s kind of hard to navigate)

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Beyond the Edge October 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 11:37 am
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Behold, the beer selection

Behold, the beer selection

Beyond the Edge has a fantastic beer selection.  They also have a fantastic buy-one-get-one happy hour special.  And they have fantastic vegan food.  I’ve written about this East Nashville gem before here and I will likely write about it again.  It’s good, and it’s one of those places that keeps me coming back with varied menu options and, frankly, an awesome beer selection.  Look at all those taps!  And they have four kinds of Yazoo!  It’s the only place in town of which I am aware where you can sample Yazoo’s A Beer Named Sue, which is a mysterious dark confection, and can potentially attribute the gravel in its guts and the spit in its eye to that name.

Custom Wrap with Fries

Custom Wrap with Fries

A commenter on my last Beyond the Edge post informed me that the buns the restaurant uses are not vegan.  I’m not sure if they are or not (as when I asked I was told they were) but to be safe, I opted for a bun-less meal this time.  What you see in the photo is not on the menu.  It’s kind of a cross between the veggie wrap and the veggie burger pizza wrap.  Kudos to Beyond the Edge for (1) accepting a custom order; (2) not messing up a custom order; and (3) adding stuff to a custom order to make it even more awesome.  I basically asked for the veggie burger pizza wrap but with more of a Tex-Mex twist.  Since the veggie burger is a black bean patty, I thought it would be complemented nicely by avocado and salsa (instead of the cheese and marinara that came with the pizza wrap).  The cook really went above and beyond, filling the wrap with lettuce, tomato, onion, carrots, and red cabbage.  I dipped it in the little cup of salsa that came on the side.  It was AWESOME.  The blend of flavors was really fantastic – spicy burger and salsa, cool avocado and veggies.  The carrots gave it a nice crunch factor.  Plus, Beyond the Edge has my favorite fries in town.  Look how delicious they are!  This was one of the better lunches I’ve had in a while.  I’d love to see it on the menu permanently … so you should go there and ask for it.

Beyond the Edge

112 South 11th Street

Nashville, TN 37206

615.226.EDGE

Website – be careful, it plays music.

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Blackstone Brewery October 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 9:43 am
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French Fries

French Fries

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.

Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice

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.

Blackstone Brewery

1918 West End Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

615.327.9969

Website

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Lime September 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 1:34 pm
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Mojitos

Mojitos

My trip to Lime was a mixed experience.  In the interest of full disclosure, I was skeptical before I arrived (partially due to mixed online reviews and partially due to the lack of basically any information about the place on their website), but I like to think that I didn’t let some preconceived notions I may have had taint my visit.

Let me begin by discussing the portions of my experience that had nothing to do with the food.  I met my dining companion at Lime at 6:00 on a weeknight.  When I got up to the bar, the bartender told me that happy hour did not end at 7:00 anymore, but in fact ended at 6:00.  Had I known this, I would have gone earlier.  Also, since when does any happy hour end at 6:00?  That’s not very happy.  That was a minor annoyance, and I wasn’t going to let it ruin my time with my friend.  But it didn’t stop there.  We had a misunderstanding with our hostess.  She told us that “dinner” was served inside and on the side patio, but we could sit on the front patio.  We thought that this meant if we stayed inside or sat on the side patio that we would have to order dinner, which we were not sure we wanted to do, so we headed out to the front patio.  When our server finally arrived, he told us (and not too politely I might add) that we were not permitted to order anything off the dinner menu out front.  We could basically only order from the left side of the menu, and the right side was off limits.  So we were further annoyed, but didn’t want to switch tables and servers, especially as we already had the mojitos you see above, which were fantastic.  It was just kind of an annoying experience.  No one was really rude to us or anything, and on a subsequent visit for a friend’s birthday (I only had drinks that time) both the hostess and our server were really accommodating.

Salsa Duo and Fries with Guava Ketchup

Salsa Duo and Fries with Guava Ketchup

My dining companion and I decided to order the dip trio.  The reason you only see two dips here is because she is omni and we compromised that one dip would be cheese.  Actually, it was cheese and lobster and bacon.  And for some reason, if you wanted “avocado” as a dip (which I assume meant guacamole and not simply sliced or smashed avocado) you had to add $3.  Which seems a little ridiculous seeing as how you could select a dip containing lobster for no additional cost, but I digress.  The dip on the left is a mango salsa (I forget the exact name) and the dip on the right is Salsa Rojo.  The mango one was really really good.  We definitely ate all of it.  The salsa rojo was standard, and could have used a bit more of a bite, but if you like your salsa mild and tomato-y I would recommend it.  The fries and guava ketchup were really outstanding, as far as fries go.  That ketchup is great.  I just wish the portion was larger.  Also, it was listed as a side dish on the right side of the menu, which was supposed to be forbidden, but our server let us order it.  I liked the presentation as the fries were served wrapped in a square of the Nashville Scene.

Would I go to Lime again?  Yes, if someone else wanted to go there, but it would not be on the top of my list if someone asked me where I wanted to eat/grab drinks.  The decor in the restaurant is beautiful and they have some really creative dishes.  There were some entrees that seemed vegan-friendly, but I did not ask about them since I was not permitted to order an entree on the front patio.  If you’re planning a visit, keep in mind that happy hour ends at 6:00 so you can try to save your pennies.  Oh, and get the fries with guava ketchup.  Because that ketchup is awesome.

Lime

1904 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 340-0762

Website – there is no info here besides the address and phone number, but I figure it will be updated eventually.

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Crow’s Nest August 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 9:24 am
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Veggie Burger and Blue Moon

Veggie Burger and Blue Moon

I had never been to Crow’s Nest before I wrote this post.  In fact, I had never even heard of it before I went there.  It’s basically a sports bar, but it’s two stories and it has two patios: one on the ground level one upstairs (two, really, if you count the one out front and the one out back as separate patios).  Unfortunately, there is not much parking.  The Green Hills Kroger is just across the way, and they have a ton of parking spaces (far more than are necessary for the shoppers) but they have all these signs about how you shouldn’t park there or you will be towed.  Don’t tell anyone, but I parked at Kroger and didn’t get towed.  Do that at your own risk.  I met up with big group of people here, and it was a good setting for that.  When I first saw the menu, I thought I would be eating french fries and a side salad, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a vegan veggie burger.

Black Bean Burger and Fries

Black Bean Burger and Fries

This is a Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle patty.  A lot of local restaurants serve this patty, and it’s a reliable standby.  You can also pick them up at most of the local grocery stores.  I asked them for some fresh avocado to top it with (which is the best way to eat one of these: avocado and salsa) but they didn’t have any.  I’ve had a lot of these particular patties and they’re really good as long as they weren’t cooked in a microwave.  This one clearly was not, plus the bun was toasted–bonus!  I didn’t ask if they cooked the patty on a separate section of the grill, but if that’s something that’s important to you I would suggest that you inquire about it.  I also didn’t ask if the fries were fried separately from things like chicken tenders.  These are things that are not important to my personal definition of veganism, but I understand that they are important to many vegans, so be sure to ask for yourself.  Also, every time you talk to a server and say “I am vegan and I need vegan food,” we increase the demand for vegan products and awareness of veganism in general.  On an unrelated note, it was happy hour when I was there, and beer prices were reasonable.  Decent selection.

The best thing about Crow’s Nest?  It’s just down the block from Greenhouse Bar, one of the best bars in the city.  They don’t serve food so I’m not featuring them, but you should definitely check it out as soon as possible, even though getting in and out of Green Hills is ridiculous.

Crow’s Nest

2221 Bandywood Drive

Nashville, TN 37215

(615) 783-0720

Website – if you check out the drink and food menus on their website, there are hilarious misspellings, like “Cutty Shark.”  Additionally, Yazoo is listed as an import.  That’s right, imported all the way from the old Marathon Motorworks building.

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