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

Germantown Cafe February 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 9:42 am
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House Salad

I went to Germantown Cafe during Nashville Originals Restaurant Week.  During Restaurant Week, Nashville Originals member restaurants offer specially priced prix fixe menus and, typically, specialty menu items.  Germantown Cafe (and Allium for that matter) simply offered their regular menus at a fixed price that included a salad, entree, and dessert.

I began my meal with the house salad topped with either Raspberry or Balsamic Vinaigrette, I can’t recall.  I should really start carrying a notepad.  Anyway, I do remember that the salad was pretty good as far as house salads go.  It was just greens, red cabbage, and carrots, but the dressing was really tasty and everything tasted really fresh.  I also had the house Pinot Grigio which I liked, but I’m no wine expert so who knows.  I liked it and that’s what counts, right? Also, they brought out a bread dish but the bread wasn’t vegan so I didn’t get to partake.

Green Plate

For my entree I ordered the Green Plate, veganized.  Normally, everything on this plate is coated in a fine layer of butter.  Gross, right?  So, that was nixed.  Next, they subbed out the Butternut Squash Gratin for brown rice–downgrade.  So what was on my green plate, you ask?  Garlic-marinated portobello mushroom, steamed spinach, steamed asparagus, brown rice, and that little side dish of sauce.  The spinach was bland, period.  It seemed that it was completely unseasoned.  I absolutely love asparagus so I was pleased, but at the same time it could have been seasoned in some way, or at least roasted to bring out the flavors.  The rice (which you can’t see because it’s underneath the asparagus) tasted like rice–also unseasoned.  The mushroom was AMAZING.  Seriously, I ate every last bite.  It was so very very delicious.  The texture and flavor were perfect.  Also, I don’t know what that little sauce was, but it really blew me away.  It was kind of overwhelming on the spinach, but it really took the asparagus and mushroom to the next level.  I want to have a bottle of it in my fridge at all times.

Fruit Bowl

For dessert I had … this bowl of fruit.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a bowl of fruit.  The fruit was good and all.  And it’s not like I was expecting this restaurant to have some kind of phenomenal vegan dessert, especially since I didn’t request one in advance.  It’s just, you know, fruit.

The verdict?  I don’t know that I will be back at Germantown Cafe unless their menu changes.  My salad was good but standard.  My green plate was mostly flavorless except for the mushroom cap and sauce, and the substitute of plain brown rice for butternut squash was kind of a disappointment.  My dessert was fruit.  Worst of all, I was still kind of hungry when I was done with all this food.  There was no solid protein source in the meal.  Germantown Cafe has a really creative menu, and my dining companion was thrilled with an order of New Orleans Shrimp.  The restaurant has a lot of vegan potential, it just needs to be more fully realized–the chefs are clearly skilled.  Also, I don’t think I saved any money by going during Restaurant Week–I think I would have actually spent less if I ordered my items a la carte.

The best thing about Germantown Cafe was not my food but the decor, view, and ambiance.  The place is really beautifully designed, and we got a table by the window with a fantastic view of the downtown skyline.  It really is a good date spot.  Just don’t expect your dish to wow you.

Germantown Cafe

1200 Fifth Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37208



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Frist Center Cafe November 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 5:44 pm
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Frist - portobello sandwich

Portobello Sandwich

Who doesn’t love the Frist Center?  I certainly love checking out the art, especially when my student ID will get me free admittance (every Thursday and Friday from 5:00 – 9:00 PM).  What I did not know until relatively recently is that the Frist Cafe is a happening lunch spot.  The dining area is really inviting–loving the fresh flowers on the tables–and there’s a great patio if you’re in the mood for al fresco.  Also, their menu, while not a smorgasboard of vegan delights, is surprisingly veg-friendly.

The Portobello Mushroom Sandwich is supposed to be served with basil pesto and fontina cheese.  Omit these two ingredients and you have yourself a vegan sandwich, consisting of a portobello mushroom cap, sliced tomato, and red onion, served on focaccia.  I specifically had the cashier check on the vegan status of the bread and the mushroom cap.  I asked for balsamic vinaigrette on the side so the sandwich wouldn’t be too dry, and was kind of disappointed when it came in a pouch, but at least I could read the ingredients list for myself.  I really loved this sandwich, even though putting salad dressing on it made a huge mess everywhere.  The mushroom cap was really tasty and filling.  If I was having it again, I would probably add some lettuce.

I had a fruit cup as my side, and it really hit the spot.  It complemented the sandwich quite nicely.  One of my dining companions had the potato chips, for which the Frist is apparently famous, which are made fresh on-site.  I had a couple and they were quite delicious, but I’m still glad I got the fruit.

I liked the Frist Cafe.  I’ll probably be back.  They have some salads that could probably be veganized and they occasionally have vegan soups.  Plus, I love the Frist.

Frist Center Cafe

919 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203



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Beyond the Edge September 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nashvegan @ 3:09 pm
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My happy hour beer and the vegetarian menu

My happy hour beer and the vegetarian menu

Beyond the Edge is a really neat little sports bar in East Nashville.  I really dig this place.  They have a fantastic beer selection, great happy hour specials, and a substantial vegetarian menu.  Plus there’s a patio.  I love hanging out on the patio when the weather is nice, enjoying drinks and foods with my East Nasty pals.  While their menu is available on their website, I included this photo of it for your convenience.  Note that “Albacore Tuna Melt” is listed as a vegetarian sandwich, and “Albacore Tuna Wrap” is listed as a vegetarian wrap.  I will forgive them this mistake since I like the place so much, but it’s still annoying.

Chips & Salsa

Chips & Salsa

Had chips and salsa to start.  It was pretty standard.  A very watery but quite flavorful salsa with thicker-than-average chips.  There’s not really much more to say about it.

Black Bean Burger with Chips and Fruit

Black Bean Burger with Chips and Fruit

Beyond the Edge serves the Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle patty, which is always delicious.  The bun was soft and yummy, and toasted to a nice golden brown.  There are cucumbers underneath the patty, and lettuce and tomato on the top half of the bun.  Now, I asked for avocado to top the burger, and was informed they did not have avocado.  This was confusing to me because avocado is listed as the first ingredient in the Veggie Wrap.  I also asked if they had pico de gallo, and when my server said yes I asked for a side of that to top the burger.  As you can see from the photo, what I actually received was a cup of chopped tomato.  Disappointing.  I just spooned some salsa on my burger, but it wasn’t what I wanted.  I declined the french fries (which are quite good – seasoned curly fries) in favor of potato chips and a fruit cup.  Those Sweet Maui Onion chips are effing amazing.  The fruit cup was not very good.  I was expecting fresh fruit, like cantaloupe and honeydew and grapes or something, but what I got seemed like it came from a can and there was a lot of liquid in the cup.  Not impressive.

Will I be going back to Beyond the Edge?  Absolutely.  I really love the vibe, and the beer selection, and the patio, and the veggie burger.  And next time, I’ll be passing on the chips and salsa and fruit cup and I’ll stick with the fries.

Dig in!

Dig in!

Beyond the Edge

112 11th St

Nashville, TN 37206

(615) 226-EDGE

Website – a word of warning, it plays music.

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ETA: A commenter noted that the bun is not vegan.  On my visit, I asked if the bun was vegan and my server told me that it was, but it’s possible my server was incorrect.  If you’re dining at Beyond the Edge, I would recommend you ask about the bun and make your own assessment.  Also, apparently they can sub out a different kind of bread, and you could also probably request to have the patty in a wrap.