Vegan Food in Nashville + a Nashville Recap
Heyo! Long time no blog :0. I haven’t been putting as much time/ effort into my blog this summer and I am working on changing that! I wanted to do a little recap of the vegan food that I ate while I was in Nashville over the 4th of July. Overall, I was kind of disappointed with the food we got from restaurants. We actually only ate out twice and I made our dishes for the other meals. Oh and by “we”, I mean my sister and I. If you are ever in the Nashville area, maybe try these places out- or maybe not ;).
I was pretty excited about the vegan food options in Nashville before arriving since there aren’t too many vegan restaurants over here in the dairy state. Seriously. It is not just a stereotype that everyone from Wisconsin is obsessed with cheese. They really are. Cheese curds are basically their own food group around here. So you can probably imagine my excitement to go a city that is a little more progressive when it comes to healthy eating.
While the food didn’t really add up, all of the outdoor activities in the city sure mad up for it!
I arrived to my sister’s place late on Friday night so we just headed to bed and woke up early on Saturday morning to go hiking. The trail was amazing- lots of hills, steep inclines, rocks, and great trails. I love hikes that are more challenging and really get you sweating, so this was right up my alley. After hiking we planned to go to this new restaurant in East Nashville called Graze for their Grand Opening event. They were having $5 plate specials which was super exciting.
The food was actually pretty good, but again, nothing spectacular. It tasted really similar to food that I make for myself at home- light, healthy, and fresh. The only down side was that the servings were so small! It was more of a side dish serving size- like something you would get from a “small plates” restaurant. We assumed that the dishes normally were larger when you pay full price.
We got this “caprese salad” that was made with tofu, tomato, arugula, basil, and some sort of balsamic glaze to share. It was pretty tasty! I would eat it again for sure.
We both got the Southwestern Quinoa Salad (I’m not sure if that was actually the name of it) and it was yummy! Only thing was the serving size was tiny. This picture is pretty zoomed in, but this plate is the size of a side dish plate/ small plate. I would probably eat at least 3x this amount if I was eating it at home. I didn’t try the dressing since the dish was already so flavorful, but it was some sort of vegan chipotle dressing.
We also each got a glass of red wine since they were running a 2 for 1 deal! I got a Malbec (kinda disappointing – I didn’t like it too much) and my sister got a Cabernet.
We then walked around a downtown area, then went to Whole Foods and went shopping. There weren’t any samples at Whole Foods. We were still kind of hungry so that was a major #bummersummer (shoutout to my sister Becky who coined that term).
We also picked up a few things for dinner to make some sweet potato-black bean tacos. They were super delicious, but not esthetically appealing, but I will include a photo anyway.
I saluted some red onion, green pepper, garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne in a pan, then added the black beans and cubed, roasted sweet potato. We topped corn tortillas with hummus, spinach, the taco mixture and some salsa and guac! It was super delicious and filling.
The next day we woke up and drove to this river to go canoeing. We canoed 11 miles I believe and it was a blast. It also doubled as a really good arm workout. After we finished canoeing we planned on going to this raw vegan restaurant in East Nashville, but it was closed. We didn’t realize that it is never open on Sundays, and it was closed the next day as well since it was the fourth of July. It was a major bummer.
Instead, we decided to head back to my sisters place and cook our own meal. I had scoped out what she had in her fridge and pantry and brainstormed what to make on the drive home. We decided on a greek style meal loaded with veggies, beans, and rice.
My sister and I both agreed that this was the best meal of the whole trip. I made a cucumber-tomato-avocado salad (one of my fav simple dishes- definitely need to post the recipe for that), roasted chickpeas, and greek style rice. We also added some hummus, spinach, and extra veggies.
That night we went out on Broadway (aka tourist nation) and jammed to some country music and danced for a while. We called it a night fairly early (i don’t know maybe around 12?) and headed home. The next morning we got up and went to a coffee shop to study for a while, went shopping, and then headed home to get ready for our Fourth of July festivities. We planned on stopping at a little Vegan restaurant on the way called the Sunflower Cafe. We didn’t realize that it was more of a “Chipotle Style” restaurant. My sister got a vegan veggie burger of some sort and I got a ginger tofu bowl. We both didn’t even make it half way through our dinners before we started feeling sick. I don’t know what it was about the food but it was so rich and heavy. I think it must have been laden with lots of oil/ fat which I am not used to eating. I didn’t even bother taking photos of those meals.
We were both really disappointed in that meal, and felt SO sick. I have not felt that sick after eating since before I went vegan. Luckily, we ere headed to the concert next where we had to walk a bit before getting to the amphitheater. We both felt a little bit better after walking around and slowly got to feeling like ourselves over the next 24 hours. We waited in the rain for a while (well under a building of sorts) for the concert to start. Maddie & Tae performed along with Sheryl Crow. They were both AMAZING! We were standing only a few rows back for Maddie & Tae and made our way to the front row by the time Sheryl Crow went on. I’m kinda obsessed with Maddie & Tae’s album now. Their music reminds me so much of the Dixie Chicks. Go check them out if you haven’t heard much of their music already!
After the concert we headed home, went to bed and I got up the next morning to run before heading home. It felt so good to sweat out all of that nasty food. I picked up my friend from her friend’s place (we drove down together) and we made the trek back to Chicago.
Have you ever been to Nashville? What is your favorite restaurant there? Do you like country music? What did you get up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments!