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Hanes and I were about to go to Nashville, TN, and I did the most important thing a vegan can do before going on a trip:

I went to HappyCow.net!

HappyCowBefore going anywhere, I always use this site to look up vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly places to eat. They have reviews, price guides, and maps. It’s a vegan’s best buddy.

This handy tool has led me to some fabulous finds in far-flung cities, including Dolce Vegan in Florence, Italy (coming up in a future post!), Mildred’s in London (click here for my Vegan in London post), Real Food Daily in Los Angeles, and more.

And Happy Cow did not disappoint when I typed ‘Nashville’ into its search bar. This time Happy Cow led me to….The Wild Cow!

Situated in a hip strip of shops and restaurants in East Nashville, The Wild Cow was a cozy retreat from the early November cold outside. The walls were filled with pictures of peaceful cows, and the bar was stacked with all kinds of vegan sweets.

I was in the right place.

We were hungry, so we asked the waiter for recommendations on starters before we even looked at the menu.

He recommended an appetizer of spinach and artichoke dip, which was creamy with a subtle, almost smoked flavor:

dipHe also suggested the popular Caesar salad (have I mentioned I’m a sucker for Caesar salad?) with tangy, house-made dressing, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cashew “parmesan” on top.

salad

After the dip and salad satisfaction, I looked over the menu, and I noticed a very interesting statement:

sign

No, not that their tofu and tempeh is organic (though I like that!). The interesting thing was that they specified that the dairy cheese they use is rennet-free.

Most people don’t know that the majority of cheese out there is NOT vegetarian.

Dairy cheese usually contains rennet, enzymes which come from the lining of baby cow’s stomachs. Gross! And sad! Another reason to use vegan cheese instead… 🙂

It’s unusual for a vegetarian restaurant to specify that they use rennet-free cheese, so I was glad to see that they were truly vegetarian by using cheese that didn’t have animal stomach in it.

Back to the appetizing stuff!

It took me a minute to decide what I wanted as an entree from the menu because it all sounded so delicious, and all of it was vegan, unless you specifically asked for dairy cheese.

I finally settled on their very popular and hearty Beans & Greens, kicked up a notch by upgrading to Buffalo style.

This amazing dish (that I wish I had in front of me right now) featured garlicky kale and pinto beans over brown rice, topped with Buffalo tofu, shredded carrots, and vegan ranch dressing.

My mouth is watering as I type!

beans and greens

Hanes chose the Reuben sandwich (have I mentioned he’s a sucker for Reubens?) on gorgeous marble rye with a side of lentil soup, dolloped with house-made vegan sour cream. He was equally pleased with his:

reuben

When I got up to choose from the desserts displayed at the bar, I noticed the cute stickers and photo of an adopted farm animal from Farm Sanctuary on their refrigerated display. The food had already made me fall in love with this place, but the sight of the rescued turkey made me fall head over heels!:

fridge

After that huge meal, I chose wisely and only got one cupcake, demonstrating, I thought, tremendous self restraint.

Vanilla with Oreo and banana - incredible.

Vanilla with Oreo and banana – incredible.

Next time I’m in Nashville, I’m going back for sure for those Beans & Greens. And if you happen to find yourself in Music City, head over to The Wild Cow and tell them What I Vegan sent you (with kisses)!

To Cows of All Kinds – Happy, Wild, and Otherwise!

Sarah

P.S. Here I am, a happy stuffed vegan at Wild Cow.

with sign

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