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This past week has been a fun eating week for me. I turned 37 on Saturday and as with most celebrations, food is a big factor. The pickings are slim when it comes to dining out, especially since I gave up gluten. I am the customer most waiters despise. I think I am kind, in general, but I turn it on thick for waiters who have to put up with my crazy orders.
I turn into Sally, “I’ll have the salad, without croutons, but add every vegetable in the kitchen, just vinegar and lemon (on the side)…Can you make me enchilada’s with steamed broccoli?, yes, I know, but they did it for me last time…Yes, but is the veggie burger vegan? vegan? Can I talk to the chef? Yes, I can eat rice and garlic and potato…Can I just talk to the chef? I’m sorry but I asked for no cheese…Does this sauce have gluten? How can you not know? Do you have an ingredients list? CAN I JUST TALK TO THE CHEF!!!, thanks so much, I am sorry to be so difficult, again, thank you, thank you….” I say all of this while silently praying “please don’t spit in my food, please don’t add a pat of butter just to spite me and please don’t spit in my food!”
I am not making these up, I have said all of this at least once. I say the word vegan and see blank stare’s. I am often dismayed but have been pleasantly surprised by say…Applebee’s. They do not have extensive options for me but have gone out of their way to make it possible for me to eat there. It is possible and getting easier all the time to make healthier choices at restaurants. Don’t be afraid to ask. Most places are willing to accommodate. I have had chef’s tell me how excited they were to show of their skills and make something a bit different. Attitude is everything, be kind and full of gratitude and you will be amazed at what some places will do. Do some research on restaurants in your city and try some new places. I find new options in Nashville all the time and it is fun to check out new neighborhoods and support small businesses.
When I do find a place with a vegan menu, I get giddy! I do the happy dance, thank the waiters and if I am able, the managers/owners for having options and making it so easy for me. I have a difficult time not ordering every item on the menu, I am overwhelmed by the fact that there are real bonified OPTIONS and there is no explanation necessary. I also tell everyone I know.
This week I was able to go to my very favorite vegetarian restaurant in Nashville, The Wild Cow. I love the buffalo tempeh, the nacho’s, the rice and beans, the…well pretty much everything! I tried the new gluten-free bread and it was wonderful. They also have some new baked goods by Vegan Vee and WOW, the triple layer chocolate cake with cream “cheese” frosting was out of this world. My many non-gluten free vegan friends loved it as well. If you live in Nashville and have not tried this place, go, and take me with you:)
We also tried a new restaurant that I was happy to discover has a separate vegan menu in addition to their regular menu. Taco Mamacita in Edgehill is amazing! Great little fun neighborhood, huge patio, good margarita’s, great food. My husband and I each had a Jerk Taco (with plantains and mango salsa) and split the vegan enchilada’s with sweet potato fries on the side. It was kid and budget friendly, but would also be a great date place or girls night out. Again, check it out and invite me!
I have many more food finds to tell you about in future posts. It is a wonderful treat for me to eat food that someone else has prepared. I am working on lots of new recipes to share with you as well so stay tuned! This past weekend I made three delicious meals with one block of tofu and you will LOVE them…
If you find or are a restaurant with healthy plant based options please let me know. I love discovering and writing about new places!
Your Vegan Friend