By Leah Wright | Photos Courtesy Wild Cow
Turn down Eastland Avenue from Gallatin Road and about three-quarters of a mile down the street, you’ll see it — the snarky sign that makes Rosepepper Cantina a social media sensation. This weekend, the quip is “Eat tacos, not Tide Pods”. Now that you’ve enjoyed a chuckle, turn around and you’ll see the sign for one of Nashville’s most welcoming vegan/vegetarian hot spots, The Wild Cow.
In a time when more people are turning away from meats and toward a plant-based diet, The Wild Cow is a welcome sight for those of us who sometimes find it difficult to determine if the food on the menu is actually vegan or can be made vegan. We put in requests for no butter, no cheese, no milk, no meat, and have to trust that our request is carried out. At The Wild Cow, those concerns are put aside, because everything on their menu is vegan unless you request dairy cheese, which simply makes it vegetarian.
You will not find any meat inside The Wild Cow, but you will find a welcoming atmosphere and great food in a restaurant that donates a portion of their monthly profits to one of several charities. A mecca for hipsters, crunchies, soccer moms, and business people alike, The Wild Cow is a small venue, with about a dozen tables and they welcome everyone with open arms. I suggest getting there early or calling ahead for carryout.
They feature a different special each day and have a permanent menu featuring items such as sandwiches, salads, tacos, entrée bowls, and smoothies. You will not find mass marketed sodas in their cooler, but you will find vegan artisan sodas, kombucha, wines, and other vegan-friendly drinks. You’ll also find vegan desserts made in-house by Vegan Vee Bakery. Order a starter such as the Nachos, which feature non-GMO blue corn tortilla chips that are loaded high with black & pinto beans, vegan queso, salsa verde, tomatoes, red onions, rice, and vegan sour cream. The generous portion can easily become a meal for two people.
I opted for the daily special, the Curry Chickpea Salad Sandwich with pickles and red leaf lettuce on a toasted whole wheat bread, paired with Lemon-Pepper Roasted Fingerling potatoes. The Chickpea Salad was reminiscent of a hummus, but with chunks of chickpeas. The snap of the curry was perfectly paired with the sourness of the pickle and the whole wheat bread pulled the flavors together perfectly. The fingerling potatoes were tender, with a wonderfully salty and tart seasoning on the outside. Others in our party had the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Garlicky Kale and the Portabella Tacos with Pineapple Cole Slaw, all of which were wonderfully prepared and quickly devoured. The Wild Cow strives to be inventive with their food and flavor pairings, and they excel at the task.
It’s refreshing to see more restaurants take an interest in vegan diets. The Wild Cow has created a welcoming restaurant with a fabulous menu that will delight vegans/vegetarians, as well as omnivores with an open mind.
For us vegans, it is a great day when we can sit down to eat and find something other than a salad on the menu that is safe for us to eat.
Keep up the great work, The Wild Cow and feel free to open a second location closer to me, maybe in Clarksville. HAIL SEITAN!
What: The Wild Cow Restaurant
Where: 1896 Eastland Ave., Nashville