Apr
27

People assume that I love Nashville for one reason and one reason only: country music, however there are so many thins to love about Nashville besides the country music scene. I’ve had good luck shopping in Nashville (boots, jewelry, fringe vests, dresses, etc… SO MANY GOOD THINGS!!) but I’m also obsessed with the culinary scene in Nashville. In fact, one of the reasons that I can’t wait to get back to Nash is to visit more restaurants that sit on my bucket list. For example, I am obsessed with Catbird Seat but haven’t been able to get reservations – it’s complicated but I’m determined. I won’t stop going to Nashville until I get in.

Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA right now (who would have known) and it is THE place to be if you are gastronomically inclined.  

Nashville

 Whiskey Kitchen very quickly became one of my favorite restaurants in Nashville. I’ve been there every time I’ve been to Nashville, in fact I’ve gone twice on a few trips. Whiskey Kitchen is not far from downtown, and it’s easy to get to ($6-10 cab ride from downtown). The menu and food quality at Whiskey Kitchen is far superior to the restaurants on Broadway. Oh, and the outdoor patio doesn’t suck either. 

Wild Cow

In a town famous for hot chicken and southern fried flesh, Wild Cow is serving up delicious vegan fare in East Nashville, not far from downtown. I’ve had several good meals at Wild Cow, both lunch/brunch and dinner. If you have the idea in your head that Nashville is not a vegan-friendly city, one meal at the Wild Cow will prove you wrong. 

Mas Tacos Por Favor

Dubbed the “best thing in Nashville since Country Music,” Mas Tacos is obsessed over by  many Nashville locals but overlooked by tourists. So take my word for it, if you’re in Nash, visit Mas Tacos, Por Favor, por favor – even if it seems to be out of the way. It’s worth it if you appreciate damn good food. Oh, and order the Fried Avocado Taco, Horchata, and Plantains, por favor.

the Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

The Stone Fox is an adorable/quirky/eclectic music venue that serves “bar food” with a homespun twist. A little out of the way in West Nashville, Stone Fox is definitely worth the trek out for a damn good brunch or for dinner & drinks (& live music). This place will serve you homemade grub and make you feel at home so plan to stick around for a while on your visit, you probably won’t want to leave. After what may have been the biggest brunch I’ve ever had, I stuck around for 2 drinks at the bar after my meal. I’m not sure why I even left because I didn’t want to. Oh, and the Stone Fox is without a doubt vegan-friendly.

HUSK Nashville

Husk isn’t the type of place that you stumble upon on accident. If you find yourself at Husk, your trip was designed intentionally with a purpose. Husk is coveted by many locals and often times only visited on “special occasion”. Husk is a pretentious and well-respected restaurant. A celebration of southern food, the menu is well planned and changes daily. I made the mistake of walking in to Husk in my “honky-tonk gear” and I’ll never do that again. If you are visiting Husk, make a reservation and dress appropriately. Oh, and if you question whether or not you should or shouldn’t visit Husk, the answer is yes. You might as well call and get reservations now. 

cheesecake, vegan

My buddy Jack recently started selling his smoked cheesecakes after they became popular among many of his friends and acquaintances. Si’s Scrumptious Delights aka Jack’s smoked cheesecakes are available in the Nashville area and are made-to-order. If I lived in Nashville, I’d probably order at least one cheesecake every week. If you live in the area, you should probably call Jack immediately – I hear he can hook up a heart-shaped cheesecake around Valentines Day and he’s willing to cater your event. Oh, and he’s a wine connoisseur so he can hook you up with a pairing.

Nashville

On accident, I found vegan ice cream at Pied Piper in East Nash which I got to eat on their big porch after a long day of shopping. At an given time, Pied Piper has more than 24 flavors available, and they are delectable – atypical flavors like Avid Avocado, Basil Tomatillo Overdrive, and Aroma-therapy, you will want to try every single flavor in the case before making your final selection. 

Wild Cow

Although I’ve never actually been to Khan’s Desserts (do they even have a store front?), I’ve eaten several of their desserts at two different local veg restaurants, Wild Cow and Sunflower Cafe. Can I just say that Khan’s makes the Best Vegan Cupcakes EVERRRRR? I would know because I’ve tried them at least five times. I see there are 10-11 places around Nash that serve Khan’s desserts so they aren’t hard to get a hold of. You better, to see if I’m right….

Nashville

A few other places I’ve enjoyed and are worth visiting in Nashville include: the Sunflower Cafe (vegan), Pub 5 (the ONLY restaurant I’ll eat at downtown), Jeni’s Ice Cream (duh), and the Wrappers Delight Food Truck. Oh, and I like stopping in to the Turnip Truck for organic grocery items and drinks.

Love

Crista


Apr
18

AirBNB

After an unconventional weekend spent sleeping on the Bluegrass Tour Bus, it was nice to crash in this amazing bachelor pad / condo in the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville. It was a nice change of scenery.

I spent the evening watching the Academy of Country Music Awards, which was a small luxury for me considering I don’t have a TV at home.

AirBNB

AirBNB

AirBNB

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again… If you haven’t checked out Airbnb.com yet, please go do it NOW. Once you understand the concept, you’ll be obsessed just like I am.

AirBNB

Love

Crista


Apr
17

Arrington Vineyards

While everyone thought we were in Nashville Honky-Tonkin, Laura & I were with my buddy Jack in “Nashville’s Wine Country” – Arrington Vineyards, which is located just 20-30 miles outside of Nash and owned by country music artist, Kix Brooks.

After delivering a much anticipated vegan smoked cheesecake to the Bluegrass Tour Bus, Jack offered to take us downtown Franklin, TN for lunch and shopping then surprised us with an impulsive trip to the winery! Nice guy, right? He sure does play the role of a “tour guide” exceedingly.

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards

As much wine as I drink, you’d think that I’d have visited more than two wineries in my lifetime… but I haven’t. The first winery I ever visited was in Hawaii, unfortunately I don’t remember much of the experience.

At Arrington, I learned that there is a lot I could learn about different wines and wine-making and I was definitely inspired to visit more wineries, more often.

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards

A BEAUTIFUL Saturday afternoon spent outdoors with a bottle of red wine and relaxation was MUCH needed (we were exhausted from Friday night activities). We literally sat outside for an hour or two meditatively taking advantage of the fresh, crisp air – it was so good.

My only regret is that we were not prepared with a blanket to lay on and a cute little picnic lunch. Next time, for sure.

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards

We got to do a wine tasting with Josh (he was a gem!) – there were several bottles of wine I would have purchased had I not been traveling. I DID, however, purchase a bottle of Blackberry Dessert wine (YUM!). I haven’t cracked it open yet, I would like to use it as an ingredient in a dessert…. I just haven’t figured out what that dessert is yet. I think Jack mentioned that he uses a few of the wines in his smoked cheesecakes. Regardless, I’m waiting for a “special” day or event. 

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards

Jack’s favorite band was playing at the winery the afternoon we were there. I regret not remembering the name of the band. We would have probably stayed at the winery all day long had we not been anxious to take a nap and get back to the Honky Tonks…..

Love

Crista


Apr
15

Nashville

Last Friday in Nashville was a big day for Laura & myself.

We shopped East Nashville, toured the Grand Ole Opry, shopped Two Old Hippies, had dinner at Whiskey Kitchen (my favorite!), Honky Tonked, and still made time for Bloody Mary’s from Mad Donna’s and Vegan Ice Cream from the Pied Piper Creamery!

Nashville

This little boutique, Moss has become one of my favorite boutiques to shop in (East) Nashville. The clothing & jewelry sold there are sooo cute.

Nashville

Nashville

Nashville

I can’t remember for the life of me what flavor of vegan ice cream I ate that day, alls I know is that it was goooood. Maybe it was a chocolate coconut… 

Nashville

Nashville

Nashville

These photos come to you from inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort. It was fun to tour, but I don’t think I ever need to go there again….. we were probably he youngest people in the building…..

Nashville

Nashville

Nashville

Dinner consisted of Fried Green Tomatoes & Whiskey: true southern style.

Nashville

I LOVE LOVE Nashville. (have I mentioned that before??) 

Every time we go, we find new restaurants and neighborhoods to shop. 
Last weekend was all about East Nash & Opryland, next time we go (in the fall) will be all about the Hillsboro area… and of course we do Two Old Hippies in the Gulch EVERY time we’re in Nash.

Love

Crista


Apr
14

cheesecake, vegan

I met my buddy Jack at a food truck festival in Nashville last Sept. We both got to the festival just moments before it was scheduled to close. Jack was next to me in line for the Wrappers Delight food truck. I had been chasing the Wrappers Delight for quite some time, they had a vegan wrap I so badly wanted to try. By the time Jack & I reached the window, the vegan wrap was the only wrap available. I had to encourage Jack to get that wrap even though it didn’t contain any meat. (those southern meat-eating boys…) I think he liked it….

While we stood in line that evening, Jack told me about these cheesecakes that he makes on his smoker. A “smoked cheesecake” I couldn’t believe it – I had never heard of anything like that! I probably told him to quit his day job and make smoked cheesecakes for a living. Haha! 

I never did get to try the smoked cheesecake on that trip but Jack rocked my world by preparing a Vegan Smoked Cheesecake for me this past weekend – he even delivered it to me! 

Jack wasn’t all that impressed with his first vegan smoked cheesecake, in fact he wouldn’t even take a picture of it because it wasn’t “perfect”. Although it didn’t look perfect, it is delicious. Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. 

Jack used tofutti and made a flax egg for the cheesecake, but he’s still looking for different (dairy) alternatives that will craft the “perfect” vegan smoked cheesecake. I’ll be on the lookout for alternatives as well. 

If you are near Nashville and are interested in a smoked cheesecake, Jack can probably hook you up. His company name is Si’s Scrumptious Delights (named after his Siamese cat, Si) – you can find him on Facebook.  

cheesecake, vegan

Love

Crista


Apr
13

Shortly after our arrival in to Nashville last weekend, we set out for Mas Tacos Por Favor, which was recommended to us by Whitney & Johnny, the Bluegrass Tour Bus owners. We were feeling slightly vulnerable in those first moments on the bus so we weren’t quite sure how to feel about their recommendation (an old ass tour bus parked in the ghetto can be slightly overwhelming) but we took the recommendation anyway. 

Mas Tacos Por Favor

 The building is a little sketchy on the outside but we felt instant relief upon entering. Immediately, we spotted a photo of Guy Fieri painted on the wall which led us to the assumption that Mas Tacos Por Favor has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. (we were right, by the way)

Mas Tacos Por Favor

Mas Tacos

I was pretty satisfied with the meal I had at Mas Tacos, considering they had two AMAZING vegetarian taco options: Fried Avocado & Quinoa + Sweet Potato. I certainly wasn’t mad about the Plantains, the Black Bean Soup, or the Horchata either. Oh, and Laura obsessed over the Pineapple Cilantro fruit drink. I am mad at myself for not trying it…. (but the Horchata was soooo good) 

Mas Tacos

Mas Tacos

It was so nice to start our trip off with an amazing meal. We had plans of visiting Mas Tacos a few more times during our weekend in Nashville but we never did make it back. Next time, for sure. 

Love

Crista


Apr
11

Bluegrass Tour Bus

I tend to do things that I know will gain attention. Life is more fun that way. When Laura & I were planning our trip to Nashville, we planned on staying at the Downtown Hostel again because it is inexpensive and in a perfect location – just one block off Broadway. The last time we stayed at the hostel, we were asked several times if it is a “whore house” (naive country boys….) Anyway, we loved it!

Well, of course the NCAA championships were going on in Nash the weekend we were there so the hostel was booked. Didn’t bother us one bit because we knew we could rely on airbnb to find a cool place – We about DIED when we found this Bluegrass Tour Bus available.  

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

The bus (#BGB), is parked in front of a Bluegrass-playing couples home and they actually still use the bus for touring. We had a BLAST on the bus despite a lack of heat on chilly nights, a lack of electricity part of the stay, and being forced to shower with cold hose water. AND we definitely got the attention we were looking for. “You’re staying WHERE?” everyone would ask….. “you heard us right, a Bluegrass Tour Bus….”

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

We didn’t actually get to drive the bus… but can you imagine how cool it would have been if we did??? 

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

This beat up couch was perfect for afternoon naps – during our afternoon naps, we listened to the band practicing from the front porch of their home….. SO GOOD.

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

FRIEND BOOTS!!!

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

KIT-TEN.

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Although there were moments that we had to ask ourselves: “are we REALLY doing this??” …I think I’d do it all over again….

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

Bluegrass Tour Bus

If not now, my friends…. then when? …know what I’m saying? 

Love

Crista


Oct
06

the Stone Fox
Nashville got a stamp of approval after I discovered how many vegan-friendly restaurants there are available throughout the city. The Wild Cow & Whiskey Kitchen are among a few of my favorites, and now I’ve added Stone Fox to that list. A bartender at Husk recommended I check out the place, I was sick to my stomach that I didn’t get to visit it my first time in Nashville.

the Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

For some reason I decided that we needed to visit Stone Fox for brunch. Probably because I saw vegan biscuits & gravy on the menu? AND. I knew their bloody mary’s would be badass (made-from-scratch) – they were.

the Stone Fox  

Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

Oh, and a homemade donut? yeah….

the Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

We definitely weren’t mad about the vegan “Huevos” con “Chorizo” on the menu either. That’s what you see pictured above… OF COURSE we ordered it.

the Stone Fox

vegan sausage.

the Stone Fox

You know what I love most about Stone Fox? (besides the vegan options??) Their food is homegrown, local, homemade, and organic. THAT’s what really rocks my world. 

the Stone Fox

the Stone Fox

i.ate.so.much.food.
((how did they know it was my birthday weekend…??))

the Stone Fox

Love

Crista


Oct
05

My very first airbnb experience!!!!
In this 1930’s vintage cottage…. NASHVILLE.
It couldn’t have been at a cuter, more homey place.

1930s Cottage
After traveling corporately for years and years and staying in hotel after hotel, I AM OVER IT. Through airbnb, you can rent peoples apartments and/or homes in places throughout the entire world and there are some pretty badass places including this MODERN + HIP Rehabbed Townehome in Chicago, this Modern Boulder Cliffhanger in Colorado, and this Parrot House in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

This cute little cottage sits in a neighborhood not far from East Nashville. Close to the highway, it was easy for us to travel throughout various neighborhoods in Nashville and getting downtown only took us about 15 minutes!

1930s Cottage
Two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a little dining room, and cozy living room with a fireplace – this little cottage only cost us $120/nightly! You can’t find a decent hotel room in Nashville for that price! And let’s face it… there are very few hotels in Nashville that I desire to stay at. ((can you say Marriott and Holiday Inn? BORING.)) Remember the first time I went to Nashville? We stayed in a hostel….

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage
I never met the owner of the place, however he was accommodating and hospitable.  Adorable that he wrote us a welcome message? I think so. He also had an entire resource guide available that listed out local Nashville restaurants, sites, and attractions. I didn’t use the guide at all because I already have about a million places I’d like to visit in Nashville.

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage
I LOVE the vintage garb that decorates this little cottage.

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage
It was nice so to actually have a kitchen for breakfast in the mornings.. I don’t enjoy breakfast at hotels because it’s never as vegan-friendly as I’d like it to be plus the fruit is never local/organic.

Staying at the cottage allowed me to shop the local grocery store for foods I could prep each morning. AND I was able to bring leftovers home from a restaurant one night which is something you just don’t do when you’re staying at a hotel.

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage
In the adorable little dining room, I thoroughly enjoyed my leftover food from
The Wild Cow which consisted of chipotle seitan and buffalo tempeh over a bed of quinoa with beans and kale.

(do you know how excited I was to have that meal twice in a row?!?!?)
((I love LOVE The Wild Cow))

1930s Cottage

1930s Cottage
I am forever grateful of Goeffrey (the owner of this cottage) for providing me with a charming home-away-from-home last week. xo

Love

Crista