Thursday, November 11, 2010
My Wednesday started bright and early: up at 7am and out the door at 7:40. My first stop was to check out the Parthenon replica, which happens to be super close to where I stayed for the night. I saw it at night, but didn't take pictures.
I didn't go inside since it costs money.
From there, I headed to Cafe Coco to use their free wi-fi. I sipped a delicious soy chai while I internetted.
Cafe Coco is a REALLY cool place. If I lived in Nashville, I'd hang out here regularly. It was pretty quiet since I was there from 8:something until 10am, but they have a bar and a stage and vegan options!(They're open 24 hours.)
They also had some vegan options in the dessert case. The raw blueberry cheesecake looked so good, but not good enough to spend $7. Ho hum.
They are big honkin' pieces, though.
Two of the staff members were super helpful and friendly when I asked about where to go, what's a "must see" in Nashville, etc. Very cool people.
They have a really cool patio, too.
I did just a little more wandering in that neighborhood, then set sail for Wild Cow. I was really excited about this. I had originally planned to go with my Nashville host the night before, but they were closed.
It was really hard to choose what to order because everything sounded so good.
As delicious as their sandwiches looked, I knew I had to stay away because their gluten-free bread is sadly not vegan. After hemming and hawing for several minutes, I settled on the taco salad. They had me at Vegan Queso.
What came to my table was this gorgeous plate.
Man, that queso. It looks and tastes like the overly processed cheese-like substance that regular queso is made of, but I mean that in a good way! It's such a novelty, you know? And it was delicious. I was really digging their homemade ranch dressing, too. The only thing this salad was missing was extra tortilla chips and maybe another little scoop of beans. Otherwise, I enjoyed every bite of this taco salad.
The staff here were also very friendly and helpful when I asked questions about Nashville and if there was anything worth seeing between here and Atlanta. I got to chatting with the owner of Wild Cow, who is a really sweet lady, and she indulged my dorky food blogger side and opened up the dessert covers so I could take pictures for the blog.
Check out these GORGEOUS cupcakes!
And then this cake blew my mind (and also reminded me of a doughnut I had at Voo Doo just a couple of months ago).
They also had impressively big slices of RAW GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE (Amber, I'm looking at you!)
Sadly, I couldn't try them all, as my wallet and my stomach couldn't afford that much decadence. The owner kindly sent me on my way with a rosewater cupcake (the first one pictured) which I enjoyed thoroughly just outside of Chattanooga. (Seriously, I have never had a cupcake so moist and so fluffy. I felt like I was eating a sweet, sugary cloud. Loved it! It almost made me turn right around and go back.)
Other fun facts about Wild Cow:
* everything made in-house is vegan, but they offer some dairy products. The gluten-free items are made in a dedicated facility, and some are vegan, some are not.
* They have a nutritional yeast shaker. (Many vegans see this as a sign of a good restaurant.)
* I smiled when I saw this as the sign for the ladies room.
I was hoping to find Moby on the mens' room door, but it was some athlete.
So, in short, Wild Cow is awesome and will certainly bring me back to Nashville.
From there, I felt it necessary to check out the heart of downtown Nashville just because. I parked around 2nd & Broadway and milled about for not quite an hour (I had a meter to mind). I was there at high noon and the sun was beating down. There was quite a bit of foot traffic and a lot of buzz about the CMAs (which I later learned was happening that night). There was a camera crew setting up on the sidewalk at one point and a bunch of people hovering around. I'm guessing they were about to shoot a commercial for the awards show. I thought of my friend Adam and thought about sticking around to see what was going to happen, but I don't care about country music enough to stand around and find out. (Sorry, Adam.) Besides, this handsome little fella caught my eye.
Otherwise, downtown Nashville just wasn't my scene. Too much country, too much BBQ. Too much Elvis, not enough Dolly.
Back on the highway, pointed toward Chattanooga. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or daylight to stop in the area and check out anything (Chattanooga is in the Eastern time zone, so I had that working against me, too). The drive was absolutely gorgeous, though. The trees aren't all naked yet, there were patches of colorful leaves here and there, and hilly enough to keep the drive interesting. There was a beautiful pink & purple sunset stretching across the sky as I entered Georgia.
Up next: HOTLANTA!