Today’s post is all about eating gluten free in Nashville, so I’ll be showcasing the edible highlights of my recent trip! Let’s start with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. On Sunday morning, breakfast took place around 9am at the Frothy Monkey on 12th Avenue. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are a few locations of this awesome spot, and I would highly recommend any if you live in the area or are visiting.
The breakfast menu at Frothy Monkey had many options for gluten free and vegetarian diners. Their website lists all dishes that can be made gluten free or vegetarian. I wouldn’t have expected a Southern restaurant to offer not only gluten free bread but gluten free muffins, because that means they have to bake gluten free goods fresh instead of simply buying frozen Udi’s bread like many places do. But Frothy Monkey does, and the results are fantastic. I can attest that the gluten free bread was fluffy and fresh, and the muffins were drool-worthy – I was just allergic to the gluten free muffin of the day, which was a chocolate and nut combination. For vegetarians, another unexpected offering was tofu as a choice of “meat” for your omelet, and for vegans or dairy free diners, Daiya was a “cheese” option. As for me, I ordered the Architect Omelet, which included 2 farm fresh eggs and your choice of one meat, one cheese, and two veggies, as well as toast, butter and jam. I decided to go for a ham, provolone, kale and mushroom omelet with the gluten free toast option and was impressed with my fluffy eggs filled with a hefty portion of the above ingredients.
Saturday and Sunday both featured quick lunches squeezed in between our activities, which ended up meaning salads. I do love my salads so it was fine with me! Saturday’s salad was a make your own combination at the Mellow Mushroom, a Southern chain with an outpost right next to the Vanderbilt campus. I had a sort of chef’s salad with my own spin, including a base of romaine, cabbage, and carrots, topped with turkey, ham, Provolone cheese, artichoke hearts, and red wine vinaigrette. The portion was large enough to make for a filling meal and they didn’t skimp on the toppings, which often happens (and means I need to eat another meal after leaving wherever I had such a sad salad).
Sunday’s salad was picked up on the go, and it was actually quite tasty for travel food, if overpriced. Billed as a Southwest Chicken Salad, it had Cajun grilled chicken, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and onions on a bed of Romaine lettuce with a spicy tomato basil vinaigrette. The portions of chicken and cheese weren’t as stingy as is usually the case with prepackaged salads, and overall I got the energy I needed. I also ate with a nice view of a guitar display – even the airport in Music City ensures that Nashville lives up to its reputation!
Dinner on Saturday evening was at AMOT Eatery, or A Matter of Taste, a completely gluten free restaurant that my friend Lauren researched and made reservations at before I arrived. The restaurant is located in East Nashville, not far from the hustle and bustle of downtown but with enough distance to provide a more tranquil atmosphere for dining after a long day of exploring. The owner is gluten free, and wanted to have a restaurant where all of us folk with allergies could dine out without fear of cross contamination.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post, the menu was extensive, with dishes from appetizers and salads to sandwiches and entrees. I decided to go with the California Chicken sandwich sans avocado due to my allergy. When I placed my order, the waitress confirmed each one of my allergies and promised that they could make my meal without any problems.
I was very pleased with the juicy chicken breast, melted Swiss cheese, and veggies heaped onto my Udi’s bun that arrived at our table. I confirmed with the waitress that the buns and bread for the sandwiches were indeed Udi’s – I’ve learned to recognize these as they seem to be the brand of choice for many restaurants to stock. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t make their own breads like Frothy Monkey, but to have a totally GF environment in a city like Nashville is amazing in and of itself, and I give them major props. I opted for the shoestring sweet potato fries topped with arugula and Parmesan instead of the potato chips – I’m not a big chip person and I always like sweet potato fries. I definitely prefer thicker fries, but these were tasty indeed, and I polished off every morsel on my plate.
Other than these meals, I snacked my way through Nashville on lots of apples and string cheese. In fact, I think I ate an entire package of a dozen string cheeses in the two days, they’re such great travel food. Shades of hiking in the Lake District! But in all seriousness, I was impressed with the number of options available to people with allergies in the Nashville area. AMOT Eatery and Frothy Monkey were above and beyond anything I expected, but even a chain like the Mellow Mushroom told me that they had a gluten free area where they could prepare my salad to avoid cross contamination, and that’s seriously awesome. I wish eating gluten free while traveling was always such a non-issue, but to all my fellow gluten free eaters who plan to visit Nashville, I wish you happy stomachs!
What cities have surprised you with their gluten free options (or lack thereof)?
Do you find it difficult to eat with allergies while traveling?
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8 thoughts on “WIAW #25: Gluten Free in Nashville”
I love that there was a gluten-free specific restaurant. I think that’s fabulous! I think traveling to cities outside of the Northeast it can be difficult as NYC and Boston tend to cater to picky eating clientele. Glad you were able to find some yummy eats in Nashville, definitely using these recommendations for my future trip!
Looks like Nashville has some good food! Those breakfasts look amazing. Also, I love sweet potato fries!
I adore going to Nashville! Every time I visit I mean to go the Frothy Monkey, but I haven’t made it there yet. Next time you should try the Wild Cow- it’s a fantastic vegetarian/vegan restaurant.
I looked at their menu! Unfortunately I am allergic both to wheat and tree nuts, so vegan/vegetarian is often not so great for me.
The interior at Mellow Mushroom looks really unique and it’s awesome you found gluten-free options everywhere. While I’m not gluten intolerant I know finding suitable food would be hard in the majority of places over here. One positive albeit small change I noticed is several stores offering at least one kind of gluten-free bread. It’s a start, I guess.
I love the name Frothy Monkey 🙂
I was surprised when I went to Italy that places had GF pizza. Who knew?!
It’s definitely weird to be in a place like Italy and find that! You’d think they’d be all, nope, traditional way or the (very tiny and windy) highway.
Wow, it sounds like your options were really good. In Colorado, we’re kind of known for our gluten free population, so we have a really good selection from both restaurants and stores for gluten free! 🙂 It’s a blessing! 🙂