Do you like lasagna? Pad Thai? Cinnamon buns slathered in ice cream? We’re all obsessed with our own brand of comfort food, barely able to get through a day without dreaming of our next adventure with unlimited breadsticks or the taste of a warm Poptart. Now, what if your noodles were made of zucchini, and your breakfast pastry made of nuts? Would you miss the traditional taste of these starchy, sugary classics or would you be so pleased with the alternative that even the Pillsbury Doughboy might not be laughing anymore? Vegans want to have their cake and eat it too. They just make theirs with gluten free, raw, plant-based ingredients! At Nashville’s new vegan staple, Avo, they’re giving carnivores and carb-lovers a reason to do a double take (and a double dip).
Located on Charlotte Avenue, it’s difficult to miss Avo’s shipping container façade speckled with paintings of, you guessed it, avocados. This newly opened restaurant is riding the wave of veganism that has struck society with considerable popularity and is showing Nashvillians that this dietary choice is not just a fad. Vegans have historically been stereotypically depicted guzzling wheatgrass or eating carrots. Where’s the protein? Where’s the double bacon cheeseburger? Where’s the flavor? Many non-vegans have asked themselves how it’s possible to even enjoy food on a vegan diet. Veganism excludes all animal-derived and processed foods, so what’s left to ingest are plants, grains, and beans. It may seem like a rather simple way of life, but if you’ve even glanced at Pinterest (or any recipe site on the internet for that matter) in recent years, you may know that veganism is much more than a pile of plants and Avo is proving that.
Avo has managed to create savory and satisfying meals from plant-based and unprocessed ingredients. Their lasagna’s zucchini noodles and nut-based ricotta have a likeness to the classic that leaves the classic Italian-dish lover satisfied! Beyond flavorful dishes like BBQ Sliders, Ceviche Tacos, and Pizza, Avo even has cocktails (like the uber-popular Avocado Margarita) that are vegan friendly. With a constant rotation of supply-based specials beyond their regular menu, like vegan “snickers bars” and cheesecake, Avo showcases the variety and flexibility in preparation and presentation of vegan food. Of course, if you simply cannot go a meal without a piece of meat, then Avo is not for you – much of the protein is derived from its innovative use of nuts. But before you carnivores write it off entirely, give Avo the shot that it deserves and you may find that you’re not missing that standard piece of meat.
Serving up vegan and raw food from brunch to dinner, Avo is giving Nashvillians the opportunity to expand the breadth of their palates and is a shining example of the continued growth of the local dining industry in the Music City. No longer just a city of hot chicken and biscuits, Nashville is showing off its diverse and open-minded tastes with restaurants like Avo. So, before you write off this Nashville newbie, assuming that raw vegan food is just all lettuce and legumes, give Avo the chance to flex their vegan muscles in the kitchen and entirely reset your outlook!
Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!
NOTE: Avo does not currently take reservations