• Vegan Chile Relleno at Nashville’s 1808 Grill

    September 13th, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), nashville

    As a vegan that routinely travels on business I’ve become used to sustaining myself on overpriced chips from the in-room minibar due to the almost 100% lack of vegan offerings at most business hotels. Back in the day I used to take sandwiches in my carry-on, but they don’t let you bring food through security any more, so I’m bereft of and bites when I land – especially a problem when I get back to the hotel late, tired and hungry.

    My recent trip to Nashville, TN was no exception: Early flight, endless meetings punctuated with nothing but salad at the office and a late arrival to my hotel room at The Hutton Hotel – a relatively new hip and trendy place on the outskirts of downtown. I usually don’t bother studying the in-house restaurant menus at hotels and have long given up calling room service to see if their pizza dough is vegan, but something prompted me to read through the menu for the in-house bistro, 1808 Grille.

    chile relleno (vegan). brown rice, pinto beans, tomato, red chimichurri. $16.50

    To my shock and surprise, the menu clearly listed a “Vegan chile relleno” which sounded wonderful: brown rice, pinto beans, tomato, red chimichurri…

    So, I threw my clothes back on, headed down to the restaurant, ordered a nice glass of vegan (organic) wine, and the chile relleno. I quizzed the server and she explained that they always have a vegan offering as the hotel is very eco-friendly and wants to promote sustainable eating. AND, the delicious side dishes were also vegan. I was quite surprised!

    Anyway, after a few minutes my piping hot dish arrived along with bread and some side dishes (potatoes, rice, vegetables and some green spicy thing) and it was amazing. This was very clearly no vegan compromise (we all know the “Cobb salad, hold the egg, cheese, turkey, ham, dressing….” type of vegan compromise). Somebody had clearly taken the time to think through and prepare a delightful vegan dish.

    The huge chile was perfectly cooked in a crispy batter and stuffed to the brim with some very tasty vegetables and what I think was a tofu/rice based stuffing. I was so hungry that I ate it down in a flash, and even asked for some extra sides.

    Chile relleno aside, the 1808 Grille is a really nice place to eat. It’s very upscale in appearance with attentive servers and some very friendly Nashville hospitality.

    I absolutely LOVE that this random business hotel in a town not known for its vegan cuisine would have such a great vegan option on the menu. If you’re ever in Nashville, make sure you stay at The Hutton – if you don’t feel like popping down to the restaurant, you can get a gourmet vegan meal in your room as all this can be delivered via Room Service.

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12 responses to “Vegan Chile Relleno at Nashville’s 1808 Grill” RSS icon

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    That’s very cool

  • This looks so delicious – I can’t believe they regularly have a vegan item on the menu!

  • I’m from the Nashville,Tn area and we have a few Vegan Restaurants and vegan places to eat.The Wild Cow is one and I am a vegan caterer looking to buy a vegan food truck.So yes there are lots of vegans and vegan options here in the deep south.I personally have introduced many so-called omnis to the joys of delicious vegan foods.

  • “Back in the day I used to take sandwiches in my carry-on, but they don’t let you bring food through security any more”

    I always bring my own food on the plane – never had any problem with security. Maybe they’ve loosened up the rules in recent years?


    PS. That food looks gorgeous. Think I’ll try making it at home!

  • Ditto, Jane. I take all kinds of food on planes. Everything from sandwiches and cookies, to a soft-sided cooler full of Teese from my recent trip to the midwest.

    Maybe soup wouldn’t pass b/c it’s liquid, but anything else should be fine.

  • Same here. Routinely bring food with no issue onto planes.

  • Wild! Sometimes Vegan food shows up in unexpected places and then it is always super delightful!

  • You’re not supposed to. It’s more likely that they’re just not noticing that it’s in your luggage.

  • I, too, have traveled with food without a problem. From the TSA.gov website: “All food must go through the X-ray machine. Do NOT bring food to the security checkpoint unwrapped… Food must be wrapped or in a container. Unpeeled natural foods like fruit are okay, but half-eaten fruits must be wrapped.”

  • Glad you found a hotel willing to serve the millions of people that don’t eat conventional fare. Hope all hotels, motels follow suit!

  • vegan chili relleno!? *drool* Anyone know of a good LA option?

  • Wow! I read and love your blog for the “food porn”. It is amazing what you have available to you! So jealous! I am mostly vegan, born and raised in Nashville, and I was so excited to see 1808 on your blog. I have never eaten there as you don’t really think to try a hotel restaurant in your hometown, but your post changed my mind. I’ll be headed there ASAP to try that chile relleno. Yummy!

    Next time you visit Nashville, send me an email. There are more cool places you can try. We are ever so slowly getting there!

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