Clean Eating. Sustainably Sourced Food. Organic Produce. Gluten Free, Vegan, Lactose Free & Vegetarian. Elixirs. Body Cleanse. Beautifully Nourishing Food. Environmentally Aware. Balanced Soul.
Are those words you think of when you hear, “Nashville Eats”?
Probably not. But Music City is in a rapid state of change. And, as it evolves, so does the attitude toward food and lifestyle. The typical southern staple of fried and sugared meat plus butter ladened bread products is being questioned as a proper meal. At the center of this revolution sits EiO & The Hive. This West Nashville dining establishment has made a point to elevate the art of Southern Food and Drink to encompass health food that is big on taste. Kid Allergy Travel wanted to see where this path was leading. So, we partnered with EiO & the Hive (via sponsorship).
But, if truth be told, this review isn’t just about our one time media visit. We loved this place so much that we actually ended up visiting Eio & the Hive on two occasions during our ten day Nashville trip. The Kid Allergy Travel family couldn’t give up the gastronomic adventure after only one try. We wanted more. And…we think if you put them on your Eat Nashville itinerary, so will you.
The first question is always the name. What exactly does it represent?
EiO stands for Everything is Organic. They want you to know where their food comes from and to feel good about what you are putting in to your body.
The Hive is their tribe. They are committed to creating an environment, not just a place to sit and fuel the body. You see communal tables and clusters of couches. You see collective toys and books gathered in baskets and bins to welcome those with kiddos to sit and stay a while.
They have also partnered with local businesses to spread the love for products that have a similar mission like Christina Cohn Ceramics, Short Mountain Cultures & Folklore Ferments Kombucha, Thistle Farms Bath & Body Product and, of course, local honey by Tennessee Artisan Honey packaged in vintage style honey bear jars.
And, in keeping with being a good community leader, this restaurant is also very conscious of what kind of waste they produce. EiO & the Hive composts 95% of all waste. Four percent is then recycled, leaving less than 1% to the landfill.
But…don’t think that you will get your typical bland health food here. They are tackling comfort food and turning it on its head in a way you will end up licking the plate when you are done. You will notice they have Cajun Potato Salad, Shells N Cheese, a Southern Farmers Bowl made with black eyed peas, and even, a meatless Ruben Sandwich made with seitan and a southern slaw (instead of sauerkraut) on the menu.
Plus, for those who can’t imagine enjoying an evening in Nashville without some good ole whiskey in their hands, don’t miss their take on the a modern whiskey cocktail. The Tennessee Stud includes whiskey flavored with blackberries plus a splash of ginger Kombucha.
So the food and beverages are sustainable, locally sourced, and creatively healthy. But, when they label the menu gluten free, how safe is it for those folks that happen to be allergic? Bread is not made in-house. By relying on a local vendor this negates the issue of flour flying through the air and potentially landing on other food and work surfaces. They have separate prep spaces and have designated sides for grilling gluten containing products versus non gluten containing products. They are very aware of cross contamination issues, have procedures to ward against them, and ultimately care deeply to include those of us that either have to or want to eat gluten free in to their Hive.
But…I can prove their devotion. They love the gluten free community so much that they even carry near gluten free beer! For those of you with more intense sensitivity levels, they are also working on sourcing one of the few 100% certified gluten free breweries in the country. Now that’s real commitment, folks!
So when it came time to order, I relaxed and let Kid Allergy take the lead. Three of their four entrees on the kids menu happened to be gluten free anyway. I decided upon the gluten free Southern Farmers Bowl topped with one of their beautifully basted Rotisserie Chickens. The boys opted for the gluten free salmon fillet with the veggie of the day (which happened to be broccoli) and a gluten free platter of scrambled eggs with a side of fruit.
I stuck to drinking water from one of the glass carafes available at the water filling station when you first walk in. The boys, however, couldn’t stay away from the prospect of tasting one of their freshly pressed juices. They received apple juices with no sugar added. The boys were in heaven and so was mom.
The kids devoured their food and I was left to slowly savor my moist rotisserie chicken piled high on my kale, cauliflower rice and summer corn. They wandered over to the couches to check out the memory game and books while I scooped up every last drop of the bright green pea puree.
But…remember, we went twice this trip. What did we order that other time?
Both of my boys went with items off the kids menu: the gluten free pulled rotisserie chicken and a gluten free grilled cheese sandwich with the veggie of the day as their side. Hubby decided upon the veggie burger and ordered some hot sauce to spice it up which was delivered in a medicine dropper (nice touch!). I had to try the Coconut Curry Bowl and topped it with the rotisserie chicken. And, for those of your thinking blackberry whiskey and kombucha sounded suspect, I can assure you that this combination was super tasty!
It all came down to this. We found our Zen eating there. My kids felt welcomed and safe. We all agreed the food was big on taste, but not over-flavored. Plus, the Kid Allergy Travel family knew we were doing right by ourselves, the local community and the environment by eating here.
This may be a new vibe for this Nashville neighborhood, but the underlying sentiments of this establishment have strong roots amongst followers of clean eating. We encourage all of you to make the detour to this quaint little community hangout for food, family, and fun. We hope that after a meal here you will be a convert to the Hive and you will be singing their praises just like we do.
Kid Allergy Travel received sponsorship via a complementary meal at EiO & the Hive. Although this was part of a media visit, rest assured, the opinions provided in the post by Kid Allergy Travel remain our own. Photos by Kid Allergy Travel.