Spark of Life Healing Foods, Nashville TN 100% raw, vegan, & gluten-free
On the third day of our trip, after waking up somewhere in rural Tennessee, we headed west to continue our road trip and drove through Nashville. This coincided with lunch time, so after a quick stop at the Grand Ole Opry, we drove deeper into the city in search of food. Shout-out to Vicki for leaving us a comment suggesting this place, because it was AMAZING! So amazing, I just had to share. Its located on the back side of a larger building with businesses in the front, so it took us a minute to find it once we'd pulled in the GPS'd parking lot. There is a small sign, pictured above, and a single table outside. We walked in and were immediately and warmly welcomed by owner Pam, and assistant/ resident cheese maker Daphne.
We immediately noticed the case full of goodies, pre-packed raw snacks, and local kombucha- we were so happy to have found such a healthy, delicious place, especially after days of not-quite-the-healthiest road trip food (french fries, anyone?). In the case were large plates with a raw entrée and two sides, a large serving bowl full of mock tuna salad and one full of sundried tomato hummus, plus fresh coconuts, raw apple pie, pre-packed chili, and homemade vegan cheeses. Now, if you know me, you know I rock out pretty hard when I get a great vegan cheese. I'm a sucker for 'em, and these were no exception. Daphne, who makes all the cashew-based cheeses by hand in 8 flavors right from her home, let us try a sample of all the cheese she had on hand- a white cheddar, brie, gruyere, smoked cheddar, and sriracha cheddar. I was sold immediately. They were rich, full of flavor, and tasted like the real thing- only BETTER! She sells her cheeses under the name Door 86, and recently got a contract with Vegan Cuts- so some of you may get to try her cheeses soon, anyway! To get more info on her cheese, and buy it (you should), check out her site here.
For lunch, Alex and I ordered one special plate of the day, and a salad plate, plus ginger kombucha, two blocks of vegan cheese with homemade buckwheat crackers, and a raw apple pie to go. We may have over-ordered, but the leftovers were amazing and again, we were just so happy to have found food that made us feel good. The special plate of the day, pictured below (top) was a Mexican-style bowl with hummus & veggie topped buckwheat flatbread, in sort of a pizza style, shredded carrot salad with lime and cilantro, and a small salad with roasted red pepper dressing. The salad plate contained a larger salad with the same dressing (though balsamic vinaigrette was an option as well), a serving of nut-based mock tuna salad and a serving of hummus. We love everything on BOTH plates, and would've loved an extra slice of the 'pizza'...it was so fresh! We loved how spicy & gingery the kombucha was, and felt great that it was made locally. The raw apple pie was probably Alex's favorite- he's a sucker for pie of any kind. The best part of Spark is the fact that so much love and care is put into every dish. The owner comes out to meet every customer, and both Pam and Daphne made our lunch experience totally awesome. If we lived nearer, we'd be back weekly for sure. Make sure you check it out if you're in the area- its so worth it! Check out Spark of Life Healing Foods online, or connect with them on Facebook for daily menu updates. And don't forget to order some cheese from Door 86- it's to die for. A special thanks to Pam and Daphne for answering all of our questions and letting us snap a few photos; hopefully we'll be back soon!