More than plant based. Locally inspired
By: Rachie Levy
You may have noticed the new kid on the block in Knoxville’s Old City – or you may be like us and have been (im)patiently waiting on the day she opened for what seems like forever. But good food cannot be rushed, and once you take your first bite of that oh so delicious Vidl taste, you’ll know it was well worth the wait. Here’s a little inside scoop on Knoxville’s newest plant-based restaurant: Vid’l.
First things first…
What the heck is ‘Vidl?!’ Short answer: the newest restaurant in Old City.
Long answer: the brainchild of chef, Jenna Baker. After years of teaching people the value of well-being, nurturing the body with good food, and how to make that good food, Jenna opened Vidl. You may already recognize her from Be Well Boxes by Cook To Be Well. Or maybe you know her from taking one of her classes on preparing whole foods. But noooow, you can cozy on up at the wooded bar (or sit in the back and eye those lush and vibrant micro greens sitting in the grow room, just waiting to top your market bowl) and enjoy those whole foods in the comfort of Vid’l.
So what’s the big deal?
Do we need to mention the grow room again? It’s literally a room in the middle of the restaurant actively growing fresh micro-greens! (If you were in Knoxville during the days of Bluhen, you’ll remember that same room growing loads and loads of hemp. We love that Jenna was able to repurpose and make use of it for Vid’l!)
Besides this awe-inspiring grow room, just take one bite of the chickpea salad and you’ll be a believer. Chef Baker sources fresh seasonal produce straight from the East Tennessee region and creates masterpieces with them.
The focus of the restaurant is fresh food, and she wants to show you the true value of fruits and vegetables. Baker believes the best way to make good food is to start from the source with quality produce. Instead of covering up a bad vegetable by frying it, she finds the best vegetables and simply enhances them.
If you look around Knoxville, you won’t spot many places like Vidl – full of fresh produce, a rotating menu, and fresh takes on classic dishes.
But Vid’l has high hopes of opening the door to cooking and eating for wellness in the city. And maybe, just maybe, this one little shop will inspire you to try something new and maybe even try a Be Well Box so you can bring the fresh, plant based cooking home to your own kitchen. O_r even open a kitchen of your own! 👀
Okay, for real, stop in now:
“It’s all just about featuring the vegetable,” says Baker, and if that doesn’t make you want to finally listen to your mom and eat your greens, I don’t know what will!
She doesn’t just make these vegetables delicious – she makes them approachable. You’ll notice from the start the restaurant feels like home and the dishes remind you of childhood. (They just may have a little bit more emphasis on the clean and healthy eating part.) If nothing else, they’ll make you wish you never turned your nose up all of those times you were told to eat your greens!
You’re through the background; now start here…
You get the idea: healthy but delicious food.
If this is something completely new and foreign to you, don’t worry. We may have tried A LOT of the menu, so we can help you out 😉 (For real, the chickpea salad is one of the best side salads your taste buds will ever touch.)
But if you’re feeling lost, the folks who make up the Vidl crew are really the ones to ask. They want to bring this food to you and they’re super excited to do so. As we said, it’s been a long time coming between all of Baker’s previous positions leading her to this spot, getting the space restaurant ready, finding the right suppliers, and all the madness that comes with opening a restaurant. We’re stoked they’re finally here and ready for you to come and experience the world of locally inspired.
Have we convinced you yet?! No?
Okay then, try the cookies then come back and tell us the answer to that question 😂 See you soon!