Monday, April 7, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green in the Big Easy...

...and, by green, I mean vegan. Or even vegetarian.

But, as I found out this past weekend at CCCC, it certainly isn't impossible either. While I'd been warned that New Orleans was a barren wasteland of veggie friendly food, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this wasn't exactly true. With a combination of luck (mostly wandering around aimlessly peeking into courtyards and onto balconies) and the help of a very friendly local vegetarian, I managed to compile a who's who of vegan options in NO:

--13 (517 Frenchmen St.): Walking by, I noticed the sign they had out front. The special for the day was a barbecue tofu and spinach wrap. I walked no further. While I went for the tofu and potato breakfast burrito, which was good, I caught a glimpse of their tachos (tater tots made into nachos) that someones had ordered with sauteed veggies instead of cheese. She said they were as delicious as they looked.
--Bon Ton Cafe (401 Magazine St.): There is not a single vegetarian item on the whole menu. BUT, they do have a veggie jambalaya that is vegan, laden with brussel sprouts, and divine. All you have to do is ask.
--The Gumbo Shop (630 Saint Peter St.): They offer two NO's specialties in vegan versions: Gumbo and the Po-Boy.
--Bennachin (1212 Royal St.): An African restaurant that has many vegan dishes, is affordable, and you bring your own wine.

Unfortunately, I had time to check out two of these places. Rumor has it there are also a number of Middle Eastern restaurants that serve vegan fare (Lebanon's Cafe), though I didn't have the time.

One last note: the Kitchen Witch directed me to all these places (except 13) and has a charming cookbook shop to top it all off. I definitely recommend swinging by to checkout the vegetarian section and cavort with her dogs. Plus, she knows how to hang a welcome sign. (631 Toulouse St.)

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