Vegan MoFo Post #17!
Holy crap, I’m actually caught up! I never thought it would happen. Anyway, New Orleans is pretty rad. I describe it as the most non-American-looking place in America I’ve ever been to. What really put the icing on the cake for this trip is that a couple friends and I rented this hippy bus through AirBnB. So yes, we slept on a hippy bus and it was awesome and had a kitchen! And air-conditioning that’s very important since it’s still in the 90s over here.
I forgot how hot it can get in America and in my head before I came back I had been converted to the European opinion of Americans, which as far as I can tell is that we’re wimps who use unnecessary air-conditioning machines during the summer. After traveling through Austin and Louisiana and hell, even NYC blacktop summer heat hell, I will admit I was wrong. Very wrong.
I guess you probably want to see the inside of the hippy bus, right? Here you go! There were three beds, two in the back, a stove, sink and a fridge. My 16 year old hippy self would have died as it was basically my dream to live in a hippy fort and this bus was decked out with essential oils and all. You’re welcome, 16-year old self!
I guess we can talk about food now. One place that caught my eye was Milkfish, a Filipino restaurant. I was of the opinion that Filipino food was basically ALL meat and fish and checking their menu online made it seem like that too, but confusingly I kept seeing it mentioned on vegan websites and blogs and a few vegans at the NOLA Vegan Drinks said it was great, so I decided to give it a go. I asked when I arrived if something could be made vegan…and they pulled out a whole secret menu for vegans, vegetarians and pescitarians! WHAT. Night made. Our waiter was super nice and helpful too!
I got the V. Sisig, which was mock meats in a garlic-ginger-chili sauce with onions, chilies, topped with bean sprouts, a roasted lime, calamansi sauce and garlicky rice. It was awesome.
There was even a dessert I could eat! I got the Turon, which was basically vegan eggrolls filled with banana and jackfruit. I just had to ask them to leave the glaze off as it contained milk.
After a failed attempt at trying to park near Cafe du Monde and giving up, we headed Uptown to go to Nile Ethiopian Restaurant. My friend Ginny and I got the Veggie Combo which you can see above. Isn’t it so gorgeous?! It tasted amazing too. I love Ethiopian food so much!
After my friends left, I had a couple days in New Orleans to myself. I went on Facebook and looked up “Vegan New Orleans” and lo and behold there was a NOLA Vegan Drinks meet-up hosted by the lovely Melissa from New Orleans in the Green the next night! Her blog is suuuper helpful if you’re visiting New Orleans as a vegan, so definitely check it out!
Anyway, vegan drinks were held at Lost Love Lounge. A bar with a Vietnamese kitchen in the back. A special menu had been arranged listing all the vegan things separately and they even got almond milk special that day so the cocktails could be veganized. Above is my Spicy Bean Bloody Mary, I don’t care if it wasn’t lunch time!
My absolute favorite drink though was this vegan Toasted Almond made from kahlua, amaretto and almond milk. I haven’t had one of these in years. I have to admit I used to sip my parents’ when I was underage because they tasted like candy. It was every bit as good as I remember. I’m totally buying some amaretto for myself now to recreate it.
The food was pretty fab too. I got this Fried Tamarind Tofu Noodle Bowl and it came with peanut sauce. They are also pretty famous for their different Bahn Mi sandwiches, which I didn’t get to try but looked awesome.
After the NOLA Vegan Drinks meet-up the drinking continued and I met up with another friend. We eventually got somewhat drunken food at Dat Dog, a hot-dog shop that has a vegan option. I’m pretty sure this was a vegan apple sage sausage. I told them to just throw anything on it (chef’s special) as long as it was vegan. It was really tasty.
Not the most appetizing picture, but Juan’s Flying Burrito was a great place that describes itself as “Creole Taqueria” with some already vegan stuff on the menu and some stuff super easy to veganize. I got the Super Green and added sweet potato. We also got delicious chips with guac and salsa. There are two locations, one in the Lower Garden District and one Midcity.
We discovered this place called the Sneaky Pickle was walking distance from our bus and had to go. Not only did they have delicious food, it was also very affordable! Above is the Smoky Tempeh Flatbread made from a corn and flour tortilla with smoked tempeh, butter bean puree, caramelized onions and a seasonal slaw for $4. It was effing amazing.
This was named the Bowl of Stuff and it was a HUGE bowl of sweet potato, chickpeas, collards, brown rice veggies, ginger and spices all mixed together. It was nice to have some real healthy feeling food and at $5 it fed two of us. This was one of my favorite places we went to. Super laid back, affordable, friendly. You order at the counter and there are booths and tables, more of a cafe and it’s next to a place with vegan popsicles you can see below. They also have vegan baked goods.
The internet kept telling me to go to Seed and who am I to turn down the internet?! Turns out it was a good recommendation. It was a bit pricier, so it was our splurge meal in New Orleans. What we liked is that they had a lot of classic New Orleans dishes that are usually filled with dairy and meat and veganized them. Okay, the nachos above are not a New Orleans classic, but nachos are my favorite food so I had to get them. With their roasted corn salsa, cashew queso, black beans, guac, cashew sour cream and corn chips, they were the way to my heart.
I also got this Seed Gumbo to split with my friend. It was made from a traditional roux , okra, green & red peppers, collard greens, and mushrooms. I was skeptical about it, as it seemed kinda like chili and I overdid chili when I first turned vegan and am still sick of it, but it was awesome and nothing like chili. Highly recommended!
This was my friend’s meal, I believe it was the Seed Club Sandwich. I didn’t try it, but it looks good!
My other friend went for the Roasted Carrot Avocado Salad with agave/balsamic-roasted carrots, avocados, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, raw spinach.
We all split this Beignets, which are special to New Orleans. They are basically little pieces of fried dough covered in powdered sugar and they were amazing, as you’d expect. Everything we got at Seed was good, definitely a must-do on your trip!
One of my favorite places I went to was Breads on Oak, a bakery that also has sandwiches, coffee, etc. I’d say about 75% of everything was vegan. I got this Pumpkin (Vegan) Cheddar Biscuit with tofu scramble, vegan andouille sausage, tomato, greens and aioli. It was to die for. In fact, I was going to go back as I write this, but they are closed until Wednesday. 🙁 Go there!
I also got this Peanut Butter Blondie. It was awesome and not too sweet, so I was happy. They also have chicory coffee here so you can check that off your tourist to-eat list and kill two birds with one stone.
Speaking of chicory coffee, here is a cafe au lait with soy made with it! It’s not so different from regular coffee as far as I can tell, just a slight taste difference. I think my favorite one was from CJ’s Coffee, a chain in the area, but this one from The Reservoir Cafe was pretty good as well and they had vegan carrot cake!
No picture, but Zotz Cafe was GREAT. Good coffee, lots of space and art everywhere, books to read, two back rooms, lots of space to work or read, wifi. If you’re looking for a cafe to chill out in, this is it.
Right next to Sneaky Pickle mentioned above is Meltdown Pops, a shop selling only popsicles and most of them are vegan! The one above was coconut milk with blueberry and lavender. It was really good. They also had a pineapple cilantro flavor I wanted to try. Perfect for the hot weather!
We also got this snow cone at a place on Saint Claude Ave on our walk to the French Quarter. I had read that they make snow cones a special way in New Orleans with a special machine. It was pretty much like snow (haha yellow snow). The one above is actually pineapple flavored. It was good, but way too sweet for me to finish! They had TONS of different flavors though, including a wedding cake flavor!
Groceries and Yoga
Check out the New Orleans Food Co-op! It’s in a big center with Wild Lotus Yoga studio, which does a Yoga for Lunch $10 class most weekdays my friend and I went to and quite enjoyed! I found this fruit I’ve never seen before, Monstera Deliciosa…anyone ever try it?!
Unrelated to food, I kept noticing a strange addition to these house for sale signs as I wandered around. Can you guess what it was? New Orleanians take their haunting quite seriously, I suppose. I’m pretty positive it wasn’t a joke. This one was not haunted, in case you’re in the market…
This one, however….I wonder if there is a price discount for ghosts?
Since two of us had read the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles, we decided to be stalker nerds and go to Anne Rice’s house. There was this plaque there, so I’m assuming this happens often.
We also had a wander around Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which is in the books. It was sufficiently creepy. The cemeteries in New Orleans in general are pretty unique!
Someone trying to escape?
In other news, there are a lot of dogs walking across wet cement in New Orleans, as I found a lot of dog paw prints in the sidewalk. Doggie Walk of Fame?
And that was our visit! New Orleans was probably the most unique city I’ve been to in the US. I highly recommend a visit! I’m sure I’ll be back someday!