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vegetarian in new orleans

s
sarahbecca May 4, 2007 07:50 AM

Hey,
Visiting New Orleans for the first time. I'm generally a vegetarian, although I will eat seafood. Anywhere I should really try? I live in New York, so I can get all kinds of regular vegetarian food at home, but would like to find somwhere that serves Cajun style veggie. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Sarah

  1. h
    hellsbelles May 9, 2007 12:22 PM

    Praline Connection over on Frenchmen Street has some good down home veggie dishes. I eat there almost every time I'm down that way. A lot of the nicer places will accomodate vegetarians, and it's way easier if you eat seafood (I don't).

    6 Replies
    1. re: hellsbelles
      h
      Hungry Celeste May 9, 2007 12:41 PM

      Sure, PC has great down-home veggies. I'm partial to the baby limas, myself. But they're DEFINITELY cooked with meat, as I have rec'd a bit of ham with my beans many times.

      1. re: Hungry Celeste
        p
        pelham123 May 9, 2007 07:17 PM

        i lived in nola for four years, one as a meat eater, one as a vegetarian, and two a "pechetarian" (seafood only). you can do pretty well if you aren't picky. for instance, if you don't mind picking the andouille out of you jambalaya, gumbo, or red beans.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste
          p
          pelham123 May 9, 2007 07:44 PM

          Hungry Celeste -- i just saw some posts you did on boiling crawfish, but now i can't find them. one that gave me concern was where you recommended to start small, so as not to ruin 40lbs of crawfish on your first try. i just ordered 65lbs, and i have never done boiled them before (though I have witnessed the whole process).
          my questions (some of which you've answered in previous posts, but i don't remember who said what):
          do you think there is no advantage to soaking them? - i hope you say yes, because this seems like a pain and a time comsuming process (i have a 40qt pot, so will have to do a few batches)
          how many lbs a person?
          what type of seasoning is your favorite?

          1. re: pelham123
            h
            Hungry Celeste May 10, 2007 07:47 AM

            Soaking: you do need to rinse the crawfish before you cook them. Put 'em in a washtub and spray 'em with the hose, drain the water several times. Don't bother with the "saltwater purge" because it does nothing (LSU's aquaculture researchers have proven this, but many folks cling to the idea of a saltwater soak because that's what they've always done!) A real "purge" requires an extended period of time in water without food under controlled conditions, and a not-insignificant percentage of the crawfish will die. Some vendors do sell purged crawfish, which command a higher price per pound.
            Pounds per person: depends on 1)how adept at peeling your guests are...slow peelers don't eat as much 2)whether you're serving any other substantial food. My family rule of thumb is 6-7 lbs per person, but everyone can peel their own pretty handily, even the kindergardeners.
            Seasoning: Zatarain's liquid crab boil as well as the dry blend in the boiling bags, plus plenty of lemons, whole heads of garlic, whole onions, salt, a handful of bay leaves, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

            Good luck....I hope the weather's nice for your event!

            1. re: Hungry Celeste
              c
              cajungirl May 10, 2007 11:36 AM

              We usually figure on 5 lbs. per person, unless we intentionally want leftovers. And that generally works out pretty close.

              We also like to add smoked pork sausage, as we find the crawfish easier to peel.

        2. re: hellsbelles
          c
          cajungirl May 10, 2007 11:33 AM

          It's not that these places won't accommodate vegetarians; it's that the veggies are NOT Cajun, as was originally requested by Sarah.

        3. h
          Hungry Celeste May 7, 2007 12:15 PM

          I got a good laugh out of your post: I can't think of a single cajun-style vegetable dish that doesn't involve meat in some way (bacon grease, salt pork, diced andouille sausage, tasso, ham hocks, etc). I can't cook so much as a pot of beans without "seasoning meat," and my grandmother's favorite carrot dish involved a whole lot of minced beef. In some ways, it's almost like a chinese approach to certain veggies: a tiny bit of highly flavored meat is used to infuse the entire dish.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hungry Celeste
            c
            cajungirl May 8, 2007 11:36 AM

            Thank you, Celeste! I believe we are on the same page. My daughter is a vegan, and there is not one traditional Cajun dish that I can offer her except sweet potatoes. And then I have to substitute for butter!

          2. l
            LikestoEatout May 7, 2007 10:53 AM

            My partner is vegetarian and eats seafood so we had no problems in New Orleans fing great food. I second the rec on the Gumbo Shop, we ate there twice during our 5 day visit and a vegetarian friend just went there while on a business trip and enjoyed their vegetarian gumbo.

            1. b
              B.Jule May 7, 2007 10:39 AM

              The Gumbo Shop on Toulouse, in the Quarter, offers a special vegetarian gumbo, called Gumbo Z'Herbes. It was a traditional Lenten dish, but the chef there, Richard Stewart, developed a completely Vegan version, using smoked mushrooms to give it a hearty taste. True Creoles raise an eyebrow, but some here welcome innovation.

              Also, there's a place uptown near Tipitina's called Dick and Jennie's. They have a vegetarian Lasagna that's better than any meated one I've ever had.

              1. t
                Tonto May 7, 2007 09:24 AM

                New Orleans does not serve Cajun food as a rule. Our food is Creole.

                1. c
                  cajungirl May 5, 2007 04:47 PM

                  There is really very little which I would call Cajun (as in authentic) which is also vegetarian.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cajungirl
                    m
                    mojoeater May 5, 2007 04:50 PM

                    But every Cajun and Creole place in town has excellent seafood options - shrimp, crawfish, crab, catfish, etc. If you eat fish, you will have no trouble finding great meals.

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