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Aug 22, 2009 08:47 AM

Vegetarian- friendly recs?

Any new recs or thoughts about places for vegetarians visiting NO? I got some great recs here for a visiting friend last year (thank you!!), and see there was a request for suggestions last March, with several new ideas included. All recommendations appreciated, but if there are places we could come close to more Cajun/ creole foods (I know, how can that be done without porkfat or seafood??) would love to hear them. Thanks!!

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  1. Try the Green Goddess. It is a brand new vegetarian restaurant and I have heard it is quite good.

    4 Replies
      1. re: shywri1ter

        Green Goddess isn't a vegetarian restaurant, but I believe they have a couple of vegetarian dishes:

        Cafe Bamboo (a vegetarian restaurant)

        Back to the Garden Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant 833 Howard Ave, New Orleans Louisiana 70113 504-299-8792

        Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter has a Creole vegetarian dish of the day:

        Suggestions from Happy Cow:

        1. re: Suzy Wong

          True...(re Green Goddess) but there are many vegetarian dishes that are absolutely delicious. Vegan, definetly not, but if you are a vegetarian they have several menu items that will please your palate. We dined here with a group of carnviores and herbivores, and everyone was pleased. I really want to check out Back to the GArden. How is it?

          1. re: ScarlettNola

            I love certain dishes at Back to the Garden like the tuna club, tacos, side salad with honey french dressing and the croissant sandwiches. The side salad has sunflower seeds, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, carrots and lettuce. The dressing is really quite good. I need to ask for the dressing recipe. The tuna club is tuna, swiss cheese, sprouts, avacado, carrots and I can't think of what else at the moment. I usually order the club and salad and split it into two lunches.

    1. Praline Connection does not put pork in its beans or greens (at least the last time I checked).

      1. Thanks, everyone! We'll have several days so may get to try them all!

        Last year, someone here recommended Gumbo Shop a bit apologetically, saying she knew it was touristy. However, it was a perfect stop on a suddenly rain-chilled day, and we tried both the vegetarian entre and veg gumbo of the day (by the way, they were nice enough to serve us the entre in a soup cup size as well as the gumbo, so we could have a bit of both.) My guest enjoyed them both, but still talks about the gumbo z'herbes.

        Also enjoyed Bennachin's -- one bit of pre-planning we didn't know we'd need was that at least last year, they didn't take credit cards. Once we managed some cash, we had great, interesting meals. (and we may not be able to resist Lebanon's Cafe, a fave that can accommodate both vegetarians and meat-eaters.)

        Thanks again -- always fun to try new places!

        3 Replies
        1. re: shywri1ter

          I didn't mention Lebanon because you said "creole" not ethnic, but Lebanon is my favorite Middle Easten place.

          re gumbo z'herbes, be careful most all recipes call for meat to be cooked with it/in it, even Leah Chases...' Langenstein's grocery puts meat in theirs, so always ask first, IMO....As does Emeril's recipe, that one uses ham and bacon fat also.....

          In my experience, one doesn't need to go to a vegetarian specific restaurant, most any restaurant has at least a few non meat or non seafood items.....especially with sides and salads...

          Gumbo Shop also has a vegetable po-boy....

          1. re: Suzy Wong

            My guest has happily reminded me that she can always find a salad or sides, and I know that's true, but that seems second best sometimes. I know how much I'm missing as someone who doesn't care for seafood, as usually there are only one or two menu items which are non-seafood. So all these suggestions for places that have meatless entres in mind are so much appreciated!

            And maybe it wasn't here-- but I've been told by a couple sources that Bayona is very accommodating if you ask for a meatless dish; years ago when Stella opened they did the same for someone in our group.

          2. re: shywri1ter

            I was going to mention Bennachin. It's also extra fun since you get to see the way African cooking influenced creole cooking.

            Another thing I'd say is that both Central Grocery and Napoleon House will make you a muffaletta without the meat, something we always get. The only question is if you want it warmed up (Napoleon) or not (Central). I don't know which is better, but I do suggest vegetarians do this. The olive salad is killer at both places.

            One quick warning: I discovered (too late!) that the bloody mary at Mr. B's has beef broth in it! (It should be called a Bloody Bull, according to Eddie, the bartender at the Carousel Bar in that case) I know that it's hard to ask whether or not every damn thing contains meat but that was really pushing it, I thought.

          3. Count this as another Green Goddess rec. And besides having plenty vegetarian offerings, it's fun and at times progressive as well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gastrotect

              I only noticed 2 maybe 3 vegetarian dishes...on the GG dinner menu...

              1. re: Suzy Wong

                I actually count 5 not including any of the appetizers for Tales of the Cocktail (not sure if those are still being served.) And if I'm not mistaken they have an all vegetarian tasting menu. Unless you meant vegan, in which case you are probably right.

                1. re: gastrotect

                  Slim Goodies on Magazine has more than a few+ vegetarian and vegan:


            2. Thanks for all the good ideas -- and sorry if I wasn't clear, would love any and all suggestions for good vegetarian food, no matter the cuisine -- I just have been stubbornly hoping to show off the great tastes of creole & cajun food as a part of this New Orleans trip.

              Thanks again everyone -- my guest won't be here until mid-October, so if you have any other more ideas along the way we'll happily add them to the list of where to go!

              2 Replies
              1. re: shywri1ter

                There has been some noise that Bayona has been inconsistent of late, but yes, they, as well as Herbsaint have always had at least one menu offering for the vegetarian, and I've always considered them veg-friendly (though to be fair, I haven't been to either in awhile).

                If you are planning on doing any "finer" dining, then the rule of thumb for vegetarians is simply to call first and inform the restaurant of the situation-- I have had many fabulous dinners just by stating my dietary restrictions and just leaving it in the hands of the chef. Most all fine dining restuarants here are more than happy to make something special, and this might be the best way to get some of the "New Orleans flavors" for your friend.

                Oh, and I just remembered Boucherie uptown. They always have a changing vegitarian entree, and it has been two of my favorite meals in recent memory. Alll my meat eating friends love it too. It also is incredibly affordable for what it is. It's been discovered, so if you plan to go, make a reservation for sure.

                On another note, besides what you have listed already, there are a few, decidely un-gourmet options, (think nola pub grub) like Coops for veggie burger and fries, and 13 on Frenchman for quite a few different options (I like the BBq tofu poboy), Mimi's in the Marigny (upstairs) for tapas (they serve late and it's a fun atmosphere). There is also a relatively new vegitarian restaurant- "Cafe Bamboo" on Esplanade, but I would not call it .excellent, and it's a little high for what they serve. At the same time, it's funky, and if your friend is into fake meats, she might enjoy.

                1. re: swampsue

                  A very belated thanks for your recs! My friend found Boucherie on the web and has added it to her list to try, so am glad to hear it's gotten your vote (I kept thinking it looked like a meat-heavy place, but she looked more closely than I did and knows what she's looking for!)

                  We also saw Cafe Bamboo, and her comment was much like yours, that they seem to be "faux meat" oriented. That's on the maybe-list.

                  Your pub grub suggestions are great too, and will help round out the visit.

                  Again, thanks for all the good suggestions -- sorry I'm so late in my appreciation.