Restaurant Ideas - Traveling With a Vegan
So this may make many of you laugh out loud, but my vegan sister will be joining me and a couple girlfriends in NOLA on a long weekend trip in October. I have been to NOLA several times; the other members of our group have been once or not at all.
My sister, bless her heart, is a vegan who will eat fish on occasion but not dairy products. I am having a hard time coming up with options, since the rest of us not only have no dietary restrictions but are welcoming a weekend of decadent New Orleans fare.
We are staying in a rental condo in the Marigny, right above Mona's Cafe which appears to be a mediterranean-style place. My sister will eat hummus and pita chips until the cows come home so she clearly won't starve.
Does anyone know of places that have vegan options besides a garden salad or veggie burger? Or preparations of fish without the cream, butter, or mayo? She does not have a problem just asking for the items to be prepared without those things, but I am hoping to find someplace where she will actually get to sample New Orleans cuisine within the narrow parameters of what she is willing to eat.
Most of the upscale places will accommodate vegan requests if made in advance, so if you want to go somewhere fancy, just choose ahead of time. The Gumbo Shop in the Quarter, although I haven't been there, has a vegetarian option or two; Green Goddess used to have some nice veggie stuff. Surrey's [both locations] offers tofu subbed for eggs in all of its breakfast dishes, and Magasin on Magazine street has a pretty good tofu banh mi, although I'm not sure if it's entirely vegan. Also, there have to be some places around that have vegetarian red beans and rice [which would probably be vegan too], but I'm not sure where.
In the Marigny, the Vietnamese place in the back of the Lost Love Lounge now has vegan options though it appears their online menu doesn't list them yet. They don't have the very best ever Vietnamese food (this doesn't prevent me from eating it once a week) but the LLL is a fun place and worth a visit.
Also nearby is the Wandering Buddha in the back of the Hi-Ho Lounge, they serve (and deliver!) pretty excellent vegan Korean food. I really like this place and am most certainly a meat eater.
Pizza Delicious offers vegan cheese so presumably they also have a vegan-friendly crust. And there appears to be a vegan/raw-food place that's setup inside the Mardi Gras Zone (Royal @ Port St.). I can't speak to the quality of these though.
And when you're here, ask around. I can't imagine the rise of vegan cuisine in the Marigny happened without there being vegans around to demand it ... seems like a good way of meeting people. While NOLA certainly has a reputation for non-vegan eating, I'm seeing that the influx of young urbanites is changing some of that. (Though I'd argue that a pop-up vegan Korean restaurant in the back of a dive bar managed by a brass band is quintessential New Orleans even if pork isn't involved.)
On a completely different note: it's not quiet where you're staying (though it's a great location). Depending on how much sleep you're looking to get, consider bringing earplugs with you.
So jennyo, how did you do with your vegan sister? I'm going in October of 2013 with my strictly vegan husband. Just wondering what some of your experiences were. TIA