Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NOLA Veggie Fest, Day One

I spent the weekend in New Orleans at the annual NOLA Veggie Fest, a fund-raiser for the Humane Society of Louisiana. I signed books and led cooking demos on both days of the fest, but since I took so many pictures, I've decided to break the fest into two posts. Here's my day one recap.

Paul and I grabbed free breakfast in the hotel. They had oats, so I added brown sugar and raisins to mine. And I had some of the breakfast potatoes. Then we headed down to the New Orleans Healing Center, home of Veggie Fest.


I had the first cooking demo of the day at 11:15 a.m., so I set up my table and got to work demonstrating my Eggless Tofu Olive Salad from Cookin' Crunk.


After the demo, I moved to the booksigning table I shared with Ellen Jaffe Jones, author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day. Both Ellen and I were published through Book Publishing Company (yes, that's the name!), and they very generously paid my way to come to New Orleans for this event. My publisher Bob and Book Pub Co employee Sal staffed their book sales booth next to our signing table. Both Ellen and I led demos/talks and signed books all day.


It was great meeting Ellen! She's a devoted marathon runner, and since I plan to run my first half this year, she gave me lots of tips for increasing mileage and proper stretching. She's also a whiz at book sales, so I think I learned a few things from sharing a table with her (note to self: laminate press about the book and set that up at my signings).

We were stationed right next to the Viana and Field Roast plant meat sampling station, so I snacked on gyro meat and sausages all morning. But I was still famished by noon. Paul and I hit up this Fat Falafel food truck parked in the Veggie Fest's back lot.


I ordered the Fat Sandwich (a falafel and pita sandwich topped with root veggie slaw, French fries, and vegan garlic sauce). Nothing says amazing like fries on a sandwich, my friends. I typically eat a French fry po'boy when I'm in New Orleans, but this was the next best thing. And that garlic sauce was so yummy (yes, there are falafel balls hidden under all those fries)!


After lunch, I met a unicorn in the parking lot!


I stayed at the signing table for most of the day, but I did wander around long enough to buy three vegan message tees and a cute cotton dress. Oh, and I sampled bars and plant meats all day!

The NOLA Veggie Fest folks planned an after-party with a burlesque show at Cafe Istanbul after the event. Since we'd been snacking all day, we weren't really hungry for dinner. But we couldn't resist vegan lasagna! A catering company had Rice Noodle Lasagna, Vegan Jambalaya, and Potato Salad. When we got there, the lasagna was almost gone! But there was just enough.


Not the prettiest plating, but both were tasty as hell.


After the burlesque show, Paul and I headed to Frenchman Street to check out the local bar scene. There we ran into fellow Veggie Fest speakers Dr. Casey Taft (Vegan Publishers co-founder and author of Mom, Dad, I'm Vegan: A Guide for Understanding Your Vegan Family Member), Will Travel for Vegan Food blogger Kristen LaJeunesse, and vegan boxer Omowale Adewale. We all tucked into a very crowded reggae bar for a bit. Then Paul and I wandered down the street and found a cool goth bar. 

We finally ended the night at a 24-hour cafe — Tic Toc Cafe — by our hotel. Paul had some meaty breakfast plate, and I stuck with coffee since the place wasn't vegan-friendly. Check out this place's motto!



Tomorrow, I'll fill y'all in on day two and share more pics from Veggie Fest!

16 comments:

Cadry's Kitchen said...

I had no idea that unicorns had opposable thumbs! They truly are magical!

Meghan said...

French fry po boy? Where can I get one of these magical things?!--I'm going to be in New Orleans for the first time next month, so I'm bookmarking these posts like crazy. :)

xvavaveganx said...

Ahhh! I'm so jealous! I LOVE New Orleans and it looks like you had such an amazing day and ate some great food! That falafel sandwich sounds AMAZING. I think my favorite line in this post is "After lunch, I met a unicorn in the parking lot!" Honestly never anything you expect to read in a blog post but it made me smile :)

Congrats on the demos and signings! So excited for you!

Michelle said...

Looks like you had such a great time! The demo and speaking must've been super exciting. Did Field Roast say when they're rolling out the gyro meat? I love their sausages!

Bianca said...

Meghan, check out the Verti Mart Deli in the Quarter for French Fry Po'Boys. They typically come with cheese (and maybe mayo), but they'll leave those off and add extra tomatoes, peppers, and onions. So good!

Michelle, the gyro meat was made by Viana. Field Roast was just sampling the sausages and hot dogs.

Claire said...

Props to unicorn guy. Hysterical.

Kittee Bee Berns said...

Verti Mart is the best spot, I agree. You can find them at other po boy shops too. Watch out for gravy too, and if the ask you if you want it dressed day no!! Get a snowball at Hansens on Tchoupitoulas!!!!

Babette said...

I made the Tofu Olive Salad and it is so good! Probably the best tofu salad I've eaten. My bf is a bit freaked out by the black salt, so I had it all to myself =)

I love the name Fat Falafel! The VeggieFest sounded like a lot of fun.

Amber said...

Amazing! And how jealous am I that you got your picture taken with a unicorn.

GlutenFreeHappyTummy said...

How awesome that you did a cooking demo! Kudos to you!! :) sounds like a cool event!

Chef Amber Shea said...

What goth club?! NOLA has been on my must-visit list since I was a kid, and I've still never been. Whenever I do go, Matt and I will want to hit the goth clubs, so I've got to know which one you went to ;)

Meghan said...

Awesome, thank you so much Bianca and Kittee! I am VERY excited right now.

small town in the city said...

I love New Orleans. I wish I'd planned ahead and gone to this.

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