Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Orleans Eats, Part 1

I spent the last several days in New Orleans for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference. In real life, I write for the Memphis Flyer, the city's free alt-weekly, and our paper belongs to AAN along with about 130 other free weeklies from across the country. Folks from papers like the Nashville Scene, Mountain Xpress, Portland Mercury, and Washington City Paper gathered in NOLA for several days of news and design workshops.

Of course, I found plenty to eat ... so much that I'm splitting my photos into two posts. When my editors Bruce and Susan (also a vegetarian) arrived on Thursday afternoon, we were starving. The easiest option was lunch in the hotel restaurant. It was a fancy joint inside the equally fancy Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Canal in the French Quarter. No vegan options on the menu, but there was a chicken salad with quinoa, chickpeas, kidney beans, and seasonal greens. So I asked for the chicken salad with no chicken:

For dinner on Thursday, Susan and I wandered around the corner to one of my fave New Orleans restaurants — the Country Flame. It's a hole-in-the-wall Cuban place with Fried Plantain and Yuca Vegetarian Fajitas. I ordered my usual fried yuca (my parents and I always eat here when we're in town):

And Susan ordered the fried plantains. Then we shared:

Afterward, we hit up Bourbon Street for Mango Daiquiris:

On Friday, I ate leftover fajitas in the room for breakfast. We only had a quick 30-minute break between workshops for lunch. So we went to the closet place to the hotel — the China Wall, a sort of forgettable fast food Chinese place. I got the Vegetable Fried Rice, which despite its lack of vegetables (except for three pieces of broccoli), was actually pretty tasty ... mainly because it was salty and greasy. You cannot go wrong with salty and greasy:

On Friday night, I grabbed a Subway Veggie Delite before heading out to the Republic for the AAN-sponsored burlesque show open-bar party.

On Saturday morning, Susan and I trekked over to Nosh on Dauphine Street. They have portabella sliders during lunch and dinner, but breakfast was the typical egg and meat affair. I did score some spicy Hash Browns and Plain Grits:

For lunch, we went to the Green Goddess in Exchange Alley. My VegOut app showed this place to be the nearest veg-friendly restaurant to our hotel:

This tiny cafe was so adorable inside. There were only a few tables, so it had an intimate vibe. Plus, they had an iced tea of the day and a "tea sommelier"! Susan ordered a vegetarian Cuban sandwich made with collard greens. I opted for the Indian Pancake with Coconut Cabbage Slaw and Tamarind Sauce:

The pancake wasn't quite enough food for me, but it kept me full enough for a few hours. I knew we wouldn't be eating dinner on Saturday until after 7 p.m., so I snacked on this cute ready-to-eat meal that I'd brought from home. I found this St. Dalfour Whole Grain & Bean Salad at Whole Foods. It came with a tasty pineapple juice and oil sauce and the tiny fork!

I have a ton of photos from Saturday night's cocktail party and dinner. So I'll stop here and share those tomorrow night.

Tomorrow is the last day for my Zukay giveaway! Click here for more info.


Vegan Georgia said...

I still haven't put up my New Orleans post, but the best place I went there was Bennachin's. It's an African place, and they have some fantastic vegan options, including blackeyed pea fritters (salty, greasy, and delicious) and some bean & rice and curry dishes that are fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I loved Green Goddess when we went!

Brigid said...

Green Goddess looks adorable from the sign! I haven't been to New Orleans since, oh, 1999. I'd love to visit again.

foodfeud said...

I haven't been to NOLA for a long time either, it's nice to hear some street names and see there are some decent eats.
(PS you won the hummus coupon contest on my blog a while back - email me if you still want them!)

Caitlin said...

i've never been to new orleans, but if i ever go, i definitely want to try the plantain fajitas- they look delicious!

come to think of it, i've never been to a cuban restaurant, so i definitely feel like i'm missing out on some awesome food..

Tender Branson said...

I found New Orleans to be a difficult place to eat. Had to spend a lot of time looking around and researching. We did wind up at the Green Goddess and I really liked my meal (though the dessert was kind of a letdown). I wish I had known about the Cuban joint.

Leslie R. said...

Wow- I've never eaten at any of those places. I need to explore more!

Erin said...

Okay, that all looks pretty good, but the salad-in-a-can is the cutest thing ever!

Tanya said...

Glad you had a good time here. There are a few relatively new places that have vegan stuff too! There's a new Ethiopian place that's really good (it hides out behind a sno-ball joint on magazine) and there's a tropical/Brazilian place called Carmo that I haven't been to yet, but has several vegan versions of their regular food! Green Goddess is always a good one. The only veg place here closed a while ago :(