The following was written by Melissa Bastian of Bright and Libellule.
New Orleans is a city with a rich and deep rooted culture, much of which revolves around food. About 95% of that food, though, is animals! Shrimp, crawfish, roast beef, sausage, whatever. It's meat all the live long day down south, right down to the ham hock in your green beans. They know not what they do.
Given this food environment, need I tell you that it's just a smidge difficult being vegetarian (or, heaven forbid, VEGAN) in the Crescent City? It can be done, but it certainly isn't easy. Which is why I'm thrilled to share two very exciting pieces of news!
Number one: I've just discovered that there is now an all vegetarian restaurant in New Orleans! As cruel cruel fate would have it, Cafe Bamboo opened its doors THE DAY I LEFT THE CITY from my last visit. Ironic, no? But I'll hold no grudges, given the caveat that it stays open long enough for me to go and try it out! I, of course, hope that it stays open forever and is ridiculously prosperous. I'm super excited that on the menu, they notate what isn't vegan - and it's only a few items! Plus, it all looks delish.
Number two: not only does this place exist and everything, which believe me is seriously a major feat, but it will also be playing host to the first annual NOLA Veggie Fest! Yes, that's right. You read correctly. Not only does The City that Care Forgot now have it's very own vegetarian restaurant, but now it's going to have a major event to promote the veg way. On Sunday, May 17, the good people of New Orleans will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a vegetarian education extravaganza! When I heard about this event, I was at first elated and then immediately brokenhearted - there's no way I'll be able to attend. But I'll be there in spirit! And I'll also be nagging all of you about it until then! Woo!
Features of the event include:
*free food samples
*raffle prizes (a few of which will be donated by yours truly, and hopefully by some of the other members of the Vegan Etsy team)
*a free subscription to VegNews Magazine for the first 50 attendees!
Admission is a mere $5, and proceeds go to the Humane Society of Louisiana. How great is that? I've asked Vegan Etsy team members to see what they can get together for donations as far as raffle prizes - anything goes! Details are on the team message board, or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. This is truly a step forward for the city of New Orleans, and I hope everyone who can will join me in helping to support this great event - up to and including attending it for those of you who live in the gulf south! I, sadly, will be here in NYC slaving away, but I'll be there in spirit. So tell them I say hello, keep up the awesome work, and Happy Veggie Fest!