365 Project Day 274: Baton Rouge Bound, Part 1

Whew!  That was some intense VeganMoFo-ing last month!  And also some pretty serious New Orleans-ing.

For a change of pace, I took a day trip to our sister city to the (barely)North(mostly)West, Baton Rouge, for a tour of their vegan options.  My main discovery?  They have plenty!  (Of course, Baton Rouge Vegans already knew that.)

We'll spend the next three days reviewing the vegan foods I found and ate in Baton Rouge.  We'll start where all meals should, with actual food.  Tomorrow my favorite part: dessert!  And finally on Friday, we'll look at making groceries.  Ready?  Here we go!

I began my tour on Perkins, and my first stop was Truly Free Bakery.  In addition to a plethora of vegan, gluten-free sweets, they boast a full diner-style menu.  Vegan items are marked with a V, and comprise everything that's not made with meat; there is no dairy or egg on the premises.  I'd originally read that the bakery made waffles on weekends; this is no longer the case.  Though saddened, I chose a vegan Reuben with sweet potato fries on the side and was not disappointed:

Next I continued along Perkins to The Big Squeezy.  Choices of cold-pressed juice were nearly overwhelming, but after several samples I settled on the Crazy Eight.  It's made with pineapple, watermelong, beet, apple, carrot, orange, lemon, and "a hint of ginger," and it's pure sunshine.

I then popped by Chelsea's, which is trickily under a bridge, to check out the scene.  I found a beautiful sign out front and a laid back, comfortable interior.  They weren't able to provide me with a takeout menu, but I'm told there are in fact vegan options!  Maybe the grilled veggies on focaccia, or the veggie burger?  Y'all will have to let me know.

With Perkins done, I headed downtown to the Main Street Market.  I was a bit late in the day to catch the Farmer's Market or the Main Street Market, but I was able to get a look at what I was missing.

Salad menu at Freshjunkies
From Main Street, I headed down toward campus via Highland Road near Dalrymple.  It was, of course, a game day, so I didn't stay.  But I spotted numerous restaurants that could offer vegan meals: Louie's Cafe (it's a greasy spoon, but I'm told they'll make an excellent vegan sandwich); Koi Sushi next door with veggie rolls and a large "vegetable" section on its Chinese menu; a PJ's coffee for your soy latte needs; Pita Pit for some mass-produced hummus; Chipotle for an acceptable burrito or beans and rice bowl; and Subway if you're really desperate.  You can also get coffee at Highland Coffees, at least for the next few months.

I then took the looooonnngggg way to the suburbs, down Highland to Bluebonnet, and following Bluebonnet until it becomes Coursey, and then following Coursey allll the way to the WalMart shopping center near Jones Creek Road.  Why?  For some Thai food.

As in most places, a variety of Asian restaurants provide great vegan options to Baton Rouge vegans.  I joint Vicki of Vicki B. Hairstyles at Thai Chili for some good times and excellent tofu.

Sesame Tofu at Thai Chili
Thai Basil Tofu at Thai Chili

Other likely locations for good vegan Asian food in that neck of the woods include Oriental Pearl with several vegetable options, Sushi Village (which offers a mango avocado roll!), Waka House for the Ruby Crunchy Roll, or Tiger Sushi for basic rolls and edamame.

Though I didn't get to eat any of it, it seems that Middle Eastern is another good option found around the Baton Rouge area.  Restaurants include Serop's Cafe, Serop's Express, and several locations of Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant.  BR also plays host to a few Indian restaurants with vegan options, including Curry-n-Kebab and Bay Leaf.

For a final snack of the day I headed to Room for Dessert... but for that you'll have to wait until tomorrow!

Check out days two and three of my Baton Rouge travels: Desserts and Makin' Groceries!

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