NOiG Scavenger Hunt Week: Sunday Brunch at Seed!

Hi y'all!  To kick off NOiG's Scavenger Hunt Week, come on out to Seed for Sunday brunch tomorrow, May 1 at 11am and get your #VeganHunt2016 started!  You can reply to the Facebook invite here.  Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 1, 3, 5, and 14 while partaking in some excellent brunch.

Afterward, we'll visit Cocoally Vegan Boutique next door to see the amazing art and designs of Ally Burguieres!  You won't want to miss it.


Vegan Jazz Fest!

Hi y'all!  Come with me, if you will, on a tour of my Jazz Fest experience today.  TL;DR: it was hot, the music was good, and there's plenty to eat.  :)

* * * * * *

Beginning at approximately 11:30am...

I'm here! And hot! Cooling off in the Gospel Tent with some strawberry lemonade, always my first stop inside the gate!  The Gospel Inspirations of Bouttee are playing, and they're quite fantastic.

~12pm Iced tea is always a good call. The rosemint and mandarin are sweetened with honey, but you can get them unsweetened!  Or regular black sweet.  Also: the grounds are super muddy and gross. If you're coming, be prepared.

Get yer fruit salad!

My feelings about the Indians are so complicated. It's such an incredibly beautiful and fascinating part of New Orleans culture. And it's tied in to my Sicilian heritage. But also all those damn feathers. But also, on many levels, it's not for me. So... complicated.


~12:40pm The Pfister Sisters in the Economy Hall jazz tent where my grandpa used to play Dixieland jazz.  He is why I keep coming back to Jazz Fest.

Sorbetto for youuuuu.  I've still never tried the strawberry balsamic; I really need to!

Can't beat Plum Street.

Oh, the utter joy I felt when I determined that Roman Candy is vegan...

Enjoying some glazed pecans in the shade of the Gentilly Stage tree - can't quite see Bonerama but I can hear em real good! 

The veg combo from Bennachin (jama jama and plantains) looks good, but I'm in it for Gambian Foods tofu...

Spicy tofu with peanut sauce AND veggie pita from Gambian Foods in the Congo Square area.  Delicious!  Light enough but also substantial enough for this mid-day heat.

Maybe a bit warm for Praline Connections greens and beans, though they are delicious... 

But I could see cooling down with some seaweed salad from Ajun Cajun!

...or some Italian Ice from my favorite, Brocato's!

The king cake snoball from AJ's is just a thing that everyone should try one time.

Last meal of the day: Unsweet rosemint tea and tofu bun with peanut sauce. Cold noodles is exactly what I needed!!  Eaten while listening to the one and only John Boutte in the Blues Tent.  And caught Irma Thomas doing "Ruler of my Heart" on the way over!

And that's me done!  5 hours at Jazz Fest is more than I can usually muster so we should all be very proud.  I saw all of these folks: The Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, the High Steppers Brass Band, the Pfister Sisters, Bonerama, Sharr Allen, Irvin Mayfield, Irma Thomas, and John Boutte.  Not a bad day - even if I did miss Lauren Hill.  I ate quite well, and there were so many options I passed up! 


Announcing: NOiG Scavenger Hunt Week!

Hello friends!  As you saw yesterday, we're reviving the NOiG Vegan Scavenger Hunt for this year's Nola Veggie Fest!  As you may have noticed, we're also planning mini-events during Scavenger Hunt Week to help you have fun with friends while hunting.

Please feel free to join us for any and all of these events, whether or not you're participating in the hunt!

Sunday, May 1: Sunday Brunch at Seed!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 1, 3, 5, and 14 in the NOiG scavenger hunt while partaking in some excellent brunch and visiting the cutest gift shop this town has ever seen.

Monday, May 2: Tea Time at HiVolt!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 1, 3, 4, and 6 in the NOiG scavenger hunt while sipping a lovely beverage in a coffee shop that looks like a space ship and maybe having a pastry or some dinner.
P.S. - If you're interested in dropping $45+ on a pop-up, join me for Milkfish's dinner at Killer Poboys for the 8pm seating! Just mention that you're vegan when you email your reservation.

Tuesday, May 3: TACO TUESDAY!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 3 and 7 while getting your vegan taco fix from the Taceaux Loceaux truck!
Rain plan: 7pm at Juan's Flying Burrito on Carrollton.

Wednesday, May 4: Vegan T-Shirts at Twilight!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item # 3 (and maybe #2 if we're lucky) - it should be pretty easy with this event! Meet us on the steps of the New Orleans Museum of Art wearing your favorite vegan-themed t-shirt! Once we're gathered we'll walk around Big Lake showing our vegan pride. Dogs welcome!
Rain plan: meet in front of the Macy's entrance inside Lakeside Mall!

Thursday, May 5: Bubble Tea at the Bar!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 3, 4, and 13 in the NOiG scavenger hunt while bubble tea-ing or digging into some pho.

Friday, May 6: Pre-Party at Sneaky Pickle!
Come search for NOiG scavenger hunt item #s 3, 4, 9, 10, and 14 in the NOiG scavenger hunt while eating some of the very best vegan food in town and getting PSYCHED for Veggie Fest weekend!

Saturday, May 7: Vegan T-Shirts at Nola Veggie Fest!
It just so happens that Veggie Fest starts this year on May Vegan T-Shirt Day!  Stop by NOiG's "I'm Vegan in New Orleans - Ask Me How" table at the Fest wearing your best vegan tee!  I'll take your pic and post it to the worldwide event* so we can show the world Nola's veggie pride!
*only if you want me to! 

Sunday, May 8: Come to Nola Veggie Fest and be at the NOiG "I'm Vegan in New Orleans - Ask Me How!" table at 1pm for the announcement of the winners!

May is seriously going to be the best month ever to be vegan in New Orleans.  See you around town!
Please note: all NOiG Scavenger Hunt Week events are pay-your-own-way, and there are not special accommodations made forus - this is just a way to gather some folks and multiply our fun.  :)


The NOiG Scavenger Hunt: A Triumphant Return!

If you've been around the Nola vegan scene for a few years, you may remember that in 2014 this blog hosted a scavenger hunt in conjunction with the Nola Veggie Fest. You may also remember that it was extremely fun and offered great prizes.

Well guess what? We're doing it again! In the week leading up to the 2016 Nola Veggie Fest, NOiG will challenge you to explore your vegan city and have fun doing it!

How to play:
  • Join the Facebook event via New Orleans in Green’s Facebook page.
  • Find examples of as many of the listed items as possible, in the New Orleans metro area, in the week leading up to Veggie Fest (May 1st through 7th).
  • Take a photo. PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! Pictures must be new (not taken before May 1st 2016), and must be yours.
  • Post your pictures in a Facebook album called “NOiG Scavenger Hunt 2016.” (You may also use Instagram or Twitter; albums aren't possible so just use the hashtags.) Tag your pic posts with #VeganNola, #NolaVeggieFest, AND #VeganHunt2016. Pics without all three of these tags will not be considered in your entry!  It's great form to also tag the place where you took the pic.
  • Comment on the event on New Orleans in Green’s Facebook page to let us know when you’ve completed your album or are otherwise ready to enter, and we'll go check it out!
**All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm EST
on Saturday, May 7th, 2016.**

Winners will be announced at Veggie Fest at the NOiG table at 1PM - be there in person if you can!!

Hunt Items: find these items in or around New Orleans!
  1. a vegan donut or beignet
  2. a produce-bearing plant growing somewhere around town (in any stage)
  3. a person wearing a vegan shirt or accessory
  4. a vegan-labeled menu item or section
  5. art created by a vegan artist WITH ATTRIBUTION!!!
  6. locally roasted fair trade coffee
  7. a restaurant or food truck offering vegan tacos or burritos
  8. fair trade chocolate
  9. a vegan ice cream bar or sandwich
  10. locally made vegan bread or pasta
  11. a locally themed or authored vegan cookbook
  12. fair trade flowers
  13. a restaurant offering vegan pho
  14. vegan cheese of any kind
  15. a feral chicken
***EXTRA BONUS ITEM!  You'll have to solve a bit of a riddle for this one, but it can replace any TWO of the above to make your entry complete: Find a cow that you can sit on without defying your vegan ethics.  Where could it be?
How to win: The three most complete entries (or, if multiple folks have equally complete entries, via random drawing) win prizes!
 ***Third Prize: a NOiG 2016-2017 Vegan-Friendly Restaurant Guide and t-shirt!
**Second Prize: a collection of vegan cookbooks and a sampling of vegan chocolates!
*First Prize: NOiG Vegan Prize Pack Bonanza! This includes gift certificates to area restaurants, a bottle of vegan wine, and more!
We're also hosting events every day during Scavenger Hunt Week - check out NOiG's event listings on Facebook to see them all, and look for a blog post about it all tomorrow.  Please join us if you can!

Start planning your hunt - identifying where the items can be found, planning your route, figuring out what mini-events you can join us for, and so forth. But remember, no pics till May 1st. Good luck!  We can't wait to see what you find!


Dryades Public Market: It's *not* the new St. Roch.

Hey look!  It's a blog post that's not about the guide!  I know you've been waiting a little while...

Today we're talking about the finally officially open no-longer-mystery that is the Dryades Public Market.  The space has been a long time coming and hit many bumps along its path, beginning as a "local fresh food hub" and then at one point proclaiming that it would be the next yuppie paradise, complete with beer cave.  The chandeliers from that moment remain in the space, but on this day of its grand opening the market seems to have found its middle-ground footing.

So, what is that footing?  What is the market?  What's it look like?  How does is shop? 

It's a bit like a gourmet grocery store that isn't entirely gourmet.  When entering from the main entrance on Rampart Street, it lays out like this moving counter-clockwise and beginning on your right: produce stand, Esses pasta nook, groceries corner, meat and seafood counter, bakery, craft cocktail bar and oyster bar, meat and cheese counter and deli, more produce, hot and cold bars, and registers.  Various packaged groceries and household items are scattered throughout the store on shelves around the perimeter of the space.  It's a lot to take in.  One distinct plus is that, with the exception of the sit-there-and-consume bar and oyster bar, you pay for everything at registers up front like you would in any other grocery.

So is it... Accessible to the community it's meant to serve?  Vegan-friendly?  Locally focused?  Good or bad, on the whole?  Yes and no on all fronts.  The answers seem to be that there is something for everyone... but maybe more for some than for others.  Some observations from my visit today:

On accessibility: Accessibility is probably the biggest question, given the gentrification that parts of OC Hayley are currently experiencing and the community that the market is claiming to serve.  The groceries seem to be reasonably priced, if maybe a bit difficult to shop, and the produce is downright competitive.  The trade-off for low prices is that there isn't much that's local.  That will likely fluctuate depending on seasonal availability.  Of course, there are many items in the space that are far beyond the reach of low-income neighbors and even a bit of a splurge for the young hip middle class folks attracted to the space ($8 lavender craft cocktail to go with your $9 bowl of pasta, anyone?).  But I feel like I can live with and maybe even support a model where higher-end options provide the revenue to make affordable options feasible while keeping the business afloat.

On vegan-friendly-ness: That's a solid meh, but with a few shining standouts.  I'm a big fan of Esses pastas, which are fresh but do not use egg and are generally vegan (with the exception of those that use squid ink for coloring - they're obvious).  At their build-your-own pasta bar in the Esses nook to the right of the entrance, you can choose between the marinara or the spicy marinara sauces (all others have cheese) and then add any number of veg toppings.  The other truly exciting vegan feature is the presence of VEGGI Co-Op tofu, aka the best tofu in existence.  The hot and cold bars likely hold vegan options, but there are no ingredients lists so it's difficult to say.  And the bakery "sometimes" has vegan items.  Ask if you stop by?  Finally a word of warning: the butcher counter is pretty brutal.  If you are sensitive to seeing things like hog's head cheese, steer clear.
On local: Kinda?  The people working there seem pretty local, and that's a nice change from some other spots.  The produce and groceries by and large are not, as discussed above.  The seafood, if you're into that sort of thing, is as local (from the Gulf) as possible - obviously the salmon isn't locally caught, you know?  They oysters seem to be local, and I hear the marble oyster bar serves up delicious fare, again if you're into that sort of thing.
In the end, I can't say I'm totally in love with this space.  I'm not repelled by it either though.  Other than the too-typical affront of animal heads peering at me with dead eyes, there is nothing that makes me want to run from the building.  Thus, my worst fears of what the space might become, when talk of chandeliers and various cave types began swirling, have been assuaged.  It will be interesting to watch the space as it develops and responds to customers' needs.  If you stop by, I'd love to hear your impressions.

One last note: I must give them a shoutout for being inclusive in this way.  Thanks for making the space that much safer for everyone.  Way to be progressive y'all!



FRIENDS!  THE TIME HAS ARRIVED!!  The newly updated New Orleans in Green 2016-2017 Vegan-Friendly Restaurant Guide is here, in my hands!  Can you feel the excitement?!

Everyone* who pre-ordered will be receiving their guides - and other goodies depending on donation level - later this week.  Have you ordered yours yet?  If not, get the guide as a PDF or as paper for your hands here in the new NOiG Etsy shop.

By the weekend, guides will also be available at Breads on Oak and other area restaurants that support the vegan community, so keep an eye out!

You can of course also visit my table at the upcoming Nola Veggie Fest to get your copy of the guide, a NOiG t-shirt or tote bag, or some other cool junk - and to ask any and all questions you may have about being vegan in New Orleans.  You might also win one if you're one of the three winners of the NOiG 2016 Scavenger Hunt!

Thanks again for all the support.  I hope you all find the guide useful!

*Please note: there are three people who pre-ordered for whom I do not yet have a mailing address.  Are you in that number?  If so, email me immediately so that I can get you your goods!