Eat the Guide: namese

Hello and welcome to the NOiG series Eat the Guide!  In this series, I explore the scores of restaurants included in the NOIG Guide to Vegan-Friendly Restaurants.  You can follow along in the guide or right here on the blog, or both of course.  See previous posts here, and enjoy!

On an unusually warm October evening I visited namese, a Mid-City restaurant that I frequent as it is my closest source of pho.  Unlike some of the New York-ish, tightly crammed, hard surfaced Vietnamese restaurants that have cropped up across town, this eatery has a warm and inviting quality - though the air conditioning will make you glad you remembered your sweater.

Appearance and Atmosphere: Full of clean modern lines, namese is an oasis on the otherwise highway-ish corner of Carrollton and Tulane Avenues.  If you like to avoid televisions, this is not your spot - there are several in the smallish interior.  You can, however, eat on the small patio out front if you don't mind the traffic.  This is particularly pleasant in the winter - should one of those ever come to us - due to heaters and chic firepits.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 11am to 10pm; closed on Sundays.

Service Style: Full table service and seating by your server.  Delivery is available in the immediate area.

Vegan spring rolls
Available Vegan Options: namese offers similar vegan options to the other vegan-friendly Vietnamese restaurants in the area.  These include vegan-labeled spring rolls, pho, tofu and mushroom bun, and the veggie sotca plate (ask for vegan broth to be served with it rather than the house soup which is a chicken base, and get the vegan vinaigrette for the side salad).  Of note, the five spice fried tofu appetizer is not vegan.  namese also has bubble tea, the fruit flavors of which (strawberry, pineapple, peach, honeydew, and mango) are vegan when made as a slushy.  Make sure to check the specials board as they occasionally have vegan specials - in the past these have proven quite delicious.

Alcohol or Espresso: Beer and wine are served.

Price Range: $6 for spring rolls to

Pineapple bubble tea (with boba of course)
My Experience: This trip to namese was a little disappointing.  My server, though he is not particularly new, was poorly versed in vegan options.  He also brought out the chicken-based house soup with my veggie sotca (I had not specifically asked for the vegan broth instead, but we had had several conversations by that point about what was vegan and I had clearly only ordered vegan items).  I have previously had outstanding service, so this is a bit luck of the draw.

Final thoughts: namese is great if you a) live in Mid-City and desperately need vegan pho delivered to your door, and b) if you really love spring rolls, as theirs are some of the best.  It is not, however, my favorite Vietnamese place in town.  Overall I'm pleased to have them in the neighborhood and I hope to see their vegan options expand in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Ah! This review kinda makes me sad.
    The veggie sotca should never come with house soup! It should have vrgan broth and vegan vinaigrette. You don't have to specify, so thats really weird you were evver served it. I always add tofu to the sotca, because I just love out local madealer tofu.
    A surprising amount of our servers are vegetarian or veg curious and knowledgeable. I'm sad someone did not give you the full experience. :( Almost every category of the menu can be veganized, including the pho and banh mi combo.
    Things that should be on the menu that arent:
    crepe lettuce wrap can be made vegan and it's my favorite app. The crepe is made of rice flour, turmeric, coconut milk, and beer and filled with tofu, bean sprouts, and bok choy.
    Also, there is a banh bao, steamed bun taco, filled with a teriyaki tofu mushroom and slaw.
    There is also a banh mi made with the same tofu shroom mixture. The banh mi itself will automatically come without aoili but for some reason they still put the shrimp chips.on the plate if you don't specify vegan... weirdos.... lol
    Like the tofu appetizer, the vermicelli bowl comes with the fish sauce based dressing. You'll want to specify either the vegan vinaigrette, which is hosin based, or I prefer the balsamic vinaigrette which has a small kick and a surprise of rosemary. :)
    Hope that helps and I hope you get better service next visit!


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