Scott had a milestone birthday last month, so we celebrated by going to New Orleans, LA, his favorite city in the U.S. Now, New Orleans - or NOLA as I prefer to call it - can be unfriendly for a vegetarian, but we did make some great discoveries that I'll pass on to you. The city is so great that you musn't let the task of eating well daunt you!
1. The Jazz Quarters (http://jazzquarters.com/ ) bed and breakfast in Tremé, just on the edge of the French Quarter, is vegetarian-friendly. Just let the innkeepers know your special dietary needs, and they will absolutely work around them at breakfast - beautifully. We enjoyed couscous boiled in orange juice with dried fruit and nuts and optional yogurt at breakfast each morning before our entrée. One morning we had Haitian bread pudding with praline sauce (with bacon crumbles for Scott) and a Zydeco wrap with chipotle cream sauce (with sausage and eggs for Scott) the next. Both were absolutely delicious!
2. The Gumbo Shop (http://www.gumboshop.com/) on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter not only has vegetarian food, but it has vegetarian food with local flavor. Here's me enjoying the heck out of some Cajun-seasoned white beans with rice and, although you can't see it, some locally-brewed beer. They had this offering as well as vegetarian gumbo, and you can't beat that!
The Gumbo Shop sells a cookbook with some of their vegetarian recipes in it, but since you're already supporting them by eating there, buy their cookbook at:
3. The Kitchen Witch (http://www.kwcookbooks.com/), a cookbook shop on Toulouse Street in the French Quarter where doggie hosts Sophia and Scout will greet you and show you around the shop. I got an autographed copy of The Gumbo Shop's cookbook here.
4. La Davina Gelateria (http://www.ladivinagelateria.com/), also on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter has vegetarian food AND homemade gelato and sorbetto (a vegan-friendly "ice-cream-like" treat that is very welcome during the hell-like heat of NOLA summers) along with cold sodas, waters, teas, etc. when you need them.
5. Finally, there is a wonderful place on Frenchmen Street where you can get vegetarian food before seeing a great, great show at Snug Harbor: The Three Muses (http://www.thethreemuses.com/). The food is not of local flavor, but the ambience is, and it's absolutely beautiful. I recommend it!
We also tried Central Grocery, home of the original mufaletta, when we heard they had "vegetarian mufalettas". But unless you are hungry for a pound of cheese and a hint of olive spread between 2 pieces of mufaletta bread, I'd look elsewhere for a good vegetarian version of this classic sandwich. "Original" does not always equal "best". If anyone from Central Grocery is reading this, your vegetarian sandwich could be improved by vastly reducing the cheese, upping the olive spread, and adding some vegetables like lettuce and tomato.
Consider topping your trip off with a stop at Café du Monde (http://www.cafedumonde.com/). I know it's cliché, but dang! The beignets are so good!