Friday, January 16, 2009

Random Eats in the Big Easy

It's my last day in New Orleans! I'm gonna celebrate by spending the afternoon with Kittee... who knows what sort of adventures we'll get into. More king cakes? Balancing beans on our noses? Trip to the dog park? It's all fun!

But before I go, I thought I'd post these last few food-related pics from my time here.

Abita Root Beer! Made locally with "Louisiana Cane Sugar". Yesterday a friend and I took a little mini roadtrip through the Cajun country... and saw many of the sugar cane fields.

We also went to Avery Island, where they make Tobasco sauce! That was fun. Of course I bought some for myself. I picked out their "Chipotle Tobasco" and I look forward to trying it. The Tobasco factory is really cool. Well, we didn't go on the factory tour (which I would have enjoyed), but we did tour the 250-acre Jungle Gardens that the original owner started. It's amazing! There is even a huge area called "Bird Island" which is single-handedly credited with reviving Louisiana's egret population after near extinction from hunting in the 1800's. Apparently the Victorian ladies liked feathers in their hats and that fancy trend almost wiped out the egrets, until Mr. Tobasco's son took up the cause. How cool to know that Tobasco was started by a plant and animal-loving family, and is still owned by them today. We can feel good about buying Tobasco, my vegan friends!

No no, I didn't go and buy a store bought king cake. Why would I ever do that with my friend Kittee on the scene? But I did like the way that this packaged king cake says "CAUTION: Non-Edible baby figure inside this cake." hee hee! That's not a food label warning that you see too often.

Here is a crappy picture of some amazing chocolate. Our teacher brought us a big selection of fancy chocolates on the last day of our workshop. They weren't all vegan, but these 3 flavors were: Cocoa Nib, Violet, and Rose. The last two had crunchy little candied flowers on top. Whoa! they were gorgeous. Also, the chocolate was wonderful, crisp but smooth with a high cocoa content. The cocoa nibs and candied flowers provided some textural contrast with a little crunch. Mmmm.

What's this oddity? Well, I found it on campus at Tulane... and it was looking relatively healthy. Pretty much it's just canned beans with some salt and pepper and sweet corn. It was quite hearty and totally edible. No, this was not the best thing I've ever eaten. But, for convenient vegan food on-the-go, it was healthy and hearty and filling and pretty tasty. So, I'd recommend it for that kind of situation... but not for a candlelit dinner!

Oh no you didn't! Oh yes, I DID. Really, what trip to the Southern U.S. is complete without at least one meal at a restaurant that has exactly one vegan item on the menu: the glorious plain baked potato with ketchup! ha ha. My roadtrip friend and I ended up a seafood spot, where I happily enjoyed this enormous and perfectly baked potato. I was not sad about it. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. But I did have some grapefruit and a Luna bar once we got home!


  1. Anonymous1:41 PM

    Your trip sounds like it was wonderful - and i'm still so jealous that you got to hang out with Kittee! That island sounds really amazing - and I love the naked potatoe shot!

  2. Oh want to hang with kitte and make king cake too. Jealous!

  3. Isn't Avery Island the best?? We took my parents there when they came to visit last Spring. I loved the gardens! Absolutely beautiful. The factory tour is cool, too, and I loved trying all the samples, like Tabasco cola, Tabasco ice cream, and so on. Fun!

  4. What an all-round great post ... so uniquely regional. The baked potato shot: absolutely classic. The simplicity of the composition and restricted color palette -- red, white, silver -- is mesmerizing.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon.



  6. Well done Mr. Tobasco's son! Well done!

    How much fun you crazy kids are having!

  7. That sounds like a fantastic time. I hope you had a wonderful last day.

  8. Oh man, the evil baked potato! Gnarly.

  9. Anonymous7:43 AM

    No offense or anything, but that isn't even vegan. Ketchup contains cow's milk. Read the label...looks like you slipped.

  10. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Twice a month, I have a meeting at a "steak and pancake" restaurant. Thanks for the idea for next meeting! Something I do really like is baked potato with salsa on top. Doubt they have that but would it be rude to bring a little jar of Pace? Hmmm.... ;)


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