Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More local goodies

There's been a lot of vegan happenings lately in New Orleans. Yesterday, I decided to go try out one of the new vegan restaurants. I mean...100% VEGAN!

The Wandering Buddha:

It's a 100% vegan Korean restaurant, located in a bar in the Marigny (or is it St Roch?) area of New Orleans. I'm not so familiar with that area. It seems a lot of the vegan food options are popping up in dive bars around town. We arrived at 5 pm, when the bar was supposed to open. The doors were chained closed, though we didn't have to wait forever out in the cold rain. They opened up about 10 minutes late. It IS New Orleans after all. We were the first ones in there and so there was no smoke lurking in the air (yay!). We brought a friend, who happens to be Korean-American. We sat down and the waiter, Christion, brought us out some menus. He was very friendly. He specified that everything was vegan on the menu, though I wonder why they opted to put "vegetarian and vegan" on the menu itself. It makes it seem as if only some of the items are vegan. <shrug>

I ordered the same thing as my friend, the bibimbap (rice and vegetables) with the brown rice option (for $1 more). S ordered the japchae (glass noodles with vegetables). His came out, and they brought out the bibimbap both with white rice instead of the brown. My friend mentioned that and the waiter quickly brought it back to exchange it for brown rice. S's food was getting cold, so he started and I liked his a lot (so did he!):

The waiter eventually brought out our orders with the brown rice. It was a bit on the cold-ish side. My friend says, traditionally, bibimbap should come out steaming hot. And it would have been nice, since it was freezing cold outside, and not that warm inside. It was fine for me...warm enough.

It looked so pretty! I haven't eaten much Korean food, I must admit. And after my dad always said how he couldn't stand kimchi or the smell of it in the air on the streets.....I was dreading it. And to be honest, it was too salty for me. But that's pretty traditionally Korean, I guess. My friend thought it was good, but she was used to kimchi that has fish in it, which is more authentic. Anyway, S liked the kimchi. I typically don't like really salty foods, so it wasn't the restaurant, it was me! The sauce that came on the side (luckily) was pretty darn spicy. Too spicy for me, though I did use some of it. The spicy cucumbers were also quite spicy, but I ate most of them. The rest was really good.....I only left the kimchi....for S :)

Outside of the salty kimchi for me and the spiciness, I thought it was really good! I might order what S had next time, or perhaps the cold buckwheat noodles. On another note, it was a lot of food! I'm glad we didn't order appetizers, although I'd like to try some of them...maybe next time. The bar is separate, so if you want alcohol, you have to go up to the bar and order/pay separately. (they had two Abita beers on tap, which is suprising for this type of bar!)

It was a good experience and I'm glad we went. I definitely want to go back and try perhaps some of the less spicy options :) And thanks for the great hospitality, Christion!

And these were really good too (not sure what they were), which were given to us at the end, on our check:

 (you can find them on Facebook too)

After dinner, we went over to the brand new New Orleans Food Co-Op, which was just a few blocks away. I wanted to check it out and see what kinds of cool stuff they had in there. It's in a really nice building and it's a pretty good sized store. Prices seemed to be on par with other smallish natural food stores. They had bulk seeds, grains, and flours, as well as coffee beans. They also had a pretty good selection of organic fruits and vegetables, priced perhaps a bit higher than normal. They did have the vegan staples: vegan mayo, vegan cheese (Daiya included-yes I found the pepperjack flavor there!), vegan cream cheese, nondairy milks, etc. There was a small selection of prepared foods like sushi and vegan chicken salad, but not a ton. And surprisingly, I didn't see any alcohol! Usually you can find good craft beers at these kinds of stores, but alas, not here. I would pay into the store and become a member if I lived closer. But I live out in the suburbs and it's not a very convenient place for me to shop.

Definitely check it out if you're in the area! This was the stash I got last night:

Daiya, Soy yogurt, pasta sauce, black apples, brown rice noodles, and organic swiss chard.

So if you're in NOLA, check these guys out! Next time I'm going to try the new vegan dinners at the St. Roch Tavern in the same area. Yay for vegan options in NOLA, finally. Anybody deliver out to the burbs yet?? ;)

Eat smart,


  1. Get the rice cakes dish next time! I also highly recommend the seaweed soup, although my friend, who is familiar with the fishy versions, was dissatisfied with it. He had no complaints about the kimchi, though!

  2. Ok.....those looked good too! The soups did look tempting. I'm sure eventually, we'll try everything :)

  3. I've had the Scallion Pancakes, Buckwheat noodles and Vegetables (my fave), and Braised Tofu - all good. And you're right, they are big portions!