So many new vegan options have popped up lately in the New Orleans area, and I'm trying to get to them all, one by one. I've checked out both O Vegasm vegan brunch and Wandering Buddha's vegan Korean food.
Recently, Santa Fe Tapas has started serving a vegan jazz brunch on Saturdays. This is great, because it doesn't interfere with O Vegasm's Sunday brunch. Now you can eat out all weekend!! We decided to try it last Saturday. Surprisingly, the Uptown district was fairly quiet (the calm before the NYE storm!). Easy to park, no wait, etc.
They've got a few tables set up outside, but it was a bit too cold to sit outside at the time. The ambience inside was quite nice with wooden beams on the ceiling and brick walls...very cozy.
Then I got the Roasted Vegetable "Wellington" for my entree:
This was served atop a bed of cooked greens (spinach?), which were very "buttery" and delicious. The crust, although made from white flour, was very good and not too thick. There's nothing worse than getting more dough than vegetables in a dish like this. They got it just right. I was expecting the usual "roasted vegetables"...like eggplant, tomatoes, squash, etc. But no....this was filled with roots like carrots and turnips, etc. Loved it. As you can see on the plate, there was a streak of some sort of sweet syrup surrounding the dish. Don't know what it was, but it was just the right amount and went spectacularly with the "wellington"! Again, good sized portion.
S ordered the Imam Bayildi: Stuffed Eggplant with an almond green onion pilaf and wilted greens:
I was a bit disappointed that they used white rice. Wished for brown rice. The greens were the same as mine and were delicious. The eggplant was filled with some sort of tomato and onion concoction. It had a really nice flavor, but was just a tad oily. Now, I'm sure it wasn't oily for a restaurant, but I rarely use oil these days and everything seems oily to me (just so you know where I'm coming from). The rice was good....the almonds were a nice touch. S thought it should be on the regular menu-he loved it!
Dessert: Horchata Ice Cream and Blackberry Sorbet:
The flavor of the horchata ice cream was absolutely amazing! So good.....I've never had horchata before. I assume this was made from rice milk? The downside....it was a bit grainy. The sorbet also had a nice flavor, but was way too icy. Flavor-wise, both were delicious. Texture-wise...they need a little work. On the menu, it listed it as Ice Cream, Cookies. Not sure where the cookies were, but....a misprint perhaps?
Overall, the food was delicious, the ambience was nice, and the staff was friendly. We will definitely be back!
There were, however, a few things that were disappointing. First, the beer taps, as I mentioned above. Second, it wasn't that busy, but it took about one hour to get our entree. The music didn't start until about 12:15. We arrived at 11 am and it would have been nice to hear the jazz when the brunch started (it was a "jazz" brunch afterall). And lastly, it was cold. It felt like they had the air conditioner on, though it was pretty cold outside (we were also sitting right under a vent).
Still....it's highly recommended if you are in New Orleans on a weekend. Thank you for a lovely brunch, Santa Fe!! You can also find them on Facebook. And they do serve their normal, non-vegan menu during the vegan brunch as well, in case your fellow diners are not vegans.