Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vegan-friendly New Orleans coffee shop

Okay, mine was admittedly a mean April Fool's joke! But surely one day, a vegan diner will grace this great city of foodies. And maybe that's not so far off in the future -- it IS amazing to see how quickly the vegan scene is expanding here in New Orleans! Since I haven't been out and about much lately, I've had to settle for experiencing it in my imagination as I scroll through Facebook postings of decadent meals and desserts...what torture! However, I'm happy to report that I have recently had a couple of real life experiences at a new coffee shop in town, one that is welcoming us vegans with open arms, Krewe du Brew.

It's a lovely place owned by Eugene Anderson, Adrian Guy, and John Hagan.

My first visit was a few weeks ago, and this was the treat that awaited me that day:

Apricot-Almond Streusel Bar

It was a corner piece, so I got some crusty, some chewy, some gooey, and all delicious.

John said that if there's enough demand, they'd like to start carrying gluten-free options as well. So far, though, no one is asking for it. So if you'd be into that, please mention it when you go in! The pastries at Krewe du Brew come from Shake Sugary, a new bakery on St. Claude Ave. that is open to the public on weekends.

I let a couple of weeks go by, then dropped in at Krewe again this past Friday. I was really excited to find not just one, but THREE vegan options:

Top to bottom: frosted banana chocolate chip bread, brownies, chocolate salted pecan bars

Showing immense self-discipline, I ordered only two of these, a chocolate salted pecan bar and a piece of banana bread. The banana bread was good -- it had chocolate chips and icing, which were a nice touch. But the bar was out of this world! It deserves an up-close shot:

Gooey, crunchy, sweet, salty, chocolaty, nutty, caramel goodness. Why am I not eating one of these right now?!

Krewe du Brew gets props for always having at least three vegan options -- What is this word, "options"? the vegans among you may be wondering. Like me, you're probably used to being surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth, non-vegan pastries which could have easily been made vegan. "Um, we have a plain bagel and you can put jelly on it!" ...or worse, "I'm sorry, we just sold our last plain bagel. If you call ahead next time..."

Speaking of which, I stopped by Velvet (on Magazine) the other day, without calling ahead, for one of their much-talked-about vegan pop tarts. As luck would have it, all they had was non-vegan ones that day. And it doesn't look good for the future; the guy said the vegan pop tarts just don't sell all that well. Funny how people will get turned off by the mere idea that no eggs or milk are involved in a dessert. If they'd just try it, most wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Go get one of the treats pictured above if you don't believe me!

Krewe du Brew ~ 1610 St. Charles Ave. ~ NOLA 70130 ~ 504.522.1530

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fluffy vegan pancakes in the middle of the night, anyone?

I know, I know, it's been forever since my last post! But I'm trying to make a little more time for personal projects like blogging these days. The reason I've been too busy to post? I hope you're sitting down for this...

Seriously, sit down. It's a good idea.

...and get ready for NOLA's first all-vegan, mostly organic, gourmet diner!! We've been working our tails off to secure a location, and we are thrilled with what we finally signed a lease on: a cute former burger joint on St. Charles Ave. near the Garden District. We are currently doing some minor renovations, as well as tweaking menu items, and should have our hands in the tofu scramble by the end of May!!!

We are planning to start with modest hours of operation and work up to being open 24-7... keep an ear out, because we will likely start hiring within the month.

Another blog entry is in the works, so no more waiting-four-months-between posts, I promise!