Lunch with A.Classy: Nola Vegan
Brunch will always be a sacred time for me. It’s a combination of my two favorite times to eat. Breakfast and lunch. Early enough for some eggs, but late enough to eat fries with a side of 6 mimosas. So when my friend called me to do brunch at a black owned vegan spot he wanted to show me, I was down to go. Especially after I learned that they were having an all day brunch special. They had me at brunch.
My friend sent me the address and I told him I would pull up in an hour or so. I had spent my morning at a cancer walk helping raise money for those battling cancer and all that hard work putting temporary tattoos on people left me with an appetite. I was excited and ready to try whatever this vegan place had to offer.
My GPS had me pull up to a small cafe located next door to a community center off of Leonidas Street in New Orleans. The cafe was called Nola Vegan. My personal belief is that if you name your business after a city as famous for its food, you better be the best vegan spot I’ve ever been to. That New Orleans/NOLA title holds weight. Am I right?
My friend shows up an hour or so later because his Uber driver went the wrong way. So I’m assuming I’ve freaked out the neighbors and the owners of the business because I’ve been sitting in my car bumping that new Summer Walker for a good minute. Then I remember I’m in a black neighborhood and it’s 2019. Everyone sits in their car for at least 30 minutes playing on their phone before getting out.
So we go inside and the layout the of the cafe is super cute. It’s small, but still comfortable. The decorations were extremely cute as well.
The little piggy is cute and I apologize for the post before this one being about enjoying my pork slider, but for this day I was down for the vegan food and not eating our cute pink friends. I’ve had vegan before in the past, but my first impression of it was unseasoned tofu. I’ve learned that you can add some soul into vegan food and it is great if it’s done the right way. Nola Vegan is doing it the right way.
So I had a the “chicken” and waffles and the mac and cheese. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
You already know I did my eating food happy dance. It was so good. The “chicken” and waffles was different. The “chicken” tasted just like real fried chicken and the waffles were light and fluffy. I typically don’t like syrup, but I had to cover my waffles and chicken with the syrup to get the full experience.
It was worth it too! The syrup, “chicken,” and waffles was the perfect combination. The mac and cheese tasted like real mac and cheese which is a lactose intolerant person’s dream come true. If I could I would eat a gumbo pot full of that mac and cheese.
To finish everything off I also tried their jallab tea. It was the right amount of sweetness. I took some to go.
Honorable mention goes to their desserts. I was already full so I was unable to try their cupcakes from Viva Vegan, but they looked really good. I know what I need to try the next time I visit again.
Overall, it is always a pleasure to spend time with my friends, support black owned businesses, and try new things. Aside from the food, I enjoyed my brunch time because I was able to witness a moment with the owner/chef and a young girl in their open kitchen make my waffle. The young girl was struggling to keep the waffle from falling apart and the owner was very patient with her after a few failed attempts. I enjoyed supporting a business that supports the development of young people.
I later learned that Nola Vegan hires teens who are aging out of foster care. I’m unsure if the moment I witnessed with the owner and the young girl was one those teens, but it was still a beautiful moment and I commend the owner for doing their part in the New Orleans community. I may not become vegan and completely give up my real chicken wings, but Nola Vegan will always have my business.