I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday! For Peter’s gift I surprised him with a short train trip to New Orleans a few days before Christmas.
Peter was stoked to ride a train for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Amtrak train.
We arrived quite late to the city and were super hungry after eating an early lunch on the train. We walked just a few blocks to the 13 bar and restaurant in search of good food and we were not disappointed. I got the BBQ tofu sandwich and Peter got the mushroom philly, both served with chips.
This was honestly the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Chewy tofu smothered in a spicy BBQ sauce and paired with vegan mayo, tomatoes, lettuce, and sliced sweet pickles. I devoured half before gaining control of myself and taking a blurry photo in the dim lighting.
The next morning we set out exploring. Seeing Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and some of the street sculptures. Breakfast was in the French Market at the Meals From the Heart Cafe. We were the first customers of the day and greeted by the very friendly owner. I ordered the vegan blueberry pancakes and Peter got an omelette.
This seems to be a recurring theme in New Orleans, but these were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. At home, I’m usually too lazy to cook anything significant in the mornings, so I enjoy getting breakfast food out when we’re traveling. These pancakes were just sweet enough, infused with fresh blueberries, and served with vegan butter, maple syrup, and walnuts. With very full bellies, we then set off to wander around the French Quarter. We marked off part of our bucket list by visiting a voodoo shop while in NOLA. It was a pleasant shop, not creepy like expected, with friendly staff.
The St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was a must-see for the trip. Full of fascinating and famous graves, we had a great time exploring this small place. Lunch was at Dreamy Weenies, a funky restaurant near the cemetery. I’d heard good things about this place and was excited to try something different. I got the andouille dog on a wheat bun with vegan chili, sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup, served with a side of potato salad. Peter got an Italian herb dog with cheese and mustard. We both agreed that these were amazing and I can’t wait to come back to try their plethora of other toppings.
After a bit more wandering and spending time in the WWII Museum (please visit, it is a fantastic place) we headed over to the all vegan Seed for dinner. Sadly we had to grab everything to-go just to make sure we could get to our ghost tour on time, but the short time spent in the restaurant was great.
Since the food would take a bit to cook, we snacked on beignets and chatted with out super friendly server. The staff was hilarious and we could hear them in the back arguing about what Christmas music to put on. Choices included Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mariah Carey, and Disney. Peter got eggplant parmesan, and I got gumbo with mac and cheese. Despite being a bit cold (we ended up eating after our tour) the food was delicious. The gumbo was very flavorful and chock full of vegetables. The mac and cheese was creamy and rich, with a nice crunchy breadcrumb topping. I didn’t get a chance to try Peter’s eggplant (the man loves pasta) but he promised that it was great. Also, if you’re looking for a fun and informative tour about the supernatural, be sure to check out French Quarter Phantoms Tours. We had a wonderful time stomping around the French Quarter and being creeped out. The train ride back was beautiful going over Lake Pontchartrain. I felt like I was in Spirited Away, when Sen is riding the train across the ocean. We had a very good trip and can’t wait to visit again.