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A vegan restaurant masquerading as a cocktail lounge inside a hip hotel close to the French Quarter

Location: Catahoula Hotel, 914 Union Street, New Orleans, LA, 70112
Hours:  5 – 10 pm daily
5 – 7 pm happy hour every day
Map: Google Map
Type: Plant-based vegan Southeast Asian food
Website: Restaurant Website
Prices: Relatively inexpensive food – about $6 to $11

Since arriving in New Orleans I had subjected my body to largely a diet of carbohydrates and stodge, so I was in desperate need of something different and nutritional so I was delighted to discover a write up on a vegan eatery called Piscobar Kitchen.

Piscobar is located inside the Catahoula Hotel on Union Street, just a  few minutes walk from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The hotel itself looked interesting, I believe it is a 2 star rated boutique hotel with 35 rooms. I have made a mental note to stay there on a future trip to New Orleans.

The Piscobar is a cocktail bar that serves food. It is pleasantly decorated with some exposed brickwork that gives it a rustic touch and a sharp contrast to the black and white floor tiles. The inside seating is limited to a few small tables, but there is an outside seating area in a cosy courtyard.

There were not of options on the menu so I went for the Nighthawk Dumplings ($6);  four steamed and crispy dumplings filled with cabbage, shiitake, tofu, and carrots with a citrus-soy sauce to start and for my entrée, I opted for the Lemongrass Curry ($10); a full-sized portion of spicy, fragrant yellow lemongrass curry with cauliflower and braised chickpeas served over basmati rice. I was quite tempted by having a cocktail – but true to form I settled for a chocolatey oatmeal stout. Which turned out to be a mighty fine choice!

It was a quiet Monday night in New Orleans so my food arrived in no time at all. It is a long time since I had tried Asian dumplings – probably since I had changed to a plant-based diet – which is crazy because they are inherently vegan. I loved them and was sorry I had not included them in my diet sooner.

For my main course, I had the lemongrass curry, which was tasty and not overly powerful in terms of “heat”. I  usually opt for hot when I have an Asian dish – but this can overpower any delicate flavouring – so I was pleased the chef had toned down the spices.

The portions for both dishes were not huge but were adequate and I didn’t leave feeling disappointed with the quality of the food, the taste or the portion sizes. So, a good night – and the stout was excellent!

If you are looking for an escape from Southern-style food that is 100% vegan, especially in close proximity to the French Quarter then Piscobar would be a good choice. The ambience of the bar is rustic-hipster with a fairly romantic feel, especially in the evening, that would make it a special meal. They do reasonably priced cocktails, and whilst they have no draft beers, they have some interesting canned option. So, if you are in New Orleans give it a try.


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