“I’d eat that Haitian shit all day”: Fritai in NOLA

This blog post is named by a friend, Darcy, who said this exact quotation (or something like it) in response to us eating at Fritai. I can’t tell you if this is offensive or not, but I can tell you she meant it only in the highest regard for that Haitian “shit.”

And now, let us explore Fritai. (Full disclosure: I know the owner of Fritai. He comes over for our dinner parties and brings delicious meals both with and without Field Roast sausages. We go drinking together. BUT, I very much gave Fritai all my dollars before I knew him; I just fan-girled like a moron when I finally did meet him. My obsession is real and not nepotism.)

Here’s what you, as a vegan or someone pretending to give a flying f**k about veganism can order:

  • The Salad Bowl with a lime-mango vinaigrette. I straight up crave this dish. We took my mom out for drinks the other night and I legit turned to my partner and said “We gotta go to Fritai – I need some of that Salad Bowl riiiigggghhhhhttttnooooowwww.” And we went. And that Salad Bowl did not see me coming for it. $9.00.
  • Smothered Greens with tofu. Hearty, smoky, this-don’t-taste-healthy smothered vegan greens. I won’t lie to you, I don’t feel comfortable eating this too often because I feel like my heart could explode from deliciousness. That’s, of course, BS, but this tastes indulgent. It tastes good. I have yet to get to a place in my life that I can order this and take a picture before I started eating it. That – that should be the benchmark of deliciousness. $9.50.
  • The Mushroom Tofu Fritai sandwich: a very filling tofu sammie stuffed between two fried plantain chips. Honestly, blogger to…uh, you, this dish didn’t speak to me on the menu at first, but I tried it one night because I’m not dead yet and should try new things, y’know. Holy crap. Yes, please. More, please. A little spicy, some crunch, some chewy, f**ktons of flavor. $9.00.
  • Plantain sides can be done sweet or savoury with an avocado dip that seems too good to be true.  $4.50-6.00.

And let’s do a round of applause because Fritai is also super involved in the community. Art pop-ups – he’s there. Pop-ups at new businesses and music festivals – there. Inaugural vegan festival – he.is.there.for.it. There are few omnivore places that consider vegans and what they actually want to eat, rather than what’s easy or passable. Charly gets it. It’s not a, “this is a vegan meal for you at an omnivore” place. Fritai instead says, “we’re going to make a great meal that so happens to be vegan and you will enjoy this and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.” I mean, Fritai doesn’t actually say that, because Fritai is a restaurant (c’mon), but that’s how the food tastes. St. Roch’s Market is a stop on all my NOLA tours and I always a) point out Fritai as being bona fide good food and 2) beeline straight there because if you’re making me wait longer for food, you’re no longer welcome in my guest room.

Here’s the one thing that I think they need to do that they haven’t done: supply vodka. If I ever order at Fritai without trying to get my grubby mitts on some Spicy Ginger Lemonade, you should ask if I’m okay. Because I’m decidedly not. That lemonade is actually spicy it’s got so much ginger in it and it is GD refreshing. But sometimes, I just want them to pour a bit of a nip of vodka into that so I can go about my day. But I get it: regulations, inspectors, licenses, whatever. So we are where we are.

And my recommendation to you today is: gather some badass friends that remind you how to be a better person for a brunch at St. Roch’s Market. Order y’all some mimosas made with pineapple juice (OJ is so over-played) and make sure you’re the first in line at Fritai. If your friends make the mistake of eating elsewhere, evil laugh at their stupidity and drink more of your mimosa. Eat that Haitian shit all day.

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