2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Dinner ThursdayNo Dinner FridayNo Dinner Saturday

Back To The Garden

Warehouse District & Center City: 833 Howard Ave. 504-299-8792. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
New Orleans has never had many vegetarian restaurants. The force of the local cuisine and the goodness of standard restaurants–most of which will make vegetarian dishes if you ask–whittles the market of vegetarian diners down too much to support any large restaurant enterprise specializing in that cuisine. Back To The Garden’s roots go deep, however, and it has a strong following. On the other hand, it’s not entirely vegetarian, with chicken, turkey, shrimp and even beef on the menu.

WHAT’S GOOD
The salads are the obvious choices, but the sandwiches–vegetarian and otherwise–are even better. The soups and fruit plates are also appealing.

BACKSTORY
The original Back To The Garden opened in the early 1970s, when the counter-culture created a groundswell of interest in healthy eating. It kept on going for decades, but it closed before the hurricane. It reopened in 2008, picking up more or less where it left off. The menu even looks the same as when the staff of the Figaro newspaper (I was one of them) had Back To The Garden on our regular rotation in the 1970s.

DINING ROOM
The dining room is small, minimal, and as peaceful as you’d expect. Service is mellow and probably too slow for some.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Soups
»Several different soups of the day
Seafood gumbo
Salads
»Garden salad (Swiss cheese, sliced eggs, tomato, carrot, celery,
Cucumber, red cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, lettuce)
»Spinach salad (with avocado, swiss cheese, sunflower seeds, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, and sliced eggs)
»Fresh fruit salad
Papaya puree with yogurt or cottage cheese
Char-broiled chicken salad
Entrees
Veggie stir-fry with brown rice
»Vegetarian chili
Vegetarian tacos
»Hummus sandwich
»Avocado stuffed with chicken, tuna, shrimp or egg salad
Tuna, chicken, or egg salad
Sandwiches
Turkey burger
»Grilled chicken sandwich
»Sliced turkey breast
Chunky chicken salad
»Avocado, egg salad and cheese
Tuna, chicken, or egg salad
Turkey ham
Lean roast beef
Peanut butter, honey and banana
Cheddar melts (open face on English muffin, with chicken or tuna salad, or sliced turkey)
»Croissant sandwiches (chicken or tuna salad, or sliced turkey)
Desserts
»Fruit smoothies
»Fresh-squeezed juices
»Frozen yogurt

FOR BEST RESULTS
They assemble almost everything to order here, and it takes a bit longer than you may be accustomed to. The place does a great deal of take-out and delivery business, which can slow things down around lunchtime.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
More cooked specials would be welcome.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value
  • Attitude
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color +1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Sidewalk tables
  • Open Monday lunch
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • No reservations

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