The Scoop NOLA: Seed
Eating out is hands down one of my favorite things to do. There’s nothing better than sharing a great meal with great company. As young professionals, especially in New Orleans, eating out is a major part of our social scene. Our weekends consist of a lot of eating and drinking, and then eating and drinking again. Even when I have friends visit Nola for the first time, that’s pretty much what our itinerary consists of.
Even though no one ever wants to think about it, the cream sauces, fried seafood, breads and beignets are extremely calorific. But who wants to be that person at the table that orders something boring and healthy? No one! Not sure about you, but if I’m eating out, I am fully embracing the “treat yo’self” mentality. My bootcamp instructor loves to remind me that working out is 30% of getting the body you want, and the other 70% is all about your diet. Thanks Jon, that’s exactly what I want to hear after your gut-wrenching workouts.
Eating healthy is one thing, but eating delicious, healthy food that’s exciting, full of flavor and guilt-free just didn’t exist in my book unless I cooked the meal myself. That is until I heard about Seed in the Lower Garden District. It opened in April by Founder Edgar Cooper with the mission of growing a fresh and sustainable dining experience grounded in New Orleans taste. He brought in Chef Edward Rhinehart as the Executive Chef, who most recently worked at Restaurant R’Evolution.
Seed is a vegan restaurant that is also serving raw options, meaning nothing is cooked over 104 degrees. The menu is split into several categories: starters, salads, soups, fresh entrees, comfort entrees, brunch plates and sweets. Seed also serves blended juices, smoothies and their own spin on craft cocktails using fresh fruit and herbs.
When I sat down and looked over the menu, I was surprised by the abundance of options. It took my friend and I quite some time to decide on a starter, much less what we wanted as entrees. The nachos caught my eye first, but we went with the chips and fresh, house-made dips so we could try each individually. Our sampler came with roasted corn salsa, cashew queso and guacamole, served with corn chips. I went in for the guac first and I’m not playing around when I say it’s some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had. It had just the right amount of citrus and spice, but no flavor over powered another. The cashew queso had more of a hummus consistency, with hints of turmeric, which gave it a nice warm flavor. The corn salsa didn’t have a ton of corn, which I liked. It was still a true tomato salsa, but the corn gave it that great fire-roasted taste.
For entrees we decided to choose from the raw section. I was stuck between the pad thai and the vegetable spaghetti. The pad thai is very different from the traditional version and is served cold, with cucumber/carrot noodles, mung bean sprouts, cilantro and a thai lime peanut dressing. I went with the vegetable spaghetti mainly because I really wanted to try the puttanesca sauce and avocado pesto. The ‘spaghetti’ was spiralized zuchhini and cucumber and the sauces really gave it a lot of flavor. I didn’t miss the starch one bit. My friend ordered the creole zucchini wraps, with shaved zucchini, creole cashew cheese, spinach, seasonal greens, sprouts, guacamole, toasted pumpkin seeds and sriracha sauce. This looked like more of a salad with the greens in the middle, then the toppings surrounding the plate. I had a bite, and really enjoyed the spiciness paired with the fresh greens.
One thing about Seed that can’t go un-noticed is the freshness of each ingredient in every dish. It was evident with each bite that they are dedicated to sourcing the freshest ingredients they can find. While everything vegan, you don’t have to go the veggie route. There were quite a few fried options on the menu as well as their vegan version of chili cheese fries and beignets. When they say garden based, Nola taste, they aren’t lying. They serve two poboy options and I can’t wait to go back and try Chef Rhinehart’s gumbo. I’m also eager to go for brunch, which is only served on Saturday and Sunday. Pancakes, cinnamon French toast and nuevos rancheros are a few stunners on the brunch menu.
As if it hadn’t stolen my heart already, Seed has also been devoted to helping various causes since it first opened. They make donations regularly to help important organizations such as Project Orangutan and the Humane Society of Louisiana.