A new vegan restaurant opening in the Carrollton neighborhood plans to hire teens aging out of the foster care system, as Gambit’s Rebecca Friedman reported Friday. Nola Vegan Cafe, from chef Sonya Brown Tillison, opens today, October 1 at 1923 Leonidas Street.
Brown Tillison has crafted a menu with all-vegan versions of classic cafe offerings like chickpea “tuna” salad, oyster mushroom po-boy, “crab” mac and cheese, and cauliflower tacos. Nola Vegan says it focuses on “brunch, lunch, and early dinner options,” and will also have weekly specials. Brunch items (also all vegan) include banana waffles, a breakfast platter made with tofu scramble and seitan sausage, “chick-un” and waffles, pancakes, and a breakfast sandwich.
Brown Tillison has been serving her vegan fare at pop-ups and catering gigs in New Orleans for the last year and a half. According to Gambit, she lived in foster care from ages 6 through 18, and after becoming a trained social worker founded an organization to help young people aging out of the foster care system with housing, education, and employment. She hopes to use her business to help teenagers aging out of foster care by hiring them to work in the cafe when they need jobs.
Starting tomorrow, Nola Vegan Cafe’s hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (serving weekend brunch 9 a.m. to noon); closed Monday.
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