Da Levee is a low-key Cajun/Creole outpost in the Short North that has plenty of inexpensive options for vegetarian diners. While the cuisine of the Gulf Coast is somewhat at odds with the vegetarian dogma, Da Levee offers meatless fare that has the same explosion of flavor found in its meat- and seafood-laden counterparts.
The menu at Da Levee is drawn up on a chalk board each day, and it typically consists of about seven choices. Three of these options were vegetarian dishes, and one was even a vegan dish.
The staff was very friendly, and they allowed me to sample all of the vegetarian dishes. Lunch service was extremely brisk, getting me in and out the door in less than 20 minutes.
Each dish individually comes with rice and crunchy garlic bread for $6. $7 will get you a split portion of two dishes. Dinner and a drink is only $7.50.
The B and B is essentially the New Orleans classic bumblebee stew. A tasty melange of sweet corn, black beans and tomatoes in a mildly spicy sauce, the B and B is absolutely divine synergy of sweet, spicy and smoky flavors.
The spinach and mushroom etouffee is a creamy blend of veggies prepared in a mildly seasoned dark roux in a distinctly Cajun style. While the sauce is rich, it is rounded out nicely by the earthy mushrooms and the bright flavor of the sauteed spinach.
The succotash is another corn and bean dish that is both milder and much sweeter than the B and B. Besides being the second part of Sylvester the Cat's sufferin' catch-phrase, succotash is a dish with deep roots in Native American culture, including the cuisine of the Gulf Coast. Obviously, when the abundance of corn is combined with the ingenuity of American know how, the flavorful result is succotash. The succotash at Da Levee is also a vegan dish.
The garlic bread that comes with the dishes is also very good. Instead of being a last minute throw-in, the garlic bread has a crusty layer of garlic that adds a nice accent to the meal.
Since I'll be in the Crescent City at the end of this month, Da Levee gives me a good chance to get my palate acquainted with the cuisine of New Orleans. Luckily for me, when I return, it will still be there to transport me to New Orleans in my mind on my next lunch break in the Short North.