Small Mart Might Small Food Big Deal
One thing this blog doesn’t have a lot of is good vegetarian options. That’s mostly because I think it’s a shame to be a vegetarian in New Orleans and miss out on so much great seafood and things cooked in animal fats. Also a lot of vegetarian and vegan restaurants end up being bougie and overpriced. Small Mart is a great exception to this.
Every day Small Mart has a vegan lunch special for $6.00 including tax! Mondays are usually red beans and rice, they usually have a hearty vegan chili one day a week, and most other days are some kind of Indian/Pakistani/Bengali style dish. The red beans and rice are quite good, though as an omnivore it’s hard for me to go without sausage in it. If you’re vegetarian it’s a great thing to get. The chili fares surprisingly well without ground beef in it, and is really thick with vegetables and smokey flavor. These other options are great, but where Small mart really shines is the golden curry and similar dishes like dahl and aloo sag.
Though they consistently mix it up and vary the menu, I think I’ve tried most of the lunch specials. They don’t use pre-mixed curry powders, instead they do the spice blends in house and they really know what they’re doing. Good vegetables are hard to come by in this town, and Small Mart is my go-to when I’ve been eating too much crap and need a healthy cheap meal. The Aloo Sag (like sag paneer but with potato instead of cheese) and Golden Curry are tied as my favorites. I also really like the dahl, which is a lentil based dish. I wish I knew more about south asian spices, so I could tell you what’s in there and how they do it. Instead, it just tastes magically good.
So if you’re hungry in the Quarter, or are vegetarian, or just want a quick cheap meal, Small Mart is there from 8am-10pm and is one of my favorite affordable food spots in the city.