The city of New Orleans is a patchwork quilt of many cultures and countries. So many waves of slaves and immigrants were huge factors in creating the New Orleans “feel.” Today one can experience that feel through the city’s music and food cultures. In the Central Business District(CBD) at 527 Julia street, is an eatery that emphasizes the tropical influence on the New Orleans food scene: Carmo.
Dana and Christina Honn opened up Carmo in 2010. The idea was to offer options for vegan/vegetarians as well as omnivores using the bounty from the tropical regions of the world as their palette.
“The menu is built upon the rich multi-cultural culinary influences found throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, West Africa, SE Asia the Gulf South and beyond, featuring eclectic as well as traditional(ly) inspired dishes. . . and unique and little known flavors from around the world.”-taken from Carmo website.
The food does not disappoint. The menu covers styles of cuisine like multiple preparations of Sushi and Ceviche allowing diners to see the difference from areas of the world. Carmo features a variety of curries so you can explore how different spice combinations interact with one another. Honn also is a big proponent of sustainable food culture and uses lesser known cuts of seafood( the broiled seafood collar is delicious.) , but the dish that blows my mind with flavor is the Burmese Tea Leaf Salad. I have never encountered a salad with so much flavor and so many textures. The key to the salad is the laphet, (pickled/fermented tea leaves,) and a key dish flavoring of food from Burmese culture. Honn loves it so much, he is one of the few people in America trained to properly ferment tea leaves. Also take a good look at the beverage menu. Carmo uses various fruits from Brazil for their juice program and if you are so bold, Try an Acerola,(is a tiny red fruit, that looks very similar to a cherry, with a distinct sour taste due to the high vitamin C content) Caja,( sophisticated sweet-sour taste, it is an ideal ingredient for cocktails,) or Cupuacu, (The white pulp of the cupuaçu has an odour described as a mix of chocolate and pineapple and is frequently used in desserts, juices and sweets. The juice tastes primarily like pear, banana, passion fruit, and melon)
Carmo is a big proponeny of Sustainable culture, if you visit the Carmo website you can read all about their sustainability practices, in fact you can observe their sustainable practices throughout the restaurant, Carmo Uses All Bio-Degradable\Compostable Carry Out Containers, Bags, Flatware and Cups. The cleaning supplies are also bio-degradable and most of the materials utilized in the construction of counters and fixtures are salvaged/recovered, including tables and chairs. So you can feel pretty comfortable about the care being put into the food and drinks at Carmo.
Finally, if you really enjoy the cuisine and style of cooking, Carmo offers cooking classes for various size groups. Take your meal to the next level and learn how to cook what you ate. No matter what, Carmo has something for everyone. Carmo is open Monday thru Saturday 9am til, 10pm. Breakfast, Lunch or dinner, Carmo is sure to give an edible lesson in tropical foods and cooking.