MJ’s Cafe, the first to Baton Rouge’s plant-based scene, has relocated into an airy, bright new space at 5162 Government Street, formerly occupied by Tiger Deauxnuts. Anyone who frequented Tiger Deauxnuts (may the Cinnamon Toast Crunch rest in glorious peace) will be stunned at what the space has become. It’s light, open and welcoming with a playful tone.
They are hosting a soft opening this week with an abbreviated menu. If this menu is any indication of what’s to come, hearts and stomachs will be very happy.
This menu contained salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups, and all of the breads were fresh and delicious. Vegan food requires lots of extra care and attention to pack the flavor in since you can’t rely on cheese and butter. You really have to be thoughtful about how every single ingredient is treated to make something special, and MJ’s has done just that.
We tried their version of a BLT. Shredded, sweet and spicy roasted coconut serves as the bacon substitute, and it’s crispy and sweet, making a delicious base for sprouts, avocado, fresh tomato and aioli. We also tried the buffalo cauliflower wrap on fluffy pita. It was spicy and saucy but still had a light feel to it that you just can’t get from buffalo anything else. The bread for each was fantastic and fresh.
Sandwiches are served with a salad or a cup of soup, an area MJ’s seems to have put a lot of thought into. Both soups were rich and wonderful, despite having no dairy. Roasted corn soup may not seem like the obvious choice, but it was a real treat.
Let MJ’s open your mind to how hearty and flavorful plant-based food can be. This also a dish or two that contains cheese or shrimp, if you want to ease in.
Coffee, tea, breakfast, dessert and more will be available when MJ’s officially opens next week, Monday through Saturday 7:30 – 3 pm. They are also applying for a license to serve alcohol.