A new restaurant, NOLAFARE, serving a vegan and gluten-free menu, has opened at 2009 Highland Ave., in the space that formerly was Epic Sammich Co. Co-owners Adriena Dame and Julia Crittendon, both vegans, wanted to create a “safe haven” for those who want a totally animal-free diet, and who have food sensitivities. Crittendon herself is gluten and soy intolerant.

NOLA is an acronym for non-GMO, organic, life-giving, allergen aware. Though not trained chefs, Dame and Crittendon have been taste-testing and developing what they think is a tasty menu, given their chosen limitations.

The menu will include beans and boat bread, a dish made from GMO-free cornmeal from Louisville-based Louismill Flour & Grits and a mixture of buckwheat and oats; kale wraps; house-made almond milk; sweet potato pie; protein bars; and sea carrot rolls – carrots and nuts wrapped in rice paper and served with NOLAFARE’s spicy feisty sauce.

Crittendon and Dame hope their vegan and allergy-sensitive menu will draw customers from far and wide. Their kitchen will also eschew canned foods, buying fresh produce from local farmers. Future ideas for their new business include cooking classes and special dinners. For now, hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.