Seattle: The Rest!

Although not having a car in Seattle put a crimp in my plans of hitting up all the vegan hot spots, I managed to find food within walking (or ordering!) distance from my hotel in Bellevue. I’d been planning to meet up with my brother after work each day, but he was sick for two of my remaining three nights in Seattle, so we didn’t meet up till Wednesday.

On Monday, I walked just over a mile to Teapot Vegetarian House, an all-vegan (!) Chinese restaurant tucked snugly into a strip mall in Redmond. When I arrived, there was only one other patron, a wizened old man rapidly eating from multiple plates of food. After I placed my order, I noticed him finish eating… and promptly head into the kitchen, leaving me as the single diner. Nobody else appeared during my stay, although I did see a waiter preparing an order for take-out. I’m not sure whether Teapot is always quiet or Monday nights just aren’t busy, but I certainly don’t know how they can stay in business when they serve a single paying customer over the course of an hour!

All that aside, the food I had at Teapot was mostly mediocre. I was craving veggies, so I ordered the Rama Garden, described as steamed broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lotus roots, napa and lots of seasonal vegetables smothered over with a buttery and smooth sweet vegan peanut sauce. Nothing too exciting, but I wanted simple. Rice wasn’t included in the meal, so I ordered a side of brown rice for $1.50. My food was pretty much the epitome of simple.

White plate with lots of green veggies and peanut sauce.

Simple.

The veggies were just fine, but that sauce was far too sweet for my taste. I like a bit of an umami kick to counterbalance the sweetness, but this sauce lacked any saltiness. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it certainly wasn’t a stand-out meal. The dessert, however, far exceeded my expectations. I ordered the Gula Malacca, their signature dessert. I don’t have a photo, but here’s the description: Traditional Malay dessert is given a fresh vegan treatment. Tapioca pearls marinated in a brown sugared coconut syrup, topped with a dollop of coconut sorbet and soy whipped cream, sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

YUM YUM YUM. If you’re not a fan of tapioca, this isn’t the dessert for you, but I love those gelatinous blobs. They were suspended in a rich, sweet-but-not-too-sweet confection that had a bit of a coffee flavor to it (to my taste buds, at least). I got the dessert to go, so it was a little melty by the time I dug in, but it was a cool, refreshing end to my meal.

The next night, I quailed in the face of Seattle’s infamous rain and decided to order in. After some furious Googling, I stumbled on Flying Saucer Pizza, which delivers out of Redmond. The Dr. Zaius veggie pizza called my name: Our veggie Thai pizza with sweet, but spicy peanut sauce, pineapple, carrots, sprouts, red cabbage, basil, chopped nuts, and sesame seeds. Despite a horrible phone connection when I called in my order, the server got my order right and omitted the cheese. The delivery guy also graciously agreed to deliver to my hotel, which was just outside their official delivery zone (don’t worry, I tipped him well!). My order didn’t quite meet the minimum cost for delivery, so I also got a Fresh Greens salad – hold the gorgonzola. That salad was half of my lunch while I was working the next day. ;)

Round pizza in a delivery box.

Not as big as it looks!

This pizza was fine, but it was nowhere near as good as the Vegan Thai Pie I get at home! Still, it was a lucky find and it filled me right up.

Sadly, I never got to try out the one Seattle establishment I’d been jonesin’ to visit: Highline. Sigh. I’d assumed my brother and I would hit it up on my last night in town (he lives within easy walking distance!), but he neglected to inform me that he had friends coming over to his place for a belated birthday gathering, so we wouldn’t have time to go out anywhere. Not that I’m bitter at all…! At least he made me dinner – Dr. Praeger falafel patties with all the fixins. :)

Speaking of which, I also dined on falafel my first night in Seattle. My brother (again!) had pre-existing birthday plans with friends at Brouwer’s Cafe, a spacious “pub” with a dizzying selection of craft beers so vast it drove my indecisive self absolutely bonkers. The food menu is laughably smaller than the drink menu, and the vegan selections are smaller still. However, they are clearly labeled, something I definitely appreciate! The house-made falafel patty was soft, flavorful, and, frankly, not all that falafel-like, but it was tasty nonetheless. And the focaccia that cushioned it was puffy, soft, and wholly lovely. It was the perfect meal to prepare my tummy for a night of bar-hopping. :)

And that, friends, is all she wrote when it comes to Seattle. While I didn’t get to visit as many of the amazing vegan eateries as I would’ve liked, I think I did pretty well for being carless. Stay tuned for the second half of S’s LA dining!

Seattle: Plum Bistro

Yikes – how are we already halfway through February?! I know it’s the shortest month and all, but… yeesh. I’ve got some catching up to do!

S and I spent the first week of February in California (LA/Loma Linda) and Seattle, respectively, on separate work trips. S took full advantage of LA’s many vegan eateries and will be back to share his meals soon, but for now I’ve got a quick post  about Plum Bistro, a Seattle fixture. Happily for me, my brother lives in Seattle, so I flew in a few days early and hung out with him. On the Sunday night before the work portion of my work trip started, the two of us and my brother’s girlfriend hit up Plum Bistro for dinner. We were just in time for Happy Hour, which does not just feature lower-priced drinks – they’ve got a full Happy Hour menu! We decided to split a bunch of small plates, tapas-style.

First, though, we started with an appetizer – hand-cut curry yam fries with a trio of sauces.

A big mason jar of shoestring sweet potato fries and three dipping sauces.

A mountain of fries!

The fries were terrific, and each of those dipping sauces was super flavorful and different. One was heavy on the dill and garlic, one was a bit spicy, and the other… well, I can’t quite remember, but I liked it!

After polishing off the fries, our food came. Clearly we hadn’t read the menu carefully enough, because the beer-battered nori-wrapped tofu came with even more fries – frankly, too many for us to finish! In the background are the purple potato taquitos and Plum’s famous mac & yease.

Big bowl of fries, along with two beer-battered tofu squares. In the background are the taquitos and a plate of mac & yease.

Even moar dipping sauce!

Holy moly. The mac & yease totally lives up to its famous reputation – it’s incredibly rich and creamy, probably the creamiest, most unique vegan mac & cheese I’ve ever had. Very impressive, and very filling – I was so glad we were splitting all this food! The beer-battered tofu was not terribly exciting, but the taquitos were tasty.

We also ordered baby eggplants stuffed with smoked tofu, basil, and sweet and sour plum sauce.

Small oval plate with two stuffed eggplants.

Eggplants.

I very much enjoyed these, although I found myself wishing they weren’t fried (like most of the rest of our meal). They had a great eggplant-to-stuffing ratio.

Finally, my brother ordered the jerk tofu yam slider.

Round plate with a small slider. A piece of blackened tofu is visible.

Slider.

I couldn’t resist a bite of the tofu, and I was well rewarded – it was chewy and well-seasoned with jerk spices. My brother polished most of it off, though!

Whew! If that looks like a heavy, rich meal, well, it was. I was so full afterwards! I rarely eat that heavily, and I found myself wishing we’d curated our choices more closely and chosen a small salad to add some lightness. Live and learn! Overall, Plum Bistro was well-worth the hype. I was also pleased at the variety of my fellow diners – there were elderly folks, entire families, and a few couples. I love seeing such a diverse group of people enjoying vegan food!