Smokey Baked Mac & Cheese and inspiration from Bang Bang Cafe in Seattle, WA

Smokey Mac & Cheese, inspired by Bang Bang Cafe

This recipe marked the first time I’d turned to VegWeb for guidance in years. The veg recipe directory and LiveJournal’s vegan cooking communities were my learn-as-you-go and read-the-comments because you can only-sorta-trust-the-internet tip toes into the vegan culinary world back in the early 2000s. It’s like I can recall mildly freaking out when the number of nutritional yeast sauce recipes rose above 10. After our time apart, I admit that I really enjoyed seeing that most of the recipes I perused were still called “The Best Ever” “The Very Best Ever” “Mom’s Best” “The Best in the World!!!!”, etc. I like vegan enthusiasm.

To get to the point, I just decided to chance it on the internet, test my tastebuds and emulate the memorable vegan mac & cheese my friend Chelsea ordered at Bang Bang Cafe at Seattle this past weekend. I stole a couple of bites, and I was a little jealous that I hadn’t ordered their smokey vegan mac for breakfast, too!  I thought it was so good that it must contain vegan cheese, and was surprised to learn that it was tofu and nutritional yeast based! Swell.

Back to Bang Bang, where I fed my bourbon-induced mild hangover a more wholesome bean and roasted veggie filled burrito. When I returned, however, I had a potluck meeting to attend to the next day and after browsing my limited ingredients and finding a box of whole wheat shells, knew it was time to eye my 2 jars of Spanish smoked sweet paprika, Hungarian hot paprika, Hungarian half sweet paprika, Alder smoked salt and my good buddy, the giganto container of nutritional yeast flakes. The finished result didn’t seem to fit everyone’s tastes – which is how vegan mac & cheese always seems to work – but more than a couple folks seemed obsessed and another friend had me write down the recipe, so here we go. Dare I say I had fun making a mac & cheese recipe where you simply had to puree the cheesy sauce ingredients..because, I did.

Smokey Baked Mac & Cheese, adapted from Best Vegan Mac and Cheese in the entire world…seriously, as posted on VegWeb.com. I halved the recipe and made a few changes based on what I was aiming for and had on hand.Go, go smokey, creamy mac!

Ingredients:

  •    3/4 lb whole wheat pasta or rice pasta, preferably with ridges

Cheesy sauce

  •     1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (I used a combination of So Delicious coconut milk beverage and soy milk)
  •     3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  •     1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or non-hydrogenated margarine
  •     1/2 cup water
  •     2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  •     1/2 cup soaked and drained raw cashews
  •     1 clove of garlic
  •     1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch hot paprika
  •     generous pinch of salt (add more to taste after blending sauce)
  •     1 tablespoon mustard (I used TJ’s spicy sweet mustard)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Additional: 
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup vegan cheese (I used Teese cheddar sauce)
  • breadcrumbs
  • pinch of additional paprika and cayenne
  • olive oil mister/spray
  • smoked salt

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease a small casserole dish. Boil the water and cook pasta 1 minute less than instructed. Drain and add to your casserole dish. You’ll want at least a couple inches of room to be able to add the cheesy sauce.

2. Puree the cheesy sauce ingredients  in a blender until smooth and adjust the seasonings to taste. Carefully stir into the cheesy sauce and vegan cheese, if using.

3. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly on top, followed by the smoked salt and additional paprika and cayenne, if using. Lightly spray with oil. Bake until the breadcrumbs looks golden, 15-20 minutes. Broil an additional 5 minutes, if desired.

Serve with steamed greens, unless you’re nuts.

Bang Bang's Vegan Mac & Cheese

The aforementioned vegan breakfast burrito with red chile sauce

Alicia's Bang Bang burrito with red & green chile sauces

Melissa went with a classic Mighty-O Donut

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup: Because Spring Said So

Click on this image for tickets.

First things first, I’m back from my B.C. adventures, so prepare for a month of Canadian love, including lots of beer, hockey (whoa), Chinese food, wonderful hippie markets, and fingers crossed, a guest post from my travelling partner and real-life-Canadian-bestie. Not to jinx myself, but expect those posts in a week or so, as I’m off to Seattle this weekend for a scintillating event – The Great Seattle Vegan Chili Cook-Off! It’s a fundraiser for their eventual Vegan Iron Chef competition, which opens the door to something that makes me kinda pee my pants – NorthWest Vegan Iron Chef Regionals!!!!! The Portland folks will be reppin’ a table at the Cook-Off, so keep an eye out.

For now, I’m spending the day counting down the minutes until I can visit the Shemanski Park Farmers Market on my lunch hour – my first visit of the season. I like to pretend it’s there for me, being mere blocks away from my office and all. At some point, my coworkers became used to me returning with armfuls of colorful produce and squash sticking out of my purse.  I have a farmar habit, it’s cool. It’s seasonal. It’s purposeful.

The weekend before I left, I was all about the tart, fascinating stalk that is rhubarb, as well as thrillingly bizarre local citrus finds, and made the following syrup. It’s made an appearance in tonic so far, and is counting the minutes itself (it’s that talented) until it can impress at a cocktail hour.

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup, Pre-Strained

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (no need to peel; think 2 medium sized stalks)
  • 5-6 rangpur limes, halved (leave skins on)
  • 1 lime, quartered (likewise)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • pinch salt
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 25 minutes, removing the lid to stir occasionally. Your mixture will look like the glorious pink soup pictured above. Remove from heat for a few minutes, and strain. Repeat straining if necessary. Carefully bottle and enjoy as desired with your cocktails & mocktails. And hey, consider slicing a strip of fresh rhubarb as garnish. It’ll be classy.

Strained & Bottled Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup

I went to Seattle VegFest and returned with a lot of tea

It’s true! One would think it would be locally roasted coffee, but I have a whole lot of random tea bags waiting for me at home. I picked up a few coupons and sampled most of the new vegan items amongst the vegetarian (more on this below), got my Field Roast on, did several shots of coconut water, casually spread the word about Vida Vegan Con with the Voyager, but most importantly, I saw friends and took a much-needed mini vacation!  Here’s a quick run down and photos…

Best in Show: Prometheus Springs Capsaicin Elixirs. Invigorating, spicy beverages with exotic, stimulating flavor combinations such as Lychee Wasabi, Citrus Cayenne and Pomegranate Black Pepper. I only hope I can find these in Portland!

Saddest in Show: The Burgerville cow ad at the Chez Gourmet table.

I wish this was in Portland: Small Planet Tofu. My mysterious day job has taken me to Spokane on more than one occasion, and Huckleberry’s Market, along with its bulk, seasoned tofu, spreads and tofu scrambles is always something I look forward to. It’s cool, keep it local – I’ll pick more up on a road trip one day…

Note: Seattle Vegfest organizers, your mass of volunteers was an impressive sight, and certainly friendly – but maybe a briefing on vegetarian vs. vegan next time around? Postings would be helpful. I was warned in advance that VegFest is is more of a ‘vegetarian fest’, which is funny for a city that’s been such a ground-breaker in the vegan community, and sure enough, there were many product samples that weren’t vegan, which is fine, but in addition, there were quite a few volunteers who weren’t sure of the difference. I found myself reading more labels than I’ve done in years. Yikes! It was an odd feeling to feel like a left out vegan….at a VegFest.

Onwards to the photo tour…

Tea & Coupons

The crowd - can you spot Vegan Moxie?

Prometheus Springs’ magic elixirs

Finally clarified which Chez Gourmet Burgers are actually vegan!

Team Wayfare, promoting their new sour cream, chocolate pudding, and my favorite, the hickory cheese spread

Creepiest in show - but remarkable!

This vegan seafood is damn impressive and based on a root - I wasn't a fan of the cioppino, but below...

Yeah, the breaded vegan calamari was crazy fascinating. I would buy this in the future.

Looking for serious vegetarian guidance? Consulting & mentoring opportunities are all around.

White Mountain's tamales had a dulled spice factor. Oh, frozen food.

I want this.

The mime works the coconut creamer.

BREATHE.

YES, I TRIED THIS BEFORE YOU. YES, IT WAS PEPPERY. YES, IT WAS SPICY. Alas, not my jam.I swear, there were people passing around around this station.

Some popcorn sampling?

THIS

MIGHTY-O! How can you resist?

Chez Gourmet

I have no idea what's happening here, but I had to document it. My guess is chili.

Hard-working volunteer action.

And yes, it looked like this the whole time. I lived in my cowgirl rain boots.

Of course, a stop was made at Sidecar.

Where I sensibly picked up a couple fresh Mighty-Os to bring home.

Shockingly, there was no time for coffee?! And yet, I even stayed next door to the downtown Trabant.

I may still be digesting this killer Chicken fried steak plate from Wayward, but it was worth it.

My friend KJ, ready to devour her veggie omelette - within mere minutes!

One day, I will actually make it here.

More food! My friend Anika (you read VeganScore, right? Right!) took a break from the VegFest madness for lunch at Bamboo Garden. Pictured above is the Tofu Skin Hot Pot with Szechwan sauce. Possibly the best Chinese dish I've tried in Seattle yet.

Sweet & Sour orange glazed Chicken Ballz. Exactly.

Seattle, I'll see ya again at May's Vegan Chili Cook-off!

Lattes, Sandwiches & Vegan Vietnamese: Seattle Travels with the Veganshizz

Earlier this month, Karla the Veganshizzle and I spent a few days up in Seattle basically drinking coffee, eating vegan food, walking around, and drinking even more coffee.

Our first stop was Georgetown Liquor Co. Hands down, my favorite place to dine (and play NES with a microbrew or PBR in hand) in Seattle. And really, not that hard to find!

The Picard, with vegan aus jus dipping sauce and side salad

The Lowell with vegan ham and green chiles

The Cat Whisperer by Pike Place Market, reminding me, why don’t I have any pet portraits of my roommates yet?

Please help me convince my friend below that Coffeetalk with Karla is a great name for her never-gonna-happen talk show.

Soy Latte at Herkimer, U-District

Bang Bang Cafe

There are many things that I like about Bang Bang Cafe: the Belltown location, the giant dish of vegan mac & cheese (one day this will be mine), the friendly service, the coffee, the Mighty-O donuts, the burritos, the little card for Back to Eden they had posted by the register!….I’m charmed.

Coffee and Lemon Poppyseed donut

Now, consider me happy with my first-time visit to a Loving Hut.

First off, the framed, famous vegan head shot poster:

The Wall of Vegetarian & Vegan Elite (and food):

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Part of the shopping wall:

Vegan Bánh mì

Vermicelli House Special

Attempted to give Cinnamon Works another whirl, badabing, but they were all out of the veganz:

A peak of Shiz’s I know-Jess-is-taking-a-picture-face. Bloggers, be nice to you friends – they’re very patient!

Stopping by Sidecar for sweets:

We enjoyed a satisfying, comfort-food-galore brunch at Wayward Cafe. Honestly, just look at their menu and these pictures and tell me you don’t want to go here. You do! You do! Breakfast All Day!

The Country Bumpkin: Open-faced herb biscuit with tofu scramble, country-style sausage gravy & garlic steamed greens.

The Hillbilly Omelette, stuffed with sausage, peppers, onions &  hashbrowns, topped with country gravy and cheddar cheeze, and served with homefries. Even more whoa.

My Sweet Lord, Hare Krishna cafe. Free vegan cafe (by donation).

Seeing the creepy sights in the U-District:

Pizza Pi – According to my friends, the latest management & menu is the best yet! Noted for next time. The last time I went was years ago and I think it’s changed hands at least twice since then, and it was one of those ‘why does this gross vegan cheese even exist?’ scenarios.

One day, I will.dine.here.

We were in town for First Thursday, and at Anika’s (the vegan wonder of Seattle that she is!) recommendation, stopped by the 30 works in 30 days art show.

The top right here was my favorite:

If you’re a cat, and run to me when I call you, well, that’s a promising friendship:

In more Seattle animal sightings, this dog made me realize that I now have two favorite breeds of dogs: those with capes, and on wheels:

Special Piroshky Report: Last time I stopped by the historic Piroshky Bakery in Pike Place Market, they told my friends and I that a couple of their sweet varieties, like the apple, for example, would be vegan by default because there was no dairy involved. I was excited to peak by again, but that was instantly broken when we noticed ‘honey glaze’ on the window signs. Commence vegan sadface.

OntoThe Highline. No SV review coming with these after my first visit, but here are some quick thoughts: Poor lighting, but lots of greasy potential at this place – a full bar with a specialty cocktail list – I had a short & spicy tequila sipper, a great space with stage, the idea of CAKE-A-ROKE night(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), the faux meat options – looking forward to trying the faux fish sandwich on my next trip up, but our complaint? The pickle fries were deep-fried, and came with a creamy ranch-style dip, but didn’t arrive hot! Double sadface.

Crazy packed BLT-style tofu & tempeh sandwich from The Highline:

Faux breaded chicken sandwich at The Highline:

Most importantly, it’s the year of the pickle fries!

We also took our first trip to Moonlight, a Vietnamese restaurant in the International District that has a separate vegan menu. I wrote a post on it, so sticking with photos here, and my love of their vegan eggrolls.

Eggrolls at Moonlight:

Beef and Broccoli at Moonlight; the Shiz’s iconic favorite soda in the back

Tofu Eggplant Hotpot at Moonlight

Another warming, caffeinated break downtown at Trabant:

Soy Latte, Trabant (which always makes me think of my friend Evan from Drowning in a Demitasse)

Soy Latte, Victrola

With that, I leave you in the Shizz’s hands, at the Pike Place Market:

Season’s Greetings and Happy Long Weekends!

This post is hereby dedicated to KJ & Vijjy.

Seattle Sweets: A Visit to Sidecar for Pigs Peace

…and we’re back! Karla the Veganshizz and I have returned from a few days of both business and pleasure up in Seattle. We caffeinated, wined, dined, worked (my day job exists!) schemed & dined some more with Seattle vegan greats and got in a little sweets shopping at Sidecar for Pigs Peace, where proceeds really go to the animals. Similar to a stop at the Vegan Mini Mall in Portland in recent years, patronizing the mid-50 blocks of the University District in Seattle has become more and more of a mandatory stroll for vegan tourists.  Karla and I made an afternoon of it, starting at Herkimer, brunching at Wayward Cafe (more to come on that), perusing Sidecar, and walking around the U-District.  It’s always fun to see what’s new in the land of vegan treats, and I picked up a few non-perishable things (trust me, I wanted to stock up on Chao Cheese, locally made truffles, Tofutti Pizza, and Tiramisu, among others) to take back, which are pictured above. With that, let’s discuss my giddiness over the following few treats:

  • Sweet & Sara Brown Rice Crispy Treat – I feel like I want to save this for the apocalypse, you know?
  • Theo Organic Peppermint Stick Chocolate Bar - Check mark #1: It’s locally produced in Seattle.  Check mark #2: It’s organic. Check mark #4: It’s fair trade sourced. Check mark #5: It not only has fancy peppermint oil, big whoop, it has a brittled crunch – like an actual peppermint stick! Yes!!
  • Pangea White Chocolate Chips – Did I make white chocolate chip and orange biscotti with these already? Why, yes.
  • Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – Somehow, these aren’t already in my freezer waiting for me to return home.  This company has a line of nut butters as well, including a chocolate almond. A warning about the cups on their website – they’re milk chocolate – but the above are from Sidecar, so I have no worries.

Coming Soon: more thoughts and recaps on visits to Victrola, Trabant, Georgetown Liquor Co., Highline, Moonlight, Wayward Cafe, Loving Hut, and the cutest cruciferous vegetables I’ve ever seen.

Three Days in Seattle, Vegan Style

I had a string of poor luck with meal choices on my East Coast vacation, and I must say that 3 days of vegan meals in Seattle kinda kicked the butt of my week of vegan consumption in Boston and NYC.  With some exceptions, of course.  I really do believe that food tastes better in the Pacific Northwest.

For one thing, the coffee is fantastic.

Soy Latte from Herkimer, University District

Herkimer, Seattle

I spent a lot of time working in a couple coffeeshops.  Unlike Portland, I was stunned to easily find a seat at shops.  This simply means Portland needs more coffeeshops, gosh.

Herkimer

Soy Latte from Trabant, University District (49th Parallel beans).  Just….right.

Trabant

Vanilla Vegan Chai from Trabant

Trabant Chai

Trabant

If I had more time…I would have hit the Korean Tofu House for dinner.  One day!  They open at 7pm, and I simply didn’t have enough um, dinner openings.

Sorry Mike, Sorry Vijjy! I just peered, like a tofu stalker, during the day…

will I ever make it here?

Oh, and look, another Tofu House!  This one was pretty much beef with tofu, beef with tofu, beef with tofu on the menu, though.  Tofu stalker will investigate further…

another 'fu house

Angel Curry with Soft Tofu from In the Bowl Vegetarian Noodle Bistro. My first time there, my first meal of the trip, my favorite meal of the trip! Review coming to Stumptown Vegans.

In The Bowl, Seattle

Wayward Vegan Cafe.  This popular cafe recently moved to a new location on University Street in Seattle’s slowly expanding V-District, and overall, bestowed the second of the top two meals of my visit.  Thank you, vegan omelet!

Sham and Cheddar Vegan Omelet with roasted potatoes – hello, vegan diner food.

Wayward Cafe Vegan Sham & Cheddar Cheese Omelette

Giant side of Garlic Steamed Greens with a little visit from the nutritional yeast shaker and hot sauce.

Wayward Garlic Steamed Kale

The line to order.  It was almost out the door at times!

Wayward Cafe

More to come.

Wayward

Flowers Restaurant for the Vegan Lunch Buffet

to michelle, love jess

My dear friend Michelle has been recommended Flowers several times over the past three years, and I note it on my sporadic northern trips.  I finally put aside the call of vegan chinese (I had my full on the East Coast) and hit up Flowers last week. Finally!

Flowers

My plate from the Flowers buffet.

Flowers Vegan Buffet in Seattle

My favorite parts were the chilled roasted broccoli and creamy, tahini-like pasta salad.  Personal preference – I wish some of the cold items were hot.  I really dug the large variety and wish I had more room to try more!  There were numerous stewed dishes, roasted vegetables, baba ganouj, fries, and more, that I would like to try another time.  With my friend Michelle, ideally!

The large buffet lays beyond these windows. Every now and then I’m too shy to take all the photos I’d like.

Flowers

Stumbling upon the University Farmers Market = heck, yeah!

University Farmar, Seattle

Intriguing fruit vinegars and sauces and whatnot.

U-District FarMar

Just builds the anticipation for the Portland Farmers Market opening next weekend!

U-District

It wasn’t me.

Seattle

Spotted downtown: kale

kale kale kale

New experience: Vegan coconut based ice cream at Full Tilt Ice Cream Parlor, below the popular Cedars Restaurant.

Seattle

Okay, there was a large piece of hair on top of the flavor I was leaning towards, Toasted Coconut, so I went with the enjoyably rich Almond Joy with bits of chocolate and almond.  It happens.

Vegan ice cream

My only disappointment was on a second visit to Georgetown Liquor Co. My first experience was superb.  This time, I still enjoyed my microbrew and Nintendo, but apparently if you don’t state vegan!!!!!!!! at this vegetarian restaurant, even when your sandwich isn’t listed with cheese, it comes with cheese, as does your side salad.  As the Vegan Shiz would say, sad face.  It’s been so long since this has happened to me!  There is a note on the menu stating vegan cheese can be subbed for any vegetarian cheese, and a few items are marked NV, but this wasn’t one, nor did this list cheese.  Now I know.

Georgetown Liquor Co.

Where to next?

Seattle Food Porn, Round 2

Round 2 of the Seattle Vegan Food Porn from earlier this month!

How cool is Georgetown Liquor Co?  So damn cool. I think I have to give it the slight edge over Araya’s and hail it as my favorite dining experience of the short trip. It was just so…comfortable.

All vegetarian pub, nearly everything can be made vegan. Amusing, sci fi inspired sandwiches and appetizers.  Free game systems. I played Super Mario 3 on NES! My favorite! Tons of microbrews on tap. Fun cocktail list. I would want it to be my Hungry Tiger Too if I lived in Seattle.  I’ll try to write more about it for the other site – but here are the pics!

Arugula Artichoke Dip

georgetown liquor

Half a Picard and half a Darth Reuben. I do believe my friend Katie Jayne called the Reuben ‘the best sandwich’ she’s ever eaten.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2733/4161293034_fe0fc8e5fb.jpg

Lowell – with vegan ham, green chilis, vegan cheese, greens, tomato and spicy chipotle vegenaise with a side of Tofu Chicken Caesar salad.  So. Good. I’d go back and get this same exact meal. Multiple times.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2780/4161293694_aa2a8a06cc.jpg

You can sorta see the game systems in the back.

Georgetown

So, I have this thing for digital jukeboxes…and this one is GIANT! Since I was with my class of 2000 buds, we played music from our high school days. Vijjy insisted on Jewel song after Jewel song, and we sang along sporadically to Semi-Charmed Kinda Life.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2751/4160534061_ccc3d36b2b.jpg

We saw a sign for SOY YOGURT outside Citra Froyo, so we went.  Duh.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2506/4160508441_3ea73cf85c.jpg

I’m not big on the flavor of yogurt, and this was yo-gurt-y, so I passed after we sampled it, but look how IN SHOCK Katie Jayne is with her strawberry adorned cup!  Note – the counter girl stated it was vegan, and emails from the company bounced back – anyone know for sure?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2566/4161265636_a3c20a60cc.jpg

I ended up taking an afternoon train instead of a morning one on my final day, and after caffeination, took in a lunch at Plum Bistro on Capital Hill.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2607/4161305316_25f27e15b0.jpg

Smoked Northwest Portobello and Tempeh Crepes

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2560/4161305980_b999f1c80d.jpg

Spicy Mac ‘N’ Yease

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2533/4161307010_a0eb29827a.jpg

Blueberry Truffle with Sea Salt from Sidecar for Pigs Peace.  Good stuff.

truffle from sidecar

Round 1 is here.

Phew. I’m sure I missed something

An Examination of Seattle Soy Lattes

Victrola Soy Latte

Victrola

Three days in Seattle, and I consumed three soy lattes within 24 hours.

Invincibility. Fortunately, I’d been taking it easy on caffeine the week before, and proceeded to take a few days off afterwards.

Each Seattle latte was, simply put, great. I have nothing but fond memories.

The most memorable was from the staple Victrola Roastery and Cafe on Pike St.

Victrola latte, shot 2

victrola

From my high table, I could see right into their roastery, nice.

seattle

victrola

Before the awesome lunch buffet at Araya Thai, my friends and I popped into Trabant in the University District. I’d been there in the past for a lovely chai, but this was my first time for coffee. My friend Evan, the growing NYC espresso guru, clued me in that they exclusively use 49th Parallel beans, roasted in British Columbia.

Trabant Soy Latte

trabant

This latte was a perfect part of my afternoon.

Well, what do we have here?

'town

On my final day, I had two lattes in the same early afternoon. I ended up taking an afternoon train instead of a morning one, so what else was there to do besides drink lattes and wander a bit? I wasn’t planning on it, but shortly after my Victrola stop, I saw this – and it wouldn’t escape my mind. Also, I had to use their bathroom. FYI, it still opens with a duck.

Stumptown in Seattle. Portland based, internationally renowned.

seattle

Stumptown in Seattle, Soy Latte

stumptown, seattle

The End.

seattle

If you have a favorite Seattle soy latte I’ve missed, please say so!

More Northwest Latte Love:

An Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

A Second Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

Seattle Vegan Food Porn! Round 1.

The first of three installments of Seattle food porn! I was  up in Seattle with two dear friends last week for work & play & vegan foodz, no doubt.

In this post, we’ve got visits to Pike Place Market, Araya’s Vegan Thai, Bang Bang Cafe, Sidecar for Pigs Peace, Sureshot Cafe and a couple other sights.

I’ve been to Seattle quite a few times before, and I originally had the birthplace of grunge in mind for my Northwest move back in the day (credit Irene, Stephen, David & co) but Portland won out.  And that was right.  I adore my Portlandy life, but do I like visiting Seattle and becoming more familiar with it.  The journey is just under 4 hours on Amtrak and very convenient!

Towards the photo essay…

seattle

The obligatory market visit.  We were staying a few blocks away. Good morning!

seattle

Araya’s Lunch Buffet – This was my first visit, and I won’t say much more besides I had to stop working on this post before lunch today because it had me craving Thai food! -Additionally, I have a review written (on the train back!) for Stumptown Vegans – so look for that in the future, if you’re intrigued.

Vegan Buffet Greatness

araya

Katie Jayne’s delicious buffet plate (#12)

araya

Hot & Sour soup from the buffet (boo, cilantro.  oh, well)

araya

Vijjy’s fresh rolls (from the regular menu)

araya

Buffet spring rolls and dipping sauce! And more soup.

araya

Vijjy’s Spicy Mushroom Soup

araya

Buffet Action.

araya

Hotter Buffet Action.

araya

Leftover soup.

seattle

I stopped in twice at Bang Bang Cafe -it’s a vegan friendly cafe in Belltown, as discussed on a recent Stumptown Vegans podcast. They’re veg-friendly and offer vegans Tofutti cream cheese, hummus, Seattle’s own Field Roast & have a daily vegan mac & cheese casserole.

bang bang

Vijjy’s grilled sammy with hummus & Field Roast.

bang bang

Katie Jayne’s patient bagel

bang bang

Roasted Vegetable & Bean Burrito from Bang Bang Cafe – with delicious, delicately roasted potatoes & whole beans.

I regret not adding their special Southwestern chilis, but alas..  bang bang

though I will say, this to-go packaging killed me a little inside to be presented with.

Pike Place Market – We stopped into this small market across from the main Pike Place Marketplace because I had a distant memory of seeing an unfamiliar soy cheese there and wanted to investigate. And that’s what vegans do.

We were all pretty delighted at how damn vegan friendly this little store was!
seattle

Soydairy section.

seattle

Now onto the real vegan store in Seattle -

Sidecar for Pigs Peace

Of course we stopped by Sidecar and picked up goodies, like all good vegan tourists.  I came home with a very good, locally made blueberry&sea salt adorned chocolate truffle, local tofu jerky, Sunrice spicy tofu and something else I’m forgetting.  I wanted to support them & pick up something I couldn’t get at Food Fight!

The storefront
sidecar

The vegan protein fridge

seattle

Mmm, kombucha & marshmallows

sidecar

CHOCOLATE.

sidecar

Katie Jayne was pretty damn excited about the Nacho Chreese Dip.

sidecar

I also picked up my two cats a catnip ball to share.

SIDECAR

Sharing didn’t go over very well, but Huxley seemed to have a blast ripping it apart entirely.

jess 307

Which brings us to – the pet food section! All veg, with info pamphlets.  For the record, I feed my cats great food, but it’s not vegetarian.

sidecar

More Sidecart.

sidecar

Frozen section!

sidecar

Pizza section!

sidecar

Soydairy!

sidecar

We were really excited about stopping by the Korean Tofu House a few blocks from Sidecar, to share a vegan special and hopefully super fresh tofu – but alas, they didn’t open till 7pm. Next time!!

seattle

The best vegan pastries in the state?

seattle

The parent bakery of this shop makes vegan scones.  I got one for breakfast the next morning.  It was a good maple scone, and fresh, I can see it being better than average, but I think Katie Jayne likely makes the best vegan pastries in the state, sorry!  But great use of signage promoting vegan items! I think this cafe had a sign for every single item, it was amusing.

seattle

Aforementioned maple scone.

seattle

Vegan chowder! My Yelp  Blackberry App kept telling me to visit here for nearby vegan goodies, and I kept saying, silly Yelp, that must be mistaken!  Yet, while we were walking by we browsed the menu and they have a vegan chowda!

seattle

Hummus from the hotel restaurant. Woop, dried herbs & oil, baby.  At least it was only $5.

hotel hummus (with dried herbs)

Gum Wall

GUM WALL

Did you know Seattle has a famous gum wall?  Well, now I do.

gum wall

One more round of Seattle restaurant porn to go! Featuring Georgetown Liquor Co. (LOVE), Citra Soy Froyo and an interesting visit to Plum Bistro – and the Examination of Seattle Soy Lattes.  Oh, yes.

3 vegans, 1 hotel room

Wanted: Vegan Entrepreneur

What: To Open Vegan Boutique Hotel

Portland has the vegan population. Portland has the flow of vegan tourists. Where’s the vegan boutique hotel? Where’s the quaint vegan bed and breakfast located on super vegan friendly Alberta Street or blocks away from the vegan mini mall district?

Why: …because I’m staring at the photo below of local Go Max Go vegan candy bars in a hotel ice bucket.

3 vegans, 1 hotel room

I recently got together with two friends in Seattle for a couple days of being awesome and vegan and exchanging awesome, vegan goodies.  My friend Katie Jayne made fantastic vegan Tagalongs! Girl Scout style, without the hypocrisy.  This girl needs to open up a vegan bakery!!!!! And my Canadian vegan savior, Vijjy, brought us cartons of  Peppermint Chocolate Vitasoy. AMAZING. We also had the pictured candy bars, scheese, fancy Canadian dark chocolate and yeasted Voodoo Doughnuts.

We had a mini wine & scheese party, naturally.

vegans in a hotel room.

We didn’t have a knife and utilized the plastic corkscrew, like all crafty vegans would.

The wine was vegan, organic wine from Sidecar for Pigs Peace.

vino

Photo essay galore of vegan Seattle eats & soy lattes coming soon!