Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

El Borracho- Vegan Tacos! May 19, 2013

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 8:51 PM
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Two weeks ago, I went shopping and had drinks with my friend, Liz. Afterwards we were walking towards the bus and I suddenly announced my desire to eat a lot of tacos (as you do once you have had enough champagne). I remembered that a new Mexican restaurant, El Borracho had opened a few months ago near Pike Place Market, and decided that the moment had arrived to check it out.

It was a nice day that day, so the outdoor patio was jammed, as was most of the inside, but we found a table in the back. After a short wait, a waitress arrived with the requisite chips and salsa, which I do have to note was $2 and not free like most Mexican restaurants but it was a nice mild salsa, many times the salsa is too spicy for me in Mexican restaurants, so I didn’t mind too much. We ordered guacamole to add to the chips and settled in to peruse the menu. The menu has an entire vegan section, and my friend and I both picked a burrito with soy chorizo and potatoes (and several veggies, rice and beans).

The waitress that took our orders was excited to see us order vegan food, and asked if we were vegan, and told us that she has been vegan for 21 years. She created the vegan section on the menu, and I felt a lot safer ordering vegan food from her, as sometimes in non-vegan restaurants you never know if they quite understand why you care if they put chicken stock in the rice, or lard in the beans.

The burrito was the size of my head, with nice flavor and texture, and I had plenty of leftovers for dinner the next day as well. My one tiny complaint would be that it needed some sort of sauce, possibly a salsa to give it a little kick.

Soy chorizo and potato burrito.

Soy chorizo and potato burrito.

The food was tasty, reasonably priced, the service was great, and there are many more vegan options on the menu still to try, including nachos that look fantastic, which means I will be returning for sure.

Now, the question is, did Liz like El Borracho too?

Liz about to dig in to her burrito.

Liz about to dig in to her burrito.

I think it safe to say, yes.

El Borracho is located at 1521 1st Ave (between Pike and Pine) in Seattle, WA.

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Plum Cookbook Launch Cooking Class May 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 6:17 PM
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On May 2nd, 2013 I attended a small cooking class taught by Makini Howell at the book store, Book Larder to celebrate the launch of her new cookbook, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. It was a small class, just ten people, and Makini cooked up quite a feast for us. It was a great evening, full of great conversation and food, and many conversations about food, even beyond the food we were partaking in.

The first course was the famous Plum mac and yease (recipe not in the cookbook, although a smokey mac and cheese recipe is on page 101), which was to “entice us to come to the restaurant” as Makini said. This is my favorite dish at Plum, and it was as great as ever.

The next course was the cauliflower bisque with fresh fennel (pg 44 in the book). This soup was  creamy and flavorful, and definitely a soup that I will be re-creating on my own. The topping is smoked tofu, made crispy like bacon in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil.

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

Cauliflower Bisque with Fresh Fennel

The next course was a salad made of miner’s lettuce, grilled fennel, grilled plums, edible flowers, and a dressing made of plum sake (and something else, bad blogger didn’t take detailed notes). There were children present at this meal as well, so she also made a simple vinaigrette  which I am sure would make a lovely pairing, since the plum and fennel are so flavorful on their own, they don’t really need a lot of dressing. This recipe isn’t in the book, but is a good example of taking your inspiration from local, seasonally available produce, as Makini does with all the dishes at Plum.

Miner's lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

Miner’s lettuce salad with plum and fennel.

The next course was another one that isn’t in the book, but is on Plum’s current brunch menu. Vegan “crab cakes” made of mushrooms, bread crumbs, onions and I am sure something else I am forgetting. She usually makes this with an egg replacer to serve as a binding agent, but she forgot to bring them. The cakes still held together pretty well, and had a similar texture to the crab cakes I remember from my pre-vegan days. The cakes were topped with the “Savory Soy Cream” (pg 6 in the book). These went over so well that when one of the children in attendance didn’t want his there was quite the bargaining going on to get that crab cake.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Vegan crab cake topped with savory soy cream.

Next up was the pizza with soy ricotta cheese, fennel, plums, miners lettuce on a sauce of pesto and olive oil. This version was made on a crust she bought at Trader Joe’s but there is a recipe in the book for a pizza crust (pg 105). This was really good but I was so stuffed at this point, I didn’t eat the whole thing, had to save room for the dessert!

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Pear and fennel soy ricotta cheese pizza.

Dessert was a rhubarb crisp in tiny crusts, with homemade soy ice cream and blood orange compote. This was the perfect amount of sweet, and a great capper to an impressive meal of so much great food.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Rhubarb crisp and soy ice cream.

Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro is full of wonderful recipes that give you a piece of Plum Bistro if you are unable to enjoy a meal there. If you live in Seattle or are visiting, I highly recommend eating a meal at Plum Bistro as well as getting this cookbook.