Vegan Princess in an Omni Kingdom

Adventures of a vegan girl living in an omni world.

Poppy Birthday Dinner September 23, 2013

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 11:11 AM
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This past July for my birthday, my Aunt K treated me to a wonderful birthday dinner at Poppy. Poppy is a restaurant on Capitol Hill here in Seattle that specializes in creating thalis, which are platters of food served to each guest. While Poppy doesn’t have a vegan thali on the menu, if you call ahead and tell them that you are vegan, they will create something wonderful for you. As our waiter said, they can always create something for a vegan to eat, but if you want something spectacular, you need to call ahead.

We started with drinks. This is the sort of place that has a bunch of ingredients in their cocktails that I had to Google to figure out what they were. After consulting with the waiter (and hearing him use the word bitter three times to describe the other cocktail I was considering) I ordered “lovage story.” What is lovage? Read more here. We also ordered pakoras to start, and they were really good, slightly spicy but not overwhelmingly so.

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Lovage story (and pakoras).

Next up was my custom vegan thali, the main event.

Vegan thali.

Vegan thali.

Counterclockwise from the bottom yellow dish, I had a potato and carrot stew with dill (probably my favorite), pickled radishes, a bean and cucumber salad, carrot ginger soup, potato salad, steamed peas and other veggies, and quinoa. Poppy is known for their naan, but they use dairy in it, so it isn’t vegan, so I got the quinoa instead.

Veggie stew

Veggie stew

Carrot ginger soup

Carrot ginger soup

 

This was so much food that I couldn’t finish it, but it was all very well seasoned and thought out. I loved that each dish was different, but used similar enough ingredients (potatoes and carrots throughout) and seasonings that everything harmonized, and didn’t compete with each other.

No birthday dinner is complete without dessert, and when my aunt asked the waiter to bring out their best vegan dessert (the menu didn’t have anything vegan) he said he had just the thing, and disappeared in to the kitchen for a minute.

When he re-appeared he had a fruit gummy candy, which is naturally vegan since they make them with fruit pectin. The candle was a nice touch.

Fruit squares

Fruit squares

After dinner we took a stroll through their garden in the back, where they grow some of the veggies they use in the kitchen. There was the biggest fennel plant I have ever seen in my life back there (no pictures, unfortunately). In the summer there is seating out in the garden as well.

I really enjoyed my meal with my aunt at Poppy. The food was fantastic, well thought out and beautifully presented, and the service was attentive and knowledgeable. I look forward to returning in the future.

Poppy is located at 622 Broadway East, Seattle WA 98102.

 

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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.

 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Caffe Ladro October 17, 2012

Filed under: restaurant,Seattle,Vegan Mofo 2012 — bookie85 @ 7:45 PM
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The first fall after I went vegan I was so disappointed to find out that Starbucks put dairy in their pumpkin spice syrup, and thus pumpkin spice lattes were off my list of fall food options. Flash forward to this past weekend when I was standing in line at  Caffe Ladro (the Lower Queen Anne location) ready to order my usual spicy soy chai latte when this sign caught my eye:

Seasonal drink offerings at Cafe Ladro
Seasonal drink offerings at Cafe Ladro

Pumpkin sauce! This means that the fine folks at the Caffe Ladro bakery make pumpkin sauce from scratch, without all of the extra sugars and other junk that is found in typical pumpkin syrups. I ordered my first decaf pumpkin spice latte in years and it was delightful. I will be back many times during this cold, and sometimes rainy Seattle fall.

 

Wild Prairie Bakery July 22, 2012

I turned 27 almost two weeks ago and all I really wanted for my birthday was vegan cake. Not just any vegan cake would do, though. I wanted one that was like the (non-vegan) cake of my childhood. Every year, my Mom would get me a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and piped frosting flowers on top. To fulfill this desire, I made my way out to Wild Prairie Bakery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Wild Prairie is run by a very sweet woman named Megan. She bakes an assortment of cookies, cupcakes and pain au chocolate every day, as well as baking cakes for special orders. I went out there the Saturday before my birthday to have brunch and to order my cake.

It was a very nice, sunny Seattle weekend day, so when I arrived I wasn’t completely surprised to find that I was the only person in the bakery. People were missing out though, I had a wonderful brunch of tofu scramble with fruit while I finalized my cake order decision.

Brunch menu

Brunch menu

The tofu scramble was chock full of veggies, lots of kale which is always a huge plus in my book. My only complaint would be that a side of fruit should be more than a strawberry and a slice of orange. The small amount of fruit did mean that I had room to order a pain au chocolate (which I failed to get a picture of) so it isn’t all bad.

Tofu scramble with fruit

Tofu scramble with fruit

By the time I finished eating, I had settled on a chocolate cake with vegan chocolate butter cream filling and raspberry frosting. I asked Megan to decorate it with “whatever flowers inspired her.” I returned on the day before my birthday to pick it up, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was beautiful.

Birthday cake

My beautiful birthday cake

I took it to work the next day to share with my (mostly omni) coworkers, and they loved it. I believe a happy dance was performed by one of them upon the first bite. I loved it as well, it was super rich, but not too sweet. The frosting was thick (it had been refrigerated due to the buttercream filling) but not so thick so you felt like you were eating fondant, and it tasted like fresh raspberries, because it was made from fresh local raspberries picked just days ahead of time.

Wild Prairie will be hearing from me each July, if not many times before then as well.

Wild Prairie is located at 2019 NW Market Street, Seattle WA 98107.

EDIT: Wild Prairie Bakery is now closed, the owner had to close up shop due to health issues in late 2012.

 

Chloe Coscarelli Book Signing July 1, 2012

Filed under: cookbook,Seattle,shopping,Uncategorized — bookie85 @ 3:02 PM
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In late May I had the fun opportunity to attend one of Chloe Coscarelli’s book signing events to promote her new book, Chloe’s Kitchen. It was held at Book Larder, a bookstore in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle that sells nothing but cookbooks. It is a small, adorable space with a full service kitchen space in the front for cooking demos. 

The store owners made Chloe’s famous Cupcake Wars winning ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes for attendees to enjoy as we lined up to get our books signed.

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Mini vegan ginger nutmeg spice cupcakes.

Chloe is just as lovely and sweet in person as you would expect, she signed my book as I chatted with her and her mother about the faux Hostess cupcakes (“Chloestess cupcakes” as she calls them) that I made for a bake off at work that won in the vegan category. I don’t look very thrilled to be meeting her in this photo, but it is because I am trying to teach the woman taking the photo how to use my iPhone. Trust me, I was much happier than I appear.

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Meeting Chef Chloe.

Chloe’s book is full of wonderful recipes, all simple and easy to make. This is the kind of food that I would make to impress my omni friends and family. I have made the yoga cookies (page 245), Chloestess cupcakes (page 205), and the stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce (page 149). All are dishes I would make again for myself or take to a potluck.

If you haven’t already I would highly recommend adding Chloe’s Kitchen to your cookbook collection.

 

Dinner at Thrive March 3, 2012

Filed under: Food,restaurant,Seattle,Seattle bloggers — bookie85 @ 8:31 PM
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Last Saturday night I went to Thrive for the first time, with a group of fellow Seattle area vegan bloggers. It was a good night to visit because they weren’t too crowded, and our group of five was able to have our own table for a couple hours without feeling rushed at all. In fact, we ended up staying past the time they closed, with nobody asking us to leave, which I appreciated. Unfortunately they were running low on a lot of items, and most of the menu was unavailable, which just means I will have to go back to try the other items that I didn’t get a chance to try.

I had the “Hungry No More” salad with added nori, and tons of nooch (nutritional yeast). At first it didn’t seem like the kind of salad I would like, since I have never been a huge fan of eating seaweed or large amounts of nooch, but it turned out to be pretty good.

Hungry No More Salad

Hungry No More Salad

I also got a juice, the “Northern Light” which has apple, basil, cilantro, ginger and lime. It was really good, and unlike some other juices containing ginger that I have had, this one didn’t burn my lips with excessive amounts of it, it was the perfect amount of spicy, balanced out with the sweetness of the apple.

Northern Light Juice

Norther Light Juice

Thrive is located at 1026 NE 65th Street in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, across the street from the Roosevelt Whole Foods (which by the way makes for excellent entertainment for 5 food bloggers on a Saturday night). They are open daily from 11:30am-7:30pm.

 

Vegan Options at Einstein Bros Bagels February 12, 2012

Filed under: Food,restaurant,Seattle — bookie85 @ 9:42 PM
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They put in an Einstein Bros Bagel in the building where I work last month, and on Friday I found myself there for lunch with a few of my coworkers. I had failed to look at the menu online before we went, which I usually do to avoid any nasty surprises of not being able to eat once we arrive. When I got to the front of the longish line, I asked the women working the register (who I think was one of the assistant managers) if the veggie bagel sandwich would work for a vegan, she immediately said yes, they would just take off the cheese and the cream cheese.

The result was a whole wheat bagel loaded with veggies and sprouts, and a dill pickle on the side. I did appreciate that the bagel was soft enough to bite in to, most bagels are too hard to chew properly, and I feel like I chew and chew and never get anywhere. I did wish that they had one nondairy spread to offer, that would make the sandwich even better, but over all it was a fairly satisfying lunch and I am not opposed to going back in the future.

Veggie bagel sandwhich

Veggie bagel sandwhich