the vegan fork: Seattle

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I had a great time eating in Seattle.

One of my first stops was the Moonlight Cafe. It's a Vietnamese restaurant in the International District. They serve plenty of non-veg stuff, but they also have a separate vegan menu. It's very extensive.

The place kind of had that generic suburban Chinese restaurant feel, but the food more than made up for it. There was plenty of Vietnamese food on the vegan menu, including pho, but I ended up trying two kind of typical Americanized Chinese dishes -- Cashew "Chicken" and Sesame "Beef." They were both really good. The "beef" was gluten-based and had a very satisfying chewy texture. The "chicken" was softer and I think soy-based. The mouth-feel wasn't as good, or as much fun, but it was really good and it was nice that the two "meats" were different.

Also, Moonlight Cafe compared quite favorably with Teapot Vegetarian House, where I ate once and was incredibly disappointed. I only tried it once, but I think my comment at the time was that everything I ate there tasted like it came out of a can, and that's definitely keeping me from wanting to go back.

Another great meal in Seattle was at Carmelita. It's a vegetarian restaurant, but unfortunately sort of old-school vegetarian, meaning heavy on the eggs and dairy with few vegan options. Despite those limitations, I did have a tasty meal at Carmelita.

It was cute and small inside, but it was also kind of stuffy on a really warm day, so I was pleased to eat outside in their adorable little back garden.

For an appetizer we had some potato empanadas. They were very good, but I have to say I don't think they were that memorable because I can't recall anything except that they were "good."

Then I had the only vegan entree, a crust stuffed with vegetables and served with lentils. It was really tasty and well-seasoned, but kind of a heavy meal. That pink sauce that it was served with was really good.

Here's a picture of the presentation and another showing the inside.

Carmelita didn't have many vegan desserts, and I was still trying to preserve the memory of the Chocolate Almond Midnight at Millennium, so I passed.

A real treat in Seattle was the all-vegan buffet at Araya's Vegetarian Place. A vegan buffet is always tons of fun, but making it a Thai buffet was just incredibly exciting! I think I tried a little of everything, some of it a little disappointing, but most of it really good. I was disappointed that there was no green papaya salad, but they did have a nice variety of salads, vegetable/tofu dishes, rice dishes, and noodle dishes. And for only $6 or $7, it was a great deal!

I also tried to go to Mighty O's for some delicious vegan donuts, but unfortunately they discourage eating donuts on Monday afternoons by closing at noon on Mondays...


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