My travel bug has been itching up a storm, and this Spring’s venture to Victoria B.C. and back has only made it twitch some more. J. Legume and I spaced out the journey with evenings, exploration and meals in Seattle, Vancouver, and then Seattle again on our way back home. We went Whole Foods hopping, Mighty-O searching, Earth Balance Puffs hoarding (what happens when you buy two bags and promise the bride-to-be that one will make it to her apartment), sunrise viewing, and as usual, got our vegan Thai food on. The first and last stop on adventures further Northwest was Seattle. Just over three and a half hours away via Boltbus. Portland’s older sister with a bigger paycheck and a ‘real job’ holds a special place in my heart when it aches for something a little less themed bike ride and a little more metropolitan-with-a-monorail. Or whatever Portland vs. Seattle silliness you want to throw in there.
Still, I can’t help but compare the two Northwest cities on vegan points while I’m there: both have some fine dining, famous doughnuts, coffee shops & baked goods, raw options, Vietnamese and plenty of pho chay, Ethiopian platters, Thai (though only one makes my heart pound, see below), sandwiches, pizza, brunch, and happy hour eats (and one day, I vow, I will make to Cake-arokee! at Highline). To note, Portland seemingly has a whole lot more to offer in the final three categories, plus a gazillion vegan options at food carts and bowls, galore, but I think most Northwest vegans would agree, more are welcome across the board in both cities, and beyond.
This is a glimpse into a few, great vegan eats and experiences around the Seattle area from 48 hours worth of time in the Emerald City. For seriously everything vegan Seattle, head over to Vegan Score.
We arrived early afternoon, and had some time to spare before we checked into our Priceline winning bid (I’ve developed an obsession, yes) for the night, Hotel Max. We decided to walk to the nearby Whole Foods for lunch, stopping by the Courthouse next door to support the Pro-Gay Marriage Rally and picking up a flag for our window.
Now, I’m no stranger to Whole Foods’ sandwich bar, but there is certainly something extra delicious about enjoying savoury Field Roast in its own city.
Somehow, we resisted this magical pairing on our search for travel snacks.
Charmingly enough, Sea Cider’s own farm and ciderhouse would be hosting the wedding outside Victoria, B.C. we were on our way to attend.
The best part about Whole Foods was definitely that they carry fresh Mighty-O Donuts, and way more than Portland does. Point noted.
J. Legume picked up a box of minis and I seriously couldn’t resist the ‘Bunny Whiskers’, pictured below.
We practically stumbled upon John John’s on our stroll into Capital Hill later that first day. What a swell place to spend ones time and quarters.
When in Seattle…
Soy latte from Victrola on E Pike Street, reviving our day.
Hiatus in action.
Downstairs at Bimbo’s Cantina. This is certainly what is known as an atmosphere.
Pictured: House margarita & PBR. Not pictured: Curiously good photobooth pictures of J. Legume and I.
Eventually, we made our way to our very favorite restaurant in all of Seattle, In the Bowl.
My own suspense of just which curry to order had been building since we grabbed our bus tickets.
I’ve spoken and shared my love for this little restaurant many times through recent years, but I had to throw my curry considerations to the back of my head once we arrived at the door…damn Wednesdays.
Instead, we headed up the hill to what’s fondly become our back-up vegan Thai food in Seattle (that is, when we’re not around Araya’s, OF COURSE, which apparently just moved onto University Ave. itself), the place that you don’t want to drop the ‘E’ from: Wedgwood II.
It’s reminiscent of a certain vegetarian Thai restaurant in Portland, and consistently, positively (after all, there’s no shrimp paste around) decent.
I just don’t find myself daydreaming about the flavors, days down the line, and I want everything I eat to be like that — especially when it’s Thai. I’ll hit up one of their grander-sounding hot pots next time around.
Necessary goodies for our evening: Prosecco, Earth Balance Puffs, Whole Foods’ noochy-tahini-garlic kale salad, and the Mighty-O minis.
Sweet, sweet balance.
Fast forward a few days spent in British Columbia and a beautiful wedding, and we were on the ferry down to Bellingham (Hi Katie!) This gorgeous scenery was captured while trying to glimpse the numerous Orca sightings our boat was witnessing. Amazing.
Back in Seattle for one final bout, there was clearly one place on our mind for an early dinner > !!
Hot springrolls & sweet pineapple sauce
Tom Kah for J. Legume, who’s becoming quite the connoisseur (see you in 3 months, Thailand!)
Here’s my order, the Angel Curry, below.
I don’t mind getting ridiculous here, it’s just gonna flow…the wistful, aromatic memory of this house special has lingered since my first time at In the Bowl, back in 2008. And now, all I can do is add some new heat to the reminiscing, because with an even bigger fondness for curries since that one meal (perhaps, inspired by?) I can report that it lived up to my long-awaited, dreamy hype.
How often does that happen?
True, horrific story: the couple seated next to us swooned over our dishes as they arrived, and inquired into each one (with one uttering noticeable disappoint as she realized she opted for the default rice vs. my choice of vermicelli). Real life stuff.
Coconut & black rice pudding
A walk before sunset.
This is Max. I don’t know what else to say besides….our stellar room at Hotel Monaco (our most fortunate Priceline win, by far) came with a goldfish to talk to.
And to make it officially fabulous, these robes.
Strawberry mimosas, getting to know Max + cable = our final evening.
Postponed Boltbus return trip inari, aka what happens when you don’t have enough time to hit Chu Minh on your way out-of-town.
And now, the anticipation continues with stops at In the Bowl, Mighty-O, that fateful photobooth and to-be-determined (Wayward? Georgetown? Plum? Time will tell.), coffee and hopefully a pop-in at Chu Minh on the radar for this upcoming weekend.
Any other new digs we should try to pencil in? Do tell.