We had a great weekend in Seattle. We ate our way through that city and I realized just how amazingly easy it is to be vegan in the PNW. I thought Vancouver was veg-friendly but there were so many places with “ask us about our vegan options” written on the signs in their windows! As well as completely vegan restaurants, something hard to come by in Vancouver as most of ours are vegetarian with a large vegan selection. We went to 3 different restaurants: Plum Bistro (brunch), Araya’s Place (dinner), and Wayward Vegan Cafe (brunch again). All of them were vegan and all of them were wonderful!
This place was already on my “restaurants I definitely need to go to ASAP” list because I just bought their cookbook off of Amazon (it looks spectacular, btw, go pick it up). And they definitely took vegan brunch and made it something elegant and not too crunchy. The interior of this place appealed to my entire pinterest board with fresh flowers, industrial looking concrete walls, a wall garden, warm wood, and a big wall of windows that completely opened to the street if desired. It was trendy but still felt very welcoming. Our service was prompt but not overbearing. And the mimosas were greeeaaaat. I had a grapefruit mimosa (top) and I didn’t know that existed but it is now my new standard for all mimosas yet to come.
Corey ordered the Plum Breakfast Slam (middle) that had pancakes with cinnamon butter, tofu scramble, apple sage sausage, breakfast potatoes. And because we share our food (as long as he orders vegan) I got to taste it. Let me tell you, it was so warm and cozy. I would want to eat this every morning of fall if I could! The sausages were ridiculously juicy and I wish so badly that this cookbook of theirs had a breakfast portion. Unfortunately I will just have to dream about them until we can go back! I ordered the Veggie Slam (bottom) which was cheesy potato cakes, roasted portobello, spinach, grilled asparagus, a whole wheat english muffin, and pesto. Everything was cooked perfectly, the pesto was amazing, and the whole thing fit together seamlessly. The single best thing about this dish was the cheesy potato cakes. They were so so cheesy. Whatever you do, if you find yourself at Plum Bistro for brunch make sure those sausages and potato cakes end up on your table!
We went to Araya’s Place after crashing at our hotel for a while. Well, Corey crashed and I annoyingly poked him every once in a while to remind him that me, his girlfriend that did not eat a stack of pancakes and potatoes and sausage for brunch, was hungry. Eventually the sleeping beast rose up from his slumber and we found our way in Araya’s neighbourhood. This area was so cute and Araya’s Place was adorable. It looked like we stepped into someone’s home that they had converted into a restaurant. There were family pictures on the walls with modest furniture and funky decorations scattered about. It was fairly empty when we got there so we had the whole place to ourselves and had excellent service.
We started with a thai iced coffee and tea with coconut milk! They were a bit sweet for us but good nonetheless. I would order it again. Next we got the “tofu cream cheese” which was basically tofu and vegan cream cheese in an eggroll that was served with a tangy, sweet dipping sauce. It was pretty good but we agreed that we would probably skip these next time as they had a lot of excess fried parts and it was a bit heavy. For the mains we got Pineapple Curry (fried tofu, soft tofu, seitan, pineapple, peppers, tomato, onions) and Drunken Mushrooms (portobellos, button mushrooms, seitan, spinach, peppers, onions, asparagus, big soft noodles). These were both really, really lovely. I hadn’t thought to put pineapple in curry so I’m storing that away as a mental note for future meals! And their seitan was so firm and flavorful, the best I’ve had in a stir fry type dish by far. The prices here were super reasonable and we had enough to take back with us to the hotel! Just remember to ask for utensils so you don’t wind up like us: using coffee stirrers as makeshift chopsticks at like 11:30pm! I would absolutely want to go back to Araya’s Place and try everything on the menu!
WayWArd Vegan Cafe
Wayward Vegan Cafe felt like a parallel universe where everybody is vegan and nobody thinks twice about it. It was truly something else. Often times vegan restaurants will give their faux meats and cheeses names that sound similar to what they are imitating like “chiggin” for chicken or “cheeze” for, well, cheese. Wayward seemed to say “screw that.” And it was appreciated by me. Though I had to constantly reassure myself that the whole place was vegan, they even said “no fur” on the door at the front! It was pretty crowded, as expected for Sunday brunch, but we got seated almost right away (the benefits of being a party of two).
Being asked “cream and sugar” for my coffee and saying YES without having to question the origins of such things was really, really great. I had so many options! This funky little cafe with gentleman animal portraits on the wall had the biggest menu of vegan diner food that I’ve ever seen. I was overwhelmed with choices (as a vegan, you normally get a veggie burger or an iceburg lettuc salad at chain resturants!) but I went with my gut and got the breakfast burrito. Corey went with the chicken enchilada omelette. I think I was more satisfied with my food than Corey. I knew the omelette was going to be made out of chickpea flour, but I think he was expecting a tofu of some sort. However, I tasted his food and I thought it was really good. Their chicken seitan was freakishly chicken-like, I mean just look at the picture. And I am always a fan of Mexican-inspired flavours. Hence the breakfast burrito. This burrito was the meatiest thing my vegan self has ever eaten. It had massive amounts of chorizo and hashbrowns and I was very very full and happy when all was said and done.
In conclusion: Seattle is super easy to be vegan and we had a great time catching up with my sister and her plus one. The gum wall is still as gross as ever and pretending to push each other into it never gets old. Thanks for having us, Seattle!