Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sweetness in Seattle

Vegan sensory overload!!! My senses (mainly that of taste) are still trying to figure out what's going on after our sweet weekend trip to Seattle. The purpose? 1. To visit my older sister, 2. To eat lots of good vegan food (but not necessarily good for me), and 3. To check out VegFest (in hopes of someday starting one in Houston) and score lots of free (well, almost, $5 to get in) samples!






And what better way to start the trip than a visit to Mighty O, home of the world's best (vegan or not) donuts! This place is mere minutes from my sister's place.... no fair. But at least that means it's easy for her to pick up a dozen on her way to visit Texas, just what she did at Christmas. Instead of trying to choose just one donut, we got a six pack that included the Don King (chocolate with coconut), grasshopper (chocolate mint), mocha, french toast, chocolate raspberry, and plain chocolate. I dream of the day they ship these nationwide, but until then I'll savor the last few bites of the mocha donut that's currently on my kitchen table.

After getting our fill of vegan donut heaven, we headed over to the U-district to do some shopping at Washington's only all-vegan store, Side Car for Pigs Peace. Even though it's a small shop, I could have spent all day here browsing! In the end, I definitely splurged a bit, but I felt better knowing that 100% of their profits go to the animals. So what did I score? Let's see.... ricemellow cream (I see frosting cupcakes in my future), veggie scallops (all John, based on my last experience with canned faux meat), vegan caviar, Cheezly (battle vegan cheese coming your way soon!), a vegan princess t-shirt (so not me, but that's the fun of it), fake vegan tattoos, Sweet & Sara peanut butter smores (which I devoured in one sitting), the cutest little cupcake wallet, a "meat is murder" rubber stamp, sjaaks chocolate, and veggies chicken chunks. Whew!
We then made our way down to Fremont for some window shopping, sadly cut short by the rain and cold. But we did duck into the Flying Apron Bakery, where we were tempted to eat lunch, but ended up just getting two cupcakes to go, one chocolate with chocolate frosting and a cardamom chai cupcake. The chocolate cupcake was a huge disappointment. It was so dense it stuck to the roof of your mouth and it didn't even taste like chocolate. The cardamom chai cupcake was a bit redeeming, but still didn't live up to my cupcake standards. Was it the lack of gluten? Unrefined sugars? Bad technique? Not sure, but if I ever go again I'll be choosing a different kind of baked good.
For lunch, it was back over to the U-district for Hillside Quickies, a greasy spoon type sandwich shop. A "quickie" lunch it was not, we waited over 45 minutes for three sandwiches!! Finally our sandwiches arrived, a gyro for John, and NYC deli style tofu sandwich for my sis, and a bbq seitan burger with mac and "yease" for me. We all agreed that the mac and yease was the best thing out of all the dishes... it had a spice that we couldn't quite place; maybe fennel? The burger was pretty messy and tasted too much like the yellow mustard they slathered all over it. John liked his gyro except there wasn't enough seitan. While waiting for our food, we did get to sit and watch the snow come down outside.
To escape the weather we spent the afternoon watching a movie inside, then did some grocery shopping to make dinner that night. I showed my sis how to roll her own sushi and we ended up making way too much. But the best part about sushi is that it doesn't leave you full for very long... which means there was plenty of room for the chocolate mousse cake, purchased from whole foods. This one deserved it's own picture because it was just that good. My sis even had to tell her boyfriend to stop eating it (and a good thing cause it meant there was more left for me!). Now I just need to convince our whole foods to start carrying it.
And now the main event, VegFest! John and I took the bus down from Greenlake to the Seattle Center. I had never been to a veg-themed festival, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was promised lots of food based on the website and flyers that I saw around town. It certainly lived up to that expectation, there was so much food that I don't think I could have tasted everything if I had wanted too! There are way too many to list here, but here's a sampling of things I tried: Field Roast, Tofurkey dogs, cyberdogs (local), mighty o donuts (as if I needed more), Tofutti cuties, So Delicious ice cream, Lara bars, Sheese, Lightlife chili, Wildwood tofu, Odwalla, Green&Black chocolate, FYH cheese, and local smoked tofu. My only tiny complaint is that things weren't really marked vegan or not, so I had to do lots of label checking (booths are manned by volunteers, not people from the actual company). We also went to one of the cooking demos given by Bryanna Clark Grogan, featuring Italian food (including a handout with the recipes).
Eventually, we dragged our full bellies out of the Seattle Center into the outdoors, and even into some sun! We took the required touristy pictures of the space needle, then made our way over to Queen Anne for more sweetness.... coffee with Mrs. Cakespy herself! If you haven't seen cakespy's dessert detective blog or her insanely cute cupcake drawings, you must be living in a hole. We had fun chatting about blogging and desserts (of course!), career dreams, and life experiences. Mrs. Cakespy is as witty and charming as her blog, and meeting her made the trip even sweeter!
Now you may be wondering, were we able to stuff anymore food into our faces? The answer is a resounding yes. We ordered pizza from the all vegan Pizza Pi, each of us getting a personal pizza so no one had to comprise on what they wanted. The garden pizza with it's creamy white garlic sauce was my favorite. The vegan cheese they topped the pizza with was pretty useless, definitely no melting action going on, and next time I would just order it without. And luckily there was more chocolate mousse cake which we supplemented with a few vegan chocolate cupcakes from Whole Foods (which were nothing special).
We had to make just one last stop on the way out of town, brunch at Squid & Ink in Georgetown. I must admit, we were a little skeptical pulling in. We weren't even sure if it was open, even though I checked the times. The heat hadn't been turned on yet, so we kept our coats on till enough people arrived that our bodies warmed the place up a bit. I had decided on the french toast, though I thought about the waffles, but overheard the woman running the place saying that they should take it off the menu because their waffle iron had been broken for months! John chose the ohmlett and my sis went a la carte with hashbrowns, toast, and veggie sausage. We all got the signature orange slice with spinach leaves underneath. I was quite impressed with the food, the hashbrowns especially. I wished the french toast was on a heartier/hardier bread, I think it was just white and the maple syrup seemed like it had been thinned out. And I was pretty excited too because they had lots of back issues of Herbivore to browse while you waited on food.
But all sweet things must come to an end. And I must thank John and my sis for being such good sports on this vegan-centric weekend. My dream of the moment now is to move up there and open a vegan bakery called "sweetness in seattle"... sorry, still trying to wake up from my sugar-induced coma....

28 comments:

jenna said...

WOW! that looks like a totally awesome trip. I wish I had an all vegan store somewhere near me...I NEED that wallet :)

Jennifer said...

It all looks so good! What a fun trip! Seattle looks like such fun!

Anke said...

wow. glad for you you got to enjoy another trip to vegan-friendly territory :-) the food does look amazing, and meeting family plus enjoying good vegan food is heaven anyways. so is john a vegan too? (cause you thank him specifically)

vegan addict said...

ooohhh! fun! if you do open up a vegan bakery in seattle, i will move from portland and come work there. remember that! glad you had a good time!

VeggieGirl said...

ahh, so sorry about the nasty weather; but hey, the food more than makes up for it!! and I'm SO envious that you got to go to Pizza Pi!! Looks delish!!

Enjoy that sugar-induced coma!! :0D

Leigh said...

Quite a gustatory trip you had! Awesome! I love Seattle. My husband and I went to Seattle for our honeymoon, and we loved all the vegan goodness available there.

pleasantly plump vegan said...

wow! what an amazing trip that was!!! i would be in a sugar coma with all those treats, especially those donuts. oh my god, i miss donuts. if they have a jelly filled, i'd be in heaven.

Romina said...

Omgosh! I need to visit Seattle... right now!!

Animal-Friendly said...

Oh wow! What an awesome trip! Those donuts looks amazing- gosh, I can't remember the last time I even had a donut! I am so jealous of you being able to go to VegFest! Sounds like you tasted A LOT of great food. Looks like Seattle is another city to add to my list of places I want to visit!

Emilie said...

Looks like you had a fantastic trip! I'm jealous of all the good food you got to enjoy.

aTxVegn said...

What a trip! Seattle must be vegan Disneyland. It's still on my list of places to go before I die!

Cakespy said...

You guys need to move to Seattle, like NOW!!!! I was so happy to have the pleasure of meeting you both in person!!! So cool to put a face to the foods I drool over :-) And you've put me to shame--I truly need to visit some of these spots I've not yet hit up--Squid and Ink looks pretty fantastic overall!

Veg-a-Nut said...

The jealous green monster has appeared after reading your post. How I would have loved to be there. I think I should plan a trip next year. Sounds like so much fun.

Mihl said...

I am so going to join you when you open that bakery! VegFest sounds totally awesome, too! There's nothing comparable over here in Germany.
The International Vegetarian Union will have their Congress in Dresden this year.But I have no idea what to expect...

Liz² said...

wow, I'm so jealous! what an amazing trip, that Vegfest thing looks like it was so much fun! (yay free samples!). Also, I *love* 'sweetness in seattle'. Were you joking? You shouldn't! You should do it!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oh my goodness, food porn overload! If you ever go back to Seattle, please call me up and I will come down to Houston so you can smuggle me in your suitcase!!!

I want to go to Mighty O donuts!

Mango Power Girl said...

I am glad you had a good time in Seattle and you hit all the right Vegan spots to eat :) Cakespy is right, it would be kool if you lived in Seattle!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I really dig Seattle! You went a lot of the places I've been meaning to go (Squid & Ink, Pizza Pi) & also hit up some of my favorites like Mighty O & Sidecar! I agree about Flying Apron, not my cuppa! The vegfest looks SO cool, the one in SF is a bit sad, I wish I had gone to that one!

bazu said...

Could I be more jealous? I've never been to Seattle, and your post makes me realize what I've been missing. Mighty-O's donuts... vegfest... awesomeness. I'm looking forward to going to Syracuse's own health fair (not vegfest, but the closest thing we have to it!) this Sunday, and coming home with tons of free samples too!

Suzanne said...

Looks like you had a great time! I'm hoping to visit Seattle this year and now I have some very helpful information.

Holler said...

What a line-up of grogeous food! You are making me really hungry! My lunchtime soup seems boring now! Great post!

textual bulldog said...

i love this post! i'm going to seattle for a wedding this summer, and i can't wait to get to try everything you've listed here! it will make a great guide. so i'm definitely bookmarking it!

Vegan Girl said...

What great finds! I just ate and now I want to eat again. I just had some vegan donuts and now I want more! I think I can smell the food with these great pictures you took. Love this blog!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

You opening a bakery would be the perfect reason for me to visit Seattle! It seems like you do nothing but vacation recently, I am so jealous of all your vegan food finds! Thank goodness you were accompanied by people who let you eat at the places you wanted.

The French toast donuts sound amazing! Donuts have always made feel icky, but I don't believe I've had a vegan donut. You can bet in a heartbeat that I'd try them, though, after you descriptions and raves about the Mighty-O's. And poo on all those disappointing cupcakes! (Hey, they might as well not make vegan cupcakes at all if they aren't going to be anything special...)

Thanks for the awesome post! I had a blast reading it and indulging with you. :)

Happy Herbivore! said...

my trip to seattle did not have nearly enough of this amazing food!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh FUN! Looks like you hit the good spots! What day were you at Squid and Ink? We went there on Wednesday! Next time try the "Chicken Fried Seitan Steak" it's my HANDS DOWN fave for breakfast. (I'm blogging about it in a day or so - just not as fast as you are!!) And ask, they'll give you a double order of hashbrowns! Their "fish and chips" is quite tasty too, not overly fishy but crispy with some yummy fries!

Hilltop Quickies also has a location in Tacoma, definitely a bit better food to my way of thinking; their Sunday "brunch" (lots of different vegan breakfast food on one platefull) is worth the drive!
Next time, dfinitely hit Teapot, that's the one place I'd recommend further. Otherwise, this is great - you've created a Seattle Vegan Guide-in-a-blog! Oh... and if you decide to come back, well, I'd meet you for lunch! Or work in your restaurant... yeah, that would be cool!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

How are you so nice? Your comments on my blog always make me smile :o)

Anonymous said...

Next time you visit Seattle you should go to Cafe Flora in Madison Park. http://www.cafeflora.com/ It is amazing, seriously. (They even had a Rosemary Mimosa that was fabulously refreshing) I also tried Pizza Pi once and I have never been back...I was like...did you cook this?