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Eating Vegan {Seattle}: No Bones Beach Club

I’m so used to restaurant menus with limited vegan options that it’s a real treat when you look down and realize you can have anything off the menu – it’s almost overwhelming. Seattle is great for vegans and vegetarians as many restaurants have a decent selection of options or are willing to make modifications for you. It’s nice, though, to see more vegan restaurants opening up in the area.

I’ve been meaning to try the No Bones Beach Club for awhile now but don’t make it into that Seattle neighbor too frequently. Since I was running several errands one afternoon, it was the perfect opportunity to drop-in and give this restaurant a try. It’s a fairly small, dimly lit location with a bar and tables tightly packed into its limited space. There’s also outside seating for those warmer Seattle days which would be amazing with a cocktail in hand. The restaurant has a tiki bar theme with surf boards and other tropical island paraphernalia adorning the walls – the wall above the bar had a TV silently playing Elvis’ Blue Hawaii.

A friend and I ordered 2 items off the menu. I had the bahn -DOT-com sandwich and a cup of chowder.  The sandwich was comprised of seared tofu, carrots, daikon, cucumber, grilled jalapeño, cilantro, and creamy Sriracha aioli on a hoagie roll. The soup made of oyster mushrooms, Yukon potato, and nori had taste similar to a New England clam chowder. It didn’t come with the sandwich but was an add-on option on the menu. 

My friend ordered the beer battered avocado tacos. It included fried avocado, creamy cilantro slaw, tomato, scallions, creamy chipotle aioli, and fire roasted salsa. Visually they were stunning and I’d instantly wished I’d ordered that instead but he was nice enough to let me have a bite. I’ve since dined here a second time and ordered the tacos and can tell you that they’re very filling. They also had an ingredient that had a nice crunch and texture which I now realize was the fried avocado.

I of course couldn’t dine at a vegan tiki bar without getting some type of sweet and fruity drink. Their classic mai tai, a blend of light and dark rum, saliza amaretto, orange juice, pineapple, and lime, came served in a kitschy surfer themed mug with umbrella and fruit garnish. The only way the experience could have been better was if I was sitting on a beach and three sheets to the wind.

Overall, my experience was great at the No Bones Beach Club. I think it’s a must if you’re vegan or vegetarian if not for the sole purpose of  supporting meat-free restaurants. While it was busy both times I visited, the wait wasn’t too terrible and if anything it’s a sign that business is good. The staff were friendly and attentive as well. I really only have positive things to say about this restaurant. Has anyone else had a chance to go? I’d love to hear about your experience.

 

 

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Eating Vegan {Seattle}: Ba Bar

There are a handful of restaurants in Seattle that I keep in my dining rotation. Ba Bar, located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood, is one of them. It’s not solely vegan nor is it very vegan friendly. There are a several vegetarian options notated on the menu and one of them happens to also be vegan – I know because I asked the staff.

Ba Bar

Ba Bar menu

Have you ever had a Vietnamese vermicelli bowl or bun cha? Pho seems to be the most popular Vietnamese dish but I think bun is where it’s at. I believe bun is traditionally served with pork and herbs over noodles and a side of broth or dipping sauce. 

Ba Bar has a vegan version on their menu that I highly recommend. It’s topped with tofu, spinach tofu wraps, shiitake mushrooms, and greens. I like to pour my sauce onto the bun and mix everything together. They also have a stellar happy hour menu; this dish goes down nicely with a Moscow mule that comes served in a copper mug.

vegan vermicelli bun

If you give this restaurant a shot or know of any amazing vegan options in the Seattle area that I should try, let me know by leaving a comment.

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Eating Vegan {Seattle}: Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant

I’ve done a fair bit of traveling across the US in the past few years and have visited many cities that lack vegan and vegetarian options. I feel fortunate to have Seattle in my backyard because it has a lot of great restaurants that are explicitly vegan or offer menu options; this has only increased over the past few years.

Queen Sheba

Queen Sheba, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, is my absolute favorite! I eat there so frequently with my best friend that they don’t even bother to bring a menu to the table any more. Sometimes they ask if we want the usual, other times they just bring it out, which is fine because we don’t plan on ordering anything different.

Ethiopian food

What we order (pictured above) is the vegetarian combo special which includes misser wat, bamia, gomen, and kike garnished with cabbage and potatoes and an additional serving of the misser wat. It’s served on top injera, an Ethiopian flat bread made from teff. Not pictures is the additional injera that is torn apart and used to scoop up the food.

If you’re in Seattle or plan on visiting, I recommend visiting this hidden gem. It’s located right off Broadway on John street. And on you’re way out the door, you can drop some change into the mystery soda machine located right next door.

mystery soda machine

 

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Eating Vegan {New Orleans}

 A friend and I recently did a road trip through parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. We spend a few days in Atlanta before renting a car and driving down highways 20 and 59 through Birmingham and Meridian to New Orleans.

I thought I’d share some pictures of the things we saw. New Orleans was by far the best of all the places we visited. We managed to squeeze in some sightseeing including tours of the city and the swamp. Eating vegan throughout the south was difficult at times but I came prepared for this reality. Before flying out, I packed my bags with an array of snacks that ended up sustaining me for most of the trip.

Out of all the cities we visited, I think New Orleans was the most vegan friendly.
I found an amazing vegan restaurant called Seed located near the Central Business District that did plant-based versions of some classic New Orleans foods. It was within walking distance of our hotel and we managed to eat there several times.

Another restaurant that I enjoyed was Dreamy Weenies. They offered a pretty extensive menu of vegan hotdogs and toppings. I was pleased to see that many of the restaurants we visited had some  type of vegan/vegetarian offering on the menu, and while it was often only a single item, it was at least something. Has anyone else been to New Orleans or the south recently? Any other vegan restaurants worth mentioning?

Soaps on Etsy!

I’ve added more soaps to Etsy! Check out the Soaps tab above or go directly to my Etsy shop.

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Soap Update 12/24/14

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I have this week off from work and have managed to make progress on the soap making. The labels have finally been printed; I think they look good but there’s definitely some spacing issues that need to be addressed. It’s all trial and error.

soap mold

I also worked on a 5lb batch of soap this morning. Tomorrow it’ll be done and I’ll post more pictures as it’s removed from the loaf mold and while being cut into individual bars of soap.

Update:

I just unmolded and cut the 5lb loaf I made yesterday. It now needs to sit and cure for a couple weeks to harden up. It smells amazing!

soap

soap

 

Restaurant Review: Araya’s Place

araya

This is probably my new favorite vegan restaurant in Seattle. I finally had the chance to try out their vegan buffet today and it didn’t disappoint. It’s located on the lower end of East Madison Street in the Madison Park neighborhood. I went about 2 weeks ago and ordered off the menu (also good) and felt like I’d been there before. The waitress informed me that the location opened within the last year and was previously Rover’s. Has anyone tried it? Opinions?

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Soap Update 11-17-14

I’ve been dragging my feet on the soap lately but I’m still working on them. Here’s a mock-up for the cigar sleeve labels I’m working on. Any and all feedback is appreciated.
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Tamarind Pods

Yesterday I was out with a friend looking for gypsum powder. I have a bag of organic soy beans that were gifted to me and need to be put to use. I had the idea of making my own tofu (I’ll save that for another post) and was gathering the necessary ingredients. The last stop was at a small Asian market. My friend bought me a box of sweet tamarind pods. I’ve used the paste in recipes before but have never had the actual pod.

tamarind box

I think these make an excellent snack. They’re good for you – packed full of vitamins and minerals – and oddly filling despite not being very big. Most importantly for me, I really like snacks that require a little work so that I’m not mindlessly eating.

tamarind pods

I like to crack the pods open and remove the wood veins that run through them before popping them in my mouth. Be careful not to chew though as there are seeds in the middle. As far as taste goes, I’d place it somewhere between a prune and cherry.

Does anyone else enjoy these? I’d be curious as to what other uses people have for them?