Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bimbos Cantina, Seattle WA

Location: 1013 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA

We had a groupon for Bimbos Cantina so we decided to head there for happy hour one night after work. I had heard that they had vegan options and vegan cheese available and we were not disappointed. We started with some nachos - vegan cheese, jalapenos, green onions, pico. They were so tasty! Raymond even liked them (he is picky with vegan cheeses and doesn't like most of them). Definitely would go back for more.

We also tried the garlic roasted potato tacos  - potatoes, vegan cheese, lettuce and homemade pico de gallo salsa. These were also really tasty. The potatoes were spiced well and everything went together.

And last up was the Fajita burrito - rice, beans, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, grilled red and green peppers and onions with vegan chipotle chicken. Delicious! The chipotle chicken was not super spicy and the fajita veggies were super tasty.  I would definitely go back and order this again.

Overall - Bimbos had lots of tasty treats and they have lots of vegan options (or things that can be made vegan). Their margaritas are also delicious!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bamboo Garden, Seattle WA

Location: 364 Roy St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA

Bamboo Garden is a vegetarian (almost completely vegan) restaurant near Seattle Center.  We always stop by at Thanksgiving for dinner (usually the night before) and will stop occasionally for a lunch combo if we are in the area. We always start with the corn chowder (it comes with the combos) and it is super tasty. It doesn't have a strong flavor, and it is really thick almost like pudding but I love it.

We decided to try some different entrees this time and started with the braised chicken and mixed vegetables in satay peanut sauce. This was....hard for me to eat. I am not sure what the flavor was that made me kind of gag while trying to eat it. It is unfortunate that the peanut sauce was not tasty as it could have been amazing. 

We also tried the chicken chow mein. This was delicious and I would definitely get it again. Crisp veggies, tasty mock chicken, delicious sauce. Really good.

Overall - I am usually happy with my meal at Bamboo Garden, though there are better places with similar menus it is good and we stop by when we are in the area.  Definitely check out the combinations to try out lots of things (and have tons of leftovers as they are huge).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blossom Vegetarian, Renton WA

Location: 305 Burnett Ave S, Renton, WA 98057, USA

We had a coupon for Blossom Vegetarian which gave us an excuse to head down to Renton to try it out.  Everything is vegetarian and the non-vegan options are clearly labeled on the menu. We started with the shredded pork fresh rolls - bean thread noodles, shredded pork, assorted potatoes, tofu, roasted ground rice, lettuce, basil, wrapped in rice paper, served with lime vinaigrette These were by far the best fresh rolls we have ever had! They flavors were amazing and fresh and so delicious.

Also on advice from the server we tried the Blossom combo - shredded pork, crispy rolls, beef skewer, served with rice vermicelli, lettuce, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, mint, lime vinaigrette. This also was incredibly good. Each piece by itself was really tasty, then mix it together with the vinaigrette and it was wonderful. The beef skewer was the deliciousness I like from other places, the shredded pork was amazing and it was just really really tasty.

Last we tried the sesame beef - beef sauteed in sesame, broccoli, peas with brown rice. I'm not sure why we chose this as it is not something we usually order, or have ever ordered at similar restaurants. I am so glad we did though as this was incredible! The sesame seeds add a nice flavor and the beef was chewy and delicious.

Overall - Blossom Vegetarian is amazing. When looking at the menu you might think this is the same old mock meat Asian restaurant, but this is way better than any of the other ones that we have been to. Everything was amazing and I highly recommend stopping here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chay Viet, Berlin Germany

Location: Brunnenstra├če 164, 10119 Berlin, Germany

I met Raymond for dinner after work one day and we decided to try out Chay Viet. I miss Pho as it was one of my staples in Seattle and Chay Viet is a vegetarian (almost completely vegan) Vietnamese restaurant with pho listed on the menu! We started with some Goi Cuon-Summer rolls. Now I love fresh rolls or summer rolls or whatever as they are so light and delicious. These had tofu, rice noodles, lettuce, mint, cucumbers and peppers. Sounds tasty, but somehow it had no flavor without the dip and by themselves not good. The dipping sauce was peanut something and I really didn't like it either...I think this is the first time I have been really disappointed with fresh rolls. Yeah some are better than others but overall I don't think I would order these ones again.

Raymond ordered the Pho Xao - rice noodles with veggies, tofu and a Vietnamese sauce. This was delicious! I have also missed my rice noodle dishes here in Berlin (most Thai places have curries and maybe fried rice, but not my rice noodle favorites). The flavors were strong, the veggies crisp, overall I would definitely eat this again. The portions were also quite large - we had a hard time finishing all of our meal.

I ordered the Pho Chua to try something different. This was rice noodles, tofu, ginger lemongrass soup. This was just alright. I was not the biggest fan of the flavor and probably should have stuck with the normal pho to try that out. The other issue was the rice noodles - you could tell they were not fresh and they were still a little hard like they had not been soaking to soften them long enough.

Overall - I was really impressed with the rice noodle dish and those are hard to find in Berlin. The Pho was not the best, but I do want to go back and try the normal pho. We have tried this restaurant again and tried different dishes and they just were not very good. I would skip this restaurant.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Homegrown Smoker, Portland OR

Location: SW 4th Ave & SW College St, Portland, OR 97201, USA

We were passing through Portland at lunchtime on the way back from visiting Raymond's grandparents in Florence so we had lunch at Homegrown Smoker. I had wanted to try out this food cart for a long time, but it was always closed when we were in Portland. Since this was a weekday we were in luck! They had a special the day we were there for fried pickles. Never having had them before I had to try them out. They were tasty and greasy and delicious. I might have to try and make some at home now that I have tried them.

We also tried the chilli mac. Mac and cheese topped with chilli, cheese sauce, daiya and green onions. This was amazing! And so much food. The mac and cheese was really tasty, the chilli delicious, together they went very well together. I wish I had some more now...

We also tried a sandwich that it looks like they took off the new menu - BBQ topped with mac and cheese on a bun with a side of french fries. The fries were amazing. The sandwich was so good, though a super mess to eat. The mac kind of tries to fall off, but putting on the sandwich was pure genius to me.

Here is the inside of the sandwich. Delicious!

Overall - We got way too much food, but it was all so tasty I was happy to take the leftovers home and eat them later. I would definitely stop by this food cart again next time I am in Portland and it is open. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pancake Mill, North Bend OR

Location: North Bend, OR, USA

On a trip down to visit Raymond's grandparents in Florence, OR we took a drive down the coast for a bit the one day. We needed some lunch and while driving by the Pancake Mill we saw a sign for vegan chilli so we stopped in to try it out. I mean there are not very many options in the small towns along the coast. I think they only have veggie chilli and without the cheese it is vegan. They served it with way too many large slices of onions, but they were easy to take off. The chilli itself was amazing. Way better than I expected for a small non-vegan restaurant. I would eat this again anytime.

We also tried the taco salad without cheese. Tortilla chips, lettuce, soy meat, olives and salsa. I with there would have been more veggies or something on it, but overall surprisingly good. The salsa was really good, and I was surprised they even had soy meat to put on it (the menu is mostly meat and eggs and such).

Overall - I was pleasantly surprised by the vegan options at the Pancake Mill. The waitress was very friendly and made sure everything was vegan and I would stop in again if I were in the area.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nature's Corner Cafe, Florence OR

Location: 185 U.S. 101, Florence, OR 97439, USA

Raymond and I went down to Florence, OR to visit his grandparents for a weekend. They wanted to take us out for dinner, but there are not a lot of vegan options in Florence. They had looked in the phone book and found Nature's Corner Cafe and how they had vegan options so we went to check it out. I ordered the tofu teriyaki as I love teriyaki. I wasn't really expecting much which is probably good as this was just okay. For a small town on the Oregon coast that only has like fast food places I was just happy to have a vegan option. It is not that it was bad, it was just not anything special. A little too salty for my tastes, but it was alright.

We also tried the tempeh reuben with vegan cheese. I was expecting this to be delicious or at least have a lot of flavor from the sauerkraut and tempeh, but not so much. I am often surprised how places can take the flavor out of foods. I mean fresh sauerkraut should be flavorful, but this was just really bland. Not sure why it was a reuben as it didn't taste like one. Also, afterwards we looked at their small store area and I looked at the cheeses they had....and I am not sure the cheese on this was actually vegan as they didn't have any vegan cheeses for sale there...

Overall - There are not many options in Florence, OR besides fast food french fries. They do have some food you can eat if you need something, but it is not the best.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mirkwood & Shire Cafe, Arlington WA

Location: 117 E Division St, Arlington, WA 98223, USA

Mirkwood & Shire Cafe is kind of out of the way for us, but when we go camping in the North Cascades it is right on the way so we can stop for dinner on the way. We tried a chicken philly steak sandwich - mock chicken pieces, grilled onion and peppers, 1,000 island sauce on a hoagie roll served with french fries. This was alright. Nothing really special, but good for a smaller town in Washington. It is not like the Georgetown Liquor Company or anything, but it is good.

We also had a small taco salad - romaine lettuce, tomato, black beans, soy taco meat, sour cream, salsa, red wine vinaigrette, and tortilla chips. The small is a lot of food and it is super delicious. This is probably one of my favorite salads I have had. It is so good that if we are in the area I will stop by.

Overall - If you are in the area and need some food it is a good choice. Everything is vegetarian and almost everything can be made vegan. It is a little pricey, the food takes forever, but it is overall pretty tasty.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moonlight Cafe, Seattle WA

Location: 1919 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144, USA

Moonlight Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. The have an entire vegan menu full of mock meats and delicious foods. This visit we tried Kung-Pao beef. I love the texture of the mock meats they use. I don't know how they make them so tasty, but it is by far my favorite. The veggies are cooked well and the sauces have nice flavors.

We also had the chicken pho which is one of my favorites in Seattle. The broth is so tasty and full of flavor, the veggies are crisp, the mock chicken delicious. It is always a ton of soup, but it is so tasty I cannot help but eat it all. So good.

Overall - I love the Moonlight Cafe. Their mock meats are some of the best I have ever had and the pho is one of the best in Seattle. Definitely stop by and have some food if you have the time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Zen Yai Noodles, Bellevue WA

Location: 15400 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98007, USA

We had a coupon for Zen Yai Noodles in Bellevue so we decided to go check it out. They do not have a large vegetarian menu, but there are a few options. We tried the Royal Tofu Noodles - steamed small rice noodles, vegetables, fresh tofu and fried tofu topped with peanut sauce. This was better than I had expected. The peanut sauce was not the best I have ever had, but ti was good. The veggies crisp and I like that they have fresh and fried tofu in all of the dishes instead of just fried tofu.

We also tried the veggie udon - vegetables, fresh tofu, fried tofu and udon noodles in a clear broth. I've never had an udon noodle soup before, and I rarely have udon noodles themselves, so I wanted to try something different.

We were sharing so they gave us some small bowls. This was really light. The broth was not really flavorful, but had a really light flavor. The veggies were crisp still and the noodles tasty. It felt really healthy - healthier than most noodle dishes we get.

Overall - Zen Yai seems to try and make healthier Asian food than you normally get while eating out. It was tasty, but had light flavors.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Potato Champions & Whiffies Fried Pies, Portland OR

Location: 1204 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, USA

Looking for some late night eats we stopped by the food carts on SE Hawthorne. Potato Champions was an obvious choice as I love french fries and they have so many options! You can choose from lots of different sauces to dip your fries in or get the vegan poutine like we did. This was just alright - I wanted to like it more. The gravy was not my favorite, and the cheese was like pieces of tofu but it just wasn't the best. The fries themselves though were delicious.

Whiffies Fried Pies intrigued me so we had to try one of them as well.

We tried one of the veggie pies which was really tasty. Some tofu and veggies fried in a very flaky shell - it was super tasty. They also had a large selection of dessert pies with fruit filling that we will have to try next time we visit.

Overall - The food carts at SE Hawthorne were great. There are lots of delicious unhealthy fried food options!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Bye and Bye, Portland OR

Location: 1011 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA

The Bye and Bye is one of my favorite places to eat in Portland. Their menu has sandwiches and different  bowls and they have fancy drinks that are delicious. It is quite popular every time we have gone, but we always manage to find a place to sit and enjoy our food and drinks. My favorite bowl is the BBQ Brussel bowl. Tofu in a slightly spicy BBQ sauce over brown rice which is delicious. The brussel sprouts were cooked and seasoned with lots of pepper and are delicious! But then again brussel sprouts are one of my favorite foods.

We also tried the eastern bowl - tofu and broccoli covered in nutritional yeast and tahini sauce served over brown rice. This is also incredibly tasty, Really if I could get this tofu and the brussel sprouts I think I would have the perfect meal. It is nice to have healthy bar food instead of all the greasy food that you usually get at bars.

Overall - I really like the Bye and Bye and stop by pretty much every time we visit Portland. The food is tasty and seemingly healthy, or at least healthier than normal bar foods, and the drinks are tasty.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Petunia's Pies & Pastries, Portland OR

Location: 240 N Broadway, Portland, OR 97227, USA

On a weekend trip to Portland we started off our morning by hitting up the Farmers market to see what treats we could find. Petunia's Pies & Pastries caught my eye for some delicious looking treats.

We tried the chocolate peanut butter banana cupcake which was tasty. The frosting wasn't way too sweet like it can sometimes be for me. We also tried a peanut butter bar which was like a peanut butter rice crispy treat with chocolate on top. Delicious! Who needs marshmallows when you can have peanut butter?

Overall - They are apparently opening a storefront early next year and I will be excited to try out some more of their baked goods. If you are at the farmers market why not stop and pick up a treat?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pow Wow, Berlin Germany

Location: Dieffenbachstra├če 11, 10967 Berlin, Germany

We were out and about exploring Kreuzberg one day and needed some dinner. We searched on the map and found a pizza place that was supposed to have vegan pizza, but it was not to be had there. We were stuck so we looked at the place across the street, Pow Wow, to see if they had anything good. They had a list of veggie burgers to choose from that could be vegan so we checked it out. I mean normally places might have one if it is not a veggie restaurant so we were excited. First we tried the tofu-peanut burger (tofu, peanut sauce, soy sauce, sesame seeds with tomato, pickles and onions) with french fries. This was Raymond's favorite, but I just thought the other burger we got was better. The soy with the peanut sauce was a little just wasn't my favorite combination, and the peanut sauce wasn't my favorite I have had ever, but it wasn't bad. If this was all we had gotten I would have been happy with it.

The other burger we tried was the Soja Burger ("soy meat", grilled eggplant, zucchini, soy sauce with tomato, onion and pickles) served with home fries. I loved this one. The soy meat is like seitan and the grilled veggies were just delicious. The home fries were also way better than the french fries and we both wished we would have gotten them with both burgers (oh well now we know next time). Everything on this burger went together perfectly and the flavors were great.

Overall - We will definitely be going back to Pow Wow to get burgers again. If you go get the home fries as they are way better than the french fries.