Meatless in Seattle

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July 17, 2013 by Meg G.

We began our second full day in Seattle with a morning stroll northward. “Big Yellow” is situated between two lakes (Green and Union) both of which have walking/biking paths around them. We wandered through the neighborhood and up to Green Lake, where Heather went for a jog and I visited with some wild things.

It was pure luck that Green Lake is just another 10 minute walk to Mighty-O Donuts, a vegan donut shop that came highly recommended by our good friends and vegan donut experts, K.J. and Steph. They did not lead us astray. (They never would.) These were some of the most delicious donuts I’ve ever eaten. Period. We started with four different flavors and went back for two more to take with us on the train the next morning. Resisting the urge to eat them before that time was an exercise of great self-restraint!

Cinnamon Sugar, Grasshopper (Chocolate + Mint), Coffee Bomb, and Original Glazed. Not pictured: Blueberry Monster and Original with Sprinkles

Cinnamon Sugar, Grasshopper (Chocolate + Mint), Coffee Bomb, and Original Glazed. Not pictured: Blueberry Monster and Original with Sprinkles

After a stop home, we headed back out to a magical place called Book Larder, a cookbook store in North Fremont. Tara of Tea and Cookies recommended this place. (Tara is the inspiration for our Picnic Club and our new Cookbook Club. We pretty much aspire to be her.) Despite her very full schedule, Tara was kind enough to respond to an email asking for a few favorite spots. We spent close to an hour ambling through the shelves, admiring the well-curated collection, and coveting the gorgeous kitchen where demonstrations and classes are held. I left with just one book (another gold star for self-restraint!), which I’m looking forward to diving into soon.

That afternoon, we decided to venture downtown to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park. This nine-acre sculpture garden and beach is free and open to the public and includes grand views of the city and its natural surroundings. I especially liked “Typewriter Eraser” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen and the view of the Space Needle through Alexander Calder’s dynamic red “Eagle.”

Typewriter Eraser

Space Needle through the Sculpture Park

I love the way that art and nature come together in this place. Particularly fascinating (and a little bit unnerving!) are these trees whose knots look like eyeballs.

Eyeball Trees

After a long day of walking and adventuring, we treated ourselves to a fancy meal at Sutra. This all-vegan restaurant operates as a supper club with proper seatings and five courses. We made a reservation (it’s recommended, if not necessary) and decided to sit at the bar, so we could watch some of the magic happen. The owners and staff are super nice, laid back, and unpretentious. Chef-owner Colin greeted the room with the ringing of a gong and a moment of thanksgiving for the local farmers from whom they source their ingredients, the earth’s bounty, and the community gathered to enjoy it. We love good food, but what we love even more is a restaurant that values the same things we value: community, sustainability, and creativity.

Now the food. Ohhhhh the food.

Sutra Menu

I confess, I am not always an adventurous eater. And since this menu is “of-the-moment” and seasonal, you don’t know what you’re getting until you pull up a seat. Needless to say, I was a bit outside of my comfort zone. But when you happen upon a place like this, you have to trust that they know what they are doing. I knew that my risk-taking would be rewarded!

Here’s the photo tour of our five-course meal, from our prime seats at the bar.

Pre-dinner beverage: Yuzu-Elderflower Elixir with Tart Cherry Ice

Pre-dinner beverage: Yuzu-Elderflower Elixir with Tart Cherry Ice

First and Second Courses: Chilled Pear and Apricot Curry Soup with a Fennel and Sea Bean Salad dressed w/ Lime Hempseed Dressing

First and Second Courses: Chilled Pear and Apricot Curry Soup with a Fennel and Sea Bean Salad dressed w/ Lime Hempseed Dressing

Third Course: Mung Bean Zucchini Cake topped with  Cherry Basil Salad and Blue Potato Chips

Third Course: Mung Bean Zucchini Cake topped with Cherry Basil Salad and Blue Potato Chips

Fourth Course: Maitake-Cashew Cream Tamale with Grilled Broccoli Rabbe and Cardamom Mole Sauce

Fourth Course: Maitake-Cashew Cream Tamale with Grilled Broccoli Rabe and Cardamom Mole Sauce

Fifth Course: Cacao-Fig Crusted Lavender Cashew Cheesecake with Fresh Bluberries

Fifth Course: Cacao-Fig Crusted Lavender Cashew Cheesecake with Fresh Blueberries

Wowza. I can’t think of a better meal I’ve eaten, maybe ever. I don’t even like chilled soup and I still enjoyed the first course. I despise mushrooms and I loved the tamale. I’ve never really been into vegan cheesecake, but the crust and the firm, juicy blueberries were absolutely amazing. Filled to the brim with yummy food and gratitude for the hard working chefs (which we observed from the bar), we were content to stroll back to Big Yellow and call it a night.

Early the next morning, with donuts in hand, we bid farewell to the Emerald City and stepped on the train to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Safeco Field - Seattle

Thanks, Seattle! We’ll be back!

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