With that said, it is really busy. Too busy. Line out the door, take a pager (don't start thinking of the Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory... this little device is necessary here but does feel out of place) and wait for an hour kind of busy. And the kayaks aren't a huge selling point for me either; while kayaking and eating are both nice activities, it's not like Seattle is short of places to find food after kayaking on the lake. But the location is lovely, especially on a sunny day, and the food is healthy, interesting, inexpensive, tasty and fresh and includes quite a nice selection of vegetarian (and vegan) choices.
I went recently to celebrate a birthday, and after our customary wait (which, by the way, can be passed quite pleasantly at the adjoining park at the lake's edge), we began with drinks. Dining companions ordered margaritas with Mexican lime, and I got a mango margarita. I ordered without full consideration of the menu, and soon wished I had ordered the prickly pear which was served on the rocks instead of the tasty but filling blended smoothie mango.
When eating here I tend to order the "3 sides and 3 tortillas" option because their sides are delicious and vegetarian (rice with chard, chili mashed potatoes, black beans, jicama salsa, red cabbage slaw, etc), but this time decided to order yam tacos, which are one of the two vegetarian taco options (the other variety is portobello).
They weren't a disappointment. The soft corn tortillas came mounded with buttery yam cubes sauteed with onions and chilis, and drizzled in creamy avocado sauce and sprinkled with cotija cheese. The plate also came with black beans and chard rice.
The salsa bar (yes!) tends to have 3 salsas, including one with slightly smoky roasted jalapenos that I find especially delicious.
Something else I really appreciate about this place is that they make a real attempt to be responsible with their food. The following is a statement of their practice and intent taken from their website:
"We strive to use organic, sustainable and eco-friendly food and are proud of our recycling and composting efforts.
What does this mean?
Meat - produced from animals raised on farms (as opposed to factories), given vegetarian feed without growth hormones or antibiotics
Seafood - caught or raised sustainably using eco-friendly techniques
Produce - vegetables and fruit grown organically and obtained from local sources when possible
Drinks - hand made in house juices and margaritas
Coffee - shade-grown produced by small co-ops and specially blended for Agua Verde
Recycling - product packaging is recycled - cardboard, plastic, glass and metal
Composting - food waste is composted and meal packaging is compostable - including to go cups, boxes, and utensils."I think it's a good place. I love the variety available to vegetarians, the location can't be beat on a sunny evening, and I appreciate the efforts they make towards being an ecologically responsible establishment. And the food just tastes good... fresh, healthy, well figured out. I don't often end up braving the wait, but I do understand why people do.
1303 NE Boat St
Seattle, WA 98105