Saturday, November 28, 2009


I recently went to Happy Hour at Julia's on Broadway with an old friend. Julia's has a nice Happy Hour food menu, which included (in addition to chicken wings and misc meat burgers) some satisfying vegetarian items, including an iceburg wedge with blue cheese dressing, various fries, and the two charmers: edamame and a hummus plate. We ordered the latter two, $1.95 a piece.

Both were great. The edamame came as a hearty pile and included some particularly tasty rock salt, and the hummus plate was also plentiful (though not enough bread for the amount of hummus!) and came with some feta cheese and a variety of colorful pickled vegetables.

We ordered hot alcoholic drinks: I the hot toddy with lemon, honey and whisky, and she the hot buttered rum (these drinks were a little under $4 a piece). Perfect for the cold grey afternoon.

It's been a while since I've been to a Happy Hour, and this reminded me how great they can be! Our waiter was particularly friendly and helpful too.

Julia's (Broadway) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Red Mill Burgers

I am a Seattle native and hadn't been to the much loved Red Mill Burgers before today. I think this is not only because I have been a vegetarian since I was a little girl and burger joints tend to fall off my radar, but also because I've primarily lived in the southern parts our lovely city and haven't experienced much neighborly proprietary feelings towards the place (located on Phinney Ridge and in Magnolia).

Anyhow, a friend recently told me that Red Mill has a Veggie Burger section of menu, and today gave it a go. I was pleased, off the bat, to see the veggie burger section of the menu had multiple options: a standard veggie burger with basil mayo, a veggie burger with caramelized onions, and the one I chose, the Verde Veggie Burger with jack cheese, house sauce (slightly smoky mayo-type sauce) and a big fire roasted Anaheim chili.

The bun (kaiser roll, actually), was soft, the fixings were real (as in, green lettuce, fresh juicy tomato), and the big slimy slightly spicy green pepper was no joke. It was a good veggie burger for sure.
I was pleased, as always, to see a satisfying vegetarian option at a burger joint. Thank you Red Mill.

Red Mill Burgers (Interbay) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 14, 2009

J Sushi

Nighttime comes early these days in Seattle, and my dining companion recently found himself craving a big steaming bowl of udon to stave off the cold. We decided upon J Sushi in the International District, a relatively new sushi/udon restaurant that had been recommended by a friend.

I don't tend to have very high expectations for vegetarian fare in Japanese restaurants since so much of the food is fish based, but there were a few vegetarian items to be had: vegetarian roll, agedashi tofu, a salad. The very very friendly but perfectly hands off waiter also informed me that the sushi chef could prepare a variety of special vegetarian rolls if asked. I started with a vegetarian roll from the menu.

There was something interesting in the roll that I initially thought was fish, but ended up being pickled gourd. Interesting! I liked the variety.

I also ordered the agedashi tofu in a savory sauce, and unfortunately it came with big pile of bonito flakes (fish) on top. I wasn't feeling particularity finicky and just scraped them off (unfortunately also scraping off much of the delicious light, crisp batter) and ate it anyhow. And it was really good: fresh, soft creamy silky tofu squares lightly battered in a most delicious airy but crisp coating and lightly fried, and served hot with a light smoky sauce (maybe there was fish in it... I couldn't taste any, but am not positive..). Got to remember to order it without the bonito next time!

My dining companion's udon bowl was exquisite. With a rich savory, oniony beef broth, perfectly chewy thick cut square noodles and nice size slices of beef, it was exactly what he was jonsing for and I was a wee bit envious.

He generously fished out a few udon noodles for me (and I continued my safari of near-omnivorism) and ate them sprinkled with one of my favorite Japanese condiments, S&B Nanami Togarashi, a vegetarian granulated pepper mix that includes chili pepper, orange peel, ginger, sesame seeds, pepper and seaweed. Omg the noodles were good. It made me all the more mournful when I found out that the vegetable udon bowl on the menu uses a fish broth. J Sushi, if you are listening, I would be a loyal and frequent customer if you made a vegan broth udon bowl!!

I really liked the ambiance of the place, which was modern and artsy and kind of hip with beautiful large paintings of koi and other sea creatures directly on the walls. The staff was also awesome: The sushi chef, behind the sushi bar, was obviously a very friendly, inclusive, fun, outgoing, funny guy who was happy to chat it up with his customers, yet I was feeling more reclusive and private and involved in conversation with my dining companion. The beautiful thing was that he graciously and tactfully sensed this and didn't overly engage us. I was so grateful and it made me feel so warmly towards him.

Especially if you eat fish, I suggest you give this place a go! We didn't have a huge sampling of the sushi (dining companion at a tuna roll), but the tofu and veggie roll were good and the udon (if you eat fish or meat) seemed to be divine.

J Sushi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Los Potrillos

I had heard good things about the taco truck at Rainier Ave and Graham, and recently, in the pouring rain, checked it out.

Nice horse painting on side of truck

The menu is relatively short. They have tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas and a variety of plates including seafood. They have all of the various meats cooked all of the various ways, and the captain of the truck informed me that they are willing to make vegetarian tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and burritos, even though they aren't on the menu.

The tacos are $1.10 a piece, and I ordered 2. My meat eating companions ordered chicken tacos, asado tacos and tacos al pastor. It is indeed possible to eat *at* the truck, at the busy intersection in the parking lot of the 76 station in a military-esque canvas tent, but on this extremely rainy day we opted to take our tacos and eat at home.

Turned out that a $1.10 taco is pretty tiny! Should have known it. I had my 2 tacos, and my companions ordered 3 and 4, and we all found ourselves not quite full. I think 3-4 would have done it for me, and the other two speculated they would need 5-6 and 7-8 to make a satisfying meal.

Cute little chicken tacos with beer for scale

The vegetarian tacos were decent. On top of the very cute little corn tortillas was a good smear of refried beans (in retrospect, possibly made with lard? they were awfully savory and delicious...), rice, cheese, chopped tomato, slice of avocado, sour cream. We were each given a little foil packet of lime, radish and carrot (neither of which were as spicy as I would have preferred), and a couple tiny containers of salsa, one green and one red. The salsas were both excellent, but there wasn't enough of either. In the future I think I'll offer to pay for larger quantities of both.

Veggie tacos

The boys reported that their meat tacos were good too. Greasy, savory, richly colored little tiny baby tacos.

Los Potrillos on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 2, 2009

Roy's BBQ

This post is long overdue! Roy's BBQ in Columbia City is one of those rare gems that serves both BBQ *and* nice sides for the vegetarians. They also serve what is rumored to be an excellent fish taco made with fish that they smoke themselves (there isn't a deep fryer in the restaurant).

For the vegetarian who doesn't eat fish, there is the option of a fish taco with beans substituted for the fish, which is really tasty, but my usual preference is to instead order a couple of their delicious (and cheap!) sides.

On my most recent trip I was with a friend who was also eating vegetarian. She got an order of their mac and cheese, and a side of coleslaw. Generally, I've found that restaurant mac and cheese, while delicious, has a bit of a fat bomb bend. The mac and cheese at Roy's tastes homemade: it is cheesy and good, but does not feel over the top unhealthy

I ordered the vegetarian red beans and rice with a side of coleslaw. The beans and rice vary a bit... sometimes really tasty, sometimes with bits of veggies in them, sometimes not quite salty enough (though I appreciate under salting to over salting!), but always decent and filling and I love that they have a vegetarian version (you can have sausage added for an additional cost).

The coleslaw is made without mayonnaise, and has the cute addition of poppy seeds.

One of my favorite details is that these guys have a nice large hot sauce selection, so it is easy to doctor up whatever you order with a little more salt/vinegar/heat.

Roy's is staffed by the owner, which is always a nice feature. They also use local products... bread from Columbia City Bakery, etc, which is an awesome thing to do.

The vegetarian meal here is simple, filling, satisfying, and priced really affordability. The total bill, for both of us, was under $10.

Roy's BBQ on Urbanspoon