When you live in Portland, I guess you go to Seattle way more than you thought. At least I do.
Turns out I still haven’t been everywhere in Seattle there is to be. I don’t know why this surprises me; I still haven’t been everywhere in Portland there is to be, and I live here almost all the time.
This last trip north was (yet again) with my Vida Vegan partners, Jess and Janessa, to scout locations for an event. In between looking at way sexy locations and not so sexy locations, we ate things and drank things and looked at yet other things.
Our first night we grabbed some food at Highline, a vegan bar with a photobooth. It’s not fancy. The bartender told me so. He told me how not fancy the place was when I attempted to order the garlic toast I saw all over the friggin’ menu (like salads and entrees served with garlic toast). “Oh, no, we don’t have garlic toast. We’re not fancy or anything. It’s just a bar.” But it says garlic toast. “No, no, we’re not that fancy.” But it’s all over the menu. “No, we’re really just a bar.” I was not going to convince him that he had garlic toast.
So I got this sandwich made out of pretty buttery toast (all it would take was some motherloving garlic powder and it’d be garlic toast!) and teeny breaded soy patties. Not exciting, but it did the trick. Know what else did the trick? My first Bloody Mary ever! It was garlicky and basily and tomatoey and fantastic. Other not-fancy eats were Jess’s fried pickles (surprisingly delightful but I could only eat a few), and the sandwich that put Janessa off the Daiya for a while, a fakey tuna melt.
The photobooth was also a letdown. Then again, Michele in any photobooth is a letdown.
The next morning we hit Herkimer for coffee and Mighty-O doughnuts. Yum and mee. Bonus, they had bags of espresso there that was ground wrong for their machines so it was super cheap! Still worked in my machine just fine.
I cannot tell you how much restraint it took to not eat this for breakfast instead. Onions and poppy seeds, the ultimate combination! I’ll get you next time…if you’re vegan. No, I couldn’t ask if it was or not, because then I wouldn’t have an excuse to walk away.
We were just down the street from Sidecar for Pigs Peace. Not that we aren’t blessed with our own vegan grocery store or anything, but Sidecar is somehow exotic and exciting. Maybe it’s the sales tax. I bought some Biscoff spread and blue nail polish (is there any other color?) and a tiny Field Roast cheese ball for a friend, and I cursed myself for not having a cooler. I would have bought so much more, including square Tofutti pizzas that probably aren’t that great but they’re square, breaded Field Roast pieces, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t get down here.
We needed a quick nosh before our meeting at the Library, so we made our way to Bang Bang, where the star of the show was Jess’s mac-n-cheese. I had a bagel with just enough plain Tofutti on it to prevent a war, not enough to make me smile. I don’t know why I prefer heavy cream cheese on my bagel; I mean, I’m against most condiments, but there’s something about a schmeary bagel that is so, so satisfying to me. I shook it off, enjoyed the hell out of my iced coffee, and prepared myself for the open-air harassment on the walk back to Pike Place. (Jess has walked this walk many times and said it’s gotten better. Hard to believe, but okay.)
Before our dinner date, we needed a place to sit and gush about how much we love the Seattle Public Library. Look at this thing. This is a public building, where homeless folk can pee and three blogger-dorks from Portland can host a tech seminar. (What? More info to come soon!)
So on to Bimbo’s. The whole reason we went there was for the photobooth in the separate bar in the basement, and it didn’t open until later so we got ourselves a bucket of chips and ordered some drinks. I asked about the Bloody Mary mix, which was sadly not vegan, but the bartender said she could come up with something from scratch. Love it. It was spicy and well-rounded and refreshing, and it was fish-free! When the bar with the photobooth finally opened we ran down, got our photos snapped (they turned out better than Highline’s), and crossed our fingers that my car had not outstayed its prepaid parking welcome. (Missed it by about 10 minutes, but no ticket!)
Meeting us for dinner at Teapot was Vegan Moxie’s Dawn and VeganScore’s Anika, both superfantastiche ladies. We talked events, causes, food—you know, veganlady chitchat. And we ate. And that’s what I’ll leave you with, the food. I don’t remember what all we ordered, but here are a few dishes. For the most part, whatever you order will be grand. It’s not fancy (in a different way than the Highline isn’t fancy), but the people are nice, the atmosphere is delightfully quirky, and you’ll fill your belly but good. The perfect pitstop on your way back to Portland from Canada—or the other way around, I suppose.