Compare to many places in the country, the Seattle area is a great place for being vegetarians and vegans.
Vegetarian options are widely available in most of the restaurants; full vegan options, aside from salads, occasional soups, or flatbreads, maybe a little harder to find in most restaurants, but most establishments are willing to customize their offers for vegans or vegetarians.
With a few friends and relatives came to town who were vegans, we ventured out to vegan restaurants in Seattle, and picked Wayward Vegan Café and Plum Bistro.
First up, Wayward Vegan Café in Ravenna.
This vegan restaurant menu seemed to be based on using fake meats.
Menu was very big: breakfast with waffles, pancakes, omelets, biscuits and etc., and lunch offers were sandwiches and subs, and dinner with salads and entrees such as pasta and “meat” platters.
Some dishes are made with just vegetables or tofu, and plenty meat substitutes such as seitan or tempeh, and meat substitute called “chiggen” were used, and there was also fake ground beef.
I had the seitan BBQ ribs sandwich, and honestly, it was quite bad.
seitan BBQ rib in the front, Buffalo “chiggen” sandwich at the back
Thick and dense, and very difficult to digest, a slab of seitan dressed with BBQ sauce in a cold, unfluffy nor crunchy bread.
I was quite disappointed.
DH’s Country fried steak breakfast on the other hand, was so much better.
The scrambled eggs was made with tofu and flavored with curry.
Soft, delicious and flavorful.
Tender “ground beef” was the ingredient for the chicken fried steak, much more digestible, with a delicious mushroom gravy.
My cousin’s buffalo “chiggen” sandwich was good too, spicy hot with tender “chiggen”.
The bread was still sub-par, but at least the filling was a better option than my seitan.
Compare to the heavy usage of fake meats, Plum Bistro, on the other hand, just focused on real food ingredients.
On my first visit, we had the sautéed maitake mushrooms, avocado rolls, and their famous spicy cajun mac n’ yease.
The mac n’ yease was out of this world!
Back: Mac n’ Yease, L: sautéed Maitake, R: avocado roll
It was amazingly creamy delicious without the greasy feeling.
Now, the flavors were different, since it was not the usual cheese flavors, but a small hint of cheesiness and lots of nuttiness from the usage of nutritional yeast; little smoky on top of all the flavors sealed the deal.
Lovely fresh, simple garlic stir-fried fresh maitake mushrooms, and the avocado roll was soft and flavorful.
For entrée, I had the lasagna, and boy was it good!
The filling of spinach and portabello mushrooms gave chewy texture, the creamy cashew ricotta cheese with an awesome addictive red wine marinara sauce.
Plum Bistro used fake cheese in their lasagna and mac n’ yease, not in a huge amount.
Lentil burger had generous lentil patties which was moist, soft, and delicious.
My cousin’s Cuban Black Beauty looked good too, with cumin spiced grilled tofu, black bean puree, bok choy and fried avocado.
The food was so great that I went back for a second visit!
The Buffalo portabello burger was on my to-try list from my first visit, and the burger did not disappoint!
Coated and fried as a whole, the portabello mushroom had great texture and juicy; delicious spicy Buffalo sauce, with the mushroom rested on an excellent soft yet crisp toasted bun.
Plum Bistro had several dishes with tempeh as well, but the menu did not center around fake meat.
The Plum Bistro visits sparked my interest in cooking vegan!
I checked out Plum Bistro’s cookbook at my local library, and it contained many tasty-looking recipes — a great way to expand my culinary horizon.
Two vegan restaurants, two vastly different approach to vegan cooking, Plum Bistro is the winner in my heart.