I took the light rail train from the Seattle airport, which passes through some small neighbourhoods and ends downtown, right near where my cousin Shane, with whom I would be staying for four days, lives. Looking out the window on the train, I was already extremely excited at all of the cheap and authentic international restaurants we were zooming by. I could hardly believe my eyes: I saw a place for dim-sum, TWO ethiopian restaurants, mexican food, vietnamese, indian, and more. In Brazil, there are almost no foreign owned restaurants, and what foreign food their is is generally expensive and/or unauthentic. My eyes were in cheap foreign food heaven!
When I reached Shane’s station, I was clearly in a more upmarket area. There were still many restaurants around, but the fancy decor told me that I would be paying slightly more to eat out in the neighbourhood. Still, I was excited. My twin sister Jaki would be arriving by Greyhound from Vancouver at 11pm, and it was about 6:30 when I got to Shane’s. We were both hungry. I told him about my cravings for Ethiopian or Thai food (also knowing that I would be able to find something Vegan easy in one of those rstaurants). We ended up finding an Indian place instead, and I was thrilled by the yummy samosas and chick pea masala with rice I had. It was unfortunate not to be able to share dishes with Shane, but I was still totally satisfied.
The weekend continued with us eating out at a slew of restaurants for lunch and dinner. For breakfast I would generally have just a scoop of my Vega Whole food Health optimizer, which I would mix with water -not the way I like it best, but still a decent taste.
Friday for lunch I had tofu phad thai at a thai restaurant and they were happy to substitute meat for cashews for me. I did find one piece of chicken in my phad thai (which probably wandered over from jaki’s) but over all it was a very yummy filling meal.
That night we went out to a bowling and pool bar with Shane and his girlfriend Marie-Michelle, and decided to eat at a pizza place next door while we were waiting for our lane. They were all really cool with ordering one of the two pizzas we shared without cheese -there was actually a marinara pizza with tomato sauce, olive oil and garlic on the menu. I also got a small arugula salad and asked them to sub the cheese for tomatoes which they were happy to do. The waitress, unfortunately, mis-heard my order, and brought a margarita pizza instead. After a bit of insistence (that I had actually said ‘marinara’) she took it back and brought the one we had ordered. Everyone agreed it was delicious.
The next day for lunch we went to a pub at the Pike place market (the world’s first Starbucks, which we also visited, is across the street!). I got a salad (held the cheese) and a hummus plate (told them to hold the feta too). The salad came first and I had to send it back cause it had cheese, but it was fine. It was a nice lunch.
We were having dinner at Marie-Michelle’s place that night. Shane and Marie-Michelle were going to cook us chicken parmesan, -decidedly not vegan. I was informed I would have to cook my own meal, which I was happy to do. We went by the grocery and having been inspired from the tacos I had in Mexico city, I decided on tacos with refried beans, avocado, tomatoes, grilled peppers and onions and salsa. They turned out delicious, and everyone at the table also had one. In retrospect it probably would have made more sense if we had settled on a dinner that could have been vegan optional instead of making two separate meals, but it was a great night anyways.
I never did end up getting ethiopian in Seattle -when we tried to go on Sunday it was closed. I did have another even better thai meal -vegetable spring rolls to start and red vegetable thai curry in coconut milk (my favourite) with tofu and brown rice.
Shane said the sushi in Seattle is some of the best in the world (outside Japan). Because I had been feeling so good on the Vegan diet and have had good sushi before, I was not very tempted to cheat (even though Jaki and Shane promised they wouldn’t tell anyone). It wasn’t hard to find something vegan at the sushi place we tried our last night. I ordered a miso soup, three seaweed salad, and some fried tofu in a spicy sweet and sour tomato chile sauce. The tofu was particularly amazing, probably the best tofu I have ever had. I have never really liked tofu very much, but eating out as a vegan it seems to be essential.
I ordered some lychee sorbet with kiwi puree for dessert, not even bothering to check whether there was cream in the sorbet (it’s a sorbet, right?). I should have know, however. When it came the sorbet was suspiciously white, and after two un-conclusive taste tests we checked with the waitress who confirmed there was a bit of cream in it. Jaki and Shane were happy to eat it though.
Overall I felt like I was able to eat really well being vegan in Seattle, despite having missed some of the infamous seafood. I felt that both the people at the restaurants and the people around me were generally really accommodating, My only complaint is that only once was I able to substitute whole grains (brown rice) for white carbs. I definitely find that eating out vegan I eat not only a lot of tofu but a lot of white carbs. Below are a few photos of the amazing tofu and seaweed salad I had, as well as some of the amazing looking sushi rolls I missed out on.