The Emerald City is known as a foodie town. Since moving to the South, we’ve had some great meals, but I’ve missed the big city mastery of chefs. Maybe it’s homesickness for west coast fare, but I love eating in Seattle. There is a vibrant localvore, vegan and international food scene. That all adds up to one happy lactose-free foodie!
Yes, it’s true, Seattle is not in the South. It’s about as far away from Raleigh as I can get and still be on the Continental US, but people do travel to other places outside of the South. Besides, it’s fun to write about travel and food. This post is about my first two trips taken in June and July.
My delish dairy-free adventures:
Breakfast – Dahlia Workshop – Oh my stars, this place is giving the South a run on the biscuit racket. Fluffy, big and crispy. They said it was a buttermilk biscuit, but I did not react (yeah!). I got one with fennel sausage, an over easy egg and sauteed red pepper mix. It usually comes with fontina, but this dairy-free girl skipped that. They also have really fabulous soy lattes, it is Seattle after all. While munchin’ on my biscuit sandwich that required a fork and knife, I was reminded of what I miss most about living in West coast culture is the laid-back, artsy vibe. I miss tattoos, I miss boisterous chill folks, I miss giant unkempt beards. I felt right at home in this hip, tiny joint with the singing, warm chef who brought my biscuit to me with a smile.
Breakfast – Eltana – Wood-fired bagels?! Yes, and boy are they good! The bagels are realistically sized and hearty. They have an adventurous selection of spreads. Many are lactose-free including the fava bean mint and red pepper walnut. A little tip, you can choose two spreads because you have two sides of your bagel (I was reminded this by the friendly server). Also, this was the first place that I was introduced to the Seattle standard of syrup-less lattes. If you want vanilla, go to Starbucks.
Lunch – Pho in the USA – I was on a business lunch so I was shy about taking a photo. I need to be braver next time, my readers demand it! North Carolina is REALLY far away from Vietnam so we don’t get the tastiest pho and bun there. I was in such withdrawl I had pho for lunch and bun for dinner. I was not sad about this vermicelli rich day. The pho at Pho in the USA is wonderfully spicy and warm. The thinly sliced beef is cooked right in the broth. Oh my stars, so good. It was nutritious, warm and fabulously pho.
Lunch – Paseo Carribean Restaurant - My friends at WithinReach turned me on to this tiny, tasty restaurant. It is AMAZING! It took me an hour to stand in line and get my sandwich, but it was worth it! Also, bring CASH (there is an ATM at the market up the street). Their famous sandwich is the Cuban Roast with is mojo soaked, pork shoulder roasted until it falls apart. It’s served on a crispy french roll with lots of romaine lettuce, a really garlicky aioli, wide-cut caramelized onions, pickled jalapenos and cilantro. It is one of those few meals that the first bite is just as tasty and dynamic as the last. I got mine to go and ate it at the Woodland Park Zoo nearby. This is a must have meal if you are in Seattle and all wonderfully lactose-free!
Dinner – Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant – Voted one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Seattle, it was not a disappointment. I had combination bun with the famous egg roll and lots of grilled chicken, pork and shrimp all with loads of fresh veggies. It was so good. I should have asked for more of the clear broth-y, sauce stuff. I also had a fresh squeezed slightly salty lemonade. The place is super tiny and very popular so come early or expect to wait. I am already craving it!
Dinner – Coastal Kitchen – The sign was much cuter than the food. Not my favorite stop on my travels. It has a rotating menu, my trip had a strong Argentinian menu, served along side an odd collection of seafood fare like fish and chips. Very odd joint and fairly expensive. The cocktails were potent and pretty good. The Bluegrass Bubbles which combined champagne, whiskey, sugar and lemon was a nice twist on the French 75.
FOOD ALLERGY BONUS: For those with food allergies they have a specific “Allergy Book” which lists all the items that could cause problems so you don’t have to worry about getting sick from an ignorant prep chef or waiter.
Dinner – Steelhead Diner - OMG so TDF! One of my most expensive meals in a while, but also one of the best I’ve had in a long, long time. It all started with a spicy jalapeno martini and a selection of local raw oysters. The oysters were incredible! Each one was a different farm and each one was so divers. I can’t even describe how wonderful they were – I am without words. I followed that up with a cool glass of local brewed hefeweizen and a medium-rare slice of salmon. The fish was fresh and so well prepared. Then for the grand finale was a giant slice of local goat cheese cheesecake with honey comb and roasted hazelnuts. The honey was a perfect way to cut the rich, earthy goat cheese.
Snack/Dessert -Mighty-O Donuts – Completely vegan and organic donuts, only in Seattle! These cake donuts, topped with seasonal ingredients, are animal by-product-free, chemical preservatives-free, hydrogenated oil-free, coloring & artificial flavors-free and cholesterol-free. Being completely vegan makes them taste-tastic for the dairy-free foodie! Loved the seasonal fruity flavors like raspberry and blueberry. The crowd favorite is the French Toast and it was a cinnamon-y, sweet treat. I ate them over 2 days which made my belly have 2 days of sweet treats!
BTW – The featured picture at the top is the famous gum wall – looks gross and smells even grosser.