Flying Saucer Pizza – Redmond – Soylent Green

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I will start with this: Flying Saucer is AMAZING. You can get an 8 inch personal pizza however you want. Period. In-house, they have an intriguing space odyssey theme with multiple local taps to choose from. Or, you can get their pizza delivered to Black Raven Brewery down the street at no extra cost.

I ate over at the brewery and went with something on their menu, the Soylent Green. It comes with pesto, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and pine nuts to top it off. You can get any pizza as a deep dish. Honestly, you have to go deep dish. The deep dish isn’t that deep, but is much better than the regular offering.

I love this pizza because I am a garlic junkie. The pesto combined with garlic makes this a garlic extravaganza! The sun-dried tomatoes give the pizza an extra dose of salt. The artichoke hearts show a creamier side of vegetables we don’t see that often in pizzas, while the pine nuts provide a crunch of bitterness.

Overall, this pairs nicely with beer…and literally everything else.

My rating: 4.5/5

 

 

 

Royal Grinders – Fremont – Original Veggie Grinder

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I was about to hit up Fremont Brewing when I found out that they only served beer…no food. So, I went on Yelp and looked for some good take-out places nearby. A sub shop called Royal Grinders came up in my search (and everybody knows I love a good sandwich). What made it even better was that they had three veggie grinders on their menu in addition to a build-your-own panini. I picked up their original veggie grinder and headed down the block for a brewski.

The original veggie grinder comes with tomatoes, red onions, olives, pepperoncini, cucumbers, pickles, guacamole, carrots, lettuce, swiss, provolone, and their housemade sauce. You are welcome to pack on any more veggies at no extra cost – pretty cool.

At first I was skeptical of the massive size of the bread, but I later grew to appreciate it. Royal Grinders’ sauce, while amazingly zesty, is quite runny. The bread soaked up a lot of the sandwich’s moisture so I did not have to use napkin after napkin.

I really do not have anything bad to say about the original veggie grinder. It came with my ideal assortment of veggies, and while I usually am not a fan of pepperoncinis, it did give the sandwich a nice kick of flavor. The guacamole added a creamy texture and cheese! Two kinds of cheese! This was the key to my heart.

My rating: 5/5

Tin Lilly – Chelan – Tarnation Veggie Burger

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If you happen to be vacationing in Chelan, Tin Lilly is the only place to go. They have an amazing selection of food, so whether you feel like having pasta or some hot wings, you’ll be set.

Any one of their burgers can be substituted with a veggie patty. This gave me plenty more options…something a vegetarian absolutely loves. I decided to go with the Tarnation burger. In between a ciabatta roll was a patty was smothered in housemade mayo and balsamic, with tomatoes and lettuce.

The patty was average and definitely something store-bought. The ciabatta roll was mediocre as well, but a nice change from the regular burger bun. What I was really impressed with was the combination of mayo and balsamic. This creamy/sweet concoction is what boosted my rating.

The burger is not jaw-dropping, but definitely a dependable meal for when you’re hungry.

My rating: 3/5

Red Square BBQ – U District – Vegan Seattle Dawg

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If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, hit up Red Square BBQ. It is a food truck located on, well…Red Square. Go Dawgs!

Red Square BBQ has a vegan hot dog that can be altered to your liking. However, I get it made Seattle Dawg style (with grilled onion and cream cheese).

The dog is a field roast sausage made with sage, ginger, Granny Smith apples, and Yukon Gold potatoes. The taste is quite mild but adds a lot of substance to the meal. Cream cheese and caramelized onions are what makes it complete — a creamy bit of paradise with a sweet aftermath. The bun comes untoasted and is hefty enough to keep all the goodies in.

If you are at the University of Washington and don’t want to wait in line at Subway for 30 minutes just to pick up lunch, take a walk over to Red Square and grab this delicious dog.

My rating: 5/5

Bastille Café and Bar – Ballard – Falafel Sandwich

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I don’t get out to Seattle often, so when I do, I am completely clueless about where to find good food. Thankfully, this time, someone recommended Bastille to me. I was told it had “…a good happy hour and plenty of vegetarian options.” Based on this alone, I was down.

I walked into a wonderful atmosphere and to what is probably the best service I have ever had. So far, I was off to a good start. Now, let’s talk about the food.

I looked at the happy hour menu and found only two substantial vegetarian meals. One was the falafel sandwich. I am usually skeptical of falafel because every time it seems so incredibly dry…but not this time!

Bastille’s falafel sandwich is a wheat pita filled with cucumber, tzatziki, tahini, feta, and grilled vegetables. The falafel is mixed with what I swear to be some sort of avocado spread. Interestingly enough, they top it all off with pickles.

Many things make this sandwich, but what I appreciated most was the texture. The spread and sauces gave the meal some moisture, what most vegetarian food lacks. The vegetables and pita added some crunch and grit.

But wait — there’s more! Talk about a nice medley of flavors! A bitter and nutty taste from the tahini, a salty bang of feta, and tzatziki to cool it all off a little.

This vegetarian dish turned out to be the epitome of a pleasant surprise.

My rating: 4.5/5

Lot No. 3 – Bellevue – Veggie Sandwich

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When I opened the lunch menu at Lot No. 3, I immediately got excited over two things: their grilled cheese and veggie sandwich. I decided to go with the veggie sandwich, a combination of avocado, frisée (lettuce gone wild), carrots, tomato, and cucumber. Slices of whole grain bread were coated with a walla walla onion spread and provolone to finish this sandwich off.

My overall reaction: Meh, OK.

The texture hit the mark – toasted bread, carrots, and cucumbers for some crunch, cheese and avocado for creaminess. Flavor is where it all fell short. The provolone was fairly mild and I was not able to taste the onion spread at all, which is what I had been most excited about. What it ended up being was a salad between two slices of bread.

Bad? No. Mouth watering? Also, No.

Next time, I will try the grilled cheese.

Rating: 3/5

By the way, their kettle chips are amazing. Don’t even think about ordering a salad, or even potato salad, as a side.

Pomegranate Bistro – Redmond – Heirloom Margarita Firebread

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 12.23.13 PMFirebread at Pomegranate Bistro is definitely one of the main go-to bites. They switch them out pretty frequently depending on the season. This summer, they have an heirloom margarita firebread, with (yes, you called it) heirloom tomatoes, roasted garlic oil, basil, and mozzarella.

Compared to their other firebreads, I must say I was a tad disappointed. Taste-wise: I couldn’t pick out much garlic flavor, although I should mention that I am a huge garlic lover. Balsamic vinegar was drizzled over the top, which did give it a nice trail of sweet tanginess.

As far as tidiness goes, this dish falls short. The tomatoes were cut into huge slices and plopped on top. They had to be escorted to the side, cut up, and then arranged back on evenly. The firebread was extremely drippy, so had to be eaten with a fork and knife. The sogginess of it all was a bit of a distraction.

Rating: 2/5

Because I have had good experiences with Pomegranate’s firebreads in the past, I will continue to give them a try. The bistro has several vegetarian options which is a great plus. I went with the firebread this time because it was on happy hour for $7 (normally $12).

Hollywood Tavern – Woodinville – Toasted Quinoa Veggie Burger

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The Hollywood Tavern’s veggie burger is definitely something to squawk about. After what felt like weekly menu changes, the tavern finally settled into a routine, not short of a good vegetarian option. The insides of the burger are made with a quinoa patty, arugula, and pickled beets. The potato bun is smeared with garlic aioli and whipped goat cheese.

My opinion: the goat cheese made this burger. It was the perfect blend of saltiness and tartness.

Although I am not a fan of beets, their taste was so faint that it did not detract from the scrumptiousness of the burger. They did, however, stain the burger with a neat, deep red color.

The potato bun was delicious, although very soft (not sure why they call it a “toasted” burger). I would have preferred the bun be crunchier to provide a more varied texture.

Most veggie burgers turn out too dry or, sometimes, too runny. The tavern’s quinoa patty was the perfect middle ground – soft enough to rip into, but firm enough to ensure the use of just one napkin.

The fries looked to be too greasy, but were actually very good. The outsides were crunchy and the center was like a boiled potato.

Even though the burger was smaller and flatter than most burgers, I would say that combined with the fries, it was the perfect serving size.

One small issue: you may have to open up the burger to spread the beets and goat cheese around; mine came in a small clump in the center of the burger.

My advice: ditch the ketchup. This burger is perfect on its own.

Rating: 4/5

*Update: The Hollywood Tavern no longer offers the veggie burger, and instead has replaced the item with a portobello burger.