Thursday, November 8, 2007
Once you make the leap to veganism, or hell, even vegetarianism sometimes, there are certain things that you just learn to be okay with. Going to a restaurant and having one, maybe two choices (if you're lucky) on a menu is one of those. If you're going to a really nice restaurant, you might get lucky and the chef will make something special for you. Although, you're now trusting this person not to add any butter or cheese to your meal. We're all familiar with co-workers or friends saying to us "you can always have a salad". I cringe every time I hear someone say that. Yes, thank you very much, because unlike you, I'm not actually hungry. Don't get me wrong, I love salads, but I went through a phase where I absolutely abhorred them just because I was so tired of people suggesting that or having that as my only option. Granted, I have also lived in places like Dallas and many different parts of the South.
Moving to the Pacific Northwest has really shaken up what I expect when I go out to eat. Vancouver is one of the most vegan friendly cities I have ever been in. The area that I live in specifically (Commercial Drive) is crazy full of awesome food. There are a few veg*n restaurants and every single omni place has at least one vegan item on their menu and it's marked as such. That is flipping awesome. I haven't even started with the fabulousness of just how many places have tofu scrambles and other vegan yummies for breakfast!
I'm still exploring the awesome veg*n places in Vancouver, and I always make it a point to go somewhere new when I'm in Seattle. I went down last weekend to visit some friends and to go out to dinner for someone's birthday. I can't even tell you how excited I was when a friend told me were going to Carmelita and sent me the menu. Wow! Just wow! Leave it to Seattle to have a fine dining veg*n place. Seriously, if you ever have the chance, go there. The prices are reasonable, the wait staff is friendly and very helpful, they have a fantastic wine list (some of which is organic!) and the food is just downright awesome.
Funny enough, I know they get some of their recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance and Veganomicon. I recognized some of it as stuff I have cooked before, especially the soup of the day, White Bean and Roasted Garlic, my absolute favorite soup from VwaV. I didn't get any pictures of the soup, I was feeling so smart for knowing where the recipe came from that it slipped my mind. I did get lots of other pictures, though.
Bring on the food porn! But first, I want to say thank you to everyone for humoring me and letting the crazy vegan blog girl take pictures of your food before you ate - especially those people that had just met me and I still announced that I was going to take pictures of everyone's food before they could start eating.
This was what I had, the Israeli cous cous Tagine. It had huge cous cous pearls, pomegranate seeds, brussel sprouts, parsnips, turnips and a yummy puree of acorn squash underneath it all. How very seasonally appropriate!
Someone else also had the Cous Cous. The plate on the right is a pizza that was a special that day. (The pizza was vegetarian, but not vegan, though)
Can you tell that I was sitting right next to this person's food? A bunch of people got this, but since I was sitting at sort of the mid-end, there are a few people that didn't make it into some of my pictures. Anyway, this is the Potato-Gruyere gratin. (Obviously, this is also vegetarian, but not vegan.)
Mmmmm! I almost got this myself. Carmelita's version of a vegan paella.
A Moroccan Chickpea Crepe. Carrots, tomato sauce and some other stuff. It has yogurt, though.
I totally got dessert. The desserts listed on the online menu aren't the same as what they actually had that night, and I forget what some of these sauces were. This is a vegan "Banana Split". It has some sliced pears, peanut butter caramel, chocolate mousse, raspberry sauce and a shot of awesomeness.
Roman got dessert, too, so that I wouldn't be the only one. Hell, I don't care, it's not that often I can get a vegan dessert, so I was totally going for it. Besides, I can always say that I have to because it's for this blog. I forget what this was exactly, but it was some sort of chocolate meringue type of thing.
Last, but not least... when one of your friends rolls up in a Christmas sweater, you just have to share it. Go on with your bad self, Buddy.