Curious Appetite


Sunshine on the mindful appetite- Lunch @cafefloraveg

Today was one of the glorious sunny fall days that make Seattle worth living in- and Cafe Flora is a great spot to be indoors when choosing to eat-in. It is full of open windows and cozy rooms, one with an actual flowing fountain as if vegging out in the whimsical garden of vegetarian bliss,  and you could bask in its gastronomic glory (and sun) for hours.

I used to always think of Cafe’ Flora as the restaurant for people who wanted to be vegetarian or vegan on the week-ends, as its menu is exclusively vegetarian and vegan, now w/ many gluten-free options. And it used to always seem like a heavily fakon’ bakon soy imitation kind of novelty place. Well, that was over 5 years ago and its menu has diversified to celebrate the beauty of vegetables, not its imitation meat inventions.


I was in for lunch. And boy was it yummy. (and sunny)

This was their Lentil Pate Platter w/ In-House Pickles Veggies (including purple cauliflower, beets, red peppers and of course a cuke), Marinated Olives, a Raspberry confit, crisp sweet tarty sliced (I bet local honeycrisp) apples to finish and daggered with these crispy olive oily sea salt Panzanella Croccanti (crackers). ====== $9 ====== best gourm-deal of 2010.

The lentil Pate was as you would expect, creamy yet grainy, sticky, lentily, rich and delicious. Perfect pair of Croccanti dagger crackers to schmear with.

You would think that I suffered a salt-lick coma from all the pickledness, but everything was pleasantly unbriney and full punched with flavor. Good crispage concerning the pickledge and good meaty herby olives. as I was soaking in sun in our greenhouse-like room, I saw a waitress take a sandwich board in the back that said “Happy Hour.” And that’s when I’ll be back.

Cafe’ Flora, thank you for showcasing palatable gourmet veggie plates for those of us who would like to be vegetarian on the week-end, or at lunchtime =)

Other Coast Cafe

I have to preface this posting with the fact I dooped myself by just entertaining the concept of this place. I am pretty unconvinced of wanna-be nichey east coast mimicky sandwitch shops. If i would like to bust my gut with a greasy philly cheesesteak on a flakey super bleached soft doughy roll and having my forearm glisten with emulsified cheese product and steak “juice”, i’m going to PHILLY.

Would you go to Tennessee to eat smoked salmon lox and cream on ciabatta?

I was victim of the tummy rumbles and puroused Flours in Ballard and decided i didn’t want some fruffy poser edgy basil oil truffle salted mozz sand.  I can make that at home. What I thought Other Coast would provide in heartiness and creativity,  turned out to overcompensate in the “ripping-me-off” genre.

I had my doubts during the menu stare-down, but once I glanced over at the register and saw Seattle Magazine and The Seattle Weekly endorsements, I started to regulate my sandwich insecurity. I ordered the special, which was Boars head cajun turkey, buffalo house made blue cheese mayo dressing, lettuce and tomato. I chose Rye. HOT. For half a sandy, it came out to 9 bucks.

It basically was a mound of rushedly hacked cajun mechanically separated and formed turkey product, 2 slices of freezer burn tomato and a poor poor schmear of this buffalo blue cheese mayo liquid thing. Oh, and a mound of shredded iceberg lettuce.

I could write a whole blog about how pointless and insulting iceburg lettuce is and how humiliating it is to know that most Americans think that it actually belongs in a salad, and actually pay for it, and accept its presence on a sandwich and still deem it acceptable to called it a lettuce rather than what it is: cellulized water.

Total waste of 9 bucks. (FOR A HALF SAND!!) The buffalo mayo was just really salty and blandly hot, I never thought this was possible for mayo but it was also DRY . I wasn’t convinced of the “house-made” claim nor could i seem to detect the blue cheese in the sauce, and I honestly couldn’t taste it either. the processed turkey product was filling but not remotely resembling a real turkey texture.  The rye was a good dry rye studded with caraway seeds, but I wonder if it was baked locally or from a food shipping distributer. It was at best a protein rich salt-lick.

The only truth to this  East Coast sandwich shop with a “Northwest Attitude” as they self proclaim, is that it is a pretty passive aggressive attempt at crafting sandwiches. Maybe I should try a few more, but then i’d be wasting more money that could be spent on experimenting at LunchBox or Homegrown  which don’t claim its Easterness and stay true and foodie to its NW roots.

Hey Seattle, its O.K. to set a different standard for sandwiches, the East Coast doesn’t have a patent on them so just accept that our gastro-regionality needs no imitation and vice versa.

Other Coast, lower your prices or take down your outdated magazine cut-out praise trophies as to not doop the next unassuming and hungry foodie.

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