• seattle’s teapot vegetarian house

    May 27th, 2008quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    quarrygirl.com has moved to seattle, at least for the next few posts. we recently took a trip there for mr. meaner’s birthday, and were so absolutely overwhelmed with all the vegan options, we thought the least we could do for us, them and you was to blog all about it. plus, it gave us a really good excuse to eat like 5 meals per day. bam.

    first up, the legendary teapot vegetarian house. in the mid-90’s, before i ever met my husband, seattle was his home…and this was his favorite vegetarian restaurant. suffice to say, when he first showed me around the city in late 2005, this was virtually our first stop. our subsequent/most recent trip to seattle was no different. we arrived via virgin america, had a few pints in a lovely brew pub, and made a beeline for the teapot vegetarian house.

    steamed dumplings: traditional northern chinese dim-sum made of fresh diced vegetables and spices hand wrapped in an envelope of flour. steamed and comes with a dipping sauce of vinegar and sesame oil. our pride and joy. $6.95

    broccoli tofu: a perrenial favorite, fresh crunchy chunks of broccoli florets stir fried with slices of wheat gluten in dark, savory sauce. $13.95

    fried wide noodles in dark sauce: we use wide rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, scallions and add a delicious dark rich syrupy sauce to make this traditional Singapore “roadside” dish. $8.95

    i must admit, despite my pleasant encounter with the teapot in ’05, this time i wasn’t expecting much. 2 and a half years later, i consider myself a much more seasoned vegan-restaurant-connoisseur, and my disdain for the los angeles vegan thai food boom has made me the ultimate skeptic toward any faux-meat asian cuisine. but, as usual when i take a vehement stand against something, i was completely proven wrong. this restaurant was fucking spectacular—inventing each dish as it went along, not borrowing from or copying any other asian vegan restaurants. this place left me genuinely impressed and wanting more.

    let’s start with, well, the starter. brilliant vegetable dumplings in flour cases. may sound a little boring, but they aren’t. these are not like normal pot stickers—the floury shell is thick and almost pastry like, making for a very hearty appetizer.

    the broccoli tofu was also very original. kinda strange, because i don’t think it had any tofu in it. whatever, i’m not gonna be overly picky—i still loved it! the little chunks of wheat gluten (i think?) were even better than tofu, fried to perfection and full of flavor. the sauce was also better than i expected. most vegan asian restaurants serve runny, salty gravy with their dishes. this on the other hand was super-thick, dark, and added so much flavor to the crispy broccoli.

    and the fried wide noodles, well they were probably the widest noodles i’ve ever had in my life. they just kept unfolding. i think each noodle was about the width of the entire plate. what fun! again, this sauce was spectacular. i kept spooning the dark sauce onto my plate, long after the noodles were gone.

    on top of the great food that totally caught me off guard, the atmosphere was sweet and pleasant. the restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside, being located on the second story of a strip mall, but inside the dim lights and thoughtful decor make for a very welcoming environment.

    i highly recommend that if you ever find yourself in the pacific northwest, you make an effort to visit the teapot vegetarian house. the tasty all-vegan menu promises you won’t be sorry.

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