wheatless in seattle

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This food post is long overdue. Seattle is an incredible place to eat. I can go on and on about the seafood here and how I had the best oysters of my life at The Walrus and the Carpenter and how I died over my first Copper River salmon experience and how I ate my way through 10 rounds of omakase sushi at Shiro's. (No joke. Ten rounds. I win.)

But instead I'll focus on gluten-free eating in the Emerald City. I gave up the wheat in the weeks leading to Vineman (no soy sauce on those 10 rounds of sushi, by the way). As a result, I feel like so much less of a fat-ass and just so much better physically. So I'm planning to stick to the diet. Yes, I think it's fine to cheat every now and then (with, for example, foie gras sliders at RN74 paired with Washington Riesling -- the ultimate sin in so many ways) since I don't have celiac disease, but for the most part, no gluten for me.

Thankfully, wheatless in Seattle (sorry, had to) doesn't mean boring. Here are a few of my favorite food finds:

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery: Do I really have to say more? Molten chocolate cakery. Holy freaking orgasm and a half.

Is the above photo not the most amazing thing you've ever seen in your whole life? That's the Peanut Butter Cup, a gluten-free milk chocolate cake with peanut butter fudge, peanut butter ganache and vanilla ice cream. I waited in a very long line for this, and it was worth every second. In fact, it was so good that I went back two days later and waited in a very long line again. And now I want to move into the Hot Cakes kitchen. Do you think they charge pet rent? (Side note: For those freakshows who don't like peanut butter as much as I do, the Dark Decadence cake is also gluten-free.)

Juicy Cafe: The menu here is pretty much everything I like to eat when I'm feeling healthiest -- juices, green smoothies, quinoa bowls overflowing with vegetables, gluten-free oat "energy balls" (again, go with the peanut butter -- it's awesome). I've made the roughly 1.5 mile round-trip walk to Juicy Cafe from my office at least one or two times a week since I discovered this place.

Biscuit Bitch: Yes, folks, gluten-free biscuits and gravy exist! And they are ridiculously good. I'm a fan of the Gritty Scrambled Cheesy Bitch with gluten-free biscuits and gluten-free/vegetarian mushroom gravy: 

Fatty goodness, even without the wheat. The only downside to this place: Its proximity to Pike Place Market. The line is almost always out the door, and you have to battle tourists. (I say that like I've lived here longer than two months. Ha. I'm a bitch. A bitch who eats at Biscuit Bitch.)

Thanh Son Tofu: This is a teeny-tiny Vietnamese deli that makes fresh tofu and soy milk -- so fresh that when you buy it, the tofu and the soy milk are still warm. I've been using the soy milk in tea and smoothies here at home, and the tofu is fantastic for all kinds of vegetarian cooking. The best part: This place is ridiculously inexpensive. You can buy an insane amount of food for $12. (Also, there are a lot of other Vietnamese foods here, as well as a sticky rice bar and a fried tofu bar.) 

I Love My GFF: Found this little food cart tonight at the Queen Anne Farmers Market. They make quinoa bowls with tons of vegetables, beans and pumpkin seeds. I ordered the Fiesta Bowl, sat barefoot on the grass and basically just had a glorious eating experience.

Flying Apron: A gluten-free vegan bakery. My jaw dropped when I walked in because I took one look at the bakery case and its cookies and muffins and pastries and breads and thought: I can haz all the things and not poop! My favorite items are the chocolate chip coconut muffin (it's like crack) and the plain old chocolate chip cookie.

Cafe Flora: This is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant very close to one of the beaches I swim at, making it the perfect post-workout reward. But only if the workout was a really tough one, since this place is a little pricier than some of the other options in this post. This was the arugula and potato cake with English peas, green beans, fennel and port-infused cherries:  

Pie: My obsession with savory pies began when I went to Australia, and it has never waned since. Pie has one gluten-free savory option available each day, and I usually just roll with whatever that option is because it's pretty much always good. Like this broccoli and cheese pie (which I liked so much that I couldn't even wait to take a photo before I started eating it):

Silence-Heart-Nest: Hippie food at its hippiest (the servers wear saris and there are cards with inspirational quotes at every table -- brace yourself if you're not into this feel-good, positive-thinking stuff) and a great spot for a vegan gluten-free brunch. I like the huevos rancheros, and I'm also a fan of the Ginger Blast, a drink made with lemon, ginger, honey and cayenne that comes iced or hot (I prefer hot -- it's more soothing).

As for beer alternatives (that aren't wine or gin, which is what I typically drink), I love the Sea Cider Wild English Brett Aged Dry Cider, which I found at Brouwer's (fantastic spot if you're a beer lover). I normally don't like cider because it's too sweet (and brings back bad memories from college), but the Brettanomyces in this one really adds another dimension -- makes the cider much more refreshing and "manly" (is that a descriptor?) vs. cloying and sweet. Also, it's really nice to have something to drink in a beer bar so you don't feel like an awkward loser.

So that's my gluten-free roundup for now. The only thing I'm still really searching for is a good pizza option. So far, I've sampled three places, and all three of them use Udi's pizza crust as a base, which tastes good, but seems lazy and overpriced to me. Why should I pay $19 for a gluten-free pizza when I can go to the grocery store and buy the same crust for $5 and make my own damn pizza at home? Dear pizza places: Fail. Maybe I will have to make a slice of pizza one of my occasional cheat foods and hit up Serious Pie


Angela said...

Um, how did I not know you had a blog until RIGHT NOW??? I love your facebook posts so this makes me ridiculously happy. :)

Glad you're enjoying Seattle!

Michaela said...

Haha! I stay quiet about the blog because I'm not big on having co-workers know what a major dork I really am. ;) But yes, here it is! And thanks for the comment!

naomi said...

I'm keeping this post for my next visit to Seattle...and serious question: Does that molten chocolate cake place deliver via Fedex? Drooling over here...

Michaela said...

Not sure about the Fedex, but they do have "take and bake" cakes that you can grab on the go. And please do visit! I have a spare bedroom!

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