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All Reviews by j.lee

18 Review(s).

Piazza della Passera, 1, Florence, Italy

Not vegetarian anymore

While the restaurant was perfectly willing to accomodate us and did have some options available, it should be noted that they are not a vegetarian establishment anymore. Regardless, the meal we had was good. A bit off the beaten path, but if you're in a pinch it's a worthwhile venture. Might need reservations.

5240 University Ave NE, Seattle, USA

Love

Used to live across the street from this place (more or less) and they were always good for a quick pick-up when I had the need for some Red Curry. The spring rolls are to die for, the thai tofu is one of my favorite appetizers, and the Phad Phrik King, my standby whenever we go there and I'm not sure, makes me wish we still lived by there. My one problem - the bean composition seems to have changed in recent years...they may be using a new supplier, but it's not quite as good as it used to be. But that's really just nitpicking on what's essentially an institution for Seattle vegans.

4757 12th Ave NE, Seattle, USA

Improved

Although there has been more than one occasion where my salad greens were a little gritty, The menu, new location, organic bent not to mention the addition of Brunch have vast improved what used to be a little hole in the wall below Cedars on Brooklyn.

Domus Hyakumanben 3F, 28-20 Tanak-monzenmae, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Stellar

We stopped by here on a Monday in July (which was UNBELIEVABLY hot) to find that the restaurant...was closed to train new staff (It should be noted that the restaurant is right near the University, and was easily accessible by bus). We came back a day later when they opened and had probably one of the best meal experiences during our time in Kyoto. The place has a modern decor, the staff was unbelievably friendly and the food was outstanding (Two words - soymilk ramen). We still think about the food there four months later, and lament the fact that even though we have many excellent options back home, there's nothing that really compares to it. The one downside for us was simply the fact that they were closed the day we went there, but that's no fault of ours or theirs. Would HIGHLY recommend.

Marutamachi St, Kyoto, Japan

An Oasis

With quirky designs and a crafty menu that I totally wanted to take home with me, this was the second bright spot in Kyoto. We stopped by there mid/late afternoon one day and had no trouble finding the place. We hadn't eaten yet, and were initially disappointed that they were only serving light snacks, until I noticed the vegan French Toast on the menu (french toast and pancakes aren't really considered breakfast in Japan). That, combined with a banana parfait made for a nice light lunch. And on returning the next day, we were more than impressed with both the food and the atmosphere. Menus have English, and the staff, while somewhat quiet, was extremely helpful. Just make sure you check their hours, because the menu changes.

Via Giovannipoli 18, Rome, Italy

Pretty Good

We stopped here our second night in Rome. The interior of the place has a very co-op feel to it, and staff was mostly friendly, though they did seem a bit more "business" around us than with other customers, possibly due to the fact that our command of the language was negligible. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did make me feel like much more of an outsider.

The food we had was delicious, and we'd talked about possibly going back a second day but ultimately never ended up doing so. I'd probably go again if I were there.

Overall a solid dining experience, though.

via del Mattonato, 42. Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Alright

We tried to go here on a Sunday, but apparently the owner was out of town later than expected. We ended up coming back later in the week and they were able to easily accomodate us and were quite friendly and patient, suffering through our mangling of the language.

As for the food, It was good, though nothing spectacular. The portions were decent-sized and the experience overall wasn't bad. In terms of value, however, atmosphere doesn't count for as much as food quality, and in most situations I can't justify spending roughly $70 USD on something that is just ok.

1650 Broadway St, Boulder, USA

Expectations Were Too High

I think my biggest problem with VG Burgers is something that's more my fault than theirs. Namely, Evolution Fast Food in San Diego. They've pretty much set the bar for how I'll judge vegan fast food restaurants.

Anyways, we went here on an afternoon while in town for a friend's wedding. The Bacon CHeeseburger I ordered was very good, but a little steep ($10). Also, I've come to expect that vegan "bacon" usually means smoked tempeh, and I'm fine with that. It would be nice, though, if some places could put a little more effort into trying to slice the tempeh THINLY, or else you ned up with a chunk of tempeh almost as big as the burger itself in your sandwich, which can sometimes overpower the overall flavor.

My wife ordered the BBQ Chicken and was much less impressed. I didn't try it but she didn't seem too thrilled. Onion rings were good, but a bit heavy on the oil. Shake was alright, but wasn't blended quite enough and the staff person had to go back and re-do it since she messed up my initial order.

Overall, it's not a bad restaurant, and it is the only true vegan restaurant in the Denver/Boulder area, but for what they're offering, there's plenty of room for improvement.

Via San Gallo, 92/r, Florence, Italy

GO. MULTIPLE TIMES.

This was probably our favorite dining experience in Florence. We must've stopped by here three times just to pick up baked goods for the mornings, and the sit-down menu was outstanding as well. Hopefully we didn't annoy the staff too much with our pathetic attempts at Italian!

210 Broadway East, Seattle, USA

A Winner Is Seattle

A place in the city that serves vegan Poutine, is open past midnight, and has free air hockey? Yes please. We've been here about four times since they've opened and even after ordering something different the menu never really seems to disappoint. The Reubender had the perfect seitan texture, not too crispy but not rubbery like most store bought, and just the right amount of sauerkraut. The Garboose, while have a bit of a chickpea aftertaste, has a distinct "chicken salad" texture that was surprisingly good. Buffalo Nuggs are a little heavy on the sauce, but good texture, and the potato skins are loaded in just the right way. No desserts, but it's pub food (they are a bar after all) and they're open late, so I can't really complain about that. In terms of the brews available, I've not tried the cocktails, but I had two Spire Mountain ciders (on tap here) with my meal last visit, and it was the perfect accompaniment; not too dry but not too sweet, and didn't leave me feeling heavy afterwords.

One complaint: the music. I don't mind the occasional metal track, and I realize it's kind of a thing they're going for, but once in a while, it'd be nice to have a conversation and a drink without dude rock blaring in the background.

Otherwise, balcony seating is nice if you can get it. Website is still pretty barebones. They're still pretty new, so not everything is quite sorted out yet, but they've pulled us in a few times already, and that's saying something.

2010 16th St, Boulder, USA

Go for Lunch, Not Dinner

My wife and I were looking for a quick bite during an evening out with friends and we'd heard about Leaf so we decided to stop in for a late dinner. I had the Vegan Enchiladas plate and my wife had some type of salad and raw ravioli. The raw ravioli was quite good, but at $6 for two pieces, not really worth it at all. The salad was made with some bitter greens and seaweed, and had a bit of a slimy texture, which may have been the point but wasn't really what we were expecting. More disappointing was the enchilada plate, which was more a collection of sauces and rice than actual enchilada, and overall bland, even with the multiple sauces.

After a significantly disappointing dinner, I was about to post my review when I noticed that a number of people had raved about the sandwiches at lunch. Feeling that maybe I'd given them an unfair shake, we opted to go back the next day for lunch and see if this was true. My wife had the Beer Battered tofu sandwich, and I went with the Philly Cheese seitan, with a daiya substitute. I don't like to hyperbolize, so I will just say it was probably one of the better phiilly seitans I've had in a long time. The bread was just toasted enough, they didn't overdo it on the Daiya (I do get sick of it sometimes) and there was just the right ratio of mushrooms and onions with the seitan to make it a perfect quick lunch. The Beer Battered tofu with tartar sauce had a good fish sandwich flavor to it as well. We walked away from lunch much more satisfied than we did at dinner the previous night.

Otherwise, service was friendly and helpful. Water was plentiful, and the restaurant itself had a clean, nice feel to it. If you're looking for a great lunch spot, get there before three. Skip dinner for the time being, though, unless they've changed the menu.

1626 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, USA

The more things change

I lived in Baltimore from 1998-2002, and Liquid Earth was my one haven. The food was always spot on, Staff was always very friendly, though I swear I remember Mike shouting at the top of his lungs one day because someone left without tipping...And the Sandwiches were worth the 20 minute walk from my Office downtown to Fells. Reading some of the other reviews here, it's good to see that things haven't really changed.

2110 N 55th St, Seattle, USA

FRITTERS!

In recent years, Mighty-O has improved their yeast raised donut recipe, so that the cinnamon twists, maple bars and (on rare occasion when they have them) creme filled donuts are now soft and fluffy, but still fried enough to let you know that it's a donut. However, the addition this past month of Apple Fritters to the menu is a lock in my mind. One downside for any of the yeast raised donuts (including the fritters), you can't get there too early, because they aren't ready yet...or too late, because they're gone. A testament to the power of the O.

There's no reason why you shouldn't visit here if you're in town. Two kind-of cons for me overall:

1) The coffee they use is Stumptown. Which is based out of Oregon. There are a number of local coffee roasters whose brews they could be taking advantage of (Cafe Vita comes immediately to mind).

2) For a mostly vegan donut shop, I'm more than a little annoyed that I get charged the soy tax, just like I would at every other non veg coffee shop in the universe. Is it too much to ask to NOT have to pay the $0.50 surcharge for eating something that coincides with the diet the bakery itself advertises?

5500 University Way NE, Seattle, USA

A HUGE Step Up

I am consistently amazed at how much better Pizza Pi gets every time I go in there. When they added sandwiches I was smitten...but the addition of dessert (including soy ice-cream based concoctions) pretty much won me over completely. It's almost impossible for me NOT to stop in there if I'm picking something up from Sidecar across the street - that's how good it is.

If I had one complaint, and it's a small one, it would be that the overall decor of the restaurant hasn't really changed since the original owner had the place 5 years ago. But that's essentially nitpicking on what is definitely one of the best vegan restaurants in the city.

1370 Park Rd NW, Washington, USA

Loved this Place when we lived there

After we moved from DC to Seattle and discovered a "vegan" bakery down the street from us at the time.

Unfortunately, Sticky Fingers has pretty much ruined all other vegan exclusive pastry shops for us. Despite what some other reviewers have said, I tend to enjoy the Little Devils (a staple since they were in the previous location), and the Cowvin Cookies and Cinnamon Buns are outstanding. We went back for a visit a year or so ago, and while I appreciate the expanded menu and larger location, I do miss the intimacy of their 18th Street space, and with the expanded staff, running around, I just didn't get the same community feel as previously. None of this, however, deteriorates from the quality of the goods, which as I've said, have spoiled me for almost every other vegan bakery I've been to.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday March 24, 2010

2724 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, Canada

Underwhelmed

We visited this restaurant on a trip to Vancouver a while back...I don't know if the menu has changed much, but there were a few things that stuck out to me - besides the ridiculous wait times:

Chocolate Raspberry Vegan cake: I swear to god, the first couple of bites tasted like chocolate cherry Robitussin. fix the recipe. Might I recommend the Sinfully Vegan cookbook?

Giant potato wedges are not "fries." Maybe "steak fries" but not fries. Also, a giant crushed up falafel patty with slightly different spices doesn't constitute a "vegetarian steak" to me.

This is just a small thing. No margarine? We asked the waitress about this and were told that they didn't use it because there was "too much oil" in it. Don't look at me with a straight face and say that while you serve eggs, butter and milk to half the other customers in the place. Spectrum is a perfectly healthy, non-gmo, non-hydrogenated spread. If the management isn't willing to shell out for it, just say it.

That's pretty much all I have to say on that subject. There are many good places to eat in Vancouver. However, if you're not ovo-lacto, I would probably avoid this one.

837 E 17th Ave, Denver, USA

One of the Best Places in the Denver/Boulder Area

While not technically a full vegan establishment, nearly everything on the menu can be made vegan. I had the Buffalo Tofu on our fist visit there, with seasonal vegetables and fries as a side, and the sandwich was just prepared just about perfect, although the sauce was a bit tangier than I remembered. Second visit I opted for a Po'Boy, made with a polenta crusted portobello, which again, was quite good, although the bun started to break apart towards the end of the meal. The wait staff was extremely prompt and helpful. I've got nothing bad to say about this place overall. Their sandwiches (and breakfast meals- my wife greatly enjoyed her scramble as well) put many other full vegan restaurants to shame. I'd go back.

801 NE 65th St Ste C, Seattle, USA

Impressive- Very Impressive

When Wayward was taken over by the Pizza Pi/Sidecar for Pigs Peace Team, they improved significantly. When they moved to the new location on University Way (across from Sidecar/Pizza Pi), they expanded the menu and got that much better. When they held the lockdown special and created perhaps the tastiest sandwich I've ever had within the city limits, they pretty much won me over completely. It's hard NOT to stop at Wayward if I'm in the University District, and as long as they stay the course it will remain the best vegan eatery in Seattle. Do wish they were open later, though.

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