Monday, April 21, 2014

Meatless Mondays: Sunlight Cafe

Seattle’s longest standing vegetarian restaurant still serving strong in Roosevelt.

If you want a relaxed, healthy and satisfying meal, Sunlight Café is what’s good.

Sunlight Café has a great community feel, displaying local art in its open, airy space. This is the spot for Roosevelt area folks. You’re sure to see a familiar face or two or make new friends instantly, and if your Seattle heritage is holding you back from chatting up the many friendly faces on your own, you can always count on the wait staff to make you feel special, comfortable and part of the family. They are happy to suggest something for your dietary needs and are always right on target. Its large conscious menu has dishes for all appetites and diet ranges. Ask for the vegan upgrade when ordering. Yep. That’s right. Upgrade.

Let’s have lunch!

Sunlight Cafe’s Classic Nachos

The Vegan Classic Nachos (6.75) caught my eye because I’m always curious to see how an assumingly fatty plate of gooey and crunchy mish-mash will translate for vegans. Everyone has a different take. Sunlight Café doesn’t want you to leave feeling too heavy so they approached the cheese issue with a flaky nutritional yeast solution. One may assume that (appealingly-named) nutritional yeast always makes things better but when you’re hoping for that gooey and crunchy mish-mash, it might not do the trick. When I think nachos, I expect heartburn. That’s probably not a good thing so thanks to Sunlight, you won’t be experiencing cardiac arrest. The plate of hot, organic corn chips topped with black beans, nutritional yeast, salsa, green onions and avocado makes for a safe appetizer to share. Take advantage of the sauces offered on the table—these nachos are missing a little zest. Some Tabasco or vegan sour cream perhaps?

 

Sunlight Cafe’s The Vegan Highlander

Saucy and cultured, The Vegan Highlander (9.50) takes your mouth on a bomb ass trip. Can’t tell if it’s to Asia or Spain (maybe Pangea?), but I’m coming back. Huge chunks of organic, seasoned tempeh and fried tofu with onions and green peppers sautéed and served atop a bed of fresh spinach. A thick red pepper sauce brings the juicy—and perfectly textured—components together just as a gravy would, coating every nook and cranny. The flavor is so delicious and thought-provoking, like an attractive, ethnically ambiguous individual. Zesty and complex, but all that really matters is it’s mad tasty.

The Vegan Highlander is so nice, it’s featured it twice. A breakfast and lunch/dinner version of this dish is minimally altered—a side of home fries for breakfast and organic brown rice for lunch and dinner.

Sunlight Cafe’s Tempeh Taco Plate

Tempeh Taco Plate (9.50) Now this plate is a little more familiar. Replacing taco meat with spiced, sautéed and organic tempeh is a comparable and less greasy alternative to the “real thing”. The corn tortillas hold up the ingredients well—tempeh, olives, lettuce, tomatoes and a healthy portion of cilantro for added flavor. Sunlight Café filled the tacos with the perfect balance of stuffing. The traditional concept of rice and beans grace the plate in a more wholesome manner; organic brown rice and black beans aren’t oily or covered in salt. Avocado and salsa comes in a side dish so if you’re keeping track, there are three substantial sections on this plate. You might need to ask for another lime so you can cover the whole platter. This meal is a beast. Eat with caution.

Sunlight Cafe’s Chocolate Mousse

Sunlight Café offers a delicious lineup of vegan desserts that changes frequently. Try the mousse, cookies and other tasty treats. Only way to see what they have is to visit the spot. Shucks. :)

Laze on over to Sunlight Cafe for a good meal and good vibes—anytime of day. Pass around the healthy cup of gravy to your newfound friends and share the love. 

Sunlight Cafe | 6403 Roosevelt Way NE,  Seattle | (206) 522-9060

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About Catherine Giudici

A proud Coug, she graduated from WSU with a B.A. in Advertising going on to the likes of Wexley School for Girls, Seattle Weekly and Taco Del Mar “Corporate”. After eating copious amounts of exotic—and not so exotic—meat on a trip to Kenya, Catherine returned to the States craving anything and everything without a face. The vegan affair began and after four years, she’s a self-proclaimed “opportunistic vegan”, cheating on her lover for very special occasions. Catherine reps 206 on the daily and has been for 20 years. Like a true Seattleite, she owns Birkenstocks, rides the Metro and loves the smell of rain.
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