Thursday, October 30, 2014

Meatless Mondays: Veggie Grill

All the kinks of the Veggie Grill chain have surely been ironed out. Seattle welcomes you warmly.

With ten already established restaurants bearing the same name outside of Washington, Veggie Grill had to be sure its introduction to Seattle was flawless. South Lake Union was the first honored host ‘hood and what a strategic move, indeed. Its modern feel, bright service and full menu offer the SLU crowd something fresh. Vegan food for everyone. I can’t speak for everyone normally, but anyone can find something surprising and satisfying. So yeah, I just did.

They focus on three things with each dish: texture, flavor and visual appeal. They nailed it deep. Their veggie proteins were so on point with texture that it’s no wonder non-vegans flock here. None of the flavors are offensive or all that unfamiliar so everyone can enjoy. Consistency is key. There might be robots back there, but I don’t mind in this case. I am one happy lady every time I head that way. Setting up camp for real.

No animal fat, dairy, cholesterol, trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Some people might say that is where all the flavor lies—in the fats—I say those people are the ones who are in denial about how tummy aches are inevitable.

Veggie Grill Buffalo Wings

If you can handle the more dainty approach to VG’s Buffalo Wings ($6.95), you’ll crave these on the daily. Men, I know you like to get your hands dirty but I’m sure your stomach will be more satisfied. No bone, which means your fork will take the brunt of the work. The breading was nice and fried, holding up the spicy buffalo sauce generously slathered on each crispy chickin’ stick. Dip ‘em in the vegan ranch dressing and taaaang you have yourself a new obsession. Good to share or keep them all for your greedy self.

Get VG’s Mac-n-Cheese ($3.50) on the side of any dish. This little cup of gooey, cheesy quinoa pasta topped with toasted breadcrumbs will transport you to a viscous heaven. I refuse to go there and not order it.

Veggie Grill Crispy Chickin’ Plate

I was always the child who wanted fried and heavy things. Sometimes I go back to that nostalgic place and give in. The Crispy Chickin’ Plate ($9.95) was exactly how the more conscious Catherine would handle that craving. Still fried and seemingly heavy, but without the daylong guilt, clad with groans and big deep belly breaths to stretch your stomach. The chickin’ filet was perfectly juicy and the breading was to die for. A bite of it literally made three non-believers immediately run to order this dish. And the sides made it a well-balanced, grown-up version of the chubby child choices I used to make. Cauliflower-mashed potatoes with porcini mushroom gravy with fresh rosemary and steamin’ kale. Southern tasty happiness. The mashed potatoes were another doppelganger illusion that I was so grateful weren’t the real thing. Thanks lies!

Veggie Grill Desserts

This sweet tooth takes dessert seriously. Chocolate chip cookie ($1.95) was nothing all that special but the other options made up for that. The made-from-scratch Chocolate Pudding Parfait ($3.50) had a beautiful silky texture and the crushed cookies on top offered a nice balance. You can order it with or without walnuts, but nuts are crackin’. Add a vegan gummy worm and it’s like dirt pie from your childhood. I was never a big fan of Carrot Cake ($3.50), but VG’s version turned me. The cake was moist and had a lot of dimension with its fresh carrots and walnuts speckled through. The cream cheese frosting to cake ratio was textbook, if you expect as much as I do. A lot.

Veggie Grill Carne Asada Sandwich

Crab Cake Burger, Carne Asada Sandwich, Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ Burger, VG Rollers, Thai Chickin’ Salad, Sweetheart Fries… I could recommend forever. Just go already and try everything yourself. I have literally eaten 72% of their menu. My goal in the next month is to have every dish under my happily stretched belt. I will now be taking challengers. Or dates.

Veggie Grill has been creeping up the West Coast and it has finally made its way to Seattle. The gravy boat is full and ready for passengers. Mount up!

Veggie Grill |  446 Terry Ave N,  Seattle |  (206) 623-0336

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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