NFT Radar: Van Gogh Coffee

Van Gogh is the Spiderman of coffee shops; it’s friendly, neighborhoody and kicks the asses of other coffee shops. Starbucks employees have to go to boot camp to learn the customer service techniques that these ladies innately possess. They don’t just know what your “yooj” is. They know your name, your kids and your dog and they genuinely how your day is going. You know that Tukwila coffee stand which draws business with bikini babes? To that I say “whatevs.” You can put a bikini on a monkey but that doesn’t mean it can make a cappuccino. The Van Gogh girls are cute and talented. Your foam has never been so silky and your shot (or shots) will be perfect every time. You can get your drink to go, but you’ll probably want to hang out for a while for the free wi-fi and yummy food. How do you like your sandwich? With eggs and bakey? Classic deli-style? Panini toasted? In pie form? Prefer a fresh cookie or pastry? You got it! You have to wait for the weekend for the quiche. But the personalized attention from your friendly neighborhood barista, you can have every day.

8210 35th Ave NE 98115

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Vegetarian Bistro

I may be veggie, but I love Dim Sum. I’m always game to visit traditional places with friends and gorge on dessert or receive derisive laughs from cart ladies when I ask if something has meat in it. But at Vegetarian Bistro, the veggie is king. They have all the Dim Sum favorites like Hum Bun, Shu Mai and dumplings, as well as Chinese classics like Won Ton Soup and General Tso’s Chicken. And you can order it all no questions asked. Faux-flesh connoisseurs will delight in their house recipe. The General Tso’s is crispy and tender, its deliciousness agreed-upon by all dietary persuasions. If fake meat isn’t your thing, there are plenty of straight-up vegetable dishes perfectly sauced and ready to sit in your gut for the next 4-6 hours. The only people who won’t be happy here are the needlessly picky and the gluten-allergic. Save room for dessert! The egg custard pies are warm and fresh. The Pumpkin Cakes are almost too cute to eat… almost. The only thing missing (besides the meat) are the carts. Everything comes straight from the kitchen. Rest assured, they’ll still pressure you into ordering more food than you can eat.

668 S King St 98104

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Mighty O Donuts

I was never really a donut person. I could easily forgo the greasy gut bombs on the board meeting snack tray in lieu of a nice bagel and some shmear. I never boarded the Krispy Kreme Krazy Train. I honestly thought donuts were kind of gross. And then I had a Mighty O. Now, I’m not vegan. Butter and cream marry with sugar just fine and can live harmoniously in my stomach. But apparently, you don’t need ’em. One bite of those cakey, frosted treats and I was in love. And what variety! The usual suspects like sprinkles and nuts sit alongside new classics like French Toast and Lemon Poppy. But their seasonal specials are where they excel. Fall brings Pumpkin and Apple Spice! Other seasons feature Ginger Raspberry, Strawberry Shortcake and Grasshopper (it’s chocolate-mint, silly). What goes better with donuts than coffee? They’ve got that too. And its really, really good. Unfortunately, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Whatever you do, don’t look at the nutrition information on their website. It will utterly destroy the fantasy.

2110 N 55th St 98103

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Can-Am Pizza

Just when you thought there was nothing new under the pizza oven light, along come those crafty Canadians to shake things up. Forming an alliance with the U.S. of A., and probably inspired by those lenient Canadian pot laws, they’ve done something truly amazing: put Indian food on a pizza. The bad news is, there are only 4 Indian pizza combos. The good news is that two of them involve the word “butter.” The Butter Chicken and Butter Paneer are both marinated in their special curry sauce. The Tandoori Chicken and Palak Paneer have a more traditional pizza flavor but still pack an awesome Eastern punch. If you’re feeling especially punchy, add hot peppers, ginger or cilantro to your pie. If curry isn’t your thing but your still in the mood for some stonerific grub, they also have a taco pizza. That’s right. TACO. PIZZA. Oh yeah, there’s a little more bad news. You gotta go to Bellevue. But even if it’s out of your way, remember: you can always reheat the thing. And if you’re feeling especially entrepreneurial, check their website for info on how you can start your own franchise! Seattle definitely needs us a CanAm.

15400 NE 20th St
Bellevue 98007

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Pizza Pi

I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. In that time I have never gone vegan for one reason: Cheese. There’s just no suitable substitute. There are acceptable soy versions of milk and rice versions of ice cream. But that orange nacho sludge at 7-11 seems more real than any vegan cheese I’ve ever had, even realer… than cheese itself. So a vegan pizzeria is a risky venture. Of course vegans will love it. They will claim it tastes “just like pizza” the way I claim grilled Portobello mushrooms taste like steak. But they are meaty and flavorful and that’s good enough for me. The Pi chefs certainly know how to make delicious food. Their rustic crust recipe, the basis for most menu items, is salty and satisfying. Their topping options are wonderful (though they inexplicably include pineapple in everything). If you have bad impressions of the place, blame the old owners. The new ones know that you have to keep regular hours. But if you’re not vegan, and like cheese, this isn’t for you. If, however, you just like good food, forget the whole pizza concept and just enjoy the menu for what it is.

5500 University Way NE 98105

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Amazing Thai Cuisine

When one Thai restaurant falls, another takes its place. Or so it goes in Sea-Town. Pawinee Thai became the auspiciously titled Amazing Thai Cuisine under new owners, but in this case it was definitely an improvement, rather than a replacement. I was feeling lazy one day and called Pawinee for delivery. Amazing Thai answered, but all I heard was “Thai.” I was a couple of dishes into my order before we both realized what had happened. There I was with no menu and a house full of hungry Thai enthusiasts. But the man on the phone was kind enough to suggest things based on what I had wanted to order and still brought it to my door. He also brought me FIVE menus for some reason. But I’m happy to have them. This menu is huge. It’s got all the old standby dishes plus a few surprises like the Puff Omelet, Grilled Salmon, Pineapple Curry and something called Ultimate Fried Rice. It’s not the best Thai I’ve ever had, but it’s good enough to be called Amazing. And if I don’t have to cook or put on pants, that’s good enough for me.

5210 Roosevelt Way NE 98105

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: CrazyCherry

CrazyCherry (formerly the lawsuiterific CrazyBerry), is the frozen yogurt of the future. I admit I was skeptical at first. They have only two flavors, one of which is “plain.” The other is “green tea.” “What’s all this crapery?” I wondered. “I’m on board with the Green Tea but what kind of fascist establishment calls ‘plain’ a flavor? What are my topping options? Rice and water?” But since I’m a girl who loves her some fro yo, I decided to give it a whirl. Much to my surprise, there is nothing plain about the “plain.” It’s sweet and delicious with tangy kick. The “green tea” doesn’t disappoint either. But, as I soon learned: CrazyCherry ain’t about the flavor of the yogurt. It’s about the TOPPINGS! Their vast array is not limited to the moniker-alluded berries. They carry the traditional delights like sprinkles and oreo crumble, but they also offer unique (and magically delicious) toppings like Captain Crunch, marshmallows and mochi balls (Ha! Rice IS a topping). Once you’ve chosen a topping trifeca kick back in a smooth futuristic orange plastic chair and contemplate the white orb lights dangling from the ceiling whilst scarfing down your personalized, moderately healthy yogurt creation. The future is now.

131 Broadway E 98102

X-posted from Not For Tourists.