Sunday, March 27, 2011

Araya's Vegetarian Place @ Seattle

The first vegetarian / vegan Thai restaurant that I was introduced to, five years ago, was Araya's. It is still one of my favorites. Fairly large dining space, huge buffet spread, Asian decor, attentive service, fantastic vegetarian food and what have you. One bite of the fresh, crunchy all-you-can-eat spring rolls and I was head over heels in love with it.  Since then, I have been here quite a few times and can't believe I haven't reviewed it yet. We had  lunch at Araya's today and here's a visual treat for all you Thai food lovers.

Located in U-District, it hasn't failed to lure a diverse bunch of people who love vegetarian food. It has its own parking lot. The interior has an ethnic Thai decor. Lots of tables. There has never been a time when we had to wait to be seated (we always go for the lunch buffet). Service is very satisfactory. Plates are cleared promptly and waters refilled when needed.

The best part is the food. First, the Salads. Four different kinds, each one unique and delicious.

And here's my plate :)

Spring rolls., crunchy and uber delicious. I have at least six of them :) Next to the spring rolls was a rice noodle dish.

I can never have enough of these!

There was a soup and a sticky sweetish fried noodle dish. The soup was made of coconut milk, tofu and mushrooms. It had a fantastic lemon grass flavor and was slightly spicy.

There was a stir-fry of veggies in soy sauce and a fried rice. Sometimes they have pineapple fried rice. The food is very sublime and appealing to the senses.

Phad thai and green curry with fresh veggies and tofu. Sometimes they have the red curry or yellow curry.

Here's my plate again :) They also have a healthy brown rice to eat with the curries.

And then there was a special tossed salad with fried noodles, fried tofu, onions, tomato, cilantro and lemon juice.

The dessert was sticky rice pudding with coconut milk. It was not sweet at all and I don't like the chewy texture. So I usually don't care for the dessert. And, it's always the same. Never changes. *wonders why*

We ordered a not too sweet bubble tea with cream instead of coconut milk. A tall glass and quite tasty.

I managed to get a picture of an old man who's job was to just keep making spring rolls! It was amazing how  he could effortlessly fill, roll and wrap each one of them.

Here's a picture of their dining area.

Can you believe if I told you that all this delicious food costs $8.95? I was stumped. I have been going here for the last five years and the quality of food hasn't changed a bit. It is as good as ever. You could go for the buffet or pick what you like from their extensive menu. I would recommend the buffet. They are doing a great job and I will keep going. Especially for the spring rolls. Ummm!

Araya's Vegetarian Place on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Urban Bakery @ Greenlake

Coffee and Cake has become our Saturday afternoon ritual these days. Depending on where we are, we look up the nearest Dessert joint to grab a Latte and some Dolce. It has become my favorite part of the day. After all, life's too short to skip desserts, yes?

On a bright and sunny day while strolling around Greenlake, we chanced upon The Urban Bakery. Unlike other coffee shops sporting a stunning ambiance and plush comfortable couches, this place is old fashioned, casual and very plain. Free Wi-Fi, clean bathrooms and sidewalk seating open on days such as this are what I most like about this local bakery. Other than the most delicious desserts that they whip up, that is. One can get anything from Sandwiches and Desserts to Coffee and Cola. They run out of the baked goodies real fast. We got the Bread pudding with whipped cream on top and a Latte.

Bread Pudding @ The Urban Bakery

Latte and Bread Pudding @ The Urban Bakery
The Bread Pudding was warm, moist, fluffy and sweeeet. I can never have enough of that. Other than the guilt of consuming ten thousand calories, nothing can stop me from biting into one of those again. Of course I have A to split it with; share the sin. The Latte was good too. Piping hot and just right. If am in the area again, I will surely try their other desserts.

Urban Bakery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lake City Gyros

I am a sucker for hole in the walls that make fantastic sandwiches for a few pennies. Mainly because the food is fresh, made right is front of you and is all about customizing. Can you make it spicy, please? A little more Tahini would be just perfect. Thank you.

Having heard a lot about this joint, we decided to stop by for a Falafel Sandwich while driving past, last weekend. It is a tiny joint with a counter / kitchen where the food is prepared and two tables not worth sitting at. It was dark and stuffy inside. Certainly not worth sitting there and biting into the most fabulous Sandwich. The Falafels were fried fresh upon order. The other stuffing included Lettuce, Cucumber, Tomatoes, some Tahini sauce and some other spices. I asked mine to be a little spicy and she added some chili paste. The Pita bread itself was soft and huge. For $3.99, it was a treat!

A great place for a quick craving!

Lake City Gyros on Urbanspoon

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Papad ki sabzi

I wanted to make something different for dinner today. I was browsing through Showmethecurry and found this Rajasthani dish and very easy to make - Papad ki sabzi.

Here's how you make it-

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, hing, chopped onion, one clove of garlic finely chopped and salt and let it cook until the onions become transparent. Meanwhile, take half a cup of yoghurt in a bowl. Add half a cup of water to it. Add 2 tbsp coriander powder, one tbsp chilli powder, one tsp turmeric powder, salt and mix it well. Microwave or roast some papads. I used jeera papad. When the onions are done, lower the flame and add the yoghurt mixture. Stir it a couple of minutes. Break the papad into pieces (slightly big) and add it to the yoghurt onion mixture. Add a cup of water or enough to cover all the papads. Let it boil for ten minutes. Garnish it with cilantro. If the yoghurt is not sour, add a tbsp of Amchur. Serve it with hot rice. That is some soul food!

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