The next morning I walked from Helen's place to Cafe Flora to meet Jess for breakfast. I've been to Cafe Flora twice before, and while each time has been good I have always ended up with a bit of order envy or regret. I am happy to say that I ordered like a champion this time! I started with a giant mug of chai, which was lovely and, happily, not overly sweet. For food I ordered a delicious potato and leek scramble, as well as a side of smoky collars, which had a gentle spice. We don't have collards here so I am always excited to eat them in the US. I also finished with a glass of their rosemary lemonade, which is always amazing.
Jess had the spicier Rancho Colorado Scramble.
After breakfast we walked up to the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. I say walked up, because while it is technically not a long walk, it turns out there is a hill of death you must ascend to get there. I love Asian art, and though this gallery is relatively small it had a lovely collection. They also had a Chiho Aoshima exhibit there, which I loved. The style of the artworks was right up my alley! Here is a bit of a blurry photo of one of my favourites. Of course it has a cat.
Afterwards we had a bit of a stroll through Volunteer Park, and Jess indulged me in my SQUIRREL! spotting hobbies. They were a bit elusive, but then one agreed to be photographed and squeed over from a distance. Look at their floofy tail! There was also lots of pretty wild flowers growing in the grass, which I love.
We then walked to Capitol Hill (lots of walking!) for lunch at Bamboo, which I had been told had the best vegan pho around. We were thirsty, so had a coconut each to drink. I loved the pho! Great tasting broth and lots and lots of tofu and veggies. Very good.
Bamboo is just down the road from Casita International, which is a great little shop that has a lot of locally designed goods. They are also a stockist of Rescue Chocolate. I recommend stopping in!
The other motivation for lunch at Bamboo was that the Seattle Cookie Counter was set up across the road for the afternoon. This is an awesome little mobile food van selling vegan ice cream sandwiches! I was torn between Oatmeal Chocolate Chip with Cherry or Strawberry Lemonade, but I eventually went for the cherry one. It was so good. The cookie was amazing! Their ice cream was coconut based, which I was a bit hesitant about, but I am happy to report that it was within my threshold for coconut fat and didn't have a heavy coconut fatty texture at all. Apparently they are playing around with oat based ice cream these days, which I would love to try one day!
After lunch I walked (more walking) downtown to Wholefoods at South Lake Union to pick up some supplies for dinner back at Helen's place. On the way back to Helen's, just as I got off the bus, I realised I didn't have my most beloved Herbivore Love Life hoodie with me! I chased down the bus but couldn't find it, so but when I rang Wholefoods they had it at their lost and found, and promised to keep it safe until I could get back there in a day or two. Phew!
Helen's awesome friend Molly came over for dinner (she is also a vegan and a cat lady, so we hit it off). We had planned a bit of a sample dinner so I could try a bunch of different things rather than eating out. We started out with a fancy cheese plate. This had a block of Daiya Jalapeno, Punk Rawk Original, Parmela Original Cream Cheese and Parmela Hickory Smoked Gorde. My favourite was definitely the hickory smoked, I love smoked cheeses!
Our main was a mac and cheese sampler. I had bought some frozen Amy's and Candle Cafe mac and cheese, as well as some Harbour Creek Farms mac and cheese mini studel. Helen picked up some Plum Mac and Yease. I also had some Field Roast Maple Breakfast Links, as well as a box of three different types of kale salad from the food bar at Wholefoods, because greens are important! My favourite mac and cheese was the Amy's one, as the Candle Cafe one just seemed to have globs of cheese smattered around rather than the pasta being mixed through a nice cheesy sauce. The little strudel bites were also excellent!
And finally, dessert. Molly had bought one of the new Daiya cheesecakes, the New York style, as well as some gorgeous fresh strawberries. We also had some carrot cake and cinnamon bun that had traveled with my from the Chicago Diner, and some Full Tilt vanilla hemp ice cream. The cheesecake was OK, I wasn't blown away by it. I wouldn't mind trying their strawberry flavour one day, but it is nearly $20 here in Australia so I don't see that happening any time soon. The carrot cake was good. However, the star was the cinnamon roll. Remember the cinnamon roll? It was 4 days old at this point, and pretty hard from being in the fridge that long. We gave it a zap in the microwave... best cinnamon roll I have ever had. Even the next morning I had some cold from the fridge. Still the best cinnamon roll ever. If it is this good when it is old and a bit stale, how amazing must it be fresh?
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
On my way down to Wholefoods I stopped by Pretty Parlor, a gorgeous shop full of vintage and locally-designed clothes. I had visited last year and picked up an absolutely gorgeous dress by Glam Cloud. The best thing about Pretty Parlor is Vincent, their kitty. I had met Vincent last year, but shortly after my holiday he was attacked by a dog and needed a lot of surgery and recovery. Thankfully he is all good again now! He consented to allow some pats and hugs.