November 08, 2010

If the shoe fits ...

Two shallow vegan bloggers (that's Bethany and me), hit the streets for a day of eating and shopping. We had to pull the car over twice, discussing where to go for lunch, but Bethany is addicted to Wayward Café, and her addiction runs deep, so of course she won. (Bethany isn't blogging or reading blogs right now, she says, so I can say anything I want. You aren't reading this, are you Bethany?) I like Wayward, too, so I don't mind going there. It's a vegan greasy spoon that piles the plates high with yummy comfort food. So, we headed in and B picked a table under the skylight so I'd be able to get good photos, though you know, this is November in Seattle, and there's not much light coming from the sky. Just keeping it real.

Sad little leftover nutlet cutlet, minus kale.

B ordered a Seitan Philly sub with fries, and I ordered a hot nutlet which is an almond-walnut cutlet (a nutlet cutlet, so to speak) served on toasted French bread, covered with mushroom gravy with a huge side of steamed kale dusted with sesame seeds. When it finally came, I was starved, and dug right in, after adding hot sauce and Bragg's. All that was left on my plate was a small section of nutlet, when I let out a anguished shriek. There we were under the skylight, camera sitting on the table beside me, and I hadn't taken a single photo. Of course I blamed Bethany. She should have reminded me. All that gorgeous kale would have made such a nice picture.

Wayward is one corner of the vegan triangle* on the Ave, and after lunch we headed across the street and down a few paces to vegan corner number two, Sidecar Vegan Store. Sidecar is owned by Pig's Peace Animal Sanctuary, and all profits from sales go to supporting the sanctuary, so shopping there is a good deed in addition to a handy spot for finding all things vegan. When you first walk in, there's a great shelf of purses, wallets, belts and such. We fingered the goods, then headed to the food shelves.

All kinds of vegan grocery products are available, but the Soy Curls shelf was bare. No Soy Curls for me.

However, something did catch my eye, and I popped two varieties of Thai True curry paste into my basket. I also got one of those little spray bottles of Braggs, that I'd played with at Wayward. I thought it would come in handy to spray just the right amount of flavor onto tofu cubes as they browned in my wok.

I pondered changing my dog's diet back to vegan, but once again, Bethany convinced me that 17 is too old for a dog to start changing her diet.

Sidecar also has a good selection of wines so you don't have to worry about whether the wine you are buying is vegan. In addition to everything I've shown you, there's also a selection of personal care items, and two large refrigerated sections as well as a cooler with frozen food. What the store lacks in size, it makes up for in variety. You can find things like marshmallows, candies and many kinds of imported and domestic vegan cheeses. I bought three Sjaaks organic almond butter cups for dessert. Then we headed to the DSW shoe store in pursuit of vegan boots.

If you've read this far, here's your reward. Bethany found the perfect pair of sexy shoes. Don't they go well with her cat socks? In her own words, "Those are sexy shoes that just crackle w/ pain. Sexy pain. i should run back there and get them." You all know we're kidding, right? Maybe you can tell from the socks that these are not exactly our style. Bethany insisted I try them on (so I could experience the pain she was feeling after removing them from her cranky feet?) but I had to be helped to my feet. I would only be able to wear such shoes sitting down.

After hours in the shoe store, we left empty handed. No shoes for us. We're both into comfort, and though there were vegan shoes and boots to be had, none were comfortable enough.

I just want to mention that we have a store in Seattle, The Chocolate Shoebox, that sells vegan shoes and chocolate. It's a great store and I've been there in my quest for boots, but nothing felt right to my hard-to-fit feet. I'm on a quest for boots that are made for walking. Do you have comfortable vegan boots? Suitable for winter? My old ones fell apart.

I was pretty tired after a hard day of shopping, but my youngest son, who recently returned from Europe and is living with us while looking for a job and an apartment, made dinner. He made a most delicious stir-fry. He has been reading and cooking from The Breath of a Wok, a Chinese cookbook that I'll write more about later.

*The third corner of the vegan triangle, across the street from Sidecar, is Pizza Pi, a vegan pizza place. Pizza and much more.


U.S. pushes cheese sales AND warns about eating too much fat. Go figure.
All joking aside for a moment, this article about the USDA helping Domino's Pizza add more cheese to pizza, is seriously disturbing. Rather than me rewording it here, just go read the article. It's frightening.

Here's a very good response to and summary of the article by Radioactive Vegan.


  1. NO soy curls?? boo! have you tried them before? we love them here and use them a lot... perhaps we could do a vegan blog exchange and I could send you some... :D

    the nutlet looks SO GOOD... and I love the name. nutlet. nutlet. I will be saying this all day.

  2. I would love to go hang out with you two - sounds like it was lots of fun, and those are some very sexy shoes. I would go crazy if I had shopping options like that.
    Also, The Vegan Snorkler just did a huge boot post, and she's in the U.S., too, so there might be something for you!

  3. Sounds like you had a fun day! My husband will be happy that we don't live in Seattle, because we would be broke if we Sounds like you have a lot of good shopping and eating places that are vegan. I would go crazy somewhere like that. :o)

    I'll have to go check out the article regarding Domino's.

  4. Andrea, you have reinforced my craving to visit Seattle and you didn't even mention Mighty O!

    Anxious to hear about your curry; I picked up their sweet & sour sauce from a Portland farmar and it's delicious.

    As for shoes, I'm a big fan of Madden Girl and Blowfish: they both offer comfortable vegan styles at affordable prices. NeuAura is an all-vegan company that makes a great splurge.

  5. ooh, very sexy crackling pain shoes! i hear you about the boots falling apart--this is a huge problem in my life. i'm obsessed with comfy, black, faux-leather combat boots that lace up the front and are preferably knee-high--they're basically all i wear in the winter. (on my feet, that is.) but since i wear them so much they get destroyed pretty fast--i've gone through five or six pairs since high school, and finding a new pair is ALWAYS this drawn-out, exhausting process. days and days wasted scouring the internet for the perfect vegan boots. trying to find them locally would be a fool's errand, unfortunately. next time i find the perfect pair i'm buying at least one more immediately.

  6. Can you believe I haven't been to Wayward? I wasn't sure if anything on the menu doesn't contain seitan.

    Sorry the shoe search didn't work out. I usually end up ordering online. Chris got some great ones last year but they ended up being eaten by the dog.

  7. I love those pussy cat socks! The shoes remind me of Dorothy's shoes in the Wizard of Oz, but they're the wrong color (I think hers were red) they are same color as the road though.

    And your description of the nutlet made up for the lack of more it in the photo...sounds good. I've never been to the Wayward Cafe...must try it soon.

    The quest for vegan shoes/boot is never-ending. I've been on a search myself for autumn loafer/wedgies...I sympathize, it's tough.

    Sounds like a fun day out!

    It sounds like a fun day out. The

  8. That looks like sooo much fun! Thanks for letting us (virtually) come along on your shopping/food trip :)

    And I love what Bethany said about those shoes - LOL!

  9. Kristina,
    Yes, I've had Soy Curls and we usually keep some in our pantry. The supply at Sidecar was due in later that afternoon — too late for me!

    I almost titled this post "nutlet cutlet."

    We'd love to have your company! I looked at the boot post, and would you believe, I think I tried on a lot of the boots, but none were comfortable enough. I know ... too demanding.

    You'd get used to being surrounded by vegan options if they were there all the time. It's when you only rarely have access to them, that they seem hard to resist.

    I didn't try the curries yet because we still have some other ones in the fridge, but I'm going to have to try the green one soon. Can't resist.

    I did find some Blowfish boots to try on but they seem to run small and the available sizes were very limited. I'll keep looking.

    I think your idea of buying two pairs if you find perfect boots is a good one. I'm still sorry I didn't buy two pairs of really comfortable running shoes which disappeared from the store the minute mine wore out.

    I don't think Wayward is particularly GF-friendly. There are scramble, salad and quinoa bowl options, but I wonder about cross contamination. You could call and ask before going there.

    Thanks for reading! And I did ask Bethany if I could quote her. :D

  10. I love DSW! Sorry you were not able to find anything there--I hate that.

    That article is crazy. I work in nutrition and taught nutrition education for a while and people are always amazed when I talk about how the government and dairy are connected...


  11. So sad about the Soy Curls! And Rose beat me to the Wizard of Oz reference ("Click your heels three times and think of Soy Curls!"). But it sounds like you had a fun day anyway. Re the government and dairy, just think of all those millions of magazine covers that show a big fat beautiful cake on the front and promise you can lose ten pounds in a week in the same issue...they get you coming and going, don't they?

  12. I love pictures of grocery stores so much! It's a sickness. Haha.

  13. Courtney,
    DSW had so many shoes it's hard to believe I couldn't find anything.

    The Dairy Council with the help of the government has pushed dairy products on us (including printing massive quantities of free materials for schools) extolling the wonders and healthfulness of dairy based on no research whatsoever.

    I'm not sure Bethany had enough control over those heels to click them together three times! Those magazine covers drive me crazy.

    I don't know what to say. Pictures of grocery stores are probably not too bad for your health — mental or physical. :D

  14. What a fun day of eating and shopping! Nice looking and good fitting vegan shoes are like the hardest things to find. Either they're uncomfortable to actually walk around in or they look like orthopedic shoes. :-(

  15. Sounds like a great day to me. Good friend, good food and shopping! I'm surprised you didn't get those hot shoes. jk!

    I'm on the lookout for boots to. Have you tried or bourgeois boheme online?

  16. I love the sparkle shoes/cat socks combination! So chic

  17. Chow vegan,
    That's the truth. I might even settle for the orthopedic look if I could get the comfort. But why can't we have both comfort and style? Vegan shoemakers, are you out there? Do you have feet?

    If I got the hot shoes I would also have to get a walker or a wheel chair. I've been admiring the wanted boots but I'm so picky about comfort it's scary to order online without the free shipping free return thing. Even then, I hate having a pile of stuff to return. I'll do some online searching, though, and see what I come up with.

    Yes, isn't Bethany a fashion maven?

  18. Sounds like an ideal way to spend an afternoon! You are so funny! (too bad Bethany didn't read this, so she isn't aware of that). THAT STORE LOOKS AMAZING! An entire store where EVERYTHING is vegan?? I'm crying over here. And I did love the shoes. My first thought was, "I couldn't even stand up in those, let alone walk." Glad to hear they weren't paired with the cat socks after all! ;)

  19. I love that you picked your seat in the restaurant based on where to get good blog pictures. And I love that you have a friend who wears cat socks. I went to Sidecar once, the one time I was in Seattle a few years ago. Looks like such a fun day!

    I just bought a pair of comfy boots at Payless. However, I haven't walked terribly long distances in them yet so we'll see.

    I can't believe your dog is 17.

  20. Jenny,
    I always try to find a seat with the best light, and I personally only have dog socks. :D I've never found anything comfortable at Payless but I think I'll go take another look. There must be one here somewhere.

    It's a small store, but still, it's packed with all things vegan. I couldn't stand up in the shoes without assistance, and once I WAS standing I was shocked at the thought that other women can actually walk around in these things. However, I felt really tall!

  21. What a fun day of eating and shopping! Nice shoes, but it's the cat socks that take them to a whole new level of awesome! Heehee! :P

  22. River,
    I agree. Without the socks, the shoes, though flashy and glittery are just ... shoes.

  23. The Vegan Triangle? Must go there.....

    Sorry you couldn't find any soy curls. Must be because you gave them to me. See today's post :)

  24. Claire,
    When are you coming?

  25. Update on Wayward Cafe: They have a gluten-free menu!


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