Violet Sweet Shoppe – Seattle’s Newest Vegan Bakery

A few weeks ago Tim and I drove north to Seattle for the grand opening party of Violet Sweet Shoppe – a new all-vegan bakery located near the University District. I’ve been working with the owner, Crystal, periodically since early 2012 taking photographs for her website and promotional materials and was absolutely ecstatic when she invited me to attend the festivities.

The space is adorable. Flowy curtains, twinkly lights, cozy tables, lots of fresh flowers, big windows, and of course, an impressive array of gorgeous baked treats. Crystal’s talents are above and beyond anything I’ve seen before, and I’ve seen a lot of vegan cookies, cakes, cupcakes, tarts, and candies! She has remarkable attention to detail and every creation is a delight.

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It’s been such a joy to be a small part of Crystal’s journey and if you are ever in her neighborhood, I highly recommend stopping in for a special treat. There is tea and coffee too, so stay awhile and have a chat with friends!

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Become a fan of Violet Sweet Shoppe on Facebook so you can see all the beautiful treats baked fresh each day!

Northward to Seattle

Last weekend Tim and I visited our good friends in Seattle. We were treated to plenty of Mighty O Donuts, gorgeous weather, dinner at an amazing vegan restaurant, mini golf, homemade pizza and pancakes, and boxing battles on Nintendo Wii. That is a lot of fun to pack into one weekend!! Here are some photos of our adventures:

Thanks, Kim and Dave!

Stay tuned for tomorrow because I am posting a recipe for a fantastic sammie. You don’t want to miss it – promise!

One Hundred!

Oooooh! This is my 100th post!!!!! How dandy is that? I’ll show you…

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…This dandy! These are the mighty delicious Dandies marshmallows from Chicago Soy Dairy. I cannot stop eating them! They are light, fluffy, sweet, vanilla-y, addictive, and just plain amazing. My lack of creative motivation has led me to eat these by the handful one at a time¬† instead of using them in a baked treat, but it simply doesn’t matter – these are ace. Food Fight will have them available to purchase online soon if you don’t have a place near you that sells Dandies.

I also had the pleasure of indulging in a newish vegan ice cream. Yeah, yeah! It is made with hemp milk and was featured briefly in the latest issue of VegNews.¬† Living Harvest makes a line called Tempt; they named this frozen treat accurately! I tried the Chocolate Fudge variety and it is incredibly creamy, smooth, chocolaty, and yummy. There are ribbons of fudgy goodness laced throughout each serving. I usually have trouble digesting ice cream and Tempt didn’t give me any troubles! Hooray!!!! There are several flavors to choose from and I look forward to sampling the rest.

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Lastly, Tim and I were recently in Seattle to see a concert and we managed to eat at a few places we had never been to on previous visits.

Cyber Dogs Internet Cafe was our choice for a quick lunch. This cafe is located about nine blocks from the famed Pike Place Market. They have an all vegetarian menu with the option to veganize pretty much any item you choose. The space is very tiny, but colorful and comfy. Tim and I sat on a cushy sofa while we waited for the friendly woman working to prepare our food. There are computers with internet for folks to enjoy while they munch happily on their creatively-adorned veggie dogs. The whole space is filled with knick-knacks and dog-themed stuff. We didn’t have to wait long for our order which was a huge bonus since we were hungry and trying to get back to our car before the meter ran out. Another bonus? Takeout orders are placed in biodegradable containers! Here are some photos of the inside of Cyber Dogs, and also our lunch:

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Lots of colorful fun stuff inside Cyber Dogs (see the Pound Puppy? Remember those?)

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The computers

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The menu (for a closer look at the menu, click here, and choose a larger size to view)

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Tim’s California Dog

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My Plain Jane Dog with vegan cheese sauce

We also walked around Pike Place Market. We stopped at Cinnamon Works for a vegan cinnamon roll (after we had eaten breakfast and Mighty O’s…). The cinnamon roll was quite good, a bit doughy, but sweet and filling. It had a nice maple glaze (I prefer plain) and the person who served us kindly warmed our roll in the oven! Nice! They also had some vegan cookies and muffins in the display case (although they looked a bit dry). Cinnamon Works is spendy, our cinnamon roll was $3.50! But I guess the market is a bit of a tourist trap and that’s the way stuff rolls sometimes.

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We also ate at a lovely place (right next door to where we were staying) called Chaco Canyon Cafe. I didn’t take photos, but the food was very simple and tasty. The space is bright, open, and lined with lots of windows. The staff is incredibly friendly and the menu is mostly vegan (with lots of raw options). Again, this place was spendy, but since Tim and I rarely eat out, it was a nice treat. If you find yourself in Seattle, please head over to Chaco Canyon Cafe. Your tummy will be so happy! I had an interesting juice blend called The Boost which was made of apple, carrot, ginger and wheatgrass. I also had a raw porridge which I really enjoyed, a lot. Tim had The Elvis Smoothie (banana and PB) and a tofu scramble sammie. His smoothie was so very, very, very smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooth! The sammie was perfectly seasoned and served on what we think was a sourdough rye. Good stuff.

Eating it Up in Seattle

Over the weekend, Tim and I drove up to Seattle to visit with his parents who were there for a conference. We managed to eat plenty of delicious vegan food (treats included!) while we were there. I was only able to snap photos from two of the places we visited because I forgot my camera the first night we went out for dinner. But, I can tell you with confidence that the photoless meal was the best one from the bunch (read review below)!

First up:

We ate at a place called Cafe Flora. The atmosphere alone had me wishing I could eat all my meals there while in Seattle. The restaurant has two dining areas, one was pretty normal, and the second was a large indoor patio with an atrium. The room had tons of plants surrounding the tables and lining the walls, a waterfall in the center, and huge floor to ceiling windows on two sides. It was incredibly relaxing. I felt like I was amidst a rainforest garden, there was a ferny plant draping gently above my chair (but not touching my head) and small candle filled vases on the tables. This is a spendy place to eat, but the food is amazing (perfect portions, clever combinations of ingredients, lovely textures) and the staff is very friendly and attentive.

I had the Hazelnut Mushroom Farro and a Sweet Potato and Tahini Soup (tahini in my soup!!!) with a sweet chile sauce drizzled on top. Tim chose the Tamale Timbale and Fried Avocado, and his mom chose the Sweet Potato Ginger Ravioli. We sampled from each other’s plates and enjoyed every last bite. They even had house-made ginger ale (the best I’ve ever tasted) and rhubarb soda! Nice, huh? For dessert, we shared the Citrus Cheesecake Tart. It was pretty fantastic. For a closer look at their dinner menu, click here. I definitely recommend a visit to Cafe Flora if you are ever in Seattle. You won’t be disappointed.

Next up:

The following day, we went to Mighty O for donuts of course! I’ve posted numerous times about my love for these fine treats, so there are no pictures of donuts this time. We ate some donuts and then walked down the hill for a three mile walk around nearby Green Lake. That’s the perfect way to walk off lots of tasty donuts!

After spending some time at the Pacific Science Center, we drove over to the Wayward Cafe for lunch. This little cafe provided some cozy shelter from the icy rain and snow that was falling outside. Here are some photos of our food:

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My Nut and Mushroomy cutlets (I don’t remember what this was really called) in Gravy with a salad

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Tim’s mom’s BBQ Seitan with a salad

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Tim’s Vegan Reuben and Home Fries

The Wayward Cafe prepares some serious comfort food (all vegan), and it’s tasty! Our food disappeared off of our plates before we knew it and kept us overly full until dinner.

Dinner? Yeah!

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We went with Tim’s parents to Vegan Garden for dinner later that evening. The family-owned (I am assuming because we had several different folks bringing us food, taking our orders, and keeping us happy) restaurant has a menu loaded with choices, and it was very difficult to choose! We started with Wonton Soup and Summer Rolls (Rice paper salad rolls with herbs, noodles and tofu, served with peanut sauce), both of which were spot on. For our entrees:

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Stir-Fry Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots, and Mushrooms

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General Tso’s “Chicken”

We also ordered Cashew “Chicken” and a curry meal. All of our choices were delicious. The veggies were tender-crisp and the food wasn’t too salty or oily. We had a nice pot of brown rice to accompany everything as well. Tim and I each had coconut juice to drink (which had slices of fresh coconut in the glass!) and his dad couldn’t stop raving about his fresh lime soda! Of course, we had dessert too, because that’s what you do when you’ve already eaten past your limit.

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Chocolate Mint Ice cream!!!

I really enjoyed Vegan Garden. The people are so kind, polite, and genuinely committed to veganism. Tim and I will visit again if we find ourselves in Seattle.

Overall, our trip was plenty of fun. We saw some much-needed sunshine, explored the city a bit, visited the library downtown (which is the coolest library I have ever seen – amazing architecture), had plenty of tasty food, and spent time with Tim’s parents. Even though Seattle isn’t far from Portland, it sure was nice to escape for the weekend!