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Washington: Seattle – Broadfork (Eatery Review)
A simple, light and airy vegan cafe conveniently located a few steps from the Space Needle in uptown Seattle
The larger cities on the west coast of the USA are generally blessed by a great selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants with many regular restaurants increasing the number of vegan and vegetarian options.
I recently had a long layover at Sea-Tac airport and decided to head into downtown Seattle to have a look around and get a bite to eat. Now knowing how awful the traffic can be in the Seattle area I opted to take the light rail from the airport to downtown. It cost $6 and was hassle-free – it only took about 40 minutes to get right downtown. I thought I would first take a wander around Pikes Place Market which is always very lively, full of tourists and stall vendors with the gift of the gab. It is not a very large market, so after about 30 minutes I am pretty much done.
As I was leaving Pikes Place Market I passed by the original Starbucks store. It always amazes me how many people are prepared to wait in a long line to buy their coffee from this store. Especially as thereare other Starbucks stores within a block or two. I am not a big fan of Starbucks Coffee – perhaps if I were then I might be more up for the wait.
I only had a small amount of time before heading back to the airport to catch my flight so I was on a mission to find somewhere to eat.
Just a short walk from Pikes Place is the light rail stop, so I hopped on for a couple of stops to the Westlake Center station. From here you can catch the monorail to the Seattle Center, which is a bit pricey at $2.50 for the very short journey – but I decided it was worth it for the experience.
The Seattle Center is a very popular place for tourists coming to town. Here you’ll find the iconic Space Needle and several museums. The Museum of Popular Culture is located inside a most unusual building that looks like the aftermath of a road wreck. Close by are the Pacific Science Center, the Children’s Museum and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Using the Happy Cow app on my phone I had tracked down Broadfork, a vegan cafe a block or two away from the Seattle Center (they have a second location by the University). They say they a farm-to-fork restaurant offering food that is vegan – so I thought I would give them a whirl!
Broadfork is not a very ostentatious cafe, the decor is very simple and bright. The fact that it has floor to ceiling windows on two sides makes the inside feel very light and airy. There is also nothing very flashy about the seating, with plain wooden tables and chairs. I arrived around 1:00 pm on a Friday and it was quiet – so I would not imagine this place gets very busy.
In keeping with the simplicity theme food is ordered at the counter. The staff were a bit surly and didn’t seem that interested in serving me – perhaps I caught them on a bad day. I settled for the Cashew Curry Bowl at $10.95. The ingredients included brown rice, tofu, broccoli, kale, Nappa, peppers, white cashew curry sauce and of course cashews. For a drink, I fancied trying a smoothie and liked the look of the Berry Bliss Smoothie ($8.50) with strawberry, blueberry in hemp milk.
As things were fairly quiet the food and smoothie arrived promptly – which is just as well as my time to get back to the airport was rapidly clicking down.
The tofu bowl was relatively small for something with an $11.00 price tag. For a few moments, I was a bit confused until I realized what I thought were giant croutons were actually toasted chunks of tofu. Anyway, I tucked in and it was pretty tasty. The curry sauce was delicate and not at all overpowering with the other flavours on offer. Anything with broccoli and cashew nuts always works for me! By the end of the bowl, I was quite satisfied but felt that I could have done with a slightly larger helping (I had left my hotel early in the morning so had skipped breakfast). Luckily, the smoothie – which was delicious – did a great job in filling me up.
Overall, I liked the simplicity of Broadfork – its basic cafe style and uncomplicated food. Certainly, for a quick, healthy bite to each at lunchtime, it is a great place to visit. If you want somewhere for a romantic meal with lots of pizzazz then Broadfork is not for you. My only real issue is one value for money – but its central location near the Seattle Center means that for the area it is probably par for the course.
|Location:||4757 12th Avenue NE Seattle, WA|
|Hours:||Mon-Fri: 7am-9pm Sat-Sun 9am-9pm|
|Average Food Price:||$11.00 to $16.00|
|Food:||Bowls, sandwiches and smoothies|
Best time to visit Seattle
The best time to visit Seattle is from September to October. Summer marks the city’s high season, meaning room rates rise and availability drops, while cold winter weather can deter even the most avid sightseers. Early fall, however, is a sweet spot for tourism: Summer weather lingers as the crowds disperse, leaving plenty of hotel rooms (and lower rates) up for grabs. Meanwhile, spring offers lower lodging rates as well as warmer temps, but you’ll likely encounter some rain and cooler breezes. Just remember to pack the appropriate attire to battle chilly winds and yes, the seemingly ever-present drizzle.
Other places to visit around Seattle Center
1. MUSEUM OF POPULAR MUSIC
Whether it’s through our innovative, richly detailed exhibitions — covering topics like science fiction, fantasy, indie video games, musicians and their instruments, influential films, and more, The Museum of Pop Culture takes visitors on exclusive, in-depth journeys of amazing artifacts, hands-on experiences, and intelligent cultural analysis. Consider MoPOP your personalized pop culture courier.
MoPOP is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. A fusion of textures and myriad colors, MoPOP’s exterior conveys all the energy and fluidity of the rock ‘n’ roll artistry and history that originally inspired the institution. Swing by the Seattle Center to check out MoPOP’s impressive architecture and schedule your first, life-changing visit.
2. CHIHULY GARDEN & GLASS
Immerse yourself in a world where curiosity, creativity and colour come to life. Throughout the Galleries, ever-changing Garden and signature Glasshouse, you’ll be inspired by artist Dale Chihuly’s innovation and passion.
All guests receive complimentary digital photo downloads and access to daily Gallery Talks and live glassblowing demonstrations. Admission includes a complimentary audio tour (smartphone required).
3. SPACE NEEDLE
If you see one thing in Seattle, see everything. From 520’ the Observation Deck provides a 360° view of Seattle and beyond that commands your attention. See the snow-capped Cascade Mountains to the east and the majestic Olympic mountain range to the west with breathtaking indoor and outdoor viewing. Plus, use the Space Needle’s award-winning interactive technology to explore the icon’s history and Seattle’s sights like never before.
All guests receive complimentary digital photo downloads and access to powerful free telescopes. Take your experience to new heights and unlock Seattle’s secrets with the free Space Needle app!
4. PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER
Pacific Science Center brings science to life. Ignite your curiosity with hundreds of interactive exhibits and experiences.
Launch rockets and create electric circuits in Tinker Tank our popular hands-on design space, designed to cultivate creative problem-solving skills through the practice of the design-test-redesign engineering process. Immerse yourself in our warm and sunny lush Tropical Butterfly House full of hundreds of beautiful, free-flying tropical butterflies. Confront a broad variety of mind-bending topics alongside scientists and innovators who are shaping the future. Touch live marine animals in the Saltwater Tide Pool and explore distant galaxies during a Planetarium Show. Experience a laser show or immerse yourself in a giant-screen IMAX® film. Get set for an unforgettable day of fun and exploration
Where to stay in Seattle
1. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SEATTLE (5-STAR)
This downtown Seattle hotel is 1.2 mi from the Space Needle. This hotel features a full spa, rooftop infinity pool, and outdoor fireplace. Every guest room features Northwest-style decor with wood and stone details.
The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle has a 24-hour business centre. Guests can work out in the gym or use the steam room or hot tub. Guests can dine at the Goldfinch Tavern, which features Pacific Northwest cuisine by world-renowned chef Ethan Stowell.
International Airport is within a 25-minutes drive.
2. SEATTLE GAS LIGHT INN (3-STAR)
The 3-star Gaslight Inn is set 2.2 km from Seattle Art Museum and 2.3 km from Can Can. Guests will enjoy an outdoor pool on-site and admire views of the city offered from 8 rooms.
Located off Cuff Complex, the inn is about 20 minutes’ walk from Seattle city centre. You’ll be 950 metres from the Reflecting Pool. R Place is also located near the hotel. The known Gum Wall is only a short drive away.
The rooms are well-equipped and feature climate control, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a seating area. They also have private bathrooms.
3. HOTELHOTEL HOSTEL (LOW COST)
HotelHotel Hostel is located in the tree-lined neighbourhood of Fremont, one of the most unique in Seattle, with late-night coffee, secondhand treasures, chocolate tours, live music, and some of the best eats in the city!
The private rooms have convenient sinks in each room, cosy bedding, comfortable mattresses, towels and toiletries, hairdryers, room fans and windows that open! There is a choice of king beds and private bath, or king or 2 twins with shared hall baths.
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