Archive for the ‘Bakery’ Category

Flying Apron (Seattle)

Vegan-friendly

Cuisine: Bakery
Tofu puffs: 3.5 out of 5
Price range: $$
Time visited: Once
Location: 3510 Fremont Ave North (between N 35th Street and N 36th Street)
Hours:  Monday to Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday to Sunday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: (206) 442-1115
Website: http://www.flyingapron.com/

Flying Apron - OutsideWe have to admit that the last time we visited Seattle, we skipped the Flying Apron. This was entirely due to us having read several reviews in which patrons complained about the so-called dubious quality of the bakery’s goods. Now, this was three years ago. We’ve no idea if Flying Apron has improved spoon over spatula since then or if it was always good. It’s possible that the negative reviews were from peeps who simply didn’t know what to expect of gluten-free baking.

We will also admit that it was really silly of us to have avoided Flying Apron. It’s good, you should go there, and you’ll probably end up staying a while. They have free WiFi too, so if you’re not the people-watching patio-sitting type you’ll definitely appreciate cosying up with a tea and a cookie and your laptop at one of their indoor vintage tables.

As with our review of Mighty-O Donuts, we say that Flying Apron is vegan-friendly, not 100% vegan, because they offer cow’s milk for those patrons who would like it in their coffee and tea. For those of us who would rather not drink cow’s milk, there’s the more palatable options of soy, rice, and almond milks available. Their delicious feast of offerings include sweets, savouries, soups, salads, and house-made breads that are all vegan and entirely gluten-free.

Chocolate Chip Cookie - Flying Apron

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Since we were still pretty full from breakfast the morning we visited Flying Apron, we indulged in just two treats: the pecan cinnamon roll and the chocolate chip cookie. Usually it’s pretty tough for us to judge a place having tried only a few of their foodstuffs. But the roll and the cookie were more than good enough to make it certain that the next time we’re in town Flying Apron will be at the top of our to-visit list.

The chocolate chip cookie, made from brown rice flour and potato starch, had a great crispness and held together much better than other gluten-free cookies we’ve had. Not everyone likes their cookies crisp, but this particular cookie has great dunking potential. It didn’t have that home-made taste, as if it had been made in your own kitchen. It did, however, have all the taste of a well-made bakery-bought cookie that was worth every penny we paid for it.

As for the pecan cinnamon roll, it was denser than we would have liked due to the chickpea flour used in the dough. This denseness wasn’t really a bad thing at all; it’s just a result of the nature of the gluten-free ingredients that were used. In retrospect, we had no idea there was any chickpea flour at all in the roll, and this is something we would usually notice (chickpea flour has a flavour neither of us is fond of). The roll was toothsome and had the perfect smattering of pecans and icing sugar. And it held together just as well as the cookie while having a perfectly moist crumb, which you might know is a bit of a feat if you’ve ever tried to bake gluten-free.

Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Flying Apron

Pecan Cinnamon Roll

We also tried their coffee and ordered a soy mocha latte. The beans Flying Apron uses are from the Ballard-based Seven Coffee Roasters. While we’re not sure if it was the chocolate syrup or soy used in the drink or the way the barista made it, the coffee was regrettable. It lacked almost any coffee taste and was pretty weak. We’re sure this can’t be what their coffee is usually like, because a lot of people in the bakery were happily knocking back cups of it.

At the moment we give Flying Apron a hopeful 3.5 out of 5 tofu puffs because we’ve been there just once. We’re sure the next time we visit the bakery will get an enthusiastic 4 out of 5 puffs.

Mighty-O Donuts (Seattle)

Vegan-friendly

Cuisine: American
Tofu puffs: 4 out of 5
Price range: $
Time visited: Twice
Location: 2110 North 55th Street (@ Meridian Avenue North)
Hours:  Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 206-547-0335
Website: http://www.mightyo.com/

Mighty O Donuts - OutsideWe, the Vegan Spoonies, like to think that we’re seasoned vegan donut eaters. Truth be told, we’ve eaten donuts from only four establishments since becoming vegan years ago, in addition to donuts and donut holes bought online and home-made donut holes. In our pre-vegan lives, however, we indulged in many of these cake and yeasted confections. We figure that this experience, combined with our discerning vegan tastes, qualifies us to be darn picky about the donuts we’ve had the fortune to gobble up.

We probably don’t have to tell you that Mighty-O Donuts are beloved well outside Seattle’s city limits. This is so much so that we’ve even seen them for sale in a Whole Foods store in Portland (who the heck’s driving these donuts two hours south of Seattle every day?). And the mere mention of them on Twitter elicits pleas from friends to bring some back to Vancouver.

Are they really that good? After all, donut stores or places that sell donuts are not that hard to find. What is it about Mighty-O Donuts that makes it a place we and many others must visit? How about organic donuts that are perfectly moist with a perfect crumb and flavours and frostings that are just right in taste and thickness? These donuts have a denseness that isn’t too heavy, but they’re also not so light that they’re full of air pockets and dried out like the donuts proffered by many less than vegan establishments. Mighty-O’s donuts, unlike those from the equally well-known Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, aren’t overloaded with frosting or other tasty but over-the-top toppings.

Mighty O Donuts - InsideThe regular Mighty-O menu offers many tempting flavours and three different categories of donuts. They range from the simple cinnamon and sugar donut to fancier flavours, such as raspberry riot and grasshopper (a mint-chocolate creation), as well as cream-stuffed long johns and fritters. They also offer mini donuts in many of the same flavours as the regular donuts. And they always have seasonal specialties, such as the Cookies and Cream donut we tried on our most recent visit (with crush Oreo-like cookies sprinkled on top). The best thing of all is that the donuts are a very reasonable price at less than $2 each. We double dare you to eat just one.

Mighty-O’s coffee is pretty decent too, in addition to being fair trade. While we’re not coffee connoisseurs as much as we are self-proclaimed vegan donut experts, we do know a good cuppa when we sip one. Mighty-O’s coffee is a mighty fine accompaniment to the sweets they offer. If you’re not into coffee, they also offer a good hot chocolate as well as some teas. And they offer rice milk for those who want to avoid soy, which is a pretty rare option where we come from.

Lemon-Poppyseed and Cookies & Cream donuts

Lemon-poppy seed (left) and Cookies & Cream (right)

If you ever were curious about how deep-fried donuts are made, you can watch the donuts being made right in the cafe. Mighty-O uses a nifty little machine that pops o-shaped batter into really hot oil. From there, the donuts float down a short vat of oil where they’re mechanically flipped halfway through cooking. At the end, they travel up a small conveyor belt and topple out onto a cooling tray. It’s really neat to see, especially if you’re all nerdy-like about how the stuff you eat is made.

We have to tell you, though, that the two of us are staunchly divided on our opinions about Mighty-O. While we both love their donuts, one of us thinks they’re the best she’s ever had, the other of us (not the one writing this review) thinks that there’s a bit of room for improvement. According to that hard-to-please Spoonie, the flavour of the donuts is not quite there, whatever that means. That’s why Mighty-O gets four out of five tofu puffs – we just can’t agree on the level of greatness.

Whatever we think, get yourself over to Mighty-O if you have the chance. Despite our spoiled quibbling over its rating, we can promise that their donuts are mighty and will never disappoint.

Cinnamon & Sugar (left) and Raspberry Riot (right)

Cinnamon & Sugar (left) and Raspberry Riot (right)

Raspberry Riot (chocolate; eaten at Porchlight Coffee)

Raspberry Riot (chocolate; eaten at Porchlight Coffee)