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Seattle area | Ballard neighborhood | Map
Dinner only

My VeggieFoodie Rating: Excellent

This is my favorite veggie-friendly steakhouse—my sister can get her kobe, and I have a choice of several tasty items on the menu.

You'll always find several appetizers/salads and a vegetarian entree on the menu. The soup is frequently vegetarian and they're happy to check on the stock (in my case the minute I walk in the door). Best of all, the times I've requested a vegetarian pasta the chef takes it as an opportunity to get creative and doesn't send out the same old same old. One time it came with artichoke hearts, heirloom tomatoes, chantarelles, and tarragon—yum! And if you're in the main dining room, they'll also serve the wonderful bar menu mac and cheese if you request it. However, my favorite item at the moment is their profiteroles, which are the best I've had anywhere with crisp pastry, coconut ice cream, and warm dark chocolate sauce poured at the table.

The bar is a great place to hang out with a friend or do some reading, though if they get any more regulars they're going to have to build a bigger one. Market Street Grill is a usual participant in the 25 for $25, even offering that deal every Sunday with a bigger selection than most restaurants provide.

More reviews:
Yelp | Judy's Book | Citysearch | Seattle Weekly

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Update: After many fabulous years Mandalay has closed its doors as Janny and Erik move North to be closer to family. I'm in mourning for my curries.

Seattle area | Wallingford neighborhood | Map
Dinner only

My VeggieFoodie Rating: Fabulous

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. They do wonderful curries with complex spices from several Southeast Asian countries. My favorites on the current menu are the Malaysian Green Banana Curry, Thai Green Curry, and Szechwan Black Bean Stir Fry. If you happen to spot a Pineapple Panang, Taro Root, or Green Mango curry on the specials board, go for it.

In addition to the curries, there are some vegetable sides, appetizers, and daily soup which are veggie. Most of the items flagged on their menu as vegetarian are in fact vegan—just ask and you'll find the staff knowledgeable about the ingredients. If you manage to leave any room for dessert, try the Toasted Coconut Bananas or Thai Basil Cheesecake. Most of the curries keep very well as leftovers or takeout.

Tell them Ann says "Hi" ;-)

More reviews:
Yelp | Judy's Book | Citysearch | Seattle Weekly

Seattle area | Ballard neighborhood | Map
Dinner only | 21+

My VeggieFoodie Rating: Excellent

I've now been to BalMar twice, and both times the food was excellent. Saturday night was a packed, younger crowd with lots of noise bouncing off the brick walls, but Thursday evening it was much more mellow and I had a leisurely meal and conversation with a friend.

They have a tasting-style menu with "Small Plates"—two make a good meal, perhaps with room left for bites of their decadent molten chocolate cake. The items in the Veggie section are all vegetarian, as well as a few under Etc.

More reviews:
Yelp | Judy's Book
Normally I'd also include CitySearch, but when I typed "Bal Mar" in their search engine it came back with "We assumed you meant Wal Mart, instead of bal mar." Yeah, right.

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It's that time of year again! The day when mobs of people descend on Seattle's Fremont neighborhood for its rather unique take on summer parades. A bit of what makes the Solstice Parade special:

  • Naked cyclists—with some body paint of course
  • All human pushed or pulled floats
  • Utilikilt brigade
  • Flock of belly dancers
  • Political and environmental statements in floats
  • Charming disarray

It's all today, Saturday June 17th at noon! For a great set of photos from last year, see Tim Greyhavens' site.

PS—520 is closed this weekend.

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If you like films with quirks, find your local film festival!

Not only do you get to see some of the most creative films generated by the industry, you encourage the creation of cinema that isn't calculated to appeal to the greatest possible audience by catering to the lowest common denominator. Yes, some of the films are rough, but you'll also find gems by up-and-coming talent. You'll also find films with impressive casts whose established actors are there because they found the project interesting.

While we all know about Sundance and Cannes, there are many local film festivals to attend. You can find a staggering international list at Inside Film Online.

Here in Seattle we're just wrapping up SIFF, and it's been wonderful going to screenings. They did a great job this year with their Web site, providing a good system for identifying films of interest and winnowing that list down to something feasible. This is a non-trivial task—today, a Thursday has 18 screenings and this goes on for weeks. Their ticket system also allows the purchase of will call tickets up to 30 minutes before a showing, and you can pick up tickets for multiple venues at any box office.

Next year I look forward to even more shows. The only thing I'll do differently is load up on as many immune boosters as I can before it starts! I've missed two of my films because of a cold caught at one of the screenings.

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