Shakabrah Java's short-order wizards whisk together a menu of meaty, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly breakfasts, earning the diner the 2011 award for Best Breakfast from Tacoma Weekly. During morning hours, veggie skillets brim with a kaleidoscopic harvest of yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes; chefs can accommodate vegans by replacing the eggs with marinated tofu. Between bites, diners can sip cups of MarketSpice tea that come directly from Pike Place Market, or mimosas, beers from taps and bottles, and wine.
In keeping with the rest of the Plum Restaurants family, Plum Burgers food truck has no meat products on board. Its burgers are entirely beef-free, organic, and vegan?but within these restrictions, the cooks have gotten more than a little creative. The Jerk + Yam burger piles yam and Jamaican-spiced grilled tofu with caramelized onions, whereas the 8-ounce Mediterranean burger layers mint-kissed seitan with pickled figs. Other patties incorporate lentils, portobello mushrooms, and panko-crusted tempeh as meat substitutes.
Also on the menu are a variety of sandwiches and sides, including the popular Mac & Yease, which is a vegan version of mac and cheese that can also go gluten-free upon request. Milkshakes made with vanilla coconut ice cream conclude meals with cool, sweet sips. To track the truck's location, customers can refer to its homepage. It even takes pickup orders via phone call, text, or really loud yelling from across town.
Some think of raw-food diets as restrictive and bland, but with chef Francisco Hernandez pulling the strings in the kitchen, that's not the case. “One look at AmeRAWcan Bistro’s menu is enough to convince anyone that raw doesn’t mean boring,” according to the News Tribune writer Rosemary Ponnekanti](http://gr.pn/Uj9hgP). “Vegan burgers, sesame falafel, kelp noodles, kale chips and cheesecake are just some of the possibilities.” Raw cuisine this delectable requires preparation methods unfamiliar to some. Hernandez and his team soak seeds until they sprout, grind cashews for faux milk and cheese, and dehydrate grains for “bread” that they use to create sandwiches or feed to health-conscious ducks in the park. They never heat any ingredient to more than 116 degrees, which preserves the full spectrum of vitamins and enzymes in each morsel.
While many of the restaurant's dishes mimic foods that are normally cooked, others are straightforward in their freshness; tomato-cucumber gazpacho, for instance, with chopped sweet peppers, basil, and mint. Smoothies and juice blends fresh-squeezed from granny smith apples, parsley, and beets wash raw bites down.
At a separate kitchen station, the chefs layer organic meats and cheeses onto organic, preservative-free bread baked by Essential Baking Company of Seattle, crafting hearty sandwiches that they serve on a set of plates designated for meat. Though the menu is healthy, patrons can find hints of decadence in the form of raw chocolate truffles, beer, and wine.
Inside Marlena's Mediterranean Kitchen, Persian rugs hang from yellow and cherry-red walls, and lamps splash soft lighting across colorful pieces of Turkish artwork. In that spirit, the menu is populated with traditional Istanbul dishes, particularly mezes: a selection of small, finger-friendly plates, such as feta on tomato slices and stuffed wine grape leaves. Guests can also order an array of savory entrees, including kebabs loaded with tender pieces of marinated chicken, lamb, beef, or fish.
It takes a deep understanding of spices to make a mean kabob, just as it does to cook a complex curry. Impressively, Habibi Mediterranean & Greek Restaurant does both. The menu of Mediterranean staples—falafel sandwiches and lamb shish kabobs among them—also features popular Indian dishes such as beef or fish in a homemade curry, with the fieriness adjusted to your liking.
The kitchen here is a versatile one, producing eastern eats for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. A morning meal of shakshuka pairs pita bread with eggs poached in a spice-heavy tomato sauce, whereas lunchtime heralds gyros and french fries. Lamb shanks are hard to pass up at dinner, but then again, so is the shrimp biryani and sneaking licks from a neighbor's plate. Regardless of the meal, all the meats are Halal and guests can balance out their dishes' nuanced flavors with cold sips of watermelon or mango smoothies.
The chefs at Thai Gold Triangle Restaurant reach for traditional ingredients such as coconut milk, lemon grass, chili, and curry as they cook up the authentic cuisine of Thailand. The menu at this family-run eatery starts with shareable appetizers such as fried or fresh spring rolls and garlicky chicken wings, then moves on to stir-fried noodle dishes, fried rice flecked with eggs and spices, and curries of the red, green, and panang varieties. The kitchen can substitute tofu or veggies to make any dish meatless.