Ben and Esther’s vegan Jewish Deli just opened on Capitol Hill. Oh yes, oh yes! Finally a vegan Reuben sandwich (vegan corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, Russian dressing ) on pumpernickel bread with real Kosher dill pickles. Try the bagel with vegan lox (smoked “salmon”), tomato, red onion, capers and dill with a schmear (a spread) of vegan cream cheese.
Look for the potato knishes (a round or square of dough stuffed with potato and baked or fried) and noodle kugel (a baked pudding). You can enjoy your meal with a babka (a loaf-shaped coffee cake made with sweet yeast dough to which raisins, chocolate, or nuts may be added). With the cold weather, warm up with some motzo (unleavened bread) ball soup. If you only want a couple of bites, you can nosh (snack) on a wide variety of menu items.
We’re happy to welcome a new vegan restaurant to our area. The Seattle Ben and Esther’s is the fifth location in the Portland based “Vegan Jewish Deli” chain. There are two in Portland and one in Oceanside California and San Diego.
Yes, we know it’s December but this is just too good to wait for summer. A new dairy-free, vegan, ice cream shop, Frankie and Jo’s, has just opened in Seattle. The shop is at 1010 E Union, tucked between Soi and General Porpoise.
Its celebration of plants extends to the decor, palm-fronded wallpaper and a plethora of actual, live greenery. But the real excitement lies in the cooler, and the eight rotating flavors ready to be scooped. There’s a brown sugar vanilla, gingered golden milk (which tastes, in the best possible way, of pure ginger), and salty caramel ash that’s sweet and salty and the color of a thunderstorm cloud. Sorbets include a beet-strawberry-rose combo and concord grape shrub. There’s a pumpkin butter seasonal flavor studded with cornbread and spiced pecans and the very popular—chocolate date, which packs all the richness of a date milkshake. It bears repeating: everything in here is vegan.
You can even sample Frankie and Jo’s by the scoop, rather than taking the full plunge for a pint. Ice cream comes in a cup or gluten free vanilla maple waffle cone and you can top them with things like chocolate magic shell, whipped (coconut) cream, or brownie chunks. The shop will debut more flavors in the coming weeks, and hours will be 2–10pm Sunday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 2–11. Track all these happenings, and ogle the ice cream flavors, on Frankie and Jo’s website.
Here some more good news from Congress that all veg-friendlies can cheer about. Recently we reported on the first meeting of the first ever vegetarian caucus on Capitol Hill, with the hope that the seeds planted would take root and grow. We’re happy to now report that the vegetarian caucus has caught on and appears to be growing quite nicely. Up until now all members and attendees had been congressional staffers. Their latest meeting grew to 120 attendees, and perhaps most significantly, was attended by Congressman Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia. The significance of this can hardly be overstated.
Billed as a “Healthy on the Hill” lunch, their latest meeting included a cooking demonstration featuring 10 different recipes, the unveiling of the Capitol Hill area veg-dining guide, and raffles for books by Neal Barnard M.D. and the Forks Over Knives DVD. Each attendee also received three vegan foods for lunch: a smoothie sample, an “eggplant bacon BLT,” and a sweet corn, tomato and basil salad.
Not so successful however was their attempt to get a Meatless Mondays started at some of the staff cafeterias and eateries. The first and only “Meatless Monday” on June 3 was shut down after the meat industry got wind of it, and the restaurants quickly gave in to their pressure. Undaunted, the caucus plans to try again in the future.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) co-hosted the lunch, cooking demos and co-produced the dining guide. The growth of the veg caucus shows just how effective non-profit public partnerships can be. Whether it’s the nonprofit Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, and their work with California public schools in their vegetarian meal options and all vegetarian Meatless Mondays, or the PCRM’s cohosting Healthy on the Hill lunches and dining guides, nonprofits can provide the critical ingredient for a more veg-friendly future.