Eric and I have been sneaking off to brunch on Saturday or Sunday to Cafe Flora for the past month or so. It really does feel like sneaking because it’s such a special treat. We get only the things we absolutely love, and we usually share everything. The first couple of weeks, we didn’t tell anyone about it–I think we kind of wanted it to be a magical secret of delicious food. Of course, with how much I like to talk about food, we couldn’t keep quiet for long. So here goes. Cafe Flora is a Seattle vegetarian institution. When we went vegetarian, we started using Flora for our special occasion dinners (for dinner, it can be quite pricey). We eventually found ways of ordering dinner, too, that weren’t as expensive (the black bean burger with yam fries and the falafel sandwich, for instance, are much more reasonably priced). Nonetheless, the atmosphere feels special with a lovely cool atrium surrounded by bamboo and a little fountain, while the rest of the restaurant feels warm and inviting. Brunch is casual and the prices are equivalent to most other brunch joints around town. We stumbled across brunch by accident, when I read the brunch review post over at Vegan Score. The descriptions in her post won me over and we decided to try all of the brunches listed on the post. Of course, we tried Flora first and haven’t yet moved on to try another one. Good thing we’ve still got more time in Seattle to tour the vegan brunch offerings!
Now to the food, the most important thing! That almost-too-beautiful-to-eat ‘Strawberry Creme Scone’ at the top of the post is the main reason to go to Flora right now. A nice biscuity scone with a hint of cinnamon, filled with almond creme and served with fresh stawberries. To die for. We had it this weekend and I might be a little sconed out after the blackberry scone making extravaganza, but delicious nonetheless. Another of our typical orders is the ‘Cinnamon Roll’, which is both light and fluffy and richly dense all at once. It’s topped with candied pecans (which are a little sweet for my taste), some kind of syrupy sweet sauce, and side of frosting:
We both really like their ‘Roasted Potatoes’ side, too, just in case we’re feeling a little starch-deprived after our cinnamon roll and scone! The potatoes are great-very simple preparation, with just the right amount of crunch and squish:
This week, I ordered their vegan ‘Caesar Salad’ and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was pushed into ordering quickly because they surprised me by saying that they could not make their quesadilla vegan (they are apparently premade with dairy cheese). So I scrambled to pick something else, and defaulted to the salad. I was pleasantly surprised. It was, in many ways, what you’d expect from a very standard caesar salad–croutons, caesar dressing (vegan style), and romaine–but it was topped with crunchy (I think they were grilled?) capers, and pistachios. My only complaint was that there was slightly too much dressing, so I will probably ask for the dressing on the side next time:
Eric gets coffee with his brunch; they serve Stumptown coffee, which in our opinion is definitely one of the best offerings in town (along with Victrola, Vita, Vivace, etc — is there something about V’s and good coffee?!). I get the Earl la Creme tea, which is an earl grey with a hint of vanilla and something else. It is very similar to the Earl Grey Creme loose-leaf tea that I purchased at Market Spice last week. They have stevia in packets, which I like. And they have a range of offerings of non-dairy milks for adding to tea (I prefer the rice!). If you go to Flora and try the tea, don’t let it steep too long- the tannins come out very quickly and make the tea bitter.
Each time we go, we try to be more and more minimal in what we’re ordering because we always leave feeling so full. The scone with a coffee or tea is probably a great amount of food, if you’re not really famished.
Have you all tried Cafe Flora’s brunch? What do you think? Are there other vegan brunch offerings around town that we should be lured away from Flora to try?