Today is one of those days when things that never happen just keep happening. To wit: On my quest for a snack this afternoon, 1) I was intentionally discouraged from purchasing anything at one cafe, 2) then found a restaurant with a menu I actually might not be able to eat anything on, and 3) finally (third thing's a charm!) watched a squirrel scamper into Remedy Teas in search of lunch (much like myself, but with a higher heart rate). Among other things, the day is serving as a reminder that having ALL the food allergies at once can be a real hassle... and that Capitol Hill is truly beautiful in the fall.
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My food escapades today began at 15th and Harrison's Sage Cafe, a little vegan restaurant under the shared care of Plum Bistro's chef. Their online menu promised me gluten-free options, but as most of their menu contained either significant cross-contamination risk via sandwich grill or soy sauce, or simply contained soy in some form or another, the girl at the counter sweetly suggested that I should, perhaps, eat elsewhere.
From Sage, I was turned toward The Teapot, less than a block away, which exclusively serves vegetarian Asian cuisine. I opened the menu, saw "soy and gluten fried fingerling potatoes," and really had to struggle to be fair and look at the rest of the menu before leaving. It did no good. I have always maintained with my friends that they may choose any restaurant for a meeting, because there will almost certainly be something I can eat. But it may be time to start an "except for" category. Being allergic to gluten and soy means vegetarian/vegan menus are essentially the antithesis of Rose-friendly.
Thus, finally, I walked out and down the stairs, into Remedy Teas' cafe. There were gluten-free options, soy-free options, and egg/dairy-free vegan options, although for the most part none of them overlapped. One pumpkin smoothie (sub rice-milk) and a Raw Revolution bar order later, however, and I was standing in a corner studying 150 vials of tea, and feeling quite pleased with life.
Then came the squirrel.
For those who don't know me, my relationship with squirrels is... odd. I find them both completely adorable and hilarious AND utterly terrifying. This is in part because I have lived in more than one city in my life. And while, for the most part, squirrels in Seattle are cute and keep their distance (except when you leave fruit on your porch), squirrels in Portland are aggressive, territorial, and steal your lunch from you if you're not paying close enough attention.
This particular squirrel looked like he was on a dare. He peeked in the door a few times, then did an advance-and-retreat routine several times, then sat hyperventilating on the steps for a minute. At last, he finally scurried all the way into the shop, under the dividing wall, and into the midst of the tables before being spied and shooed out by management as they brought me my smoothie. I felt bad, but... at the same time, I didn't. Because squirrels don't belong indoors. Ever.
Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free pumpkin smoothies are perfect for a walk in the park, or walks through Capitol Hill's beautiful array of neighborhood trees on a sunny day. (And outdoor squirrels can be quite entertaining.) Even if it's pumpkin puree from a can: It is still free of allergens, and it is still fall.
To get your own (with dairy-, soy-, or rice-free options), visit Remedy Teas at 345 15th Ave East, between 7am and 11pm any day of the week.