When I first moved to Seattle and began trolling for vegetarian restaurant recommendations, The Teapot was the first place recommended to me by the first person I asked. When I took up the suggestion, I fell in love with its dingy, lost-in-translation charm, casual atmosphere, and generous piles of fried tofu on nearly everything. Back then it was just a hole in the wall on 15th, but even after it relocated to a bigger space down the street above the bready fumes of a Subway, it remained my cozy little hideaway, a neighborhood treasure I could count on for a satisfying vegetarian meal.
Victoria Holt The Teapot's "Jewel Box": A nori-tofu purse filled with vegetables, almonds, and cashews.
7. It's Never As Busy As Any Other Joint On 15th: OK, this is one of the best kept secrets of being vegetarian. Whether you're suffering a Sunday morning hangover or want a quiet meal on a weekday, you're bound to find a table without a long wait at the Teapot. While the throngs salivating for steak and eggs at Smith are still in line, you'll be on your way home one step closer to a nice afternoon nap.
6. Fake Meat: Soy lovers, gluten lovers, soy-gluten lovers rejoice! Fake meats play a prominent role on the Teapot menu. From the "Smoked Salmon" to the "Rose Drummettes" (chicken-like drummettes of soy and gluten formed around sugar cane "bones"), the Teapot has been perfecting the art of meat substitution for years.
5. Mr. Wong: Lyle Wong is a lovely gentlemen--part owner, too--who always greets you with a smile, happily obliges any question or request, and keeps a watchful eye on the mis en place. His attentive, expeditious service and accommodating vibes are worth a visit alone.
4. You Like Asian Food: Do you like noodles? Stir-fry? Chow Mein? Curry? Sauce? Flavor? Variety? From Thai and Japanese to Indonesian and Chinese, the Teapot does Pan-Asian with flair.
3. There's A New Location On The East Side: Sure, it's not the original, and they don't deliver (read on), but Microsofties need their Mandarin Crispy Tofu, too! Go, Redmond!
2. Actually, It's Vegan--And Kosher!: Their website explains the menu aims to "promote a healthier diet and compassion for life. Eat and be truly merry." Who can't get down with a little karma-free dining?
1. They Deliver: Want Tofu Pad Thai for your movie marathon? Beef and broccoli in bed? Sweet and sour soup to warm your soul? From Capitol Hill--"to its fringes," says Wong--veg-heads can work their way through the restaurant's substantial menu without ever having to leave their living room. Sorry, Redmonders--there's always take-out.