The Eats: Pure Cafe, 9925 SW Bank Rd, Vashon Island, 463-1442. Organic juice bar and vegan cafe serving raw and gluten-free vegetarian fare.
The Deets: Vashon Island is a verdant isle flowering with food. Its community-supported agriculture spans an abundant, year-round farmer's market, a handful of wineries, the farm-to-table co-op La Boucherie, and a delightful health food store, among other fine businesses. Proud artisans, from coffee roasters to butchers, peak out from every corner of its green hills.
That vegetarian food is somewhat underrepresented in this scenario is a little surprising, but Pure Cafe makes up for the divide with a wholesome menu serving everything from vegan soups and wheatgrass shots to quinoa bowls and gluten-free sandwiches. It's quintessential "hippie" food--the kind vegetarians like me love for its wholesome simplicity, and the kind, I can only imagine, carnivore-chowing folks on Vashon can detox with after all that artisinal charcuterie. Whether you're a hunter or a gatherer, there's definitely a place--albeit a small one--for this cute and tiny bistro just off Vashon Highway.
The Eats: Pure makes a lot of great food, including some beautiful desserts, but the ultimate judge of character for any cuisine (at least in my Little Ceasars-loving eight-year old heart) is what it does with pizza, and Pure easily passes the test. It stands up on taste alone, not to mention that the few times I've ordered it, perfect strangers dining in the store piped in to profess their love of it.
Made with cashew "cheeze," a sprouted crust--something like a flax/sunflower/pumpkin seed cracker--and topped with arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, the raw 'za is marvelous. Its warm, nutty profile accentuates the zing of crisp, baby arugula and the richness of tomatoes with such bright flavors you can almost feel yourself getting healthier. Plus, if you feel compelled to publicly sing its praises along with the chorus, you can even pull off a guitar from the wall (owner Stephanie Morris plays them) to accompany your impromptu tune.
The Tweet: Pure Cafe is pure-fectly simple and satisfying. Someone should write a song about it!