The Eats: 909 Coffee and Wine, 909 S.W. 152nd St., 243-7909, Burien. Upscale American bistro cuisine.
The Deets: For such a cute little street in Olde Burien--the same one that hosts the 'burb's Farmer's Market--its quaint bistros are hiding a giant vegetarian cover-up. As I found with 909 Coffee and Wine--part coffee shop, wine bar, and upscale bistro--its neighbors Mark Restaurant & Bar and the Tin Room Bar & Grill down the street offer shameful few vegetarian options. Burien is postcard cute, but cute in that "I-feel-like-I've-just-been-transported-back-to-the-'50s" way, and its many meat-heavy menus corroborate.
The Beets: Woe be to the hopeful vegetarian who glances at 909's online menu and thinks a meal can be crafted out of its vegetarian offerings. While there's a perfectly reasonable disclaimer that "menus are just an example of the cuisine served at the 909. Actual menu may vary," it's more than a tease. Check it right now, there's a handful of delicious sounding things--butternut squash and leek tart, roasted garlic with goat cheese and crostini, Spanikopita--you'd think would be a working template of its vegetarian fare.
It's not. During a recent visit, even the mushroom turnover and the vegetarian option for the roasted acorn squash was off the menu. That left us--me and Toby, naturally--with a couple salads, which we had and were perfectly serviceable, but, you know, seasoned with a few chips from my shoulder. It's never any fun going out to pay for a meal and realizing you're not considered a special guest at all.
What's more, that exact feeling was communicated to us--even as our check inched towards $50 with two glasses of wine and those salads--by a server who, in her own words, informed us it would be a while before she'd approach the kitchen to see if they could accommodate a special vegetarian dish. "They're pretty busy right now," she said, gesturing to the two large parties that arrived before we did.
We paid the check and left, wondering if Burien-abiding vegetarians (there have to be some, right?) just cook at home--or simply hibernate--all winter.
The Tweet: Despite its cozy, rustic ambiance, 909 Coffee and Wine offers very little for the veggie. Get your grub down the street at one of the only places in Burien that actually likes vegetarian money: Elliott Bay Brewhouse.