burger bear.jpg
Burger Bear was not my sandwich, but Burger Bear is way cuter than my sandwich.
The Eats : The Other Coast Cafe , 5315 Ballard


Coast to Your Happy Place With The Other Coast Cafe's Veggie Sammies

burger bear.jpg
Burger Bear was not my sandwich, but Burger Bear is way cuter than my sandwich.
The Eats: The Other Coast Cafe, 5315 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-0936. Sub and sandwich shop.

The Deets: When I squared off with Chelsea Lin during this match of Tabletop Wrestling, my visceral dislike of grilled sandwiches came out in full swing. Why anyone likes those mouth-eviscerating abominations is beyond me--but when I stopped into the Other Coast Cafe's flagship Ballard store recently--a low overhead affair, befitting more of old Ballard than its current incarnation, rife with swanky bars and upscale BBQs--I was oddly compelled to order one. Wait, did I just say upscale BBQs?

Welcome to new Ballard. No, things aren't the same here anymore--Scandinavian fisherman's haunts have made way for upscale boutiques and fancy pet stores--but where vegetarians of past years scrounged the 'hood for a plate of fries or a cheese omelet, now there's seitan subs and gourmet veg-friendly offerings everywhere you look.

The Beets: I was doomed to learn again why I hate those grilled things so (it's like eating a giant crouton sandwich?!), but the lure of Coast's house made seitan and the recommendation of the spunky cashier who suggested it served warm cast the crusty creation in a new light. I ordered the Seitan, Cheese & 2 Veggies ($7.95) on grilled mutli grain with provolone; Toby had the Please No Meat ($7.95) with veggies and cheese galore on a baguette. My seitan was spiced, savory, sliced thin and stacked high like a Reuben--perfect--but the mouth-shredding bread it was piled between had me rethinking my order.

After a satisfactory test nibble, Toby and I switched halves and I found my Coast Cafe sweet spot--soft baguette roll, crunchy fixings (kraut included) coated with vinegar and oil, mounds of cheese, and a generous slathering of mayo. Minus the kraut, it was the sub of my old East Coast--that other coast--days of yore: a soft and sloppy roll-up-your-sleeves kind of deal, the way a sandwich should be.

The Tweet: Veggie specialties--including a yet-to-be-reviewed garbanzo bean sub--make The Other Coast Cafe a much-needed detour from Potbelly and Jimmy John's. Just order your sandwich on soft bread!

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