12 Hours in Kosher Seattle

Written by Melinda Strauss on Tuesday, 15 November 2011. Posted in Food on the Go

One of the things I love most about food is experiencing different varieties of cuisines and their unique flavors. When I was a kid growing up in Seattle, there weren’t many options of Kosher cuisine, but I am happy to announce that things have changed for the better. Even though I now live in New York, people visiting my home town of Seattle are always asking me where they should eat if they are only visiting for a day or two. So here are my recommendations, which I must mention will be completely Kosher vegetarian under the supervision of the Vaad of Seattle, since there are no Kosher meat restaurants to visit. Just make sure the car you’re renting has enough gas because you will be doing quite a bit of driving.

Let’s begin with the traditional vegetarian Indian food at Pabla Indian Cuisine, which is the closest to SEATAC airport and the first stop on your Seattle Kosher culinary adventure. 

PABLA INDIAN CUISINE

I’m going to assume you just got off the airplane fresh and ready to go, so you hop in your car and drive to Renton in just 15 minutes. You don’t need to make a reservation, even at lunch time, so you easily find a parking spot and head inside. 

Immediately, you are hit with the strong aroma of Indian cuisine. If you are at Pabla between 11 am and 3 pm, all you need to do is order the lunch buffet and grab a plate. Just head to the back of the restaurant where you will find a self-service counter and grab a little bit of everything. Since you can go back as many times as you want, I recommend starting with some appetizers then going back for the mains. I can honestly say that the samosas at Pabla are the best I’ve ever had, so definitely take two and don’t forget the Nan bread! Fill the little cups provided with all the different sauces and return to your table.

 

Once you’ve devoured your first round of food, you now have room to fill your plate with Navratan Korma, Aloo Gobi, Saag Paneer, Chicken and Lamb curry and Tandoori dishes. Did you get all that!?!?! Since some of those dishes might be spicy, don’t forget to take some extra Nan bread and the sweet mango lassi to ease the burn.

 

If you’re at Pablas before or after the lunch buffet, each menu item is written in Indian and English so you won’t be confused. Here is the full menu, in case you’re planning your options before even arriving in Seattle.

Okay, so I’m sure you’re very full and have probably purchased a few Indian items to-go at the restaurant’s grocery store. Now you’re on your way with a belly full of Pablas and a bag of diverse Indian pastries and spices. So digest in the car during your drive to the Island Crust Cafe on beautiful Mercer Island. 

ISLAND CRUST

30 minutes later, and hopefully hungry, you arrive at Island Crust. I hope you noticed the gorgeous view driving across the I-90 bridge, one of 11 permanent floating bridges in the world (just a little trivia to accompany your journey)! Island Crust is not your typical pizza restaurant, in that you won’t find a display case with pre-made pizza just sitting around. Everything is made to order and your food will be as fresh as can be!
 
I always recommend being adventurous and ordering the specials, but there are so many delicious items right on the menu. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with a plain cheese slice or your own personal pie. My favorites all have jalapeno and mushrooms so if you like spicy food, that is the way to go!
 
 
Besides the cheesy thin-crust pizza, I also recommend that you get the homemade onion rings. I’m not afraid to say that they might actually be the best onion rings you will ever have. There, I said it! If you’re up to it, don’t forget the eggplant parmesan and creamy macaroni and cheese.
 
 
All of your food will be delivered right to your table and you can dig in! 
 
Here is the full menu for your planning.

Time to hop, or at this point, roll back in to your car and drive 25 minutes downtown to Bamboo Garden, my favorite restaurant in not only Seattle, but possibly even the world! I know that sounds drastic but it’s the truth and I’m not afraid to say it! Bamboo not only brings back so many childhood memories, but the food is also unique and delectable. 

BAMBOO GARDEN

Slide right on in to the booth, pick up your massive menu, and you will most probably wonder “What do I order?”. Well, I’m more than happy to share my favorites and there are quite a few to chose from. 

My favorite soup is the Corn Chowder, which everyone calls “daily soup,” so I suggest you order a small bowl with sticky white rice on the side. Just add a little bit of the rice and some chili sauce, which is already on the table probably making your mouth water. My father likes to add soy sauce as well, so you can also do that. Either way, this soup will blow your mind. If you’re more into vegetable soup, I also suggest the Asparagus and Kernel Corn Soup, which is my mothers favorite. 

Now for the main, there are almost too many options to chose from so I am going to just list my favorites and I suggest ordering at least two options. Make sure you let them know how spicy you want your food because they can make everything very mild or crazy spicy. 

Here are my recommendations: Puffy Fried Beef Rolls, Hidden Treasure Buddha’s Basket, Ruby Princess, Mongolian Beef, Almond Fried Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Szechwan Eggplant, Stir-Fried Japanese Udon Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables in Hot Spicy Szechwan Sauce, Chicken or Beef Chow-Mein, and Chicken or Beef Fried Rice. Is that enough for you? I will just tell you that every time I visit Seattle, I order the Corn Chowder and spicy Szechwan Eggplant with added chicken and sausage. Those are my staples and I dream about them year-round. You can check out the entire menu here

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed your Seattle Kosher culinary adventure in one day! Since you probably want to walk off some of that delicious vegetarian cuisine, I highly recommend taking a quick drive to Pike Place Market, which is only a hop, skip and a jump from Bamboo Garden and enjoy the sites and smells of my favorite public market. 

For more information about the market, click here.
 
Disclaimer: Kosher certifications should be checked individually at the establishments. Consult with your local rabbi regarding the kashrut of the food providers.

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About the Author

Melinda Strauss

Melinda Strauss, a food blogger from Woodmere, New York, loves to be adventurous and daring in the kitchen. After her two young children go to bed, the pots and pans come out and the escapades begin. Melinda hopes to inspire her readers by adding fresh twists to simple recipes and bravely using unusual ingredients in an accessible way. She especially loves to take recipe requests from fans, so visit Melinda on her blog kitchen-tested to find her recipes and share your reviews. 

Comments (4)

  • Diet
    15 November 2011 at 23:14 |

    Looks amazing. I've never thought about visiting Seattle, but I may reconsider it!

  • rachel
    20 November 2011 at 09:02 |

    WOW. Cool, hope cook kosher cover lots of other cities, this is interesting and useful.

  • mmilotay
    24 April 2012 at 02:20 |

    I am curious about the reference to lamb and chicken at Pabla, as it is a milchig restaurant.

  • MindySchaper
    25 April 2012 at 01:42 |

    Great article- sounds delicious. So the "chicken and lamb" at the Indian restaurant and all the "beef" dishes at the Chinese one are vegetarian substitutes?

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