Recently, I decided to try Chaco Canyon restaurant. I’d heard about it and knew they served vegan food. I was curious. And hungry. I walked in and looked up at the menu board above the cashiers/servers while two patrons stood in line. Then, I noticed the ‘real’ menus and took my time searching through it for what I wanted. The “Hippie Bowl”, however unfortunately named, caught my eye. I ordered a Small and a small chai smoothie.
My cashier told me that water, condiments, straws, etc. were around the corner. I got myself a cup of water and observed what they had on the table. Besides, silverware, napkins, sugar and ketchup and hot sauce were several sizes and kinds of chopsticks and even a little bowl of nutritional yeast! As I marveled, my order came up.
Quickly, I found a seat and dug into my Hippie Bowl. Delightful! A Large bowl of warm quinoa topped with shredded carrots and marinated, firm, dense bites of (baked?) tofu. The crowning glory was the nest of sprouts and a generous pour of (housemade?) tahini, light on the garlic with a hint of fruit! A light sprinkle of black sesame seeds finished off the dish. Amazing! I ate less than half of it and was stuffed! I took the rest home.
The smoothie, however, was not as fabulous. If you’re used to the 12, 16 and 24+ oz. sized drinks at Starbucks or Emerald City Smoothie, for example, you’ll be shocked. It was indeed, Small (it came in a little metal cup that looked like a recycled tin can) and not very tasty. Was it not sweet enough? Was the chai overpowering? I’m not sure what it was that made it…not my favorite. I did like that I got to choose which kind of milk I wanted; hemp, soy, almond. I don’t remember if they offered cow. I got almond. But, at around $4 for a tiny drink, I won’t likely buy a smoothie there again.
One more thing, just like at Grand Central Bakery or even Qdoba where you bring your plastic tray back to the counter, you are expected to bus your own dishes. Just bring your dishes back to the table where the condiments are. There are large wide buckets for the dishes underneath.
I will visit Chaco again just to have that incredible Hippie Bowl! That “small” is so large, I can share it with my husband! Cheapskates, cheer with me!
If you’re in the Seattle area, check it out. There’s one in the U District at 4757 12th Ave. NE and one in West Seattle, their newest location, at 3770 SW Alaska St. near the Junction. They’re sustainable and organic and Vegan! Cool, in my book. http://www.chacocanyoncafe.com/