Where there’s a Bang, there’s another Bang. And some sandwiches and cupcakes.
Created by sisters, Yuki and Miki Sodos from New Mexico, the Bang Bang Café in Belltown feels like home away from home. Between the cheery, helpful staff, the cozy fireplace and the bright, inviting atmosphere, I knew right away this was a place where I could spend many an afternoon distracting myself from the rain with coffee and cupcakes.
Field Roast smoked tomato deli slices, lettuce, tomato, avocado, Tofutti cream cheese
Unlike most vegan BLTs, this sandwich uses the thin, smoky Field Roast slices instead of the more common, Smart Bacon. Now, I am a creature of habit so it took me a minute to adjust – no, more like a second. Half a second? What I mean to say is, this sandwich is different, but in all the right ways. The LT&A are fresh and flavorful, and the Tofutti cream cheese adds a thin layer of creaminess that, in my opinion, no sandwich should be without. The VBLT is a shining spectacle of delicious, and I was happy to help it in its mission to become eaten.
“The Vegan” Breakfast Burrito $5.25
Roasted veggies, potatoes, beans, red and green Hatch chile sauces
I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spice, but even a wimp can tell the difference between spice just for the sake of spice, and the real-deal-passed-on-for-generations-full-of-flavor-and-love, spice. And this burrito definitely falls into category two. While my burning mouth screamed for me to stop, my heart just wouldn’t have it. SHUT UP MOUTH, it said. The burrito tasted too good. I powered through the pain and was rewarded with a runny nose and a big smile. Roasted broccoli, carrots and zucchini added an irresistible sweetness to the delicious Hatch chile sauces – one made from dried red chiles, the other fresh green chiles and both rich with New Mexican flavor. This burrito opened my eyes to a new kind of love. A love that makes me wants to be better at eating spicy food.
Shawn’s vegan mac (side order) $3.00
We all know that vegan “cheeses” aren’t known for their texture. But stale bread ground into tiny pieces is! Sean had the right idea by adding breadcrumbs to this vegan enigma. Though it inherently makes the dish a little drier, I didn’t mind – my mouth usually gets bored after a few bites of vegan mac, but this crunchy little number kept me coming back for more. Pair it with one of Bang Bang’s soup specials and you have yourself a meal, (of the things I just described). And the side portion was more than enough – talk about bang bang for your buck buck.
Double chocolate cupcake $3.00
Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate: the perfect way to end (or replace) any meal. Bang Bang is known for their homemade baked goods and now I know why – because they are delicious, that’s why. The cake was moist, the frosting was fluffy and this girl was happy. They also had raspberry bars, but my better half (the burrito in my belly) decided I’d better save dessert number two for next time.
If Bang Bang were a person, I’d want to be friends with her, and I’m not the only one, and I’m allowed to assume Bang Bang is a woman. Each time a regular walked in and chatted up the cashier, I was reassured that the magnetism I felt from this place was not fabricated by the part of my brain that controls my “I want mac and cheese and I want it now” feelings. It was true, unwavering restaurant intuition. I give the Bang Bang Café 2,500 points, one for every Scolville heat unit.
My BB Tip: Follow the Bang Bang Café on Facebook to find out what vegan soups and baked goods they have on special. To give you a taste, in the past they have offered blueberry banana bread, gingerbread cupcakes, sweet corn and veggie soup and “cream” of mushroom soup.
Bang Bang Cafe| 2460 Western Ave, Seattle | 206.448.2233
Photography by Torin Daniels