U-District Chow: Good Eats for iPeeps (and vegetarians in the Netherlands)
4142 Brooklyn Ave NE #105
In the U-District, Thai restaurants are about as ubiquitous as coffee shops. Everyone has their personal favorite, and this one's mine. Since they're not right on the Ave, they tend to be less crowded than other Thai places in the U-District. I've been here many times and the wait staff has always been friendly and helpful. I recommend the green papaya salad, pad thai, and red curry. You can request for your dishes to be mild, medium, or hot, whatever you prefer. Entrees run about $7-9, and the portions are generous.
4759 Brooklyn Ave NE
If you are willing to (gasp) walk past 45th street to the corner of Brooklyn and 50th, you will get some of the best Indian and/or Mediterranean food in town. Be prepared to wait, but usually not too long, as the service is incredible with at least 20 people scurrying around refilling water glasses, wiping down tables, and delivering delicious food. I am particularly fond of the mango curry. Plenty of veg options available. Average entrée price is around $9 – and I almost always have enough left for lunch the next day, although that is probably because it is mandatory for me to get veggie samosas and garlic naan as well.
4543 University Way NE
This little hole in the wall place offers the opportunity for you to watch your food being prepared as the kitchen is right in the front of the restaurant and has bar stools around two sides of it. The chef is incredibly animated as he skillfully tosses ingredients in multiple silver pans. The menu is written on wooden paddles; spiciness tends to vary considerably depending on the whims of the chef, so use care if you are sensitive to heat. I recommend the swimming rama – the peanut sauce is delicious! Average price is $9-10, generous portions.
Portage Bay Café:
4130 Roosevelt Way NE
One of my favorite breakfast spots!! They have a toppings bar for their pancakes that is well stocked with fresh fruit of the season as well as whipped cream, real maple syrup and nuts. Many of the offerings here are organic and local, and include a few gluten free selections as well. The Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and lingonberry butter come highly recommended. On the first Saturday before Halloween look for their special annual offering of sugar pumpkins stuffed with French toast and ricotta cheese and then baked. (Make a reservation if you want to try them.) Other gourmet creations, such as risotto cakes benedict, are offered year round. Average price $10-12.
4741 12th Ave NE
It looks like a big house from the outside, but on the inside you'll find a cozy little sushi restaurant with reasonable prices for the quality of fish they serve. The place is quiet, the service is attentive, and the food is delicious. My personal favorite is the salmon sashimi. A must-try for those looking for good sushi in the U-District.
Piet Heynsplein 35, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
If you are ever looking for a vegetarian restaurant in Rotterdam, check out BlaBla! This great little café has delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts. They even have red and white house wine. Our group sampled everything and it was all delicious. Some of the features were risotto balls dotted with mozzarella cheese and then deep fried; grilled eggplant, red peppers and zucchini; cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon liqueur, spice cookie crumbs and whipped cream. For me, the best part was knowing that I could sample everything! Average price 18 euros.