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No need to wait for Thai Tom: Veggie Veggie is right next-door

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Eastern Washington University students Kim Venetz and Nick Klein enjoy dinner at Veggie Veggie Thai Cuisine Sunday evening. This restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian Thai dishes that are both delicious and affordable for students.

Most nights U-District residents stand on the Ave waiting in hungry anticipation for as much as hour for a chance to squeeze into Thai Tom’s crowded dining area. While the food you receive at Thai Tom is well worth the wait, there is an equally delicious and more time-efficient alternative just two restaurants down. Veggie Veggie Thai Cuisine, located at 4537 University Way, serves up delectable vegetarian Thai dishes in the shadow of Thai Tom to any hungry patron willing to stray from the ordinary.

Although Veggie Veggie’s menu is 100 percent vegetarian, carnivores should not be discouraged, as there is something to please every palate.

“We get about 70 percent vegetarians, but our dishes appeal to non-vegetarians as well,” said Veggie Veggie waitress Tle Tharat.

What truly sets Veggie Veggie’s menu apart is its wide selection of faux meats, including soy chicken, soy beef, soy prawn and soy fish. Although these soy options do not necessarily replicate the meats they are named for, they are equally delicious. For the less adventurous, a more traditional tofu option is also available.

The entrees offered include more traditional Thai food, such as Phad Thai and a variety of curry dishes all with a choice of soy meat or tofu. However, Veggie Veggie’s menu also features a selection of more inventive vegetarian dishes, including a stir-fried eggplant dish served over rice and topped with a chili black bean sauce and pineapple fried rice that includes egg, peas, carrots, cashews and raisins.

“I came for the pineapple fried rice,” patron Ben Anderson said. Anderson is not a vegetarian, but said this and other unique menu items attracted him.

“Thai Tom’s usually has a long line and a friend had recommended Veggie Veggie to me,” Joey Hwong said when asked why she had chosen Veggie Veggie over the more popular Thai Tom.

Veggie Veggie’s dining area is small, but customers rarely need to wait for a table, and the atmosphere is pleasant and welcoming compared to most Ave restaurants. The service is fast and friendly, and customers are provided with a complimentary appetizer of soup or a small salad.

Prices are reasonable at Veggie Veggie, with nearly all entrees priced at $7. If you’re with friends I would recommend ordering a sampler plate of appetizers, which includes spring rolls, fried tofu, gyozas and chicken nuggets (not your typical McDonald’s chicken nuggets).

Veggie Veggie has been at its University Way location for two and a half years and has begun to establish a reputation as a unique and healthy alternative to other U-District Thai restaurants. However, Tharat does not see Veggie Veggie as competition for neighboring establishments. “We are unique because we are a vegetarian restaurant,” Tharat said.

[Reach reporter Joseph Darda at arts@thedaily.washington.edu.]

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