Vegan Seattle Restaurant Review: The Wayward Cafe

Ah, the Wayward Vegan Cafe – two pages of all-day brunch and one of all-day lunch, impossible vegan brunch items that I’ve dreamed of eating all my life. I’d actually been to Wayward once before, in its old location, and wound up with approximately the same impression. Its new spot is far more convenient, snugly situated in the hopping University District in the northern part of Seattle, near 50th St.

Kaylie, myself, and our friend Michael visited Wayward on a Saturday morning after an epic night of drinking. The soft-spoken hardcore boy who took our orders was sweet and helpful, but not quite as sweet as the bottomless coffee. Divine. My first impression was that the lighting in the place was a bit dim for a breakfast restaurant, but other than that it was fairly pleasant. Our hungover brains took their time deciding what to order, but we landed on the following:

The Ex-Benedict

Kaylie’s breakfast choice. English muffin, tofu egg, soy ham, and Hollandaise sauce with shoestring potatoes. Kaylie’s opinion was that it was a little bland – it needed fresh veg, spinach or tomato. And she agreed that my tofu egg patty is better. Did learn from this dish that cutting the tofu into a thicker, round piece is a winning approach.

The Bandito Omelette

My breakfast choice was an omelette. I couldn’t resist; I’ve never successfully made a vegan omelette, so I was truly curious to try. I have a feeling this was made with okara (the soy pulp left after processing beans into tofu or soy milk) because it had that same pull-apart texture I’ve found when working with okara. It was full of veg and chunks of soy chorizo, which was okay, but I would have liked the soy chorizo and vegetables to be mixed together for better flavour distribution. It was topped with melted faux cheese and a garlic cream sauce – the sauce was maybe my favourite part, but it didn’t provide quite enough flavour. This dish, too, was a bit bland.

Smoky Seitan Scramble

Michael got a simple scramble with smoky seitan sausage in it. This was okay, but also bland, and vegetable-less.

The verdict? Wayward has a great concept, and I think it’s too funny that it’s staffed by vegan hardcore boys, but the food was bland. More flavour and more fresh vegetables would make a big difference here. If I were in the area and hungry I’d visit Wayward, but with all the other decent vegan brunches around town, I don’t know that I’d bother to go far for Wayward too often. I’ve heard that the biscuits and gravy are to die for but that dish just doesn’t toot my horn too much.

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