Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Vios Cafe & Marketplace

consumed on 9/29/05

There are many reviews about Vios Cafe and they all have a similar consensus: a tragic story, good food and lots of kids. Before visiting Vios I thought it was odd how many of the reviews mentioned the presence of kids, but seconds after walking in I realized what they meant: there was a literal mosh pit of screaming kids at the back of the cafe. Other than that Vios was a pleasant, large, open space with lots of windows. The casual dinning area was scattered with shelves of imported pantry items for sale, up front there was a deli counter, and in back (near the mosh pit) were refrigerator cases filled with more goodies for purchase.

I ordered the lamb picadillo ($13.50) and when it arrived I was shocked at how small the portion was: two teeny peppers stuffed with lamb on a bed of greens. In the back of my mind I was thinking “what a rip off” and then the flavors hit my tongue and those thoughts quickly melted away. This was the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. The lamb stuffing was beyond tender, heavily spiced with rich, savory-sweet Mediterranean flavors and the soft red pepper was a perfect piquant foil.

For dessert I tried the galakto cake ($5), which was a bit of a departure for me since I’m not a fan of polenta cake. Galakto is made with semolina (as opposed to cornmeal) and has a slightly grainy, but wonderful, texture. It was served warm and topped with a hot, sugary syrup that made me swoon. I instantly thought of my mom (who loves polenta cake) and made a mental note to bring her here ASAP.

This is definitely a place I will return to—although probably not for a romantic date or with those that are hard of hearing.

Vios Cafe & Marketplace on Urbanspoon

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8 Responses to “Vios Cafe & Marketplace”

  1. L says:

    Seems to be the new trend in Montlake, altough I think the kid pit seems more appropriate in Vios than in the Montlake Ale House (a bar with a place for the kids!)

    Vios is definitely one of my neighborhood favs. I was sad to see them take off the zucchini cakes which were perfect, but then I’ve loved just about everything on the menu so far. Portions are smaller than you’d get in most restaurants, although I’ve definitely never walked away hungry. Just leaves some room for gelato.

  2. Maria says:

    I have wanted to try Vios since it’s farily close to where I live: is it easy to do takeout there?

  3. megwoo says:

    L, A bar that allows kids? That’s crazy!
    Zucchini cakes sound great—I hope they put them back on the menu. I can’t wait to go back and try out more dishes.

  4. megwoo says:

    I haven’t ordered from the deli counter, but everything looked great. And I bet if you call ahead you could get take-out from their regular menu.

  5. J says:

    We told you there’d be lots of kids!!!! I’d recommend against the takeout—Vios seems to do best when you help it out and go with the flow. Takeout is apparently not in the flow—you can wait a long time at night. During the lunch rush, they do just fine with the foot traffic but also seem to stumble with anything out of the ordinary like a phone call :) It’s a busy place!

  6. megwoo says:

    Hi J,
    Thanks for the takeout tip—good to know! I can’t wait to go back and try more of their food.

    P.S. While I enjoyed your Queen Anne blog, I’m so happy that you moved into my neck of the woods—I love reading all about my neighborhood on your site!

  7. LarryB says:

    The Galacto cake looks like an interesting variation on Galactobourikos (sp?), one of my favorite Greek desserts.

    The food sounds good, but I can do wiithout the throng of screaming munchkins (and I like kids).

  8. megwoo says:

    Hey Larry,
    Tell me more about Galactobourikos… how is it different? Or do you think it’s the same thing?

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