Avocado curry. Yeah, I didn't stutter. It exists. And it has existed in Seattle for two decades, and I am only just now tasting it. It's like someone has tried to purposely keep me from the creamiest, savoriest, most avocado-green curry in the world. Um, I guess that's not true. A total and complete lie, in fact.
Like most everyone who drives up and down NE 45th Street between Wallingford and the U-District, I have always noticed the square, spinning Araya sign. "It spins!" I thought to myself, always a clear genius of observation. But I always drove on by.
Well, readers, the Geo Prism had to stop eventually. And it did. I parked my face right in front of the Avocado Curry (and about five other steaming plates of food, because that's how I roll).
The curry comes in a nice, deep bowl. Soft cubes of tofu, fried triangles of tofu, broccoli (sweetly suggested by the waitress when we requested a bell pepper ban) , basil and "veggie beef" happily bobbing up and down in the Avocado Curry swimming pool. Ladle it on top of a mound of nutty, brown rice and you've got your taste and texture covered for the day.
But reader? There is one thing. One tiny glitch. A black fly in my Chardonnay (That's right. I quoted Alanis Morissette *shoves fist dangerously close to your face* You got a problem with that? I didn't think so.) It's the "veggie beef." A total and complete oxymoron. But that's not the point.
I've eaten lots of fake meat before. Even a fake shrimp, realistically painted with stripey pink lines. But this "veggie beef" looked, mouth-felt and tasted like slices of...SPAM. With juuuust a hint of wet cat food.
I don't want to brag, but I know my SPAM. After all, I did judge the Spam cook-off at the Puyallup County Fair this summer:
But I digress.
Long story short: gross. The slimy half-moons of look-a-like Spam should be avoided.
But a trip to Araya's Vegatarian Place should not.
p.s. The avocado curry was camera shy (total introvert) but the crispy, photogenic spring rolls we tried agreed to appear on this blog.