I'll leave my original post below, but I have to update it (and my apologies for taking so long to do it) because my opinion has improved dramatically, and Wayward Cafe is now my favorite little vegan eatery in Seattle!
Truth be told, I now frequent Wayward to the tune or 2 or 3 visits per week. The punk-rock owners know me (and wonder what happened if I'm late on a Saturday morning). They know what my son wants to order, and start it when we walk in the door. They're not overly friendly, but they're always kind and professional.
What I've come to love about Wayward, besides its food (which has expanded and improved), is that they're very kid-friendly, and lots of young, alternative families eat there. They have a *very* alternative clientele in general - in fact, if you're intimidated by punks, goths and other freaks (I use that term lovingly) you'll feel out of your element here - but persevere, because it's worth it. (One caveat: the alternative crowd doesn't clean up their language when kids are around!) There are plently of ordinary folks like me there, too, but we're often outnumbered.
AND!! Geez, I almost forgot to mention! The kids' menu is replete with kiddie faves, all for $1.50 !! For that, I almost want to give those punk owners a hug! (One's a dad, the other's a dad-to-be.) That's right, a buck-n-a-half for creamy, cheesy vegan shells-n-cheese, or a big ol' pancake, or a hot dog..... The food takes awhile, but the little toy bins will help keep the kids happy in the meantime.
Unlike other vegan spots, you won't find even cow milk for your coffee here. It's pure vegan, and the desserts are still yummy!
So, my favorite meal is the "migas," a vegan twist of the Mexican po' boy breakfast. The dinner specials are hit-or-miss--these guys definitely excel in breakfast and lunch--but we still go for dinner at times, and we're never sorry. The daily specials can be quite interesting and creative.
They've added planters outside of lively, lovely herbs, fruits, and flowers to dress up the outside. The inside is getting better - they added second-hand booths which they've patched with more than duct tape.
So, don't let my first post dissuade you (if it hadn't already). These guys grew quickly into a thriving little cafe and I now DO keep my fingers crossed that this most recent incarnation has a long life.
ORIGINAL POST (April, 2005):
The tucked-away neighborhood location may be part of the reason that small vegan restaurants don't last long, and I'm not sure I can keep my fingers crossed long enough for Wayward Cafe. Recently opened in the tiny building formerly housing Rainy Day Cafe, the new owners have cleaned up the joint with fresh paint and better floors. For being a couple of tattooed alternative guys, they were thoughtful when they provided a kids' corner book- and toy shelf.
The menu is not expansive, and not entirely enlightened. Ubiquitous vegan staples such as tofu scramble and breakfast burrito are here, yet offer no new twist, no exciting variations. The sandwiches looked promising, such as the Tempeh Reuben. Lunch items are available after 11 a.m, however breakfast is served all day, so I took advantage of that.
This is a counter-service, bus-your-own-tables cafe, seating about 20 inside with a few small tables outside. The dining area is clean and neat, although one of the guys in the kitchen wore a shirt which was cut to expose his armpit hair - this is not acceptable, and yet vegan restauranteurs here seems to think it is. I don't know why vegans should have to suffer lower sanitation standards when it comes to dining out - but I'm not *that* desperate for someone to cook for me.
I'll give 'em some time to grow into their space and try again; maybe then I'll have reason to cross my fingers.