Notes from a food critic’s napkins: wining and dining trends and expectations

I’VE EATEN MORE restaurant meals outdoors than in dining rooms this year. I dined on back patios and along sidewalks, where the server had dragged out lawn chairs. I dined on curbs or on the lower rung of public stairs. And I spread takeout on the dashboard of my Camry, or on the hood, and ate in the parking lot.

In between bites, I scribbled notes on napkins about menus and issues chefs raised while I was waiting for my takeout. Here are some observations that came from those notes.

Could the Eastside become the new Richmond, B.C., one day? The thought that the Bellevue area could become an epicenter for Chinese cuisine seemed preposterous five years ago. Then famous Chinese chains such as Liuyishou and Haidilao expanded to Bellevue in the past two years. Investors from Los Angeles; Hong Kong; and Vancouver, B.C., also

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Vegan Fast Food Is on the Rise

New company Plant Power Fast Food is taking on fast-food mega-giants and making a bet on plant-based eating as the “way of the future.” With more attention on heart- and planet-healthy eating generally, plant-based fast food options are proliferating across the industry.

The company, based in California, has a strong base near colleges and recently opened its 10th location in food-centric Las Vegas, reported The Beet. That store is the chain’s first outside of California and is part of a strategic expansion plan across the golden state and beyond.

Plant-based fast food isn’t a new idea, of course. Giants Burger King and McDonald’s have tried runs with Impossible and Beyond burgers, respectively. Following a successful month-long trial run of vegan/vegetarian burger options in 2019, the former rolled out the meatless Impossible Whopper nationwide to all of its 7,200 branches. They are also currently trialing Impossible nuggets as a chicken

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