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(Image: Courtesy of Gretchen Bossio)

Calling all vegetarians and vegans, this brewery is for you

Most people visit breweries for the beer. I mean, that’s what they’re known for, right?

A moody stout or a hoppy seasonal? On tap or bottled to go? A good brewery offers it all! Washingtonians tend to know and love a quality beer and Aslan Brewing Company in Bellingham is not lacking in the slightest.

If you’re a beer enthusiast I probably have you intrigued and I suppose you could visit Aslan to check out one of their top notch brews, but, may I be so bold as to say that it’s the food menu that should draw you north?

I was pregnant when I first dined at Aslan’s airy, plant-filled brewpub off North Forest Street in Bellingham. That alone made me more excited for the happy hour menu than the beer selection (although I can personally vouch for the house made lemonade). Truly, Aslan was unlike any other brewpub I’d visited, especially on the north end. Their conscientious menu catered to all walks of life and even though I don’t follow a strict food plan, I found myself drawn to many of the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They sounded amazing and as I saw meal after meal pass by my table, I couldn’t help but drool, I mean, notice how rich in flavor in everything looked.

Without sacrificing taste, Aslan’s menu caters to a variety of food preferences. Even my carnivorous husband said that Aslan, “... makes a darn good tofu thing.”

What he’s referring to is the Tofu Bites which are featured on the “On a Stick” part of the menu adjacent to Chicken Satay and Cascade Skewers (deliciously marinated Cascadia Mushrooms). But those Tofu Bites holy moly, I order those every time. With a pineapple glaze, cabbage, cilantro, lime, and furikake seasoning, these fried bites are something to write home about. They’re served hot, but I’ve had leftovers cold and enjoy them just as much. It goes without saying, you won’t be sorry when you pick something “On a Stick” from Aslan.

Okay, next up of my favorites is the gluten-free and vegetarian Layered Black Bean Dip. Swoon! You’d think a brewpub wouldn’t have perfect a Mexican appetizer, but Aslan has. This starter is share-worthy for sure. Or, keep it all for yourself, I won’t tell. My daughter actually prefers to order this chip and dip combo over something from the kid’s menu. When it comes to starters, don’t forget the vegetarian Waffle Fry Poutine. With Beecher’s cheese curds and a mushroom gravy it’s a real treat. Again, shareable or just for you!

Over the years I’ve sampled a fair amount of Aslan’s menu - from burgers to bowls, they have a lot to choose from! But, again and again I return to the taco selection. There you’ll find fancy spins on classics and a frequent rotation of seasonal offers. These gluten-free tacos can’t be missed.

I highly recommend the Trifecta where you get one of each so you can hone in on your personal favorite. I always order a yam taco (don’t judge it until you try it) and I see now that they’ve got a Pineapple Salmon Taco calling the name of every pescatarian from King, Snohomish, and Skagit counties.

Bottom line, roll in Aslan hungry. Bring a friend or two so you can share a sampling of all the things and, seeing that it’s a brewpub, enjoy one of their beers too! If you’re an IPA fan, my husband will direct you to a growler of Batch 15. Go big or go home!