Friday, January 9, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Cafe Zum Zum

For my second installment of Frugal Fridays, I couldn't resist hitting another favorite lunch spot - Cafe Zum Zum, in the food court at 3rd and Marion in Downtown Seattle.

Although the daily special - a combo of one of the veggie curry options with a fountain drink - is even cheaper at around $4.36 with tax, I don't want the empty calories from the soda or the unnecessary paper cup to throw away.

So instead, I get the veggie salad: A generous portion of shredded lettuce, topped with vegetarian curry and a warmed tortilla - for just $4.91 with tax. Besides shrinking the cost, the salad option is much lighter than the normal bed of rice the curry is served on, making it a good lunchtime portion for me. Plus, the owner allows you to get half-and-half of two curries for the same price, so I almost always get the split garbanzo curry (for my protein) and the spinach potato curry (for some veggies and starch).

Another great recent development at Zum Zum is the switch to compostable takeout containers - making getting my veggie curry fix less of a guilty pleasure. I take it back to my office, where I have silverware and a cloth napkin, thus avoiding paper napkins and plastic forks. And thankfully, my company has compost bins on every floor, so I know my container and food scraps are going to good use.

Thanks to the price and great food, Cafe Zum Zum draws a big lunchtime crowd, so I recommend getting there before 11:45am, so you can get in and out quickly and avoid a wait in the cold.

(Frugal Fridays is a weekly series dedicated to finding Seattle lunch spots where you can walk in with a $5 bill and walk out with a fulfilling, preferably healthy, lunch. If you have suggestions of places in the Seattle area with a great lunch for under $5 after tax, post a comment - I'd love the help.)

Cafe Zumzum on Urbanspoon

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