Top Dish: Leaf & Ladle offers fresh, hearty lunch fare

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 12, 2014 

Leaf & Ladle, Bellingham

Thai spiced coconut soup and Asian pork wrap at Leaf & Ladle at 1113 N. State St., Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Bellingham.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

Name: Leaf & Ladle.

Location: 1113 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham near the Herald Building. 360-319-9718 and on Facebook.

The story of ... Linda Melim and daughter Morgan Gaunt opened their soup, salad and sandwich (and wraps) eatery nearly a year ago in July - offering up what they call fresh, home-style cooking. Anyone hungry for lunch fare with plenty of flavor should give Leaf & Ladle a taste.

Quick bite: The $8 pork Asian wrap is a delightful combination of flavors and textures stuffed into a garlic-herb wrap that's grilled in a panini press for a bit of crunch.

The filling is smoked pork and mixed greens, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, green onions, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, bell peppers and rice noodles tossed with a sweet and tangy peanut dressing that pops thanks to the addition of sesame, lime and rice wine vinegar.

Melim said she's a fan of colorful food, and a look inside half of a wrap shows a burst of greens, red and orange.

The herbs are a refreshing note. The wrap is bright, clean and spring-y.

You can pair the wrap with a side of chips or even more salad if you want to up your intake of greens. And don't worry that a wrap won't be enough food.

"I think a wrap should be a good hearty sandwich also," Melim said.

At Leaf & Ladle, it is.

Side note: Melim said she's known for her Caesar dressing, so the restaurant's chicken Caesar wrap is a customer favorite.

Don't forget the soups. A $4 cup of the vegetarian Thai spiced coconut is rich, but not overly so, and satisfying. Melim uses a miso base and adds coconut milk, Thai spices, chunks of sweet potato, slices of shiitake mushrooms and a hint of kale.

Ambiance: Casual. You can eat at the counter or tables in a back room. There's also a table for outdoor seating.

Extra serving: Leaf & Ladle offers vegan - also yummy - and gluten-free options. The eatery could be closed on Saturdays for a catering event, so check its Facebook page before you go. It also offers a Thursday night supper club - the one time of the week Leaf & Ladle is open in the evening.

Got suggestions for tasty tidbits in Whatcom County or an eatery known for a particular dish? Send them to kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2234.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com .

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