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Silence-Heart-Nest

Silence-Heart-Nest, long a vegetarian staple on Seattle's University Avenue ("The Ave"), has moved to a prime location in funky Fremont. Based on the religious and spiritual principles of the Indian guru Sri Chinmoy, Silence-Heart-Nest offers a peaceful respite from our harried world. It is one of the longest-running vegetarian restaurants in Seattle.

The restaurant is run by the Seattle Sri Chinmoy Centre. The Sri Chinmoy Centre tries to foster inner growth and a more peaceful world. The Centre, one of a worldwide network, offers a variety of activities, including athletics, meditation and music.

But you'll find no trace of a preaching attitude at this restaurant. Silence-Heart-Nest, which opened in 1986, is a friendly, unpretentious place. The experience is an interesting fusion of Indian and American spiritual and food trends: waitresses wear saris, the traditional garb for Indian women, and you're likely to hear soothing New Age or Indian music playing on the stereo. The new spot, in the heat of Fremont, is decorated in soothing shades of blue. And while Indian food doesn't play the same large role that it did at the University Avenue location, you'll still often find delicious Indian curries on the specials board.

Start your meal with the soup of the day or a small house salad. If you'd like to make a meal out of your salad, try the marinated tofu salad with veggies on a bed of mixed greens, or the salad bowl, which features a choice of grilled tofu or black beans.

Entrees range from butternut squash ravioli and "neat loaf" (a vegetarian loaf dressed with a tangy barbecue sauce, served with mashed potatoes and gravy), to Thai coconut stir fry and macaroni and cheese. Or go for a sandwich such as the Tuscan, with grilled marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions, or the bliss burger - a low-fat soyburger with all the fixings.

Breakfast brings a variety of egg options (some accompanied with soy bacon), egg scrambles, eggs benedict, vanilla waffles or vegan sesame waffles, tofu scramble and roasted potatoes.

Silence-Heart-Nest is open for breakfast and lunch daily. It is located at 3508 Fremont Place N, Seattle. 206-633-5169.

The name Silence-Heart-Nest comes from a Sri Chinmoy phrase:

Eternity's silence:
The silence that embodies vision, light and delight.
Infinity's heart:
The universal heart that expands and expands.
Immortality's nest:
The nest of birthless and deathless nectar-delight.