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My family and I have a tradition of going out to dinner for birthdays.  When mine rolled around, I wanted to try The Yak and the Yeti  and my family agreed to go.  Then, the week of  my birthday, I broke a tooth and my birthday dinner was postponed.

I’ll spare you a description of my howls of agony, stemming both from the torment of the dentist’s chair as well as the cost of a crown, and leave you with a piece of advice:  do not assume that, because an olive has been stuffed with a pepper and almond, that its pit has been removed.  Such an assumption will lead you into error.  An expensive error.  Especially if you have an encounter with an un-popped corn kernel the next day.  But I digress.

At last, tonight, my family and I finally made our visit.  I perused the menu before going and was pleased to see this restaurant strives to be vegan friendly.  There are notes next to items on the menu that say they can be made vegan on request.  Forewarned and forearmed, we headed off.

The Yak and the Yeti is, by far, the most vegan friendly non-vegan restaurant I’ve been to in Colorado.  I didn’t have to ask about menu items.  The restaurant has a page in the menu called “The Yak and the Yeti Vegan Items” so there’s no need to search out what’s vegetarian/vegan in the midst of all the chicken and fish items.  Once I’d told the waitress I was vegan, any information I needed was forthcoming.  I ordered a Vegetable Biryani and was asked if the dates and nuts were a problem.  I didn’t immediately understand and said I didn’t have a problem with nuts and the waitress then explained to me that the topping was cooked in butter.  I thanked her and she graciously left them off.

Word of my veganism spread because, when a second waitress brought papadams and sauces, she already knew and told me which sauces contained dairy and which did not.  My family were fond of the yogurt sauce and mint chutney but I didn’t feel like I was missing out: the tamarind sauce is perfectly sweet/tart.  No vegan could ask for anything more, except maybe the spicy tomato sauce.


Papadam Dipping Sauces

Fresh naan was brought to the table and my mother tucked in.  She’d chosen the buffet so had her food before my step-father and me and only ran into one option that was too spicy for her palate.  Spice is another way the staff of The Yak and Yeti strive to make their food available for everyone.  When placing the order, I got to decide how spicy I wanted my food.  The options are very mild, mild, medium, hot, very hot, and Indian hot.  I chose medium and it was perfect.

My Biryani had complex layers of flavor.  I expected saffron and curry but it was flavored with anise and pepper as well.  The spice doesn’t burn the tongue; rather it’s a heat that sneaks up.  I thought it was perfect but will admit I got rather flushed.  It’s the bane of very pale skinned people who love spicy food. 🙂  I don’t think I could go hotter: I’d probably explode.


My Biryani

I ordered a vegan chai to accompany my food and have to say it was the best chai I’ve ever had.  I was asked if I wanted it made with coconut milk or soy.  I chose coconut milk and indulged in a drink so rich it served as dessert.

I can’t say enough good things about The Yak and the Yeti.  My entire family enjoyed everything they sampled and there are several other veg options I want to try.  The staff is incredibly friendly, helpful, and ready with answers before the questions are asked.

We were invited to tour the party rooms.  The large room was being set up for a party and I wanted to explore but felt a little odd touring someone else’s party so just poked around the edges.  If you are looking for a place to hold an event, consider The Yak and the Yeti.  The chandeliers in the main room are spectacular.  I’ll plan to go a little earlier next time and pay more attention to the party spaces.  I didn’t make it up to the upstairs room and am going to have to indulge my curiosity.

The Yak and the Yeti is going on my family’s favorite restaurant list.  We’re not big drinkers but the restaurant has its own line of craft beers made at the Arvada location.  One beer won’t hurt and I’ll bet it would go well with vegetable samosas.  We’ll definitely be going again.