While preparing to spend three months in Oak Harbor, WA (on Whidbey Island), I knew it might not be easy to find plant-based or gluten-free food, especially at restaurants.
I'd previously driven through this military town, yet I'd only noticed fast food franchises and cocktail lounges whirl by. I was braced for the worst.
After arriving on island, I was still excited to investigate—to wander around with fresh eyes—to see what kind of healthy food options could be found.
So under winter sunshine, I slowly drove through historic downtown Oak Harbor, as it stretched along the water.
Purple window paint drew my eyes to a sign that said Sweet Rice.
With a name like that, I had to stop in.
Walking through their door, I heard the gentle sounds of a loving family running their restaurant together.
Their prices were also some of the most affordable I've seen.
I so enjoyed Sweet Rice. And often.
For lunch. For dinner. For tea.
I’d order an extra lunch, to-go, to eat as dinner during night class.
Sweet Rice provided such tasty, kind comfort.
The only difficulty was having to say goodbye.
My heart ached a little, after my three-month stay.
I didn’t want to leave them behind.