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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Seattle Vegan Spot Owned by a Meat-Eating Texan

Posted by on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Dennis Comer (second from left) with the Urban Buggy team.
  • Kelly O
  • Dennis Comer (second from left) with the Urban Buggy team.

When I roll up to the Urban Buggy for an interview with owner Dennis Comer, he's taking out the trash. But tossing garbage bags is a picnic compared to what Comer did in the army. He served in the Gulf War in 1990–91, stationed in Doha, Qatar, and King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia. In 1993, he saw action in Somalia during the Black Hawk Down days and also did a combat tour in Bosnia. As a logistics officer and research analyst, he was in charge of making sure people and cargo got where they needed to go as safely and efficiently as possible, but he puts it like this: "I did 20 years in the military, pretty much doing what the military does: destroying the earth."

These days, Comer's dedicated to the healthier pursuit of bringing unpretentious vegan food to the Central District—a neighborhood largely devoid of such stuff—and farming his own produce as a member of Seattle Tilth. Open since March, his tiny Urban Buggy is mainly a carryout lunch deli that also offers gluten-free vegan pastries and cookies made by Comer's wife, Lillian Hill, who runs Brown Sugar Baking Company—conveniently located right next to the Urban Buggy on a residential stretch of 22nd Avenue South.

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