DIY Apple Liquor: The Halfway Point

It’s been over a month and it’s nearly noon, so here’s the mid-process photo report on my homemade McIntosh apple liquor:

It smells amazing and I already wish I was making more! The method is based off of this recipe from The Savvy Homemaker (but really, most recipes are online are the same), which involves a whole lot of vodka, brandy, waiting and aging.

See you on the flip-side.

The Start: Apple Fest and Apple-tastic Inspiration 10/18/2010

Portland’s Late Night, Vegan-Friendly Eats

A list of bars, carts and restaurants of just where to find vegan grub that’s more than a hummus plate or basket of fries after 10pm. It includes 38 businesses, their addresses, neighborhood, late night hours, and recommended offerings.

If you think of more, please leave a comment!

Portland’s Late Night Vegan Eats
Originally Compiled by Jess and the vegan internet in Summer 2010 for the 2010 Try Vegan Guide to Portland

Sometimes you have a hankering for vegan poutine at midnight. Sometimes you really want a tofu burrito. Sometimes you simply can’t sleep without a bowl of pho.

Read on, late night dining enthusiasts…

Aalto Lounge

3356 SE Belmont St, SE/Belmont, 2am

It’s tragic that they’ve dropped the herby, housemade meatball sandwich, but you can still order their White Bean Cassoulet vegan (but, minus the duck !?!…what a way to start this) and enjoy the lounge or back patio come nicer days.

Backspace Café – all vegetarian

115 NE 5th Ave Old Town/Downtown, till 11pm Sun-Wed, till 12am Thurs-Sat

A vegan gamers’ paradise that’s also home to rotating art and live shows.

Recommended: Philly Steak Sandwich, Broccoli Goddess Salad, Club Vegan

Bar of the Gods

4801 SE Hawthorne Blvd., SE, 4pm-2:30am (full menu till 1:30am, bar menu after)

BOG is one hell of a dive bar. It’s dark, moody and illuminated with strings of grape-shaped lights to fit with the theme. Happy Hour is from 4pm-8pm, featuring $2.50 wells, $1.50 PBRS (75 cents on Thursdays?!?), chips and housemade salsa, and a small basket of really good handcut french fries for $2.  Other vegan options include the Spicy Red Lentil Dahl, BOG Bento Bowl, and Avocado Sandwich (specify vegan). Note: There’s a Chicken Fried Tempeh entrée on the online menu, but it’s no longer available.

Basement Pub

1028 SE 12th Ave, SE, 2am

Snacks include curried chickpeas and spiced black beans & rice in this cozy bar, where the big draw is 20 ounce pints, pinball, and the $1-3 small plate offerings.

Beulahland

118 Northeast 28th Avenue, NE/Burnside, 2am

Apparently people come here to watch sports and for some music video night; I tend to find myself here with friends for cider (because it’s always on tap) after viewings at Laurelhurst Theater. There’s a standard hummus plate and red curry. Anyone know if their housemade veggie burger is vegan?

Bonfire

2821 Southeast Stark Street, SE, 2am

Whenever you want to feel really hip on SE Stark. Tasty vegan offerings include the Hellfire Burrito, Portobello Sandwich, Tofu or TVP tacos, and really solid French fries – of which the Veganshizzle is a big fan.

Bye & Bye – all vegan

1011 NE Alberta St Portland, OR 97211, NE/Alberta, 2am

What do you need to hear? You’re crazy if you haven’t been here yet. There’s the BBQ Platter, Grilled Cheese, Meatball Sandwich, Eastern Bowl, etc. – not to mention the drink list and bartenders.

Recommended: BBQ Platter with bbq tofu, black eyed peas, collard greens and bread with Earth Balance

Cactus Jack’s

4342 SW Beaverton Hillsdale, SW, 2:30am

Reppin’ for SW. I think I went here once years ago on an adventure, because one thing remains the same: You must request the special vegan menu.

Crush Bar

1412 Southeast Morrison Street, SE, 2am

Home of Vegan Prom 2010, Crush is open late in inner SE and has more vegan options than I’d realized. They include grilled mushroom skewers, falafel, and rich mocha cake.

Dots

2521 SE Clinton St, SE/Clinton, 2am

If we’ve met, you probably know that I adore Dots. Hold onto your seat, but they actually added a new vegan item to their menu this past year – the Vegan Pita.

Recommended: Vegan Platter, Hot & Spicy Fries with Tofu Sauce, Vegan Geek Salad

East Side Deli

SE 47th & Hawthorne, Coming Soon to NE Lombard, 11am-11pm

I finally visited this all day & late night (with a walk up window!) deli, and all I can say is, I never want to make my own sandwich again.

Recommended: Start a sandwich with a roll of Dave’s Killer Bread, add layers of Field Roast, Vegenaise (put a V on the mayo selection) and pile on the complimentary toppings.

El Brasero cart

SE 12th and Hawthorne, SE, 2am or later

I’ll be honest, I’ve never eaten here because I’m more into the other late night options in Cartopia, and they’re more expensive than Los Gorditos. However, there are many vegan options and Soyrizo can be found across the menu.

The Fixin’ To

8218 N Lombard, NoPo/St. John’s, till 2am Mon-Sat, till 1am Sundays

I’ve yet to go, but my Stumptown Vegans partner has a full review here. Can you say, Frito Pie? Are you looking for a late night with warming Southern grub in St. John’s?

The Grilled Cheese Grill

1027 NE Alberta, NE/Alberta, 2:30am on Fri & Sat

Look, I dig their trippy school bus seating. A lot. And now I want a vegan grilled cheese with roasted jalapeno for lunch.

P.S. They have plans to open a new cart, er bus, on SE 28th

Hammy’s Pizza

2114 SE Clinton St, SE/Clinton, 4am

Late night delivery and takeout pizza, bread sticks (floppy, but good!), seitan nuggets (worth getting at least once) and calzones. Flavorful sauce and nooch, too.

Recommended: Vegan Greek Calzone with a side of sauce.

Hungry Tiger Too – has a separate vegan menu

207 SE 12th, SE, midnight

Greasy spoon and dive bar hybrid, mere blocks away from the Vegan Minimall.

Recommended: Vegan corn dogs ($1.25 on Wednesdays), Tofuffalo (40 cents on Thursdays), Club Sandwich, Giant Pancake, Butternut Wontons, Tots!

Langano Lounge

1435 SE Hawthorne Blvd, SE, 2am

Because you never know when you may find yourself looking for a moody dive bar that serves Ethiopian veggie dogs floating in a sea of spicy lentils.

LaurelThirst Public House

2958 NE Glisan, NE, 2am

Live music, tofu and veggie rice plates, housemade veggie burgers. I clearly haven’t been in years.

Mash Tun

2204 NE Alberta St # 101, NE/Alberta, 2am

Do vegan-friendly establishments outnumber the rest on NE Alberta yet? Mash Tun Brewpub is just south of Alberta on 22nd, and has a few vegan offerings, like falafel and tempeh things.

Recommended: Spicy Tempeh Things

Mississippi Pizza

3552 North Mississippi Ave. , Mississippi neighborhood, open till 1am Fri & Sat, till 12am otherwise

This pizza parlor and pub offers vegan cheese, vegan pesto, vegan pies, and slices. Quite likely the best vegan thin crust in Portland, and I dig any place that features chopped pepperocinis on their slices. Thanks to Josh at That Vegan Site for the tip!

Recommended: Garden Party and Historic Pies

Night Light Lounge

2100 SE Clinton St., SE/Clinton, 2am

For when you don’t want to go to Dots, this nearby lounge offers a lot of seating, a nice back patio, and a surprisingly good stir fry – and hand cut fries, don’t fret.

Recommended: Veggie stir fry with fried tofu, Fried Tofu with Peanut Squash sauce, Mint Fava Falafel

Pause

5101 N Interstate Ave, NoPo, 2am

I haven’t been, but I hear “good things” about their housemade black bean burger.

Peoples Sandwich of Portland

53 NW 1st, Old Town/Downtown, 10pm-3am, Fri & Sat

Their Soylent Green vegan sandwich is highly regarded.

Perierra Creperie

SE 12th and Hawthorne, SE, 2am or later

A member of Cartopia offering savoury and sweet, gluten free vegan crepes. I vote savoury.

Pho PDX – has a separate vegan menu

827 SW 2nd, Downtown, 12am-4am Fri & Sat

One of my favorite places to get lunch is this indoor food court downtown. They added super late night hours last year – for when it’s 2:14am and you must have vegan pho.

Recommended: Tofu Udon Curry Noodle Soup, Tofu Salad Bun, Pho Vegan

Potato Champion!

SE 12th and Hawthorne, SE, 2am or later

Possibly home of Portland’s best French fries. It’s a hotly debated topic. Order a cone or vegan poutine and consider.

Recommended: Fries with Veganaise, Truffle Ketchup, Vegan Poutine

Pyro Pizza

SE 12th and Hawthorne, SE, till 1am W, Thurs & Sun, till 3am Fri & Sat

When this cart housing a wood-fired oven opened last year, I was consistently blown away by their crust and ingredients. My last two experiences turned slightly burnt, and then super chewy, but I’ll definitely return to see what’s up. Oh, and bike delivery is coming soon and they sometimes have vegan seitan sausage~

Recommended: Margherita pizza with vegan cheese ($1 extra) and housemade sodas

Red & Black Café – all vegan

400 SE 12th, SE, 11pm

Stop by Portland’s anarchist, vegan café just before they close for a bite and quite likely, a show or reading.

Recommended: TLP sandwich, daily soup, housemade chai, kombucha on tap

Roadside Attraction

1000 SE 12th Ave, SE, 2am

This place has a cozy front yard with plenty of fireside seating and special nooks, only takes cash, and offers Veggie Skewers, a hummus place, and a couple other vegan-friendly options.

Shanghai Tunnel

211 SW Ankeny, Old Town/Downtown, 2am

The housemade black bean burger can be prepared vegan, and Big Note: only one bowl/sauce combo is vegan. Make sure to ask which one! And then, remind me.

Someday Lounge – all veg

125 NW 5th Ave, Old Town/Downtown, 2am

For when you’re downtown and looking for a cocktail and vegan food. Shares a kitchen and similar menu with Backspace Café.

Southeast Grind

1223 SE Powell Blvd, SE, 24 hours
This shop is home to round the clock Stumptown coffee, vegan pastries, bagel spreads, and more. Good place to get some work done for the insomniacs in town.

Tube bar – very vegan friendly

18 NW 3rd Ave, Old Town/Downtown      , 2am

Pure Portland greatness. Bunnied walls, duct taped seats, Daiya, and ham tube. What else do you need to know?

Recommended: Professor Nanotear muffins, Vegan Ham & Cheese sandwich plate

Vendetta

4306 N Williams Ave, NoPo, 2am

Haven’t been, but they apparently have a Sloppy Jane, and that’s cool.

Voodoo Doughnut – shelf of vegan donuts

22 SW 3rd Ave, Old Town/Downtown, 24 hours

Quite possibly the biggest and smallest tourist destination in this city – and set to expand into Berbati’s in the future. Make sure you order from the vegan shelf, most yeasted varieties are available both ways.

Recommended: Try both the vegan cake and yeasted donuts. I’m a McMinnville cream and Chick-O-Stick gal, myself.

Voodoo Too – shelf of vegan donuts

1501 NE Davis, NE, closed 3am-6am

See above. This time, on the East Side and with pinball.

Whiffies

SE 12th and Hawthorne                  SE, 2am or later

This cart is home to deep fried pies of rotating sweet and savoury varieties. If they have a seasonal, vegan pie (such as the PUMPKIN!) order it immediately. Fruit pies are nearly always vegan, just make sure to check the sign to see what’s up. Request the vegan fryer, and order some sweet tea or kombucha.

Recommended: Marionberry, Peanut Butter, Savoury Vegan Breakfast

XV

15 SW 2nd Ave, Old Town/Downtown, 2am

Another spot for when you’re downtown and looking for a cocktail and vegan food.

Recommended: Vegan pizza with white bean spread, Tofu wrap, Yam fries with Tomato Chutney

And now, a sampling:

The infamous Bye &  Bye cocktail (also available non-boozy as a Floor Punch)

Pints at the Basement Pub

The Donut Case at VooDoo, downtown (an entire shelf is now vegan yeasted and cake donuts!)

Fried Pies at Whiffies

Fried Tofu ($4 during Happy Hour) at the Night Light Lounge

Mini Pizzas at Tube

The Vegan Platter at Dots

Butternut Wontons at Hungry Tiger Too

Spicy Tempeh Things at Mash Tun

Yam Fries and Potato Chutney from XV

VooDoo’s McMinnville Cream Doughnut

Mcminnville

Last Year: The Veganshizzle and Jess Present: Our Favorite Vegan Friendly Bars! 1/22/10

A Day in the Life #1: VeganMoFo Begins & White Russian Pie

Let me be amongst the nearly 550+ vegans to proudly announce, “Happy Vegan MoFo!”*

This marks Year IV of MoFo creativity – and this year, I’ll not only be participating in daily posts, I’ll also be helping with the official round ups, too. Aka I’m supposed to spend all day reading vegan blogs! Ah, ah.

As for my plan for this year, the year of the theme, I’m committing to something simple, yet open-ended: A Day in the Life. Sure, I could do something cute, like A Scone a Day, but even I don’t want to eat a scone every single day. I mean, I would, but I’d want to eat a different scone everyday, and it seems silly to make a batch of scone an evening and my single-serving vegan scone cookbook is on the back-burner. Not. I do intend to write daily, because I have this issue with my words being stale. We’ll see what happens, but the aim is to have at least one photo per day, whether it’s a morning latte, simmering pot of soup, impromptu recipe and turn out, blind kitchen project, or a shot of something from an in-the-works Stumptown Vegans piece.

It may become more like…yesterday in the life, or earlier today in the life, or for this exception (see the asterisk below already) – last Saturday, in the life.

dude pie

Shocker, it’s not orange and black for the seasonal weekend, but pale and creamy, which still makes sense. I made this White Russian and chocolate coconut cream pie for a Big Lebowski viewing. There’s an organic spelt crust (store-bought) with a big layer of dark chocolate, soft tofu, chocolate liquor, coconut creamer, Mexican coffee liquor, sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, and Tofutti sour cream. Lesson learned: I tried to outsmart the chocolate layer’s dominance by baking it for 20 minutes and cooling before adding the White Russian layer, but it had the last laugh and absorbed most of it, anyway.

*starting late due to illness.

The Great Pumpkin Syrup Sunday

Oh, Fall

I picked up a sugar pie pumpkin from the coop yesterday with two goals. Today, I’ll open up about the first: Pumpkin Syrup.

I’m one to seek out a vegan-friendly pumpkin latte or two, or milkshake, during my favorite season, and one to wonder, “Where aren’t there more classy pumpkin cocktails?”

Pumpkin, seasonal spices and brandy (or bourbon, or just  insert your mocktail design here) just make sense.  With this in mind, and eye-rolling over the multiple recipes for pumpkin syrups and sauces online that simply involved pureeing canned pumpkin with maple syrup and heating it, the following happened in my kitchen…

Pumpkin Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin*
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (you’ll be removing this after cooking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine everything, except for the maple, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Gently stir, occasionally.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  4. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick. Even more carefully, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Be sure to let it cool, somewhat, or let the blender breathe so you don’t have an autumn explosion on your hands.
  5. Transfer to a bottle or jar, and refrigerate in between use.

Use this sauce to sweeten your tea, incorporate into cocktails, bribe your friends for favors in the 10th and 11th months of the year, and smuggle into local coffeeshops.

Notes, etc: I purposely made this syrup light. Again, I didn’t want a heavy pumpkin puree or a syrup I needed to constantly shake.  Nor, did I want a heavily spiced syrup. If you want something thicker, use more pumpkin. Like it spicy? Add more spices, and consider adding freshly grated ginger.

*I didn’t want to use raw or soft pumpkin, so I roasted it for 20 minutes at 400F, and let cool before use. I can’t break down all the scientific sense as to why this made more sense to me, it just did.

Success!

Pumpkin Tempeh Chili with Roasted Smoky Seeds & Pumpkin Apple Brandy Sipper

apple fest and apple-tastic inspiration

The apple of my eye.

 

I continued my yearly tradition of stopping by the always bigger & better apple fest & tasting at the Portland Nursery over the weekend. Shortage of time and frankly, overwhelming lines, made my visit the quickest yet, but I definitely got what I came for: a variety of tart apples and firm pears, largely including my beloved McIntosh and 3 types of Asian pears. After a couple of grocery errands later in the day, project #1 and project #2 took off.

Project #1: Homemade Apple Liquor

Reason: Because DIY, class, and booze roll together in my life, apple puckers suck, and I’ve wanted to recreate the amber, apple liquor I liked so when I studied abroad in the Netherlands, too many years ago.

Apple Liquor, Day 1

 

 

Step 1 includes vodka, brandy, apples, and patience.

 

Project #2: VWAM’S Apple Sage Sausages, turned Roast.

Reason: I’ve made the original recipe for Jayne’s  seitan sausages a couple of times. The flavor is incredible, and totally right for fall. I tend to make seitan sausages every couple of months, and haven’t made simmered, or baked seitan, in quite some time, so this project merged all the wheaty goodness. I made some changes to the original recipe, like using roasted apples instead of dried, doubled it, and baked it in broth with sliced garlic. The verdict? We’ll see, and so will the friend I gave a loaf to.

 

Pre-baked!! Apple Potato Sage Seitan Roast

 

Project #3: Apple, Asian Pear & Brandy Crumb Pie (adapted from the Apple Butterscotch Pie in American Vegan Kitchen).

Reason: I had fruit and a housewarming to go to! The dual fruits spent a few hours mingling in brandy & maple syrup before baking. Not only was I happy with the outcome of this, it again proved itself bus-ride-worthy. I love that in a pie.

 

Apple, Asian Pear & Brandy Pie

 

double dippin’: the party

Roughly 1/10th of total dips that arrived at Double Dippin’

Fueling my dorky, themed party planning obsession, I hosted a dip-themed potluck and party last weekend. Double Dippin’: The Party* featured 4 tables of dips: Sweet, Savoury, Miscellaneous, No Holds Barred, and Michele performing the grand & appetizing Vegan Mozzarella Stick-Off in the kitchen.

The record was successfully broken for just how many people can fit into my apartment, surely set high for the number of dips through the door, special dietary needs were met (vegans are so nice!), my cats hid, dip rules were posted, various research was displayed, and I had an opportunity to make a giant pot of beer cheese sauce, among other dippy dishes. Dipshit was officially an endearing term, dip creativity and classicism was off the hook, and I just can’t seem to get this out of my head.

As for the actual food, contributions ranged from traditional pesto to spicy peanut sauce to chili to Russian beet dip to cashew green bean to saucey bourbon to spiced cheesecake to sweet chocolate frosting, and beyond. Beyond!

Smokey Beer Cheese

beer cheese

How To: Smokey Beer Cheese. Follow the Cheesy Sauce recipe from Veganomicon.  Add a diced poblano pepper with the garlic (up the garlic!). After you add the nooch and vegetable broth, throw in cumin, hot paprika, tahini, hot sauce, a bottle of cherished, local microbrew, and a good dash of liquid smoke.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes before making your gluten-fanatic guests happy.

Green Tea, Shallot & Cream Cheese, modified from Eat Tea

Green Tea, Caper & Shallot Cream Cheese

I was more wild about the idea of this over the finished product, but it was worth a shot. And look! garnish!

Raw Banana Coconut Almond Dip

raw banana almond dip

On one hand, sampling this dip made me realize I’m non-officially, but likely, allergic to freaking almonds. On the other, it went over well! It consists of pureed raw almonds, unsweetened coconut and banana. Once again, a pat on the back to the Vita-Mix.

Salt-Free Black Bean, Lemon & Garlic Dip

Picture 005

This was another contribution for the Eat to Live crowd. One of those few ingredient recipes from the internets. It was less creamy than I’d like, but I naturally blame myself, because I forgot the tahini. However, who cares about anything else when there’s a nice garnish?

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

Picture 010

So creamy! I almost comprehend artichokes now.

Jeff’s Spicy Peanut Sauce

jeff's satay sauce

My friends Lucas and Jeff combined powers to offer a damn fine spread of fried tofu, peanut sauce and tofufffalo style hot sauce.

The Sweet table

Lauren plates my ode to our friend Bram – Peanut Butter Coconut Apple Pie (dip).

lauren at the sweets table

The Bar – featuring homemade Mixed Berry, Raspberry and Lavender Mango syrups. Plenty of makings for both cocktails and mocktails. My friend Emily contributed homemade Raspberry Ginger Shrub that was amazing!

The rest of the refreshments – including Michele’s sparkling punch

This was posted above the No-Holds-Barred dip-as-you-will tator tots & dips table

Picture 136

Clearly the party was an ode to this.

No-Holds-Barred Table – early in the evening

Live action at the No-Holds-Barred table. I spy a spicy sesame cornmeal encrusted tofu dipper at the muffin tray, and churros and chocolate sauce in the back.

Jack & Simon: Bros and their tots – bonus special guest appearance by Portland’s own Pretzel Necklace!

The Savoury table at the pre-party

Stage 1: Dips

*Name Credit belongs to Lucas DeShazer. No surprise.

I didn’t take as many photos as I’d like, perhaps more of the dishes to come…

Next up in themed events coming this way I’m counting down to?  The Vegan Prom of Tomorrow and the second annual Fakin’ Fest!

Mr. Cluck’s Outback Roaster Tofu

Hugo Reyes Approved!

(I wish.  But I do figure him for the open minded type - Jorge, the actor, has given love to Sweet & Sara marshmallows on his blog!)

Mr. Cluck’s Outback Roaster Tofu, served with grilled asparagus, since it’s in season in Australia*.

Outback Glazed Tofu

Up to date on LOST?  In case you freakishly haven’t seen this yet, check out the Mr. Cluck’s commercial from Comic Con 2009, featuring Mr. Cluck’s Outback Roaster Chicken, the inspiration for this meal.  As soon as I saw the commercial (just last week, what THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME?!?), I knew I wanted to make a vegan version, for fun.  To literally feed my obsession.

I assure you, fellow LOST fans reading this, that it pains me that I didn’t have more time to serve with a side of mashed potatoes, corn, and diced pineapple on top.  I’m leaving for vacation tonight! Alas!

Anyway, here’s what I made:

Mr. Cluck’s Outback Roaster Tofu or Seitan, a Veganized, Copycat, Obsessed Recipe

Ingredients:

  • One pound block of drained, sliced tofu, or large slices of seitan.
  • 1 cup of beer (preferably not pale; I used Session Black lager – yes, it’s vegan!)
  • 1.5 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • extremely generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of sea salt or seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Directions:

  • Whisk all ingredients together, being careful not to make a mess with beer foam, unless you want to.
  • Marinate the tofu and/or seitan for a few hours, preferably overnight.  Now, I grilled mine on a cast iron grill pan because I don’t have fancy grilling instruments for that oven roasting effect the commercial alludes to.
  • I misted my grill pan with oil, turned to medium heat, opened my window, and grilled on both sides 4-5 minutes for those dark lines.
  • I splashed with more sauce 3 minutes in, on each side.
  • Serve with vegetables, sprinkled with more pepper, a slice of lemon, and enjoy!
  • Smile and think of winning the lottery with sheer luck.

Seitan variation:

I tried out a seitan and tofu variation, both marinated overnight in a sweet, seasoned beer-based sauce.  My friend Maeve, the girl who still swoons over Boone, voted tofu.  I originally figured seitan would hope up better against the sauce, since it’s more chicken-on-the-barbie type.  I think Boone would probably agree with Maeve.

Sauce
Sauce.

Mr. Cluck’s Likes Tofu!!

Image Credit: The Hatch on Zazzle

*not a fact

The VeganShizzle & Jess present: Our Favorite Vegan Friendly Bars!

Karla, the Veganshizzle, and Jess join forces to present their favorite vegan-friendly bars in Portland, OR.

In Discussion: Tube, Bye & Bye, Basement Pub, Dots, Roadside Attraction, Langano Lounge, Hungry Tiger Too and more.

The Bye & Bye cocktail
The Bye & Bye

Karla’s Five Favorite Bars for a Vegan Drinker:

1. Bye & Bye: Hands down, favorite bar in town! (Possibly in the world?) I spent my birthday here this year. They’re very accommodating with plates and forks for cake eating. I do believe we forgot to tip them nicely for that, but I don’t think they’ve held it against us. We tip them nicely anyways…..Anyways! They’re an all vegan bar, which you wouldn’t know unless you asked. It’s not advertised as such, though it’s a bit noticeable when you peruse their food menu, which is full of good stuff, like my favorite, the BBQ Brussel Bowl. Brown rice, roasted Brussel sprouts, nooched up tofu with a delicious BBQ sauce. Normally the sauce just has a slight kick to it, but there’s been a couple times where my mouth was a bit on fire. Other food options include Eastern Bowl (broccoli, tofu, brown rice with a peanut sauce), Chili Dog, Meatball Sandwich, and Frito Pie. Mainly what I love about Bye & Bye is their delicious signature drinks. There’s a list of them, all for $7, plus a special drink of the day that’s normally $6. They make a lot of their own flavored liquors, like cucumber gin or ginger infused gin. The drink I normally order is the Stockholm, a delightful mix of ginger beer and….some other stuff. I can’t find their menu online and can’t remember what else is in there. It’s got some citrus in there too and anything with ginger ale in it usually has my attention. Especially the good quality ginger ale like they carry there. (which, by the way, you can just order by itself if you’re not imbibing). The ambiance here is lovely. There’s always eye candy for both the girls and the boys, a covered patio in the back, nice sunbasking patio in the front, a good jukebox, nooks if you’re wanting a little tete tete with someone, large tables for the opposite and Hamm’s on tap and Sessions in a bottle for when we’re feeling cheap. Their happy hour is from open until 7pm every day and that means $3 well drinks (I recommend a Greyhound), $1 off entrees, and $6 mason beers. Which reminds me, they serve their signature-signature (called the Bye & Bye, it tastes like Hi-C Fruit Punch mixed with 7-Up) in a mason jar. It’s a freakin’ great idea. Only cons of this bar: Not in the Southeast and it doesn’t serve french fries. Hipstery bar but not with an attitude.

2. Tube: This bar is downtown near Berbati’s and Dante’s, both of which are bars where shows are played. They’ve got nothin’ on Tube though. Their happy hour is until 10pm. 10pm!!! Who does that? That’s just crazy! And awesome! I always liked this when I had a job where I didn’t get off work until 8 or so and was unable to make all those happy hours that go from 4-6 or so. I still like it though. They have a pretty big vegan menu, but the only thing I ever order is their vegan ham and cheese sandwiches. During happy hour (which is until 10pm!!) you can get 2 of the English muffin sandwiches for $5 (or one for $3). I have great nostalgia for hot ham and cheese sandwiches and though these are very different in that the ham isn’t thinly sliced and the bun isn’t a soft white roll, these fill the ham & cheese shaped hole in my belly. They are panini pressed and are delivered to you hot as can be. I normally take the “lid” off so that it can cool off a bit. Inside is “chipotle” vegan mayo, a slice of vegan ham and a small rectangle of vegan cheese. I put chipotle in quotes because the stuff ain’t spicy. At all. For reals. It is a slightly red. I’ve been known to eat 3 of these. Which reminds me, also during the happy hour you can get $2 well drinks or Hamm’s tall boys. Why you would get a tall boy of beer when you can get a delicious cocktail is beyond me, but to each their own, I suppose. Though the drinks are small looking, they pack a punch and I normally stop at 2. I’ve heard people talk shit about the bartenders but I’ve always had a good experience with them. Lots of hipsters pack this place after 8pm, but don’t let that stop you.

3. Bonfire: This used to my favorite bar. I celebrated a couple birthdays here. I used to live down the street at SE 37th and Washington so it was mostly laziness that brought me there. Well, actually what really brought me there was their cheap basket of deliciously “seasoned” french fries. The staff used to consist of douchebags, but now consists of lots of nice boys. (yes, another bar with nary a girl server in sight…and am I complaining? No. I wouldn’t complain if there were girls there, but, yeah, don’t care if there’s not. Is there anyone reading this that has a problem with all guys as staff? This is an honest-to-goodness question, I’d like to know people’s opinions.) They no longer have Boca Burgers, which saddens me, though I had heard that they weren’t vegan anyways. Vegan options: Tofu or TVP tacos, a burrito, and the mushroom & pepper hoagie. There may be one or two other items. Their food does not get me excited and french fries has my vote for best option. Besides the french fries, the main reason I go there is that they have booths. I’m a fool for some booths.

4. Hawthorne Hideaway: There’s not many reasons to like this bar. I like it for their $2 Happy Hour cocktails. You would never expect it, from the looks of the place, but they use fresh squeezed citrus for their drinks! Lime, lemon, grapefruit and (probably, though I’ve never witnessed it) oranges! Their $2 Greyhounds are delicious! There’s a front and back to this bar, with bar itself in the middle. The back part has a couple pool tables, an electronic jukebox (where people end up playing the oddest selection of 90s music, which Jess sings aloud with), 2 coed bathrooms and a bunch of frat boys. The front of the bar has several wooden booths…..and that’s it. One of the pool tables used to be there and I wish they’d put it back. They had switched it out for a closed area for Keno/lottery players, but, thankfully, have removed that monstrosity.

5. Basement Pub/Roadside Attraction: They’re pretty much next to each other, so I’m going to combine them since I can’t decide between the two. These are mere blocks from my abode and therefore I find myself there more often than if I lived in the NE or something. Since the smoking ban, I’ve liked Basement Pub a lot more. It’s a cozy place, with an aquarium in the center and pinball against one wall, a jukebox, a smallish nook that I’ve never really gotten a good look at (it’s on the left side on your way to the bathroom), good beer deals, wooden half-booths. Roadside Attraction is a clean, interesting bar. There’s free pool and jukebox, lots of different types of seating, including an amazing outside front patio with fireplace, swing, picnic tables, a small shed with a heater for you and your 5 friends. Oh, and both are about 5 blocks from the Hawthorne/12 St carts!

Basement Pub beverages

Karla’s Honorable Mentions:

Hungry Tiger Too (this place isn’t very bar-y, more restaurant-y.)

Pros: Wednesday $1 corndogs and PBR Tall Boys all day long

Hopworks Urban Brewery (same as HTT, restaurant-y)

Pros: delicious beer, including Radlers!

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Jess’ Five Favorite Vegan Friendly Bars

Narrowing down my favorite vegan-friendly bars in Portland was really easy, because they’re blatantly places I go to on a semi-regular basis.  There are a few honorable mentions, and a few bars that aren’t vegan friendlier than a hummus plate, fries or chips and salsa that I dig, but let’s keep that my little secret!  And by secret, I mean they’re part of my never-ending search for cheap, cozy happy hours.

My requirement for an establishment on this list is the offering of a full bar, draft microbrews and multiple options of vegan appetizers and entrees.  Novelty, happy hour specials and walking distance to my abode in SE is a plus.

1. Hungry Tiger Too. My top 5 is in no particular order, but one of my favorite vegan-friendly places in general is this casual restaurant and bar; so it’s on this list.  I’ll happily take in a hangover brunch plus my once a year vegan Bloody Mary (make sure to specify vegan, they have two homemade mixes), but Thursday night happy hour plus BBQ and Spicy 40 cent tofuffalo wings is my new favorite favorite favorite. Sandwiches, Vegan Caesars (I dig adding tempeh) sweet butternut stuffed fried wontons, $1 vegan corndogs and Pabst Tallboys on Wednesdays, what’s not to find endearing?

p.s. go early on Wednesday nights unless you’re patient, or really that cool.

2. Someday Lounge – Out of my 5, this is the one I frequent the least, but I heart it just the same.  It’s incredibly appealing to get items available at Backspace Lounge for a tad less during happy hour, and the all vegetarian menu expands after that. Tempeh Reuben? Check. Vegan sausage? Check. Large hummus plate? Duh.  It has a cool vibe, and the upstairs seating is secluded and dare I say, intimate.  Avoid the leather couches if it grosses you out (it does).  The past few times I’ve gone there’s no cocktail list, but they pour strong and have microbrews galore. It’s a place if you actually want dinner, as opposed to a Professor Nanotear.

Sandwich and GF pasta salad from the Someday Lounge

3. This brings us to Tube.   The only thing I haven’t previously said about my precious early happy hour stop is (happy hour daily 5pm-10pm, but I prefer it before 8 to avoid crowds) that they recently switched to cheddar Daiya in their Professor Nanotear muffins.  It works in the small and large vegan ham & cheeze sammies, okay? Okay.  I’m not as hot on the mildly seasoned tofu scramble taco, but its well worth the $3 as bar food.  I’ll repeat myself for a 3 billionth time – the Professor Nanotears are pathetically awesome (2 for $5 or $3 each, just get 2!) and $2 well greyhounds rule. Consider the full vegan ham sandwich and goddess side salad or vegan meatball options if you have a bigger appetite.

p.s. Ham Tube Donut Sandwich.

4. Next on my list is a restaurant, but because they haven’t updated their options in years, I think of them as a bar. I hope that makes sense.  They’re still a staple in my life and a big reason I moved to the Clinton neighborhood, but it would be cool to see an upgrade from Vegan Platters and Falafel.  Don’t take offense Dots, I love you, your spicy tofu dipping sauce, and your velvet walls I can’t help but touch. And can you believe you can actually smell food cooking in there, post-smoking ban?!?

Spicy tofu sauce and fries from Dots

5. Last up is the obvious star, The Bye & Bye. It’s a fantastic place to go whether you’re drinking the peachy signature drink, or the non-boozy Floor Punch. Love the back patio, bamboo and heat lamps. And the bar food? Okay, the best in Portland. I crave their saucy BBQ tofu, brussel sprouts and black eyed peas on a regular basis (and the North Williams cocktail).  Bonus – kid friendly during the day! ENTIRELY VEGAN!

Jess’ Honorable Mentions:

Aalto Lounge – stylin’ hipster spot on Belmont, with a kickass, vegan meatball sub. Housemade balls and sauce.

UPDATE: Liz has brought to my attention that the meatballz are no more. boo.

Langano Lounge – Scary great lentils. Probably just scary. Either way, dive appreciation. Mere two blocks from Cartopia!

Nightlight Lounge – who knew you get could a great tofu stir fry at a bar?

Basement Pub – Cider on tab & bland hummus & spiced black beans, hits some spot or another!

Professor Nanotear
Tube

I dream of Vegan Hot Toddies

Vegan Hot Toddy with Jade Green Tea, Agave Nectar, Lemon Juice, Clove and Whiskey
new 009

You can order a vegan hot toddy anywhere, subbing sugar for honey, but we all know that raises the Is this sugar vegan?‘ question, and then you’re just drinking sugary-sweetened, hot booze with lemon, sometimes with tea, which IS nice, but it’s kinda my new Portland dream to see vegan hot toddies sweetened with agave or maple all over town. Portland Vegan Spirits, are you listening?  Sweet, double entendre.

As of this past fall, I started drinking hot toddies around town.  The slow pace and sensation from this body warming beverage is just super. I spend all day drinking tea at work, so I don’t really consider it relaxing after work, but this sure is. FYI, when I’m dining out, the sugar issue doesn’t stress me out that much, and that’s my personal stance.  Years ago, it really did, and I certainly only purchase vegan sugar at home, but there’s only so much you can avoid or take in good faith.

I know the Hungry Tiger Too’s new cocktail menu features a Hot & Spicy Toddy (a mere $4!) that is available with honey or agave, anyone know of any other special vegan toddies around town?  That is, besides the ones I’ve made at home.  For the record, the HT2′s is good, just keep stirring the spices!

As for my own, I’ve taken to making them with chamomile or green tea, freshly squeezed lemon or orange, whiskey and agave.  I had a brief stint where I thought brandy was the hot toddy booze for me, but then I started feeling 90.  There are countless hot toddy recipes online, but I will mention that the addition of cloves and/or ginger is lovely.  The hot toddy pictured is made with cherry flavored whiskey.

hot toddy

This entire post is dedicated to my friend Maeve, who inspired me to vary my home tea selection for toddies.

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3 vegans, 1 hotel room

Wanted: Vegan Entrepreneur

What: To Open Vegan Boutique Hotel

Portland has the vegan population. Portland has the flow of vegan tourists. Where’s the vegan boutique hotel? Where’s the quaint vegan bed and breakfast located on super vegan friendly Alberta Street or blocks away from the vegan mini mall district?

Why: …because I’m staring at the photo below of local Go Max Go vegan candy bars in a hotel ice bucket.

3 vegans, 1 hotel room

I recently got together with two friends in Seattle for a couple days of being awesome and vegan and exchanging awesome, vegan goodies.  My friend Katie Jayne made fantastic vegan Tagalongs! Girl Scout style, without the hypocrisy.  This girl needs to open up a vegan bakery!!!!! And my Canadian vegan savior, Vijjy, brought us cartons of  Peppermint Chocolate Vitasoy. AMAZING. We also had the pictured candy bars, scheese, fancy Canadian dark chocolate and yeasted Voodoo Doughnuts.

We had a mini wine & scheese party, naturally.

vegans in a hotel room.

We didn’t have a knife and utilized the plastic corkscrew, like all crafty vegans would.

The wine was vegan, organic wine from Sidecar for Pigs Peace.

vino

Photo essay galore of vegan Seattle eats & soy lattes coming soon!