Back-log: Portland Vegan Dining: Food Carts, Portobello Brunch, Hungry Tiger Too & even more Native Foods

Something crazy happened last month. I was fairly busy, fell off my budget a bit (which is ridiculous with my month off adventure fast approaching) and managed to participate in food cart regularity for the first time in what felt like years, not to mention sit down for brunch more than once.

Super Creamy Ota Tofu Frittata from the new brunch at Portobello

(Nothing has ever made me want a side of garlic bread more in my life)

From opening weekend: the Heirloom Blood Mary & Mimosa

See that locally made Picklopolois Green Jalapeno Sauce? It’s your new best friend.

Both times I’ve visited, my dining companions have ordered the Chanterelle Homefries with parsley pesto. How I’ve resisted, I have no idea.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Root beer & Rum Waffle with Maple Syrup- macerated Peaches

Pad Kee Mow with Tofu & Vegetables from Ploy Thai

Indeed, there’s a new Thai cart in my life (farewell, Just Thai), Ploy Thai: Ping Yang Kang Street Food. I quickly became a regular visitor telling myself I’m supposed to up my heat tolerance before arriving in Bangkok, okay? Plus, they’re hip to the definition of “vegan” while maintaining flavor. They add serranos to their noodles for heat!

Pad Eggplant with wonderful, freshly fried Ota tofu

Sometimes, you just want beans for lunch. Vegetarian Combo of saucey black beans, white rice, tostones & pineapple at El Cubo de Cuba on SW 5th & Oak. 

Here’s a story…..What lays below is a yellow curry, Pokemon-inspired unicorn horn from the fabled UniCart. I’m not incredibly sure how it’s been developing. As per the website, it’s now “vegan with meat options”, and I hear it’s half fried chicken now? Anyway, I’ll keep my eyes open and nose held in hope, because the proprietor’s cooking had style – and originality.

My friend Melissa and I enjoyed lunch-for-brunch at the Hungry Tiger Too this week, who recently “streamlined” their lengthy vegan and omni menus – and as I’ve seen with my own eyes, added glorious floats with Chicago Soy Dairy soft serve.

I ordered the BLTeaser with hand cut fries (oh tots, life’s not the same without you!)

While she went for the Nachos with house nutritional yeast sauce, which truly made this happy hour-for-brunch, in addition to my hot pint of Bloody Mary.

Lastly, my fellow Vida Vegan Con organizers and myself took a dinner-time field trip last night to Native Foods. Best. Night. Ever.

This marks my third visit to the Portland area’s Native Foods, and I’m now half-considering braving the far out bus route and being really, really nice to my friends with cars. Breaking Dawn is surely playing at the Bridgeport Theater, hint hint, Karla!

Janessa, keeping it real.

We shared an order of the Native Chicken Wings, because they’re flaky, tender and impossible NOT to order. We went with buffalo, ranch and chipotle cream (Janessa is so ordering savvy!) 

I had thinly sliced seitan on the brain (who doesn’t? the gluten-free? they totally do) and looking to try something new, asked myself, “What would my friend Katie in Bellingham order?”, and went with the Chicago Dip Aus Jus with pickled “giardiniera extraordinaire” with a side of the lemony lentil soup of the day. It was tasty, yet exhausting!

Speaking of ass-kicking sandwiches, Janessa ordered the special of the day: the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with FRIED PICKLE CHIPS. Holy moly.

Michele ordered something that’s been at the top of my to-try list: the Chicken Run (Ranch) Burger.

If your food take more than it seems 10-12 minutes at Native Foods, you get a comped dessert!

Here’s the Rose Petal Good Luck Cupcake and my immediate preference, the Peanut Butter Parfait.

Keeping up with the VeganMoFo: A Return to Homegrown Smoker

You’ve gotta hand it to Homegrown Smoker. They’ve come a long way since opening on NE Alberta in the summer of 2009. They’ve built a snazzy enclosed cart, have moved SW near PSU, and hearing their daily specials announced on the internet, or even pictured, has become….. epic.

Recently, there’s been the Portoritto with smoked soy curls and sliced portobellos, the ChiliCheeseFryrrito - just imagine what’s in there, the FU Jerk with jerked tofu, the Filet O’Fu with breaded oceanic tofu and remoulade sauce, the freakin’ Clamwich – and on, and on – and then there’s the regular menu, with their famous MacNoCheese, Tempeh Melts, vegetable sides, Coconut Battered Oreos and various smokey proteins smothered in smokey Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce.

That being said, is there anything Homegrown Smoker would smoke and sauce that you wouldn’t want to try? And do they offer adult bibs (or fancy handkerchiefs) with their logo yet?!?

Alright, sometimes things overwhelm even me – I wasn’t quite badass enough for yesterday’s special – but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support my crazier friends with their intense, nearly unbelievable burritos, my camera, and a stack of recycled napkins.

The SW 4th & College cart pod: home of Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ (mere blocks from the home of Vida Vegan Con in August!)


I swear Jared was also smiling the moment before this happened.

Holy, shit. Screw being caught in a downpour on my way here – because, I swear, this was the best version of their MacNoCheese yet – and the Smoked Shroom burger was sheer awesome.

Some of my favorite vegan food continues to be downtown lunch options in Portland. So, have you got your HoGroSmo on yet?

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

Snapshot: A Visit to Kitchen Dances

Warning! This post encourages wasting time on Flickr Picnic. I sure do.

Why you should proceed: Are you a vegan cart fanatic? Are you a tempeh reuben adventurer? Do you appreciate a damn good gravy? Are you a Proper Eats fan? Did you miss Piper? Is this simply in your google reader? Please, proceed.

It’s clearly too early to join the inevitable food cart backlash (kidding!) and just the right time to enjoy covered, outdoor seating before winter really begins to roar in Portland (kidding, again).

Despite joking about the names of the newer cart lots – Good Food Here on SE Belmont, A La Carts on SE 51st (home of a solar powered Veggie Burger cart!!), and D-Street Noshery on SE Division – my friends and I had a nice, leisurely dinner at the first last weekend.  There are a few carts  at Good Food Here with vegan-friendly options, such Numi’s vegan bowl (think: cabbage and rice, but I hear nice things), Lucille’s Balls, Aybla Grill (meh), and a couple others – but the vegans came for Kitchen Dances.

Besides everything I briefly mentioned, while urging you to proceed to this vegan cart, I’ll add that what I tried: the special nori roll and breakfast burrito, served open-faced, were both vegan comfort food at its freshest.

The Snapshots:

awesome of the week: Portland Smoothie Co. and downtown vegan carts

let’s get it out of the way that I’ve yet to have a smoothie. this isn’t an attempt at a poignant review, it’s a shout out to a really fantastic, fresh juice from Portland’s newest all vegan cart, The Portland Smoothie Company.

what I did try is their daily fresh juice, and I swear, it put a little carrot and ginger-y buzz into my step. I think I started skipping halfway through my colorful juice.

According to the cart owner, the juice is going to stay the same daily, but the smoothies will be mixing it up.  As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t had one…yet.!!..but I really like the sound of various non-dairy milks for blending (and no ice! bad ice! bad!), including coconut!

holla at ya juice

Portland Smoothie Co.

holla at the veg-cart take over on this block alone!

Sonny Bowl – one of 3 carts I can think of where you can get your BBQ Soy Curl craving hooked up, Bloop! (same cart – I never knew my life was missing vegan oatmeal from a cart, but it clearly is), the wonder that is D.C. Veg.,  and the very vegan friendly, and amazingly priced, Just Thai. oh, and around the corner – Spud Locker, home of massive, topped potatoes from one of the coolest looking carts I’ve seen yet.

SW 3rd

Feeling All American Vegan or what? Vegan Burger and Peanut Butter Cup from D.C. Vegetarian. Holy vegan condiments, of whoa!

DC Veg

Side platter from Homegrown Smoker – the BBQ beans, greens and mac are where it’s at! HoGroSmo has triumphantly returned downtown to the PSU area, check it out!

SIDES

All Hands on Deck Meal from Spud Locker

Spud Locker

I could go for some juice about now….

Like This!

The Petition to Rename SE Division Street Los Gorditos Square, or something

Taqueria Los Gorditos, the original cart at SE 50th and Division, is super vegan friendly and rules.  As does the family behind it!

Gorditos II, the short-lived but very appreciated all-vegan truck, was retired in 2009.

On January 10, 2010, Taqueria Los Gorditos: The Restaurant, opened with a festive, complimentary buffet!

The location? SE Division at SE 12th! I love that damn street. The original cart is still open! Both Taqueria Los Gorditos (stop getting confused, one’s a cart!) have separate grills for vegan food!  The new location is set to have breakfast, starting at 7am!  Look for them to open full time this week, and get your soy curl on.

My plate from the opening day party:

taqueria los gorditos restaurant

RIP Gorditos II – parked in front of the new location

RIP Gorditos II

Sign the petition in the comments.

Credit to Simon for the Square idea!

Retrospect

It’s time to be all retrospective and stuff.  Twentyten is upon us, and this time of year marks the anniversary of this food blog’s creation on Blogger in 2005.

To celebrate and culminate, I picked some photos from my favorite posts of the past year on Get Sconed!The year of the move! I attempted to choose one per month, but failed starting with January.

Behold a giant photo essay:

January

My first post of 2009 was an ode to recent Vietnamese meals. NE 82nd Ave was home to Nhut Quang Vegan Vietnamese Restaurant, which depressingly closed in late Spring 2009.

R.I.P. Nhut Quang Vietnamese crepes

Angel Food Marshmallow Making This is my mom’s old mixer, I love it.

I can’t go through January without mentioning LOST. I threw a Dharma rations themed party for the premiere of Season 5.  Next month, my friend Susie and I holding a Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party!

February

I fell in even more love with my Vita-Mix: Peach Ice Cream

March

And even more love: Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Mousse

The first Examination of Portland Soy Lattes I drank about 2,000 lattes, give or take a few.

April

Chicken Seitan Parmigiana with Teese and Roasted Broccoli

Had a magnificent visit with my friend Emily from my long-ago semester abroad to the upscale, all raw Grezzo in Boston.

Lavender cheesecake

Had my fix of Vegetarian Dim Sum House in NYC, twice

May

Chick o’fucking Stick Chocolate Chip Cookies for Katie Jayne!

June

The cart lot at SE 12th and Hawthorne just got better and better, and Portland became home to a vegan friendly fried pie cart, Whiffies, and the city was never the same again!

The very first pie Maeve and I shared: Apple

The rising wave of twitter popularity grew and grew, and a select group of friends and I entertained ourselves with a week of dining exclusively at businesses that had Twitter accounts: The Dittering.  The number was much less significant in June than it is now, but we had many favorites and scouted others out. To quote Maeve, this was “back when twitter was cool”.

This was also the beginning of the summer of food cart insanity and growth!

Koi Fusion tofu tacos

Vegan Brunch was released! As a tester, of course, I’m always excited and stoked to support it and must include the Ode to Vegan Brunch Testing. I helped make some of the baked goods photographed! Oh my gosh!

Vegan Omelet

July

My friend Jeff and I made this Raspberry Blackout cake for Maeve’s birthday:

I became a contributor to Veggie Thing! …which went kerplunk.  I’m trying to keep the spirit alive with Awesome of the Week, kinda.

Professor Nanotear muffins from Tube

August

Try Vegan PDX presented the second annual Try Vegan Week with great success.  The culminating event was the 90s themed U Can’t Touch This Vegan Prom. Thrilling!

The dance contest, featuring the first and second place winners – Simon and Angela

I discovered I seem to have an allergy to one of my favorite foods, the hazelnut.  The horror!

September

Hazelnut Encrusted Eggplant

I fell in love with a scone from the new Back to Eden Bakery & Boutique: Maple Walnut

October

Zomg.  Fakin’ Fest happened.  There was dark chocolate dipped vegan bacon, bacon stuffed mushrooms, bacon cupcakes, tempeh bacon, maple bacon ice cream and much, much, much more. There was best dish, favorite dish and best fakin’ haiki contests, with prizes (more vegan bacon!) donated by Lightlife.

Stef’s Coconut Bacon Cupcakes

The Spicy Vegan’s potato skins

Mike Vegan’s awesome pig cake

Dynise, the Urban Vegan, sent her new cookbook for review & I’ve been digging it.

Spaghetti Carbonara

I got my fix of apples at the annual Portland Nursery Apple Festival:

The compilation of the Vegan Friendly Food Carts Listing, which now has its own page here.

on the Bombay Chaat House:

Bombay Chaat House

I added another reason to ever leave SE Portland in my personal time from my friends Julie & Jay Hasson – they opened their food cart, Native Bowl, in Mississippi Marketplace, and it rules!

Hummus wrap and Couch Bowl, photo by Lucas DeShazer

The Portland Vegan 100! So fun to put together. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

November

I was obsessed with brussel sprouts.  All year, really.

Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin from The Urban Vegan

brussel sprouts au gratin

Roasted with blood orange and sea salt.

roasted brussels sprouts with blood orange and garlic!

December

Banana Waffles! Banana Flapjacks from Vegan Brunch turned Waffles

xmas waffles

Another test recipe from Isa’s new book, 40 Cloves Chickpeas & Broccoli

40 cloves Broccoli & Chickpeas

A little more Retrospect…

  • I didn’t leave the country as I dream, but I did travel more on the West Coat, and had my annual pilgrimages to NYC and Boston – will happily be there again in February and playing in the snow!  Let me know if there are new places I should check out, I’m curious about Piece ‘Pie in Allston!
  • 2009 called forth the @getsconed twitter account (I had a personal, private account beforehand), the inevitable, welcome move to WordPress and finality of a domain, which was the exciting part of November.
  • In case you’re interested in the Portland vegan restaurant scene, we posted the Stumptown Vegans Year in Review Podcast earlier in the month.
  • Coming in 2010: Vegan Eats in and around Laguna Beach, CA, A Walk on Super Vegan Friendly Alberta Street, Product Reviews Galore, and more I can’t even make up on the spot!

As always, thank you for reading and commenting!  I’m thrilled to be part of the vegan blogging world.

Adventures with Daiya: zpizza, Quesadilla & Native Bowl

Thank You, zpizza.
daiya

The first time I tried Daiya, I was in Laguna Beach, CA and had a pizza delivered by zpizza, pictured above. I was in such dislike with this goo on soft crust that I thought I was being tricked with soy cheese with casein.  This new soy-free vegan cheese had just arrived on the scene at Food Fight! in Portland days before, and across the vegan internet, the hype was through the roof.  And it didn’t come across like hype, there seemed no doubt that this vegan cheese was revolutionary.  New and old vegan cheese eaters seemed to be ridiculously impressed.

It’s been released across the country and added to menus like no vegan cheese before it.  In Portland, Mississippi Pizza, Savor Soup House cart, Whiffies (in a vegan meatball pie!) and Native Bowl are all using it so far.

There’s no tricking to melting it.  It does what it’s supposed to. It comes in two flavors, Italian blend and Cheddar style, and I’ve accepted that it’s the new king of the vegan world. Does that mean I have to like it?  Do I simply dislike it? Is it too realistic, channeling too much Velveeta (thanks Maeve, for that)?

On my first post about Daiya, after grilled cheese trials at home and from Savor Soup House, I mentioned my mixed feelings.  On one hand, this is a melty, available vegan cheese making waves and getting real respect (restaurants, consumers and bloggers); on the other, there’s something about the cloying, stick to the roof of your mouth texture and flavor it gets when melted that rubs my taste buds the wrong way. Yet, I actually liked it raw at VegFest.

Onto the adventures.

Quesadilla with Spicy Pinto Bean Spread and Italian Daiya

daiya quesadilla

I was utterly impressed with the melt action! This was so easy and I wanted to like it. Sadly, couldn’t manage more than two bites.  Is there cilantro in the cheese that’s activated once it’s melted?  I’m joking, sorta.

Lunch from Native Bowl in the Mississippi Marketplace, featuring a grilled cheese with Cheddar Daiya, housemade cashew cheese, seitan  and jalapenos.

Native Bowl

This sandwich rocked the house, but I think I could have easily lived without the Daiya: it’s didn’t capture everything in a melty embrace, and that was OKAY! The other ingredients, fine, working with the Daiya, made for an excellent, unforgettable sandwich.  And pickles! Cookie! Love, love Native Bowl.

Final Thoughts:

When I told people about the zpizza experience, I was told a couple tips repeatedly – there was too much cheese and there needed to be more toppings, and that I should try it again in a sandwich.

So, because I don’t want to be the crazy official hater, or called names and kicked out of veganism, and every so often I can bear and appreciate it, I’m trying to think of this new product like an acquired taste and I’m welcoming more tips! Vegans will never live without the gooey cheese sensation again – you’ll tell the next generation stories about this! The pre-Daiya era.

And if you’re a hater, well come here for a hug, because it’s taking over.