oh, rejoice! The Portland Farmers Market is back!

It was undeniably the place to be in Portland this past weekend.

and thanks to the press releases (who doesn’t read press releases about their local farmers markets?), I knew it was going to be bigger & better than ever – doubling in size in the PSU Park Blocks.

I was literally sitting at my desk this morning, daydreaming about the vegetables I have at home.

For such an early start to the season, I was constantly thrilled, booth by booth, to see such variety!  I’ve grown accustomed to walking home from the first market of the season with a bundle of raab or rapini or two, and I did, with a bunch more. I started my farmar adventure with a patiently delivered, cup of single origin Burundi Stumptown from Cafe Velo, nibbled on a trail mix bar from BlackSheep Bakery, explored the new routes, marked purchases for round #2, and ran into happy friends.

Notables:

  • The variety!
  • The hipster mustaches! more than ever! with babies! (I know! It’s Portland, but there were more than usual)!
  • Room to move!
  • Gooey (Daiya?) vegan cheese on deep dish slices at the new Via Chicago Pizza stand!
  • The line for coffee at Cafe Velo is not as scary as it looks!
  • Local Yukons (especially miniature! make me never want to buy another russel potato again).
  • Multi-recycling & composting efforts!
  • Petunia’s Pastries stand!

The Photos:

The market is enormous!

farmar 2010

There is room for 3 different music spots! Maybe more? At least 2 were official.  Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the cool country western singers (with mustaches).

life march 2010 012

The crowd thickens…

life march 2010 015

Broccoli raab sighting #1, check

RAAB

Even more glorious raabs!

life march 2010 021

Bought my garlic here…

farmar 2010

Tempting.

farmar 2010

There are two food strips now – in the middle and the farmost SW corner.
Some vegan highlights -

farmar

I’ve never ordered from here, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.

farmar food

Via Chicago

Chicago pizza Portland Farmers Market

BEHIND THE SCENES

farmar 2010

Glorious.

life march 2010 025

If I hadn’t opted for coffee, hot peppermint tea would have been calling.

life march 2010 026

Preppin’ the mushroom samples

life march 2010 027

support the fraggles

fraggles

My haul: Cremini mushrooms, Yukon Gold potatoes, brussel sprout raab, broccoli raab, mustard greens, asparagus, miner’s lettuce, red Chesnok garlic

farmar haul 3/20/2010

My only reason to get up at 9am on a Saturday that is truly worth it.  I contemplated signing up for a CSA again this year, but the farmar is truly too much fun to resist.

And the first actual dish from my haul, besides nibbling on miner’s lettuce and tossing a piece to my cat:

Shells Con Broccoli Raab, modified from The Urban Vegan (with miso!)

urban vegan pasta

Made with orrechiete and broccoli in the book; whole wheat shells and broccoli raab in my kitchen. Small dish of nooch for sprinklin’. Local greens and garlic.

Three Days in Seattle, Vegan Style

I had a string of poor luck with meal choices on my East Coast vacation, and I must say that 3 days of vegan meals in Seattle kinda kicked the butt of my week of vegan consumption in Boston and NYC.  With some exceptions, of course.  I really do believe that food tastes better in the Pacific Northwest.

For one thing, the coffee is fantastic.

Soy Latte from Herkimer, University District

Herkimer, Seattle

I spent a lot of time working in a couple coffeeshops.  Unlike Portland, I was stunned to easily find a seat at shops.  This simply means Portland needs more coffeeshops, gosh.

Herkimer

Soy Latte from Trabant, University District (49th Parallel beans).  Just….right.

Trabant

Vanilla Vegan Chai from Trabant

Trabant Chai

Trabant

If I had more time…I would have hit the Korean Tofu House for dinner.  One day!  They open at 7pm, and I simply didn’t have enough um, dinner openings.

Sorry Mike, Sorry Vijjy! I just peered, like a tofu stalker, during the day…

will I ever make it here?

Oh, and look, another Tofu House!  This one was pretty much beef with tofu, beef with tofu, beef with tofu on the menu, though.  Tofu stalker will investigate further…

another 'fu house

Angel Curry with Soft Tofu from In the Bowl Vegetarian Noodle Bistro. My first time there, my first meal of the trip, my favorite meal of the trip! Review coming to Stumptown Vegans.

In The Bowl, Seattle

Wayward Vegan Cafe.  This popular cafe recently moved to a new location on University Street in Seattle’s slowly expanding V-District, and overall, bestowed the second of the top two meals of my visit.  Thank you, vegan omelet!

Sham and Cheddar Vegan Omelet with roasted potatoes – hello, vegan diner food.

Wayward Cafe Vegan Sham & Cheddar Cheese Omelette

Giant side of Garlic Steamed Greens with a little visit from the nutritional yeast shaker and hot sauce.

Wayward Garlic Steamed Kale

The line to order.  It was almost out the door at times!

Wayward Cafe

More to come.

Wayward

Flowers Restaurant for the Vegan Lunch Buffet

to michelle, love jess

My dear friend Michelle has been recommended Flowers several times over the past three years, and I note it on my sporadic northern trips.  I finally put aside the call of vegan chinese (I had my full on the East Coast) and hit up Flowers last week. Finally!

Flowers

My plate from the Flowers buffet.

Flowers Vegan Buffet in Seattle

My favorite parts were the chilled roasted broccoli and creamy, tahini-like pasta salad.  Personal preference – I wish some of the cold items were hot.  I really dug the large variety and wish I had more room to try more!  There were numerous stewed dishes, roasted vegetables, baba ganouj, fries, and more, that I would like to try another time.  With my friend Michelle, ideally!

The large buffet lays beyond these windows. Every now and then I’m too shy to take all the photos I’d like.

Flowers

Stumbling upon the University Farmers Market = heck, yeah!

University Farmar, Seattle

Intriguing fruit vinegars and sauces and whatnot.

U-District FarMar

Just builds the anticipation for the Portland Farmers Market opening next weekend!

U-District

It wasn’t me.

Seattle

Spotted downtown: kale

kale kale kale

New experience: Vegan coconut based ice cream at Full Tilt Ice Cream Parlor, below the popular Cedars Restaurant.

Seattle

Okay, there was a large piece of hair on top of the flavor I was leaning towards, Toasted Coconut, so I went with the enjoyably rich Almond Joy with bits of chocolate and almond.  It happens.

Vegan ice cream

My only disappointment was on a second visit to Georgetown Liquor Co. My first experience was superb.  This time, I still enjoyed my microbrew and Nintendo, but apparently if you don’t state vegan!!!!!!!! at this vegetarian restaurant, even when your sandwich isn’t listed with cheese, it comes with cheese, as does your side salad.  As the Vegan Shiz would say, sad face.  It’s been so long since this has happened to me!  There is a note on the menu stating vegan cheese can be subbed for any vegetarian cheese, and a few items are marked NV, but this wasn’t one, nor did this list cheese.  Now I know.

Georgetown Liquor Co.

Where to next?

back to portlandia!

I’m officially back from a one week vacation to Boston and New York with my friend Millie. I’m a little bummed it didn’t snow, but I had swell times, so I’ll live.

Expect a bajillion photos next week.  For now, let me say that the most awesome things I sampled on vacation were a variety of sushi at Soy and Sake, a latte at 1369 Coffeehouse in Boston, the new Peace O’ Pie, and a NYC bagel.  I need to go back to my rule of not eating bagels outside of New York State.  There’s simply no point.   Other highlights (or amusements) included the Leslie and the Lys show, a bubblegum martini, double doses of fake shrimp, Stogo, and Daiya cheese everywhere.  Is it the new face of veganism?

Vanilla Soy Latte at 1369 Coffeehouse in Central Square. Cambridge, MA

Soy Latte from 1369

I went for the vanilla, cause you know, I was on vacation…

Upcoming posts: NYC and Boston travel write ups, the secret project with Janessa and Portland’s First Vegan Iron Chef news!

Continued Examination of Portland Soy Lattes

Starting with a Stumptown…
Stumptown: Ash

So, I’m on day 3 of a brief coffee detox.  I had a major caffeine/sugar crash after attending a killer vegan candy party, and then recording and experiencing the  Stumptown Vegans local chocolate review, all within a 24 hour period.  I let Sahagun’s revolutionary Stumptown coffee bar live inside my brain.  Oh wow, ow.  I’m aiming to stay coffee-free until my annual East Coast snow pilgrimage/vacation next week, cup of oolong in hand.

Naturally, it’s time to torment myself with the continuation of my Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

Portland is a city renowned for its stellar, ever- independent coffee scene.  It’s an amusing, eye-opening place where Stumptown Coffee and its appreciated and nestled, alternatives, rule. These examinations are simple photo essays of where I’ve sipped on soy lattes in the past few months. Recent adventures not pictured: Coffee House NW (for a macchiato – oh, my) and Sweetpea Baking Co.

Countless recommendations later (mainly Maeve), I finally made it to one of Portland’s newest microroasters, Heart!

Heart Coffee

I enjoy when I can say things like “This latte is like a cloud!” and “soy  latte dream!”, and this was an appropriate experience.

Soy Latte from Heart

Heart Coffee

Floyd’s, Old Town (Stumptown) There was something positively rigorous about this latte.
Floyd's Old Town

Barista

I have to say life has been really good lately – because I’ve been to Barista twice within a few weeks.  The highest quality coffee shop in Portland, offering beans from a small variety of rotating, independent roasters.

Barista

Another Soy Latte from Barista

barista
Soy Latte from Spella Cafe


Spella Cafe on 5th

The owners of the beloved Spella cart downtown opened a lovely small shop on SW 5th. My secret day job relocated this fall, and this shop has replaced Coffee Plant as my walking-distance-indulgence. I am full of gratitude when I visit!

Spella Cafe on 5th

The next two lattes have been featured as “awesomes” before, but what the hell. They’re awesome for awesome reasons, obvs.

The Perfect Holiday Latte from Artemis Cafe

Artemis Cafe

Soy Latte from Coffeehouse Five I’ve been on more than one #4 heading north and contemplated running late and catching the next bus, just to stop  here on Killingsworth.

coffeehouse-five

Acme Coffee Company (Ristretto Roasters)

acme coffee.

My first latte from this newer SE coffeeshop.  It really underwhelmed me, but I’ll give them another try -especially because I liked the hard workin’, creative, and homey atmosphere in this coffeeshop house.

Stumptown: Ash

Stumptown: Ash

I’ll use the word “ethereal”.  Just try and stop me.

Next up – I don’t remember where this is from!  Egads.

Unidentified Soy Latte

October 2009 052

Have you seen me?

Do you believe this shit? Believe I had a gift card. Believe there’s no need to ever order vanilla.  Or from here, in the Pacific Northwest, at least.  Hopefully ever, unless you’re in need of caffeine at an airport ?

Do you believe this shit?

Please note I did not finish this and I am still apologizing to my soul.

Any recommendations for the next round, or Boston or NYC coffee?  I’m always looking to try new spots.  Though in NYC, I will gladly let Drowning in a Demitasse lead the way…

awesome of the week: “the perfect holiday latte”

Holidays are a time for indulgence, AM I RIGHT?!?

I’m totally right, and living this mantra – recently ordering “The Perfect Holiday Latte”, advertised on a counter display board at vegan friendly Artemis Cafe & Catering on SE Division, my favorite street.  It was made with Soy Nog – by default!, Stumptown espresso and organic spiced syrup.  It wasn’t ornately swirled, but I knew I wasn’t at an esteemed coffeeshop, and thick nog was in effect. I detected actual spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, etc. Hells yes.  Seasons Freaking Greetings and Caffeinating to me.

Artemis Cafe

Seasons’ Greeting All! Time to go home and bake the candy cane layer cake!!!

An Examination of Seattle Soy Lattes

Victrola Soy Latte

Victrola

Three days in Seattle, and I consumed three soy lattes within 24 hours.

Invincibility. Fortunately, I’d been taking it easy on caffeine the week before, and proceeded to take a few days off afterwards.

Each Seattle latte was, simply put, great. I have nothing but fond memories.

The most memorable was from the staple Victrola Roastery and Cafe on Pike St.

Victrola latte, shot 2

victrola

From my high table, I could see right into their roastery, nice.

seattle

victrola

Before the awesome lunch buffet at Araya Thai, my friends and I popped into Trabant in the University District. I’d been there in the past for a lovely chai, but this was my first time for coffee. My friend Evan, the growing NYC espresso guru, clued me in that they exclusively use 49th Parallel beans, roasted in British Columbia.

Trabant Soy Latte

trabant

This latte was a perfect part of my afternoon.

Well, what do we have here?

'town

On my final day, I had two lattes in the same early afternoon. I ended up taking an afternoon train instead of a morning one, so what else was there to do besides drink lattes and wander a bit? I wasn’t planning on it, but shortly after my Victrola stop, I saw this – and it wouldn’t escape my mind. Also, I had to use their bathroom. FYI, it still opens with a duck.

Stumptown in Seattle. Portland based, internationally renowned.

seattle

Stumptown in Seattle, Soy Latte

stumptown, seattle

The End.

seattle

If you have a favorite Seattle soy latte I’ve missed, please say so!

More Northwest Latte Love:

An Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

A Second Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

awesome of the week


exhibit a: maple glazed yeasted donut with fake bacon. vegan! vegan! vegan!

source: Sweetpea Baking Co.

Sweetpea did this.

This Homer Simpson-style dreamboat was coated in my favorite flavor (okay, one of my primary favorites) and topped with a piece of vegan bacon!  Katie Jane mentioned the realistic bacon was from Food Fight! next door.

ala Voodoo Doughnuts’ Bacon Maple bars.

ala after this Fakin’ Fest organizer’s heart and stomach.  Plus, it had that whole fresh donut delicious thing going on. I never seem to luck out with very fresh yeasted donuts at the downtown Voodoo.

exhibit b: soy latte

source: Coffeehouse-Five in NE Portland

coffeehouse-five

I was blown away by this quiet coffeeshop’s soy latte months ago. I found myself between buses recently and seized an opportunity to re-awaken via soy latte. They have magical baristas, beans (Coava) and/or soymilk, I swear. The drink was so creamy, you could think it was just barely above room temperature, but, of course, it was just that well done.  And magical.

A Second Examination of Portland Soy Lattes

From Stumptown at the Ace Hotel.

Just a tour of the lattes of my life in the past few months…

Soy latte from Coffee Plant, downtown. So reliably good.

This is from Cacao at the Heathman.

This chocolate shop’s espresso is from Caffe Vita in Seattle.  I ridiculously feel guilty because theyir beans are from Seattle and not roasted in PDX. From Seattle!! The coffee capital of the US!! I’ve found lattes from here to be hit or miss, but overall, are a huge step up from the large chains in the area.

Now we move onto the foam fans club:

Another latte from Cacao at the Heathman Hotel.

Vanilla Soy Latte from Palio in Ladd’s Addition.

Cute, but foamy and boring.
Yet I love the charming location so, because it’s in Ladd’s Addition.

Another for the sad face pile, Soy Latte from Coffee Time in NW.

Coffee Time

I was stoked to try a latte from this coffee shop in NW with a hobbit room in the back, but as I stepped up to order I noticed the beans were Panache. I’ve never liked their coffee.  I sipped at it, but the sentiment remained.

Hemp Latte from K & F BellaSelva Coffee House

k&f

I frequent this coffee shop and have a soft spot for their coffee (especially the iced during the summer) and dig that they tout their alternative milk selection on the chalkboard, but I’ve yet to have a great latte.  This is turning pessimistic, oops.

Soy Macchiato from Stumptown, Ace Hotel

ace hotel, pdx

This was my first Macchiato in years,  I was trying to branch out. It was quite striking, both visually and taste-wise, and soothed my low energy soul that afternoon, but I don’t find myself called to another one.

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Peet’s Coffee

Pumpkin Spice Latte

One for the shocker pile.  Autumn hit and I wanted a damn pumpkin latte, because the media told me so. FYI, Starbucks pumpkin lattes are not vegan (as if), but Peet’s are. I was astounded that this was so tasty, and pretty!  I’ve had another since, that paled, flavor wise, and I came to my senses and realized I was in Peet’s.

One more for the Coffee-Plant-rules-fan club.

Coffee Plant, downtown.

It took me a moment to realize there was a freaking swan on my latte.

Thank you, once again, Coffee Plant.

ow.

Ironically, as I write this, it has been over a week since my last latte or cup of coffee.  I was developing a little habit.  Previously a latte would come my way every other week. I’m not shaking, but the first two days without brought on a fierce migraine and were very stressful at work. I used to drink lattes in my early 20s and then went a few years without it, almost entirely, so I know I’m fine without it.  It wasn’t even a year ago I started up with it again.  I’m thinking kombucha could be the new kombucha, which was the new latte.  I was on a big, spendy kombucha kick for a while, aka I need a starter!

Anyway, a little caffeinated tea has come my way since and I do intend to dip back into the latte experience as soon as tomorrow, but more exclusively.  I had been adventurous on my latte expeditions, and the adventure had disappointments.  The final latte before my week off was mediocre, and I didn’t finish it.  It’s not pictured above.

I was also going to some coffee shops around my office where I wouldn’t bother spending money on a lousy latte, which means I really shouldn’t bother spending money on a coffee there. Seattle’s Best, I’m talking to you. I was in love with my one-week-left tradition of a cup of individually ground and brewed Stumptown from Cafe Velo at the Wednesday Farmers Market, but that market has closed til Spring, and I hope their downtown cafe is truly under works!

~

future

On the next examination, I plan on lattes from Tiny’s, Ristretto, Coffee house Five, Cellar Door, Coffeehouse NW and two I have yet to go to: Extracto and Heart.

If you’re looking for more latte art action, check out Drowning in Demitasse (based out of NYC).

The first Examination of Portland Soy Lattes is here.

If you have a favorite Portland soy latte, do tell.

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