(Vida) Vegan Eats Vegas

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Behind-the-scenes with Vida Vegan’s location scouting of Las Vegas, including a vegan meetup at Bar + Bistro and cheap vegan eats at Garden Grill and Ronald’s Donuts. Continue reading

Playing tourist in Portland: Waiting at Voodoo Doughnuts

It’s taken a few months to mull this one over. Since then, this has happened, the re-opening of the newly expanded, original VooDoo Doughnuts (and whatever those leisurely, sugar-dusted picnic tables are about):

Just your typical Sunday morning wait. Click this for the current report.

Let’s non-scientifically estimate the above line around 30-45 minutes. It loops around a bit inside, as well.

I’ve joked many times about my desire for a locals only window. I give up.

I try and pretend that vegan doughnuts don’t exist, think about my spontaneous annual Flavourspot visit, and cross my fingers for a crispy waffle sandwich.

I remember Acme, calm down a wee bit, and then I forget those soft rolls exist for another eleven months.

It’s time to come to terms with these memories.

The following tale is true.

I once played tourist and waited in line for 1 hour and 10 minutes at Voodoo Too, and this is my story.

I’m not crazy, my houseguests were doing the tourist thing. It was their last day. We’ve all been there.

The entire visit was heartwarming and surreal – I had friends in town (plus an s.o.) from my hometown (technically one moved to Queens, but still!) of Islip, NY! It was a wild nine day period of polishing off my buried accent.

It’s almost amusing that one friend and I nonchalantly stopped by VooDoo Too for breakfast, waited in line for 5 minutes, received word that said line would last for over an hour, and wandered over to Grendel’s and Sizzle Pie instead.  I was already exhausted by 10am, thanks to our last-night-in-town karaoke bonanza the evening prior.

Being tourists (of the friendly omnivore variety) on their final day in Portland, they decided to spend the hours before their red eye back east eating. A lot. I’m talking food carts, totchos, beer, coffee, breakfast pizza, elephant ear and donuts. Being of the food blogger variety, I’ve found myself in similar modes on my travels, so I get.  I was naturally up for the photography, though my stomach didn’t catch up until hours later, back home, with my own doughnut.

Back to our big day.

10:30am

Jess: Um, let’s see how quickly this moves.

Friend: Look at these idiots!

These are what you call doughnut tourists.

10:35am

Jess: So, the Voodoo truck [parked outside] is selling doughtnuts by the dozen. No vegan donuts, but you’re not vegan so you don’t care, and they’re pretty much what you’re going to buy and it has NO LINE.

Friend: Do you want to carry around my box all day? Let’s come back later!

I think they're renting parking lot space to a used furniture depot.

10:40am

We leave the line in desperate need of coffee and sustenance, casting evil eyes at the tourists, mainly couples (who aren’t smiling – what a fun line! what a delayed sugar rush!), slowly carrying out their own pink boxes.

10:41am We notice the following on our way out…

I see someone else is lacking patience.

11:15am

Jess: Well, breakfast pizza is just as cool as a donut and will probably cure my hangover. I know, I know, you’re from New York, but I think you’ll like this.

Fast forward to Friend excitedly recapping the trip on the phone later in the day: “In Portland, they eat breakfast pizza!!!!!!!!”

(Who doesn’t!?)

TGI Pizza

My breakfast! I even picked off the dreaded c-herb.

12:10pm Cart contemplation downtown. Friend is still smiling in photographs.

The panda is wise: Why wait in line when you can have a Dutch taco?

12:40pm We peruse the Saturday Market. I remind myself that it is, in fact, Sunday.

1:30pm 

Friend: Shouldn’t I be eating something? It’s been an entire hour.

Jess: You’re probably right. I’m worried about your blood sugar.

My friend gets acquainted with Oregon’s signature fried dough tried, the elephant ear. Vegan tip: Simply request your ear without butter at this Saturday Market stand – with cinnamon sugar or local marionberry jam – and you’re in the clear. Get ready to spend the remainder of the day walking. Maybe after a nap.

It's almost a smile!

"Portland! Even your playgrounds have farmers markets!" - my dear friend's cute observation

Next up, it was time to bear witness. My houseguests were married at the 24 Hour Church  of Elvis walk-up gallery. They didn’t sell me their wedding photos, so I’ll leave them private, but let me show this much wonder:

We pressed many, many buttons.

I did sneak this one:

Cue Celine Dion.

Afterwards, it was time to celebrate and cross the river for further cart consumption. We opted for a little Cartopia, daylight style: Potato Champion! Whiffies. Crepes. Enough said.

Chipotle Vegenaise break. My allergic-to-eggs friend was saddened by her oddly crispy vegan crepe.

Next up: honeybuckets

3:30pm

Eventually, there was one big item left on our Portland to-do list, and it just happened to be more food in big pink boxes. Once again, I suggest the mixed dozens from the VooDoo truck outside. Once again, this takes the magic away.

4:06pm

After roughly waiting roughly 35 minutes on an even-longer line outside, and catching up on the past decade, we made it into Voodoo Too:

Patience, patience.

4:11pm

We could finally not just smell, but SEE doughnuts:

Taking in the sights...

4:21pm

My friends contemplate what non-edibles they're going to take home.

If people were sitting at these tables, we'd be glaring at them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I came for.

To think, they're half-smiling under there.

4:50pm My friend’s new friend. We await our bus back home.

Friend:  If anyone in New York complains about these doughnuts, I will hurt them.

Jess: I miss you already.

VooDoo Tales on Get Sconed!

10:20pm

And then it was me and my doughnut, and my houseguests were on a red eye to JFK.

The good news? As per recent observations and the re-opening of the larger original location, it appears that the line at VooDoo Too has calmed down. A bit.

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

another awesome: Voodoo’s McMinnville Cream

Voodoo Doughnuts unveiled vegan yeasted donuts last year in addition to their cake varieties, and vegans jumped for joy.  New! Vegan! Treats!

Both Voodoo locations were already round-the-clock traditions for Portlanders and tourists, and this upped the excitement for donuts.  I’ve sampled a few since they unveiled vegan versions of nearly all their regular yeasted donuts. They were tasty, and I thought the toppings and venture ruled, but the old school maple glazed and chick-o-stick cake varieties remained my choice for sporadic indulgence.

I figured two things: they would only get better!, and that I just wasn’t fortunate enough to try a super fresh one…yet.

Which leads to something awesome! Last weekend, I waited on a brief early morning line at Voodoo and was blessed with a fresh.yeasted.mister dollface of a doughnut – the McMinnville Cream, and everything was right.  The donut was soft and chewy, and filling was generous and creamy, and the icing was maple with a pink mustache.  Just look at it!

Exhibit A:

mcminnville

Exhibit B: The Inside Shot
Mcminnville

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.