It’s a mesmerizing time to be tasting one’s way through vegan Portland as I tiptoe back into the vegan dining scene for Portland Dining Month. Continue reading
Celebrating the half-way point of my 100 Days Homemade with a round of Lauren’s gingery mocktail sippers at Portobello. Strangers things have happened.
Recap to follow. Sicilian pizza dough rising. Local produce stocked.
From Sunday’s stop to the Lents International Farmers Market: cherry & heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, fresh garlic, plums, nectarines, kale, strawberries, blueberries, red potatoes, basil, hot & smokey salsa and pok choi…
And hey, I’ll be speaking on the topic of Niche Blogging with Janessa & Michele on Friday at this weekend’s International Food Blogger Conference, being held here in Portland. Perhaps we’ll see you there!
I had a wonderful long weekend. It marked the first time since November I’ve truly had a free weekend to cook and bake in a relaxed manner, in addition to a couple of swell meals out of the house. There was no special occasion, I wasn’t prepping for a dinner party or the week ahead, I was simply in my kitchen. No rush required.
Here’s the weekend, foodwise, including the casual, pasta from Isa’s latest PPK test kitchen, a return to Bay Leaf, cookies, and the first BOH dinner.
If all I eat are quinoa and black bean bowls covered with queso for the next week, it’s fine by me.
The following pasta meal is a dish from Isa’s latest book in progress, with the working title, “Isa Does It”. I skipped the toasted walnuts (dang you, potential allergy woes) and topped it with roasted sunflower seeds. I’ve been hooked lately.
Olive Angel Hair with Seared Brussel Sprouts
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance
From lunch at Bay Leaf. I hadn’t been in quite some time, and my girlfriend had never. Their hot and sour soup and Sizzling Tofu is my go-to meal when I’m sick.
Sometimes it’s nice to dine somewhere where the dishes stay the same, time after time. It’s even nicer to say that place is a vegetarian restaurant (somewhat) down the street.
Most of the time, I crave variety in my dishes, and I choose to dine out because I desire the experience of new dishes, different cuisines, creative dining, interesting textures – everything I don’t, and probably can’t – try in my own little kitchen.
Dry Rosé, Winter’s Hill, Portobello’s kitchen
Over the weekend, I was invited to attend the first BOH dinner at Portobello Vegan Trattoria, which never stopped impressing, course by course. It started with a miniature potato pancake smaller than my thumb, moved onto a kimchi and kumquat (among other things) adorned green onion pancake, on-wards to beet and pinenut-filled ravioli with blood orange sauce and moscatel syrup (and more), two more stunning courses (both on the plate and in my mouth), and this rarely ever happens with me, but my favorite of them all, if you forced me to pick, was the finale: a miniature slice of sweet potato bourbon pie, topped with housemade coconut ice cream and caramel sauce. Yeah. The full menu is on the facebook.
Of course, I was already a big fan of Portland’s vegan Italian spot and moan about gnocchi pretty much whenever it’s mentioned, but this experience was damn avant-garde. Bear with my phone photos, and head over to their facebook page for a full album of much higher quality.
Up ahead, a thankfully short week ahead capped off with a visit from my sister from NYC, bagels in tow.
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
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.
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.