The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census

Portland, OR: Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA?

jan 08 017

There is no denying that Portland is a vegan mecca. People seem to travel from around the world to sample deep fried vegan corn dogs, soft serve from Blossoming Lotus and biscuits and gravy from Vita or Paradox, among hundreds of other delicious ideas that immediately popped into your head. Well, here’s another crown you can bestow upon this city – Tofu Scramble Capital of the USA.

The Stumptown Vegans have joked about how we could spend a month eating nothing but tofu scrambles for future reviews, and have projects and podcasts up our sleeves, on top of recently being interviewed about all things tofu scramble, vegan breakfast and more on Breakfast in Bridgetown. The past few years have seen an expansion in tofu scrambles across this city, overall shifts from cubes to scrambles and a decrease in the many menus that used to say ‘sub tofu/pay more’. Why, I remember when I first talked my way into a ‘subbed’ tofu scramble with smoked tomatoes at Genie’s

So!

I decided it would be, well, fun, to see just how many tofu scrambles are available at different restaurants in Portland. I started making a list and couldn’t stop, and that became a table, which I’m calling a census.

Portland is home to excellent local tofu and some of the best produce in the country, and really, it’s an easy, cholesterol-free dish for any restaurant to offer during breakfast & brunch.  But who’s got your favorite? Who cooks that tofu just right and has the best sides?

The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census.

Tofu Scramble Location Neighborhood Variety Spices Notes
Asaase Ital Palace cart SW/PSU * * breakfast scramble
Bar Carlo SE scrambled Yes
Beaterville N pressed/grilled Braggs chewy and delicious
Beulahland NE scrambled * sub tofu for eggs
Bijou Cafe Downtown/SW * *
Blue Moose NE * *
Blue Pig SE scrambled * sub tofu for eggs
Bourgeois Z Vintage SE (outer) * *
Byways Cafe Pearl/NW * *
Chaos Cafe SE small cubes Yes wholesome!
Cricket Cafe SE cubed lots of black pepper seriously, lots of pepper.
Crush SE * * ‘Veganator’ + tofu, brunch
Cup and Saucer Cafe various scrambled varies order the special for flavor!
Equinox N/Mississippi cubed/scramble seasonal
Francis NE * *
Genie’s SE cubed No sub tofu for eggs on menu
Gravy N/Mississippi scrambled tur-mer-ic! hot stuff, but eh.
Hungry Tiger Too SE scrambled Yes, light, lots of garlic small and full sized options
Isabel’s Pearl/NW * *
Jam on Hawthorne SE scrambled Yes sub tofu for eggs on menu
Juniors SE Big chunks Yes, light the first to use spice?!
Laurelthirst NE * *
Morning Star Downtown/SW * *
Mother’s Bistro Downtown/SW scrambled/mush *
Old Wives’ Tales Inner Eastside baked Yes interesting.
Paradox Cafe SE squares lightly seasoned available as a side/in #2
Proper Eats N/St. John’s scramble Yes tempeh scramble!
Red & Black Café SE during Saturday brunch? *
Ruby Dragon cart N/Mississippi scrambled Yes tempeh scramble!
Schavone’s SE cubed No sub tofu for eggs
Slappy Cakes SE * *
Star E Rose NE scrambled * daily specials
Stepping Stone NW cubed/large pieces Ask for them (cajun) sub tofu for eggs
Sweetpea Brunch SE scrambled, buffet serving mild rotating brunch items
The Original Downtown/SW * * foie gras fig newtons here.
Tube Downtown/NW scrambled mild served in tacos!
Virgo & Pisces NW * * *
Vita Cafe NE scrambled Yes tofu and tempeh scrambles!
Wild Abandon SE scrambled No reach for the hot sauce.

*If you see something missing, retired or worth mentioning in this directory, please say so! There are places I haven’t managed to order a scramble yet, or I’ve blocked out of my mind.

Italics = my favorite places for scramble.

Onto some tofu scramble examples:

Superhero Scramble from Junior’s.

One of my favorite plates of food in this city (or their Vegan Potatoes + Tofu = Whoa, Yes).

Junior's

Curry Scramble from Jam - on a ‘big pieces’ day!

december 035

Portland Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too. This one wears their cheesy sauce.

Portland Scramble

Greek Scramble from Hungry Tiger Too.

My go-to order here. Because I really love kalamata olives and garlic in my scramble.

Hungry Tiger Too

Vegan Scramble from Jam Cafe & Arthouse on Hawthorne. Adore their jams and hash browns.

Check out the Everyday Dish cooking video to learn the spice mix!

August 2007 004

Tofu Scramble Taco from Tube bar

april 2007 126

Cricket Cafe Make-Your-Own Tofu Scramble.

Tons of black pepper – this was gigantic, but I’ve heard a friend mention theirs was tiny.

Cricket Cafe

Genie’s (Subbed) Tofu Scramble – go for the smoked tomatoes! They have great roasted potatoes and an amazing cocktail menu.

march 2008

P.S. I have to give my friend Bazu credit for the origin of this idea, with her post on The Great Tofu Scramble Debate. Personally, I go all three ways – scrambled mush, cubed, and the in-between.  Oh, and don’t forget about baked scrambles! Not such a fan.

P.P.S. You probably make the best scramble in town.

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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.

The day my camera died (I was at Slappycakes)

The day my old Powershot died, I was at the start of a boisterous visit with friends to the new Slappy Cakes on SE Belmont.

Emily watches the dramatic first squeezes…

slappy

Where you can make your own pancakes at your own table on a hot grill.

Where their vegan batter is multigrain and remarkably light.

Where the lights are bright, service is prompt and novelty abounds.

Where I felt like I was in Seattle, style wise.

Where the chocolate chips were not vegan.

Where I’d go again, but my impatience and previous squeeze bottle batter experience would give way to ordering my own pancakes and passing on novelty, but cheering my friends with their cute and crude pancake shapes.

Where I was a tourist in my own city, and left with a smile on my face.

Squeeze, Squeeze, Squeeze – Chelsea worked it!

slappy

Side of potatoes

slappy

My attempt at a cat

slappy

I think Liz was making a TV here…

slappy

The adorable addition of bananas = yes, please.

slappy

That’s all for now..no finished pancakes because again, my camera busted and my tears mixed in with the maple syrup on my plate (and then the strawberry balsamic…and then the blueberry).

Look for a review on Stumptown Vegans in the future! Webly is the real pancake pro!  I want to try their tofu scramble options next, I’m all about savoury for breakfast/brunch…