Vegan Offerings for Portland Dining Month 2014

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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

Food Porn Edition: Veggie Grill’s Pre-Opening in Beaverton & Anticipation

It’s about to get all food porn up in here.

But first, some related anticipation with not only a purpose, but hope for those of us stuck working downtown and tired of shuffling away without direction when our go-to food cart is closed for the owner’s family cat’s birthday (which I totally understand):

Good riddance, Carl's Jr! Veggie Grill's downtown location is scheduled to open in May 2012.

Sure, I felt positive about the opening of the first Northwest Veggie Grill location in Beaverton. I was incredibly stoked to receive an invitation to the pre-opening weekend event, especially after my indulgent weekend in LA, and just as glad to see ‘normal’ vegan food available from a casual chain nearby in Beaverton. I mean, once a year I seem to make the public transit trek to Uwajimaya, so figuring out a convenient stop with vegan nachos isn’t out of the question.

It makes me smile big time to pretend I’m 12, and to picture that kind of accessibility to 100% vegan food in a neighborhood suburban complex. I mean, the world is changing, no big deal.

Really, it is a big deal that a major fast food chain suddenly closed in a very central downtown location, and will be re-opening as a plant-based chain.

Selfishly, I remain damn stoked about ordered a Bayou Chickin’ sandwich and sweet potato fries for lunch by Spring’s end, and thrilled that vegans, vegetarians and curious (and convinced co-working) omnivores alike will all be able to place that very same order.

Away we go.

Here’s a look, all classic Stumptown Vegans style, at some dishes my friends and I ordered at the aforementioned pre-opening:

Sante Fe Crispy Chickin’ Burger [Gardein patty]

All Hail Kale Salad

Uptown Nachos [with Daiya-based sauce]

All-American Stack [with Gardein strips]

Papa’s Portobello  Burger

Sante Fe Chickin’,  full plate

Interior

Attention: Shoppers

Disclaimer: All dishes were complimentary at the pre-opening.

Veggie Grill Weekend, Day Two: Avocados & New Menu Items

The following is a continuation of menu food porn from my recent Veggie Grill weekend. This post hereby includes upcoming Veggie Grill menu items of the ‘fork and knife’ variety (brief pondering: Do you call it ‘knife and fork?’ Or is that phrasing simply more carnivorous?), a morning visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market, strolling the Venice Beach pier, more silly photos, and further anticipation for the Beaverton opening, just over a week away. Never before have I muttered a similar sentiment for this suburb, but I like to think I returned from my December travels lighthearted, open-minded, prepared to take public transportation wherever it may go (and in any language), and certainly, craving American-style vegan cuisine.

First up, I appreciate a hotel with a chilled pitcher of soymilk, ready to go.

You know, I should have gotten my hopes up (and denied my bladder) when I passed by this publicity poster in an upstairs room. I missed out on a Dolly Parton lobby-walk-by, by mere moments.

My time visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market.

Oh, California.

I picked up two new-to-me varieties of avocado: Bacon and Zutano.

We were serenaded by a Michelle Williams look-a-like in between produce stops.

Branded iced tea shots from a Ghostbusters-style backpack. So LA?

Moving on, we made it to the West  Hollywood Veggie Grill, which I had lunched at last fall on my first visit to LA, for our second lunch tasting.

The full menu is here.

Here’s what we all came  here for, the food.

Most importantly, we started again with nachos. Most definitely, I did not complain. I may have applauded. I’m not normally one for the D-cheese, but Veggie Grill uses it as a base in their nacho sauce, and it really works.

Uptown Nachos [Daiya-based sauce]

Sweetheart Chili Cheese Fries [Daiya-based sauce]

NEW: Bayou Chickin’ Caesar Wrap

Chillin’ Chickin’ Strips, Sweetheart Fries, Ranch and Sweet & Sour for dipping

Wait a minute!

Chickin’ nuggets, Chipotle Ranch (how I dig thee) and BBQ sauce

NEW: Buffalo Chickin’ Sandwich

Fun tidbit: all sandwiches are available wrap-style or served on a bed of kale

NEW: Chicken Fried Steak Plate [Gardein] with Mashed Potato & Cauliflower (aka Caulipots! Name credit: Isa Chandra Moskowitz), Steamed Kale and Porcini Caper Gravy

NEW: The Gluten-free Urban Plate with Grilled Portobello, Grilled Tempeh, Caramelized Onions, Steamed Kale (aw, yeah!), Chipotle Ranch (yeahyeahyeah!), Tomatoes with Basil and Guacamole

NEW: Chocolate Pudding Parfait with Crushed Oreos and Sour Cream Frosting

Our Sunday tasting club: Terese from Veggie Grill, Janessa, Webly, myself and Veggie Grill ‘s “Food Man” himself, Ray.

One last look – surely, that’s a celebrity power couple clandestinely dining on the patio. It would be almost exciting as realizing Daryl Hannah was sitting behind  us the day before in a series of ridiculous pudding photos.

Farewell, Hollywood!

Hello, Venice Beach…

After a week back in rainy Portland, I admit, I missed reading on the beach.

If only there was a rum-based cocktail in a coconut available in place of $3 PBRs. Isn’t this the land of $2 buck Chuck?! The red is vegan-friendly, btw.

With that, we were on our way back to Portland -

Avocados & lemons in tow

I also had some Nicobella chocolates in my bag to sample back home.

On the downside, the mysterious Michele’s take out did not make it home with her.

More discussion coming soon to Stumptown Vegans, in addition to photos and menu tales from next week’s pre-opening event in Beaverton. Check  out their website and facebook for Portland AREA opening information. I’m out.

As for me, I’ll be in Chicago for the first time with the VVC gals this weekend (please share any tips!), and I’m focused on hushing my inner New Yorker about the idea of an authentic, deep dish pizza.

Veggie Grill Weekend: Day One

Veggie Grill: Day One. Everyone's ready to sample 4 different vegan burgers, right?

While I could sit here for hours and slowly being to photo document my December-long travels in Southeast Asia, deciding the next day’s destination on a whim, sleeping in a bamboo hut alongside a river, attempting to rock a saree at a Sindhi wedding, watching the sunset from the steps of ancient ruins, or the young coconut curry that changed my life, and so on…well, I’m almost ready. First,  however, comes the story of my satisfying weekend in Los Angeles.

No holds barred, here’s the gist: mere days ago, I was one of a few lucky-ass Portland bloggers flown down to LA (what!) for lunch tastings at Veggie Grill. I’ve been twice before, in West Hollywood and Irvine, and was a fan, and frankly, I thought the email I half-read while waking up in Thailand sounded too good to be true: Meet & Greets with founders? Cocktail hour with the CEO? Special lunch tastings and previews of upcoming menu items? Traveling with friends? Were they taking vegan bloggers seriously? Would we take ourselves too seriously?

The departure for the overnight whirlwind was less than a week after my arrival back home, and my jet lag was only just fading, but I was in. 

Again, the day was incredibly satisfying. It began with an early morning flight and quickly moved onto an extensive lunch tasting of the classic Veggie Grill menu items, while meeting with the co-founders, a visit to The Getty, haute cocktails with the CEO at The Bazaar, and later on, our off-site dinner at Mao’s before collapsing in bed watching Chelsea Lately.

I’ll be sharing more from our second day, including new menu items, and any news about the Portland area locations that comes my way soon, as well as  in-depth thoughts on the food itself over at Stumptown Vegans with Webly.

As for the first restaurant opening in the Northwest (which includes Beaverton, Portland and Seattle), expect the Beaverton Veggie Grill to open its doors the last week of January, followed by downtown Portland later this Spring.

The following are photos from the day, in order. You can download the current menu on their website.

It all started with our ride for the weekend, Lonnie, as joined by Janessa:

Cookies in the car for breakfast!

Get ready…

Get set…

Go! 

Uptown Nachos. We were treated to plates of these as lunch starters on both days, and I am not complaining.

Buffalo Wings [Gardein] and Ranch with celery

All  Hail Kale Salad with roasted corn salsa and agave-roasted walnuts

New favorite breakfast = leftover kale salad!

Refreshment break: Iced Pomegranate Green Tea 

The burgers begin…

Bayou Chickin’

El Dorado Style VG-Cheeseburger

Classic VG-Cheeseburger

Sweetheart Fries and my beloved Chipotle Ranch

Quinoa Mac-N-Cheese with Garlic  Breadcrumbs [Daiya-based]

You may think we were done sampling, but as the lovely Janessa showcases, we had more to come…

A few bites of dessert, perhaps?

Carrot Cake, Chocolate Tofu Pudding & Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie

“That cookie is just asking to be dipped in pudding” – Julia

It’s rare that my photo will included, but you guys….Janessa took a pudding photo series, and I wanted to share my favorite. 

The end! Of Saturday’s lunch tasting, that is.

Smiling bloggers & The Veggie Grill Founders & CEO

Ordering is counter-style at all Veggie Grills

Even as co-founder, Kevin’s cravings are relentless….

After our first lunch tasting on Saturday, we headed off to The Getty for some wandering. 

Not to mention a lot of close calls on these extended steps -

Cruising down Rodeo Drive may not have been a dream come true, but I like to think we were filming the opening sequence for some awful reality show that will never make it on air. I am not signing a release.

Later on, we digested and went for a cocktail hour at The Bazaar at the SLS.

I ordered the “New Way” Dirty Martini with Belvedere, on the right. Naturally, I could not pass up the chance for a burst of olive spherification and foamy olive brine air. I mean, come on.

Our group also experienced two table-side liquid nitrogen creations, including Michele’s Caipirinha and Webly’s Shirley Temple, pictured below. This series simply reminds me that I’m back from vacation and a new camera is totally on my back-to-life for a bit wish list.

This may have been the least dramatic of the hotel bathrooms used over the weekend, and yet I wondered such things as…just where will the water go in these sinks? Can people see through these stalls?

Hours later, with cocktails (and mocktails) sipped, we headed to Mao’s Kitchen for dinner. When Michele recommends a restaurant in LA, let alone a vegan-friendly Chinese restaurant, I’m in.

Fried noodles and sweet dipping sauce

Janessa and I split an order of the People’s Potstickers to start, filled with black & woodear mushrooms, smoked tofu and minced bok choy.

Next up to our table was a Peasants’ Onion Pancake. Not my type of dish due to our enemy status, but the ladies seemed to enjoy it.

Our crispy Beijing Spring Roll was $1. Enough said.

Tofu Fried Rice

Long-life Beans with Tofu

Hong Kong Chow Mein

HOLY CRAP, ROAMING, COULD-BE-FAMOUS, CARTOONISH FOOD CART ALERT!!!!1!!11!!

Day Two is up next. Go fawn over the menu some more til then.

Disclaimer: All lunch dishes were provided for by Veggie Grill, of which I have no contractual affiliation. I simply really enjoyed this outrageously fun weekend.

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.

The Supreme Master is coming to SW Jefferson

There's a Loving Hut Vegan Restaurant coming to SW 13th & Jefferson, for real.



After a decade plus spent in obligatory knee socks and plaid skirts, I may not be a fan of organized religions, but there’s a lot to like about the Quan Yin Method, as practiced by the enigmatic Supreme Master Ching Hai and her thousands of worldwide supporters. For one thing, the philosophies embrace veganism and compassion for all living creatures. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian with a penchant for soy protein, travelling and internet access, odds are you’ve eaten at one of their usually Chinese and/or Vietnamese restaurants across the globe. Unless you happened to pick up a pamphlet or noticed the Supreme Master TV channel (who were rad and recorded last year’s Vegan Iron Chef in PDX…somewhere!), you may not have even realized that your Sweet & Sour “beef” was prepared by a chef with something of a ‘cult’ affiliation. For more thoughts on the Supreme Master movement, check out this piece on ‘A Cult I Can Live With?’ posted by Our Hen House last year. I’m in agreement, because more vegan restaurants is a good thing in principle and actuality, right? If you have more to say about their movement, please leave a comment, I’d like to hear it – I’m simply here to talk about their new addition in Portland.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian in the Portland area, odds are you’ve eaten at one of the Supreme Master run restaurants, which includes Vegetarian House and their weekday lunch buffet downtown, and Sweet Lemon Vegetarian Bistro in Hillsboro, whose salad rolls you can find in Whole Foods and Food Fight!, as well. I’ve yet to visit Sweet Lemon (bad, bad Stumptown Vegan, I know!) and I can’t say I find myself at the Veg House that often, but I had a great lunch at Loving Hut in Seattle this past winter, and that’s where the sweet anticipation steps in. There was briefly talk of another vegan restaurant moving into the short-lived Green Lady spot downtown, but that spot proves mysterious and the new Loving Hut is officially moving next to my beloved Chef Naoko Bento (which appears on the so-called Hidden Gems list I’ve hinted at, which is really coming) on SW Jefferson and 13th. I saw moving-in going on with my own freaking eyes.

In short, there’s a new vegan restaurant opening downtown! I could go on my lunch hour! You could go after a trip to the Saturday farmers market! You could go after class at PSU! After your cheapo haircut at Beau Monde!

Excitement.

Vermicelli House Special from Loving Hut in Seattle, WA

Did the short-lived Green Lady Cafe location awning actually say that?

Update: Right after I hit “publish”, I decided to google “Loving Hut Portland” for any recent information, and low and behold, my girl Green Vegan Living is on top of things!

Lattes, Sandwiches & Vegan Vietnamese: Seattle Travels with the Veganshizz

Earlier this month, Karla the Veganshizzle and I spent a few days up in Seattle basically drinking coffee, eating vegan food, walking around, and drinking even more coffee.

Our first stop was Georgetown Liquor Co. Hands down, my favorite place to dine (and play NES with a microbrew or PBR in hand) in Seattle. And really, not that hard to find!

The Picard, with vegan aus jus dipping sauce and side salad

The Lowell with vegan ham and green chiles

The Cat Whisperer by Pike Place Market, reminding me, why don’t I have any pet portraits of my roommates yet?

Please help me convince my friend below that Coffeetalk with Karla is a great name for her never-gonna-happen talk show.

Soy Latte at Herkimer, U-District

Bang Bang Cafe

There are many things that I like about Bang Bang Cafe: the Belltown location, the giant dish of vegan mac & cheese (one day this will be mine), the friendly service, the coffee, the Mighty-O donuts, the burritos, the little card for Back to Eden they had posted by the register!….I’m charmed.

Coffee and Lemon Poppyseed donut

Now, consider me happy with my first-time visit to a Loving Hut.

First off, the framed, famous vegan head shot poster:

The Wall of Vegetarian & Vegan Elite (and food):

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Part of the shopping wall:

Vegan Bánh mì

Vermicelli House Special

Attempted to give Cinnamon Works another whirl, badabing, but they were all out of the veganz:

A peak of Shiz’s I know-Jess-is-taking-a-picture-face. Bloggers, be nice to you friends – they’re very patient!

Stopping by Sidecar for sweets:

We enjoyed a satisfying, comfort-food-galore brunch at Wayward Cafe. Honestly, just look at their menu and these pictures and tell me you don’t want to go here. You do! You do! Breakfast All Day!

The Country Bumpkin: Open-faced herb biscuit with tofu scramble, country-style sausage gravy & garlic steamed greens.

The Hillbilly Omelette, stuffed with sausage, peppers, onions &  hashbrowns, topped with country gravy and cheddar cheeze, and served with homefries. Even more whoa.

My Sweet Lord, Hare Krishna cafe. Free vegan cafe (by donation).

Seeing the creepy sights in the U-District:

Pizza Pi – According to my friends, the latest management & menu is the best yet! Noted for next time. The last time I went was years ago and I think it’s changed hands at least twice since then, and it was one of those ‘why does this gross vegan cheese even exist?’ scenarios.

One day, I will.dine.here.

We were in town for First Thursday, and at Anika’s (the vegan wonder of Seattle that she is!) recommendation, stopped by the 30 works in 30 days art show.

The top right here was my favorite:

If you’re a cat, and run to me when I call you, well, that’s a promising friendship:

In more Seattle animal sightings, this dog made me realize that I now have two favorite breeds of dogs: those with capes, and on wheels:

Special Piroshky Report: Last time I stopped by the historic Piroshky Bakery in Pike Place Market, they told my friends and I that a couple of their sweet varieties, like the apple, for example, would be vegan by default because there was no dairy involved. I was excited to peak by again, but that was instantly broken when we noticed ‘honey glaze’ on the window signs. Commence vegan sadface.

OntoThe Highline. No SV review coming with these after my first visit, but here are some quick thoughts: Poor lighting, but lots of greasy potential at this place – a full bar with a specialty cocktail list – I had a short & spicy tequila sipper, a great space with stage, the idea of CAKE-A-ROKE night(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), the faux meat options – looking forward to trying the faux fish sandwich on my next trip up, but our complaint? The pickle fries were deep-fried, and came with a creamy ranch-style dip, but didn’t arrive hot! Double sadface.

Crazy packed BLT-style tofu & tempeh sandwich from The Highline:

Faux breaded chicken sandwich at The Highline:

Most importantly, it’s the year of the pickle fries!

We also took our first trip to Moonlight, a Vietnamese restaurant in the International District that has a separate vegan menu. I wrote a post on it, so sticking with photos here, and my love of their vegan eggrolls.

Eggrolls at Moonlight:

Beef and Broccoli at Moonlight; the Shiz’s iconic favorite soda in the back

Tofu Eggplant Hotpot at Moonlight

Another warming, caffeinated break downtown at Trabant:

Soy Latte, Trabant (which always makes me think of my friend Evan from Drowning in a Demitasse)

Soy Latte, Victrola

With that, I leave you in the Shizz’s hands, at the Pike Place Market:

Season’s Greetings and Happy Long Weekends!

This post is hereby dedicated to KJ & Vijjy.

creamy content: acorn squash sauce over pasta

Whole Wheat Rotelle with Squash Sauce, Sorrel, Tempeh, Red Pepper & Roasted Pecans


Broken record: I’ve been warming my way across various posts-in-progress for this site and Stumptown Vegans – where there’s always something – multiple posts, second and third visits, site development ideas, etc. –  going on behind the scenes. Working on that, the grand invites and open registration (why, could it be next weekend?!?) for Vida Vegan Con almost makes it less depressing that my sunny culinary photograph is now limited to the weekends and sporadic lunch hours. Will my dinners become boring? Not necessarily, I typically vow to never eat leftovers at home, but last night I did make a mini pizza on lavish bread, which was pretty lame. It wasn’t an abomination of ingredients (a mix of homemade sauce, farmar goods, and teese); I just don’t feel right calling it a pizza. I can just imagine my Italian great aunts giving me the stink eye over the crust (and the whole soy cheese thing, but whatever).

As for the titular pasta dish, there’s a layer of chopped lemony sorrel, Trader Joe’s whole wheat rotelle, squash sauce, sautéed tempeh bacon and sweet red pepper, and roasted pecans. The sauce is a go-go Magic Bullet puree with a base of sautéed garlic and a teeny bit of olive oil, black pepper, sea salt, roasted acorn squash, plain soy milk, nutritional yeast, ground pecans, thyme, sage, oregano, red miso, a little tamari, mustard, and probably something else or another. Those fun things that go into cheesy sauces.

Whole Wheat Rotelle with Sorrel, Squash Sauce, Tempeh,                                        Sweet Red Pepper & Roasted Pecans

In continuing adventures of confirmed deliciousness and fall acceptance, Savor Soup House is still delicious. I had a cup of Tomato Fennel Orange soup earlier for lunch, and a big kudos for a soup-maker that knows how to meld flavors other chefs might use for sheer attention.

Savor. Soup.

 

SW Alder and 10th, Downtown PDX


I took my lunch to Director Park for reading & eating, and there was a ‘flashmob” taking place. I would have assumed it was a colorful, regular theater troupe, but I heard a few excited mentions of “flashmob”  around me and grabs for smartphones. Sadly, no sign of dancing zombies.

Activity! Director Park!


And one more time – Vegan Bloggers, wherever you are – if you’re interested in attending the Vida Vegan conference late next summer, I’d selfishly advise subscribing to the site for the registration opening. Once it’s booked up, it’s booked up. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s going to squeal when our amazing speakers, or you know, special vegan guests from the dreamlist, like Moby, confirm…

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.