Thursday, July 30, 2015


I am happy to be back in the valley, despite the hot, humid weather we are experiencing at the moment.  That being said, I loved the last part of my trip in Portland, OR - there is so much good vegan food there!  I could have been there for two weeks and not tried all of the vegan restaurants.  So I had to go with a sampling, which I will review below.

We arrived at our vegan bed and breakfast, the Cherokee Rose Inn, on Sunday afternoon.  After relaxing for a couple of hours on their covered front porch, complete with wooden swing, we walked around the corner to the Sweet Hereafter.  This vegan bar features drafts from many local breweries, along with a great selection of food.  We started with an order of chips and salsa to accompany our beers, an IPA from Washington for me.  For dinner, we both ordered the veggie burger on a pretzel bun - amazing!  We both opted for the coconut kale as a side, which was an excellent decision; kale sauteed with coconut milk, what could be better than that?

On Monday morning, we were treated to a delicious vegan breakfast at our B&B - fresh fruit, soy sausage, and French toast.  We had to stop at Voodoo Doughnuts, of course, so I had a chocolate frosted for my breakfast dessert.  After a couple of hours of browsing at Powell's, we were ready for lunch, so we headed to the food trucks.  We both decided on the Georgian food truck and got a sample of all of their vegan options - dumplings filled with delicious mushrooms; bread stuffed with bean paste; eggplant and walnut rolls; and cucumber and tomato salad with walnut dressing.  My favorite was the dumplings, which you hold upside-down, take a bite, and slurp out the filling so as not to make a mess.

For dinner, we headed to Blossoming Lotus, a vegan restaurant with many Asian offerings mixed with options from many other countries as well.  We started with the Bruschetta with almond ricotta - amazing!  The couple sitting across from us had food envy when it arrived.  For my entree, I went with the Bibimbap, which can be difficult to find vegan.  This version had soy curls, veggies, roasted garlic aioli slaw, pickles, hot sauce, and sesame seeds.  Though very different from the traditional Korean version, it was good.  Unfortunately, I was so full from the starter that I could only eat half of the bowl.  Laura got the burger with cashew brie, which she said was very good.

Tuesday morning's breakfast was fresh fruit, tofu scramble, potatoes, and biscuits.  We skipped the donut dessert and saved our appetites for Sizzle Pie, which is not a vegan restaurant, but always has two to three vegan options.  We went for the slice and salad combo, both of us deciding to try the pie with caramelized onion topping instead of cheese.  It was excellent, very different from your usual pizza, but very tasty.  The salad provided a good balance to make the lunch a bit healthier, especially since we went to Back to Eden for ice cream dessert (where I got mint chocolate chip, of course).

On Tuesday afternoon we learned that our fellow B&B guests, Bethany and Lacey, were also planning to go to Portobello for dinner that night.  So we all walked there together and asked if we could be seated together, even though we had separate reservations.  They were very accommodating, and we were able to sit together.  This proved to be a good decision, first and foremost because they are great company, but also because we got to try many more dishes!  We started with the cheese plate, which featured two of Miyoko's cheeses and three of the local cheeses from Vtopia.  They were all tasty, but my favorite was the caramelized onion cheese from Vtopia.  However, Miyoko's smoky option was a close second.

For dinner, we decided to share four plates.  The kale Caesar salad was excellent and not too creamy, which I appreciated.  The crispy eggplant, recommended by our waitress, was fabulous - cooked perfectly and topped with greens.  My entree choice was the gnocchi, which is hard to find vegan, and it did not disappoint.  We also tried the ravioli, also difficult to find vegan, and it was delicious.

And of course, we needed to try some desserts!  After much speculation, we chose the peppermint chocolate cake (which had a fancier name that I can't remember), which tasted like an amazingly delicious Peppermint Patty.  The fried apple pie had more fried dough than apple, but that was okay with me!  The bourbon pecan ice cream it was served with was out of this world.  Portobello provided an excellent end to my stay in Portland!
And now I must say that I am happy to be home.  I am limiting my travels for awhile, with the possible exception of the Farm Sanctuary hoedown in a couple of weeks (where the food will be amazing!).  But for the time being, I am going to enjoy NoHo.

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