Back in 2009, we raved like it was 1986 about Portobello restaurant in Portland. Back then, it was a sort-of popup affair, taking over the space of a small east-side coffee shop after hours, and opening its doors to hungry patrons who usually had to book way in advance. Although our experience was stellar, we’d heard that other visitors had suffered from long waits, and the restaurant had a propensity to run out of some food items early on in the evening.
Clearly, there was a supply and demand mismatch so something had to happen. In mid-2010 we were delighted to hear that Portobello had graduated from the intimate coffee shop and had moved into a proper space of its own, with a high-budget build-out, new chefs and a much larger staff.
It was, then, with some trepidation that we made reservations to visit the “new” Portobello on a recent trip to Portland. After all, would its newfound influx of cash and staff affect its food? Would its new location lack the atmosphere of the old one? Would the gnocchi be as chewy and the bread be as crispy as before?
Well, to cut a long story slightly less long we were even more delighted with the new Portobello than we were with the old one. Yes, in many ways it’s like eating at a different restaurant, but the owners have clearly maintained what’s good about the original concept and expanded it into a broader, more capable offering that moves it several notches higher in the all-vegan fine dining league table.
The new location is in a modern strip mall in a faintly industrial area much further south than before. Across the street is a machine tool shop, and in the same parking lot is a large beer store, as well as an acupuncture clinic. Even for typically diverse PDX, this is quite varietal.
Of course, it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but the inside is what counts. It seems that no expense has been spared to create a wonderful dining experience. Dark woods, steel and concrete and floral designs come together perfectly to create an ambience somewhere between a casual cafe and upscale restaurant…Tags: burger, gnocchi, italian, oregon, pdx, pizza, portland
the silver snakes tour is wrapping up this weekend, but we’re still on the road with the dudes as they make their way down to los angeles. yesterday they were still in oregon, and sent me a day full of vegan updates via text message from band member alex. check it out:
Morning glory cafe, Eugene OR. Vegan biscuits n’ gravy and a blueberry hazelnut smoothie. This was awesome and under 10 bucks! Eugene is such a beautiful town.Tags: band, beer, eugene, oregon, silver snakes
portland, i love you with all my heart! you are a city of decadent vegan goodness, yet even the bastion of healthy eating in your land is better than most spots here in los angeles. i’m talking about prasad, a cafe that would be entirely animal-free were it not for honey on the menu and half & half by request.
prasad is located downtown in blossoming lotus‘ former space—it’s a small eatery attached to the entrance of a sleek yoga studio. it opens early for the pre-work breakfast crew, yet stays open through dinnertime, so already the hours are impressive. the menu is on the lighter side, focusing on raw and cooked wholesome eats including salads, soups, wraps, bowls, and smoothies.
at first glance, the food options may sound a bit simple…but i can assure that after indulging in portland’s crazy vegan meal scene, you will be all about prasad. we were. we ate there twice in two days. here’s how it went:
on the first day we were bowlin’. BOWLS ARE FUCKING AWESOME, why does nowhere carry bowls in LA?! i went with the most basic option, the mighty bowl. it comes with red rice or quinoa, steamed greens, beans, and choice of two sauces. i went with the red rice option, along with green chili and garlic tahini sauce. the sauces come on the side, so you can choose how much you wanna dump on…and i can tell you, this food is so good, it doesn’t even need sauce! the vegetables are fresh, the rice is perfectly steamed, and the beans are plump and hearty. so simple, but so damn delicious.
my husband went with the dragon bowl, which was equally impressive. this dish came with red rice, beans, arame, wakame, and dulse sea vegetables, avocado, and steamed greens. just like my bowl, everything was fresh and tasty…and the addition of flavorful sea vegetables and creamy avocado made it even better.
we enjoyed our meal at prasad so much, that we decided to return before the end of our trip for breakfast. although the scrambles sounded amazing, we decided to share a wrap off of the lunch menu (which is served from 9am on).
the gaucho wrap was great—marinated tempeh, roasted tomatoes, spinach, black beans, smashed avocado, and lime all rolled up in a huge tortilla. overall it had a pretty sweet and smokey taste, and the tempeh and beans made it extra hearty and filling. while i loved this thing, i am still kind of wishing we went with one of the scrambles. i saw another customer eating one, and it looked insane.
we also split an order or toast, topped with zucchini hummus, tomatoes, and cucumber. the hummus was rich and creamy, the vegetables were crisp, and the bread was soft and spongey. seriously, the perfect light breakfast.
the prasad space itself is rather cozy, a few little tables and one communal table to the right of the yoga reception area. you order at the counter and pay, then food is brought to where you are sitting. the service is friendly and attentive, and the wait time is pretty low. overall, prasad is just a sweet and wonderful little place with damn good vegan food. no wonder we went there twice, and i can’t wait to go back.
prasadTags: bowls, breakfast, oregon, portland, wrap
925 NW Davis,
Portland OR 97209
within Yoga Pearl
Monday – Friday 7:30am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 8pm
a trip to pdx just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the bye and bye. the all vegan pub located in northeast portland has great food, an impressive beer selection, and is the perfect place to sit and unwind for a few hours. just ask our friend little vegan planet, who has a very awesome story about this place in his latest blog post.
the menu at the bye and bye is simple yet delicious. a decent selection of bowls, sandwiches, and entrees—like spaghetti or chili pie—are all available for under ten bucks. on our recent visit, we decided to split a sandwich as well as a bowl of 3 sides…Tags: beer, oregon, portland, pub, sandwich
Situated on a quiet street next to a coffee shop in Southeast Portland, Hungry Tiger Too looks at first glance like any other neighborhood bar. However, in addition to the usual bar accoutrements of beer, fries and TVs, Hungry Tiger Too has a HUGE vegan menu, serving an array of awesome animal-free bar food morning, noon and night.
On our recent trip to PDX we grabbed a seat at the bar, ordered a beer and started to scan the vegan section of the menu. As usual in Portland, though, we were torn between so many amazing menu items that we over-ordered, somewhat and ended up spending way more time there than we expected to. Anywhere else, this would have been a problem, but Hungry Tiger Too is just so wonderful that we were delighted to eat and drink the afternoon away within its hallowed walls.
First up was the vegan quesadilla appetizer: a super rendition of the popular Mexican-influenced dish. Liberal helpings of tomatoes, onions, spinach, cilantro and vegan cheese filled up our vegan bellies in no time, so we were forced to have another beer while waiting to order our main dish.
Well, one beer became two, then three after we played some pinball and goofed around in the photo booth. Next up were main courses, the Montecore Burger, and Home Made Biscuits and Gravy.
Let’s get this out right now: The burgers on the menu are all based on the ubiquitous vegan Boca Burger, which at first had me thinking “WTF? I can make one of these at home!”. Well, I could (and I tried, see later) but it couldn’t be anywhere near this tasty. The Montecore was a fusion of zesty garlic, spicy jalapeno and an smooth sauteed mushroom/onion topping that was to die for.
Add in some fresh trimmings (tomato, lettuce and onions), and this was one hearty vegan burger. Throw in the included side of incredible vegan potato salad, and for only $8.75 you have one of the most delicious and best value meals I’ve ever eaten.
As we were already full after the quesadilla we ordered the Biscuits and Gravy as a kinda side for the burger (at only $4, how big could it possibly be?). Very big is the answer. Very tasty too.
Creamy vegan mushroom and sausage sauce, smothering two crispy and moist biscuits was a winning combination.
After another beer, and another, we were finally able to finish all the food, and stagger out of the bar to our hotel.
Later on in the evening, the reality of our experience hit us: We’d just enjoyed a great afternoon in a real bar with awesome beers and completely filling, decadent cruelty-free food.
I can tell you this: After buying and cooking a bunch of Boca Burgers from Coscto, I’ve never come close to approximating the taste of that awesome burger. If I lived in Portland, I’d probably visit Hungry Tiger Too at least once, or twice a day week.
Awesome bar, awesome staff, awesome beers, awesome food. DUUUH?! Vegans: Go there now.
Hungry Tiger Too
207 SE 12th Ave Portland, OR 97214
Tags: alcohol, bars, beer, beer, burger, oregon, pdx, portland, quesadilla
On face value, The Mash Tun in the Alberta Arts district of Portland, OR, is a fairly typical brewpub. It has a couple of niceties, including a patio to enjoy the few days of summer that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, as well as a roomy atmosphere with comfortable tables, and ample bar seating. Throw in free wi-fi, a dart board, a full-size pool table, multiple TVs for watching sports, some home-brewed beers as well as a few guest taps and I’ll be there. As indeed I was one summer’s day this year.
While I must admit that going to bars with a bunch of friends to watch the game isn’t my thing, I can see how awesome The Mash Tun would be do just that. With an ample selection of beers on tap (many of them vegan), and a menu with its own vegan section things start to get interesting!
On our sunny Sunday afternoon, we settled into bar seats in front of the TV, ordered some great beer and started to eat our way through the vegan section of the menu, starting with the Vegan Tempeh Things — tempeh “wings” in spicy sauce with dip and salad. Perfectly hot, perfectly crunchy and with a cool dip, these were gone in about 20 seconds. And I’m not joking.
Next up, we ordered the Baked Red Lentil Puree, an interesting combination of seasoned lentils with green onions and pita wedges for scooping. In texture this was kinda like eating hummus and pita, but with a much more tangy flavor. This dish is a perfect companion to the “wings”, providing some cool respite from the fiery sauce.
For our main dish we deliberated between the two vegan burgers on offer — both home made and very appetizing in description. In the end we went for the Mash Tun Veggie Burger, a complex set of textures and flavors perfectly seasoned on a tasty bun with very fresh salad.
By the end of our afternoon, we were full of vegan food, great beer and had watched most of a game on the TV before we had to leave and head back to the airport for our return flight to LA. The Mash Tun is a great place to go with omni friends, as you can enjoy everything a real bar has to offer, while pigging out on some very tasty vegan facsimiles of bar food.
Pop open your laptop to jump on the free wi-fi, shoot some pool, throw some darts and watch the game (not at the same time, of course). The Mash Tun provides just about everything you’d want in a typical PDX low-key environment. It might not be the best vegan food on the planet, and the home-brewed beer probably needs some work on the taste front, but you won’t be disappointed at all.
We’ll definitely be back to The Mash Tun next time we’re fortunate enough to visit the PDX!
The Mash Tun BrewpubTags: alcohol, beer, beer, burger, mash tun, oregon, pdx, portland, wings
2204 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
dude, i wasn’t lying when i said portland has everything for vegans. on top of the vegan grocery store, the tattoo parlor, the bakery, the pub, the donut shops, and the billions of other neat places…they also have an all vegetarian and vegan-friendly arcade. backspace cafe calls itself “portland’s entertainment mecca”—its 4,000 square foot space houses video games, pool tables, computers for web surfing, an art gallery, and a meat-free restaurant complete with draught beer & stumptown coffee. plus, the place doubles as a live music venue and hosts awesome events such as “rockband night”. hell yeah!Tags: arcade, beer, oregon, philly cheesesteak, portland, salad, sandwich
a 100% vegan pub. i still can’t really wrap my mind around it. since i’m a huge fan of both good beer and vegan food, for me the bye and bye in portland is a dream come true. quality brews on tap, a laid back bar atmosphere, and a menu from which i can order anything. holy hell, i thought i was in heaven this year when i visited an all vegetarian pub…the fact that i now have been to an all vegan pub is almost too awesome for me to handle.
the bye and bye’s menu is a slight diversion from your standard pub grub of burgers and chips. they focus more on hearty down-home style entrees, with a healthy twist. you’ll find things like a bbq brussel bowl with tofu, sprouts and rice…or a braised tofu sandwich with a side of black-eyed peas. i ordered the meatball sub because i’d heard great things about it, and man oh man, all the positive reviews were true. the sandwich came on a huge fresh baguette of the highest quality and was packed with loads of thick meatballs and tasty, chunky marinara sauce. the vegan cheese wasn’t really melted as the menu suggested, whatever dude, it tasted good all the same. not since doomie’s (rest in peace) have i had a vegan meatball sub this incredible. for a side dish, i went a bowl of collard greens to round out the home-cookin’ feel, and they were excellent.
my husband got the eastern bowl, a mix of tofu, rice and vegetables all smothered in peanut sauce. i had a few bites of this thing and it was damn good as well—the crusted asian tofu and crunchy fresh broccoli was just perfect mixed up in the tangy sauce. normally not a peanut fan, my husband completely polished it off. everything in the bowl was perfectly cooked and seasoned, from the flavorful tofu, to the delicate rice, to the amazing gooey sauce.
on top of the excellent food, the bye and bye also has a great beer selection—better than most los angeles bars, for sure.
add to all that a slick, comfortable interior and extremely friendly service (the vegan bartender was super nice and gave us the rundown on the pdx vegan scene), and you have quite possibly the best pub in the world.
don’t miss this place when you are in portland. the bye and bye is the intersection of good beer and tasty vegan food…my two favorite things.
bye and byeTags: alcohol, bar, beer, beer, oregon, portland, pub, sandwich
1011 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
Hours: Sunday 12pm-2:30am, Mon-Thurs 4pm-2:30am, Friday 2pm-2:30am, Saturday 12pm-2:30am.
now i can’t really say that i’m an expert on portland cuisine or anything, having spent less than four days of my life in the city, but i can tell you that the vegan breakfast at vita cafe was one of the best breakfasts i’ve ever had, in any city.
before my visit, i read a rave review of vita’s vegan biscuits and gravy on ToLiveAndEatInLA.com, so i went in with pretty high hopes. i decided to go all out fatty-style and get the sloppy biscuit sandwich complete with fried tofu, mock turkey and vegan cheese all smothered in vita’s almond gravy with a side of breakfast potatoes. this meal was so damn delicious, it exceeded my expectations and definitely lived up to the hype.
from the description on the menu, i was expecting the biscuit sandwich to be a like a hearty mcmuffin with some gravy on the side. what i got instead was a huge mound of fluffy open-face biscuits topped with a massive slice of fried tofu, loads of mock meat and melty vegan cheese. all this was drenched in the thickest, richest, most delicious gravy i’ve ever tasted. it was waaaaay too much food for me to eat, but by the end of the meal i was straight up licking the gravy off my plate.
everything about this breakfast was perfect—the biscuits were soft and doughy, the fried tofu was crispy and not too greasy, the mock meat and cheese were salty and delicious, and the almond gravy was out of this world. garnished with chopped green onions and accompanied by a large side of excellent home fried potatoes, this is the best breakfast i’ve ever eaten. ever. EVER. and i have eaten A LOT of breakfasts.
my husband went with the lighter, but equally delicious vita scramble. it came with chunky tofu, stir-fried vegetables and leafy spinach with a side of breakfast potatoes and biscuits. as far as tofu scrambles goes, this is one of the best i’ve ever tried. the vegetables were fresh, the tofu was well-seasoned, and it was packed with tasty garlic flavor. a+!
so overall, vita cafe was one of the best meals and definitely the best breakfast we had in portland. the serving sizes are huge, the food is top notch, and the almond gravy is probably the tastiest thing ever to hit my belly. there are millions of appetizing options on the menu, and almost all of them can be made vegan, so i just can’t wait to go back. in fact, when ordering, i asked the waiter if my dish could be made vegan, and he assured me that there was even a “veganize” button on their computer that would tell the kitchen to replace all the non-vegan ingredients. how awesome is that?!
oh and one more bonus, like almost every place in portland, vita cafe has good beer ON TAP. i am definitely hitting them up for dinner and boozin’ next time i’m in town.
when in portland, vita cafe is a MUST VISIT place for vegans. i just wish they’d open up a location in los angeles.
vita cafeTags: biscuits, breakfast, gravy, oregon, portland, tofu scramble
3023 NE Alberta
on my recent trip to PDX, i used food fight grocery’s vegan guide to portland to help find my way around town. on their list of places to hit up was laurelthirst public house. they even went as far as to call it,
“Portland’s best breakfast, or so we think right now… The vegan breakfast burrito with their homemade sausage and salsa, can’t be beat. Not even with the stick that is stuck up your uptight vegan butt.”
naturally i had to check this place out.
we hit up laurelthirst on the last day of our trip, and as promised, their breakfast didn’t disappoint. while it wasn’t the best breakfast i had in portland, and laurelthirst only had a few a vegan options, what they did have was pretty damn good. i got the breakfast burrito, pictured above, which came with a large serving of home fried potatoes. inside the burrito was a hearty amount of tofu, whole beans, vegan sausage and super spicy salsa. it was all topped off with several cool slices of avocado, which added a perfect creamy texture. overall the burrito had a pretty smoky taste, and was packed with tons of heat. if you are a fan of breakfast burritos, this is definitely one to try.
my husband got the veggie hash with added tofu, which we confirmed was vegan. the overflowing plate came stacked with home fries, grilled vegetables such as broccoli, carrots & cauliflower, as well as thick chunks of scrambled tofu. a very simple breakfast, but super filling and tasty at a reasonable price.
inside, laurelthirst is a comfortable traditional pub with a long bar, several beers on tap, and ample seating. unfortunately, we were there too early to drink. it’s sad because i don’t think i’ve ever been in such a nice pub and not enjoyed a beer or two. oh well, there’s always next time.
laurelthirst is just one more reason i can say portland is the best town i’ve ever visited. here we have a good pub, one that would make most LA bars ashamed of themselves, that just happens to offer up a damn good vegan breakfast with homemade veggie sausage and everything. i’m really looking forward to my next visit to pdx. if any of you guys have ideas about what the best vegan breakfast is up there, let me know.
LaurelThirstTags: breakfast, burrito, oregon, portland
2958 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97232-3271
my first introduction to portland was a good one. after waking up at 3 in the morning to catch a 6 o’clock flight from los angeles (i know, crazy right?) we arrived in oregon frazzled well before 9am. but it was nothing a good breakfast and some strong coffee couldn’t cure, so we headed to one of the few places we knew opened early—paradox cafe.
paradox cafe is a cozy little laid back diner with free wi-fi, bottomless cups of coffee, and organic food cooked to order. their breakfast menu was filled with plenty of appetizing vegan options, and after much debate we finally settled on the vegan fiesta burrito and the vegan paradox benedict.
the fiesta burrito was massive for under 9 bucks and came with a boat load of nicely seasoned breakfast potatoes. paradox certainly didn’t skimp on the vegetables either, this thing was filled with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and others of the like. the tofu chunks were thick and soft, all mixed up with vegan chili and whole beans. the breakfast potatoes were also top notch; big slightly salty chunks that were great slathered in hot sauce and salsa.
now, whenever i go out to breakfast and see a vegan benedict on the menu, i pretty much have to order it. we have some damn good benedicts here in los angeles, so i was anxious to see how paradox’s would hold up.
the paradox benedict definitely didn’t disappoint. the heaping plate came with a large soft slice of sourdough bread covered in vegan sausage, tofu chunks, vegetables and a creamy hollandaise sauce. i was expecting the sauce to be more yellow, like traditional hollandaise, but this stuff was more like a brownish breakfast gravy. either way, it was phenomenal and i couldn’t get enough of it. the benedict came with the same excellent breakfast potatoes as the fiesta burrito, which were even better mixed up with sauce and bits of green onion.
in addition to amazing vegan breakfast served all day, paradox cafe also has a quite charming atmosphere. the funky old/new decor and breakfast bar with stools remind me slightly of the RR from twin peaks. if i lived in portland, i could see myself camping out at paradox for hours with a laptop, taking advantage of the free wifi and refillable coffee.
so when in portland, hit up paradox for a great breakfast. they also have vegan lunch and dinner offerings if that’s your thing, but i highly recommend the benedict.
3439 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214
503-232-7508 / 503.232.5525
Monday – Saturday 8 am – 9 pm
Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
P.S. this place also has the best fucking hot sauce ever. it’s this stuff called secret aardvark that we saw all over portland. damn, i wish i could get this stuff in LA. i will always remember the fist time i tasted it at paradox. it was magical.Tags: benedict, breakfast, burrito, hot sauce, oregon, portland
did you know: not only does portland oregon have a billion rad vegan eateries, vegan options at almost every restaurant, and loads of vegan-friendly pubs—the city also has its very own vegan strip mall. sounds too good to be true, right?
southeast stark street in portland boasts the neat row of vegan businesses pictured above which from left to right include sweetpea baking company, herbivore clothing, food fight grocery and scapegoat tattoo. on our recent visit to portland, we hit up each one of these places (other than the tattoo parlor) and filled up on some hardcore veganocity for the journey home.
sweetpea baking company was our first stop. the 100% vegan bakery was (i believe) the first of its kind on the west coast, and the staff was super friendly and helpful. having already eaten lunch, and gearing up for our return to LA, we grabbed a dinner to eat on the go at the airport. it’s a good thing we did too, because our flight ended up being delayed!
we started with a pepperoni calzone, which came with thick spicy slices of seitan in a doughy pastry shell. meant to be enjoyed warm, this calzone was still delicious unheated.
we also shared a seitan sandwich, which was the perfect grab-n-go treat. fresh bread, creamy dressing, and fat chunks of savory wheat meat. perfection! next time i visit portland, i will definitely grab some actual baked treats from sweetpea. but i can tell you, if you don’t have a chance to try their cookies or muffins, the sandwiches and calzones are awesome as well.
next we hit up herbivore, an ultra rad vegan clothing company that sells a wide array of shirts, hoodies, and stickers. we bought some rags that would help us promote veganism everywhere, as well as a shirt to support bj and alex. the staff was polite, the clothes were great, and i felt extra good about spending money at this place.
lastly we hit up food fight, which is basically a small completely vegan convenience store. they had loads of vegan meats, vegan cheeses, canned goods, as well as steamed tofurky sausages. we bought some bacon cheezly, which turned out to be exceptional, and were on our way.
so let’s just say the vegan strip mall in portland is all around awesome. you can eat a fresh cupcake, buy a new vegan hoodie, stock up on faux meat, and get some vegan ink…without traveling more than 300 feet. i can’t wait to return.Tags: calzone, cheezly, clothing, food fight, herbivore, oregon, portland, sandwich, sweetpea baking
i’ve heard people refer to portland, oregon as the “vegan paradise”, “vegan heaven”, or “vegan mecca”. being a los angeles native, i was expecting my first trip to pdx not to live up to all the hype—after all, down here it seems like there’s a new vegan restaurant popping up everyday. boy oh boy was i wrong. at the risk of pissing off some angelenos, i’m gonna say that portland was every bit as vegan-rad as people said it was. there were more vegan restaurants than i could ever eat at, vegan options at all the omnivorous restaurants, and most uniquely, vegan-friendly food carts littered throughout the city. i understand that it’s kind of a “thing” to eat at food carts in portland, they are everywhere and a huge part of the culture. unfortunately, i only had one food cart experience. fortunately, it was at flavour spot.
flavour spot wasn’t my first choice for dining when i was in portland, as it was quite a trek from my downtown hotel and has been known to have long lines. however when some parking restriction bullshit required that we move our car before 8am on a weekday, flavourspot, which opens bright and early at 6:30, appeared to be the only breakfast option available to us. it also came highly recommended from trusted bloggers foodeater and melisser, so we decided to give it a try.
i ordered what every vegan is supposed to order on their first visit to flavourspot: the vegan maple sausage waffle. let’s just say like my expectations for vegan portland were exceeded, my expectations for this sausage waffle were fucking owned. i loved it. the big, pillow-y, soft waffle was filled up with juicy vegan sausage, all slathered in an insanely sticky and creamy maple sauce. vegan-insanity. oh, and this thing was only like 4 bucks.
flavorflavour combo on the maple/sausage/waffle was unreal. i have never had such a divine savory-sweet experience. i am so glad that flavourspot broke my portland food cart cherry…and i hope to be back again someday.
all that being said, we showed up when there was no line, and our wait was still kind of long. plus, we had to drive about 15-20 minutes to get there. keep that in mind. as far as i’m concerned though, it was worth it.
you can find the flavourspot i went to on north lombard, in a video rental store parking lot…but there is a second location as well that’s open less hours.
2310 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97217
Mon-Fri. 6:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
NE Fremont St & N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97255
Mon-Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
one more thing: pdx fucking rules.Tags: breakfast, oregon, portland, sausage, waffles