• November 2nd, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), portland

    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…

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  • October 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    yep! we’re still on tour with the band silver snakes, and today they’re hitting the vegan capital of america: portand, oregon. here’s what they’ve eaten so far, as texted to me by band member alex.

    Sizzle Pie in Portland

    Sizzle pie. Portland, OR. Special veggie slice of the day and “half” a slice of the “spinal tap” (no cheese, carmelized onion spread and nutritional yeast) the crust is amazing. Super glad we checked this place out!

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  • October 4th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    the hungry tiger too in portland has to be one of my favorite places on earth. not only is it a bar with a pretty good craft beer selection, but it’s a full on restaurant as well with a separate vegan menu and the best biscuits and gravy known to man. why, oh why can’t we have somewhere like this in los angeles?

    we’ve been fans of hungry tiger too for a couple years now, and make it a point to eat there on every trip to portland. imagine how delighted we were on our recent visit, to learn from friends that the already giant menu had expanded to include even more vegan options! we headed over for what turned out to be one of the best brunches in recent memory. check it out:

    portobello scramble: fresh portobello mushrooms with tofu, garlic, spinach, mushrooms and nutrtional yeast. with hashbrowns and toast. $5.75

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  • September 11th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    that’s right. it’s sunday, which means sweetpea baking in portland is holding its weekly all you can eat vegan buffet…and today is biscuits and gravy day!

    there is a whole lot of good food to eat in pdx, and if you are there on a weekend, make sure to put sweetpea’s sunday brunch buffet at the top of your list. it’s ten bucks for all you can eat, and it’s absolutely fantastic. it starts at 9am, and be sure to get there early because it gets crowded pretty quickly.

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  • August 26th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    here at quarrygirl.com, we are always on the hunt for the latest and greatest vegan pizza. “normal” pizza is the very last thing we gave up as vegetarians, so finding a good substitute is a quest that’s very near to our hearts. our latest pizza breakthrough was a big one, and it took place at sizzle pie in portland.

    let us play your party: house red sauce, muchrooms, spinach, black olives, white onions and not-a-ricotta. $4

    although sizzle pie is an omnivorous establishment, their vegan options are plentiful, creative, and even sold by the slice! on top of that, it’s honestly some of the best pizza i’ve ever had. in a city with an overwhelming amount of vegan-friendly restaurants, we went to sizzle pie TWICE during our recent 4 day PDX trip. that should tell you how much we enjoyed the place.

    on our first visit, we just stopped by for a couple slices each at 4 bucks a pop. sizzle pie has something for all vegan pizza lovers: they’ve got daiya for fake cheese fans, creamy spreads made from cashews or caramelized onions, nutritional yeast covered pies, and a cilantro pepitas pesto topping. the menu items all have fun names as well—we went with a slice of “let us play your party” (pictured in the center above) which came with house red sauce, mushrooms, spinach, black olives, white onions and not-a-ricotta. plus 3 slices of “spiral tap”…

    spiral tap: creamy caramelized onion spread, house marinara red sauce and a light dusting of nutritional yeast. $4

    the vegan slices were incredible! the spiral tap especially with its rich spread, topped off with tangy tomato sauce and creamy nooch. another thing i loved about this pizza is that the slices were massive, thin, and proper. you know, you could fold them in half. respect…

    our next visit to sizzle pie was even better. this time we got a couple slices and a normal pie to share.

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  • August 10th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    there’s an old 80’s pop song that says heaven is a place on earth—and if that’s the truth, then it must be referring to portland. the city is a sylvan paradise with more vegan restaurants than i could eat at in a lifetime, and a brewery on almost every corner.

    the food options are so plentiful, they can actually be a bit overwhelming…so trust me on this one: all vegans visiting portland must eat at homegrown smoker.

    the small vegan soul food cart in the university district keeps limited lunch hours, but it’s worth planning your trip around. the menu is massive (click here to peep it) with all kinds of crazy creations like a mac and cheese burrito, chili cheese fries, and smoked “loafaroni”.

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  • August 2nd, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland, vegan bakers

    portland is a vegan paradise, and i think i need to move there someday. the city has not one, not two, but THREE vegan bakeries. back to eden is one of them, and when we visited the storefront on our recent trip, i instantly fell in love.

    back to eden is awesome because in addition to baked goods, they have build-your-own ice cream sundaes with temptation soft serve from chicago soydairy. we had a hell of a time deciding what to order, because everything looked so good. from the chocolate gluten-free cupcakes…

    to the massive creamy pie…

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  • July 6th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    we just got back from a long weekend in portland, and naturally we made an effort to eat as much awesome vegan food as possible. we only had 4 days, so i knew we couldn’t get to everything…but i think we did a pretty respectable job. shortly after we arrived in pdx, we ran into janessa from epicurious vegan, and she implored us to check out the city’s newest vegan-friendly sandwich shop: brass tacks.

    photo credit: the brass tacks facebook page

    located in northeast portland, brass tacks is owned by 3 lovely ladies who strive to create an environment where omnivores, vegans, and gluten-free folks all feel comfortable. although the restaurant does offer real meat, over half of the sandwich menu is vegan and all condiments, salads, and soups are completely animal-free. what makes brass tacks extremely special though, is that the vegan meats and sauces are all made in house from scratch—inventive stuff like agave smoked “ham”, cashew-based gouda, and white bean meatballs. there are four vegan sandwiches to choose from, as well as a “build your own” option where you can go crazy piling on the faux meats and vegetables.

    salame: french roll, spicy sundried tomato "salami", tomato jam, aioli, yellow mustard, pepperoncinis, lettuce, tomato, red onion. served with chips! $7.99

    my husband and i split the vegan “salame!”, a sandwich packed with spicy seitan, tomato jam, aioli, yellow mustard, pepperoncinis, lettuce, tomato and red onion. fantastic! everything about this sandwich was top notch—the french roll from local bakery fleur de lis was fresh and crunchy, the tomato jam was tangy and flavorful, and all the vegetables were cool and crisp. though the best component, by far, was the homemade salami.

    seitan salami made from scratch

    thinly sliced and perfectly seasoned, it was so reminiscent of real deli meat, and better than any store-bought brand.

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  • September 4th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    i kinda wanna move to portland, just so i can hit up the all you can eat vegan brunch at sweetpea baking company every sunday.

    sweetpea is located in the famous vegan strip mall, a sight that must be seen to be believed. honestly, i thought it was a mirage the first time i went there—an entirely vegan clothing shop, bakery, grocery store, and tattoo parlor all right next to each other. it seemed too good to be true.

    sweetpea is the all vegan bakery of the bunch, but they do much more than just baked goods. of course they have a slew of vegan cakes, cupcakes, and cheesecakes…but they also make daily soups, sandwiches, and even host an unbelievable ALL YOU CAN EAT SUNDAY BRUNCH! and that’s what this post is about; the motherfuckin’ brunch. oh yes.

    the buffet-style brunch takes place every sunday from 9am until noon (or until food runs out), and features rotating specials each week. be sure to check sweetpea’s website for the latest on hours and menu. the brunch we attended was all about biscuits & gravy, chicken fried seitan, kale, and tofu scramble. plus coffee! sounds amazing, right? we decided to get there early to ensure a good seat.

    we arrived at 9:08am, and the place was already hoppin! i’m talking a solid buffet line, with about 3/4 the tables full, and many people already happily eating. it looked pretty busy, but the line moved fast. the trays were quickly emptied by hungry folks, but were always immediately refilled with what seemed like an endless supply of food.

    we were able to grab a seat at the counter by the window, which suited me perfectly. we were on stools rather than chairs, but we weren’t crammed in, and eating in the sunlight was lovely.

    all you can eat brunch: biscuits and gravy, chicken fried seitan, kale, tofu scramble and coffee. $10

    most importantly, the food was excellent. as you probably know, portland is known for its vegan biscuits & gravy, and these held their own against the best of them! the gravy was a tad on the thin side, but what it lacked in creaminess it made up in flavor. the biscuits were absolutely perfect—moist, soft, and slightly flaky. next up, the chicken fried seitan was unbelievable. a deep fried crispy shell covering an incredibly moist and spongy wheat meat center. i ate about 9 pieces of this stuff, and then i felt like i couldn’t move…in a good way. the kale and tofu scramble were also on point. i have no complaints whatsoever.

    there was also something sweet at the brunch, maybe it was apple cobbler? i forget. i didn’t try it, whatever it was…because i don’t usually like baked fruit. i’m sure it was awesome though, because everything else was WONDERFUL.

    i can’t speak highly enough of sweetpea’s brunch. the food was perfect, we got a decent seat even though it was crowded, and we ate a load of good stuff for a ridiculously cheap amount. and it was ALL VEGAN. god, i love portland. go there!

    sweetpea baking
    1205 SE Stark Street,
    Portland, OR 97214
    (503) 477-5916
    sunday brunch 9am-12pm

    PS: this week’s brunch 9/5 is Faux McMuffins and McGriddles, with sides of hashbrown patties and kale, and fried apple pies for dessert!! GET ON THAT.

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  • August 28th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    chaos cafe is a great little spot in portland to grab a simple, tasty vegan breakfast. the casual restaurant is entirely vegetarian, has a sweet coffee bar, and opens everyday at 9am. we got there around that time and had the place to ourselves. chaos is exactly what i expected the pacific northwest to be like, i could have easily spent hours there. plus, the food was great!

    the big bang: marinated tofu scrambled with mixed veggies, served with breakfast potatoes and toast. $8.75

    we split a couple of entrees, starting with the vegan version of the big bang. this thing came with marinated tofu, mixed vegetables (including broccoli, onion, and tomato), toast, and a side of breakfast potatoes. everything was delicious, from the deeply flavorful tofu to the crispy vegetables and bite sized taters. i think it’s actually pretty hard to find a decent tofu scramble in restaurants, and this one definitely passed the test. the tofu was cubed and chunky, not all mushed together with tons of nutritional yeast.

    bowl with brown rice, black beans, steamed greens, broccoli, mushrooms, and salsa. $8

    even though it was only 9 in the morning, chaos was rockin’ the entire lunch menu, so we decided to split a bowl. have i mentioned before how much i LOVE BOWLS?! and bowls are everywhere in portland! man, if i lived up there, i’d eat a bowl at least everyday. anyways, the way the bowls work at chaos is: you get to customize everything from your grain, to your vegetables, to your sauce. we went with brown rice, black beans, steamed greens, broccoli, mushrooms, and salsa. SO GOOD. everything was on point, but the salsa really made this dish. it was thick and extra tomatoey, with a little bit of spice. i would order this bowl again, and again, and again.

    inside, chaos cafe is quite lovely. it’s brightly lit with comfy seats and funky decor. our waitress was friendly, the service was quick, and the coffee was good. all around, a great little place! <3

    chaos cafe
    2620 SE Powell Blvd
    Portland Oregon 97202
    Open Mon-Thur 9am-9pm
    Fri-Sat 9am-10pm
    Sun 9am-2pm.

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  • August 12th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    tube in portland will always have a special place in my heart. the grungy dive bar has so much personality, plus offers loads of vegan items from white russians to happy hour snacks. we hit up tube just about a year ago and instantly fell in love; so imagine how excited we were when we went back recently and found they had expanded their menu. we are talking 3 pages of vegan-friendly goodness; we knew we had to get comfy and stay for a while.

    professor nanotear muffin: a slice of grilled vegan ham and vegan cheese between an english muffin and our homemade spicy chipotle veganaise. $3 or 2 for $5

    we started out with some “professor nanotear muffins” from the bar snacks menu, which are basically little vegan mcmuffins topped with faux ham and vegan cheese. you can get one for 3 bucks, or two for 5…so we went ahead and splurged. these muffins are so simple and would be really easy to make at home, but i just love them. i don’t know of anywhere else you can get such cheap and tasty little vegan snacks at such a cool bar.

    hamm's. $2 each.

    it was happy hour, so we pounded a couple of hamm’s for 2 bucks a piece. not the best beer in the world, but definitely the best beer for this situation.

    as you can see, tube was pretty empty when we were there. we arrived at around 5pm and it was deserted, but i hear it gets PACKED by the nighttime. and there is dancing and stuff, if you are into that.

    vegan white russian!

    after munching on snacks and drinking weak beer, we decided to kick it up a notch with some real food and hard liquor. i REALLY wanted to try one of the new alcoholic milkshakes, but alas the bartender said they had run out of ice cream. so sad. instead i went a vegan white russian, probably my favorite mixed drink out there, and was cheered up immediately.

    vegan mac and chez: a creamy soy cheese/nutritional yeast blend and vegan hot dog bits. served with chips. $6

    foodwise, we split an entree and a sandwich off the new dinner menu, and were quite pleased with our order. first up, the vegan mac and chez—a bowl of spirally noodles all mixed up in creamy sauce with nutritional yeast and hot dog chunks. downright delicious comfort food. it was 8 bucks, but the bowl was big and it tasted damn good.

    vegan fried bologna sandwich: vegan grilled bologna and vegan cheese with ketchup on two pieces of white bread slathered in vegan butter and grilled again. served with chips. $5

    we also got the vegan fried bologna sandwich, which was double grilled and stuffed with fake meat and cheese. again, this meal was solid. the soy bologna was awesome, and the fluffy bread was moist and flavorful. the chips tasted like ruffles straight out the bag, and i would expect nothing less (or more) from a dive bar like tube.

    i honestly hope to visit tube every single time i go to portland. not because the food is so out of this world amazing, but because it’s damn good and the atmosphere is excellent. it’s so much fun to eat junk food in a trashy little bar, the kind of experience that omnivores get to enjoy all the time.

    18 NW 3rd Ave
    Portland, OR 97209
    (503) 241-8823
    open 7 days a week 5pm – 2am
    happy hour 5pm – 10pm
    brunch saturday and sunday 11am – 4pm

    here are some shots of the menu. i want to eat all the vegan stuff on it. please note TUBE ALSO DOES BRUNCH ON WEEKENDS, check out that menu here.

    click to enlarge

    click to enlarge

    click to enlarge

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  • August 7th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    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:

    mighty bowl: choice of bhutanese red rice or quinoa, steamed greens, beans. $7

    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.

    dragon bowl: choice of bhutanese red rice or quinoa, beans, arame, wakame and dulse sea vegetables, avocado, steamed greens, sesame seeds, scallions and sprouts. $8.50

    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).

    gaucho wrap: chipotle marinated tempeh, slow roasted tomatoes, spinach, black beans, smashed avocado and lime in a whole wheat tortilla. $8

    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.

    toast: new cascadia teff bread (gluten-free) with zucchini hummus, cucumber and tomato. $3.50

    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.

    925 NW Davis,
    Portland OR 97209
    within Yoga Pearl
    Monday – Friday 7:30am to 8pm
    Saturday and Sunday 9am to 8pm

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  • July 30th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland, Uncategorized

    i love hungry tiger too so freakin’ much. it looks and feels like a typical bar with a great beer selection, but it’s also got an absolutely massive vegan menu and some of the best food i’ve ever eaten.

    we hit up hungry tiger too on our first trip to portland, and were so blown away that we new we had to return on our next. let’s just say, i’m glad we did…because it was just as good the second time around.

    portobello scramble: fresh portobello mushrooms with tofu, garlic, spinach, onion and nutritional yeast. with a house made biscuit and vegan gravy. $6.75

    the vegan biscuits and gravy at this place are unmatched as far as i’m concerned, so i knew i had to work them into my meal somehow. i spotted a tasty-sounding portobello scramble on the menu, and noticed that for an extra buck, i could get a biscuit and gravy on the side. the biscuits are so enormous and the gravy is so thick, that eating 2 of them is enough to send me into a food coma, so i knew one would be plenty. the scramble came in 2 sizes (large and small), so i got the little one with a side of biscuit for $6.75…and boy, it was a lot of food!

    the scramble was simple but quite delicious—fresh portobello mushrooms with tofu and vegetables, all stirred up with nutritional yeast. as you can see, hungry tiger too’s idea of “one biscuit” is HUGE. this was definitely the highlight of the meal; the biscuits and gravy here are so good that no words do them justice. the biscuits are big and fluffy, like pieces of cake and the gravy all kinds of creamy, rich, and clumpy. i could seriously drink a vat of this stuff. honestly, if you ever go to hungry tiger too, you MUST at least try the biscuits and gravy. your tummy will thank you forever.

    next up, we got the southeast club. the menu is filled with appetizing vegan sandwiches (including a reuben!), but we walked in knowing we had to try the club, after reading on vegtastic voyage that it was so big it had to be “dismantled” to be eaten. yep, it lived up to its reputation—the sandwich was gigantic.

    southeast club: 3 slices of sour dough piled high with tofurky, tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, avocado and vegenaise. $10.50

    the southeast club was awesome, layer after layer of hearty fake meatiness. every thing about it rocked from the soft bread, to the fresh vegetables, to the crispy bacon and creamy vegenaise. one of the best vegan clubs i’ve ever tasted. we ordered it with a side of potato chips, which were top notch as well. i’m talking thick, warm, and FRESHLY MADE. yes!

    in addition to having an epic vegan menu, hungry tiger too has a damn good beer selection. local brews like rogue and deschutes are lined up next to classics like pbr.

    i have never been to portland on a wednesday, which is unfortunate because hungry tiger too celebrates the middle of the week with $1.25 VEGAN CORN DOGS! i just may have to plan my next trip around that one.

    next time you are in pdx, don’t miss your chance to visit hungry tiger too. great beer, amazing food, and biscuits & gravy that will blow your mind.

    hungry tiger too
    207 SE 12th Ave
    Portland, OR 97214
    (503) 238-4321

    PS: they also play great music at this place. when we were there it was smiths and t. rex album cuts. yeaaaaaah!

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  • July 25th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    we ate a lot of food on our recent trip to portland, and some of the best was the simple nutritious fare from laughing planet. the quick serve restaurant has a few locations around portland, and offers a very vegan-friendly menu of burritos, bowls, soups, and salads.

    steamed veggies, rice, and beans: a medley of fresh veggies on a bed of pinto beans and brown rice, topped with pico de gallo. $4.75

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  • July 21st, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    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…

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