Tastes of Oregon

August 10, 2010

We ate as well as we drank in Oregon. Portland is the vegan mecca we expected, and we fared well outside of Portland, too. Here are some of the highlights:

Bye and Bye – Really great bar (as mentioned below) with great staff and really satisfying food. On our first visit, we had some of the best nachos we’ve ever had. On our second visit, we ate full dinners. I had a BBQ Platter with BBQ tofu, collared green, black-eyed peas and potato salad. Nicole had a broccoli bowl with tofu and brown rice. Just based on the staff and drinks, we didn’t think this place could get better, but …

Blossoming Lotus – We didn’t fully plan to eat here until a lot of locals told us we should. This place has mostly raw food, and all of it is executed scrumptiously, freshly and attractively. We ordered raw nachos (with guacamole and cashew sour cream), a sampler plate (with beet salad, raw falafel, cilantro pate and more) and a brown rice bowl with soy curls, kale and avocado. We also couldn’t resist the raw cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

Portobello – This was the queen destination. We knew we had to go, had big expectations, and they were fulfilled. I can’t think of the beet tartar without thinking of how lovely the flavors were — earthy beets, creamy and salty cashew ricotta and fruity olive oil. So glad we ordered that. Nicole had bracciola and zucchini alfredo with mushrooms. I had an eggplant raviolo and gnocchi with a chili-tomato sauce. Everything was just expertly crafted. It’s like this place had been doing what they do for decades, like some Arthur Avenue Italian restaurant.

Kebaba (Bend) – Probably one of the finest Mid-East feasts I’ve had. Great falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, zatar pizza, curried tempeh and the carnabeet (cauliflower with tahini, sumac and lemon) was the true standout. Lovely preparation and flavor overall.

Vita – We had two marvelous breakfasts here. Separately, I had biscuits and gravy and huevos rancheros. Nicole had a pesto tempeh scramble and a breakfast burrito. Great food here. I don’t think there’s a better breakfast place in Portland.

Los Gorditos – This place started as a carnivore lunch cart. Now, it has a full vegan menu, and the breakfast burritoes here are killer. They’re huge, and the flavor is as good as any Mexican dish I’ve ever had. I wish I could get one overnighted.

We also had good meals at Junior’s (fennel potatoes), and in Eugene at Sam Bond’s Garage (tempeh Sloppy Joe’s) and Laughing Planet (gazpacho and chard rice bowl). I wish Massachusetts had so many options.

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One Response to “Tastes of Oregon”

  1. Evelyn said

    Wow what a great spread!

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