If homeland security is monitoring me via my check-ins on my personal Facebook page, I’m sure they’re scratching their heads thinking “All this chick does is eat!” On my last weekend in Portland, I realized that a lot of the joints I wanted to check out where closed or had abbreviated hours on the weekends. So, what to do but head back for a dedicated 24-hour plant-based eat fest? My cousin agreed to be my food warrior companion, so off we went.
First stop: Black Sheep Bakery for a Double Berry Cobbler and a Chai. This confection is called a cobbler but the crust is like a shortbread and the fruit filling is thick and jammy. I tried to exercise discipline and only eat a bite or two since we had a big day ahead of us, but before I knew it, the whole thing was gone. I happily wiped the crumbs off my face and washed it all down with a spicy hot chai.
Next stop: Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ. Yes, vegan bar-be que! I’ve been following them on Twitter and salivating over the daily food porn. As I walked up to their original food cart location on SW4th and Hall, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The daily special was the “Loaf-a-roni”, Smoked Meatloaf smothered in Mac No-cheese and stuffed between a sesame bun served with a side a chipotle cole slaw. This combination is obviously not “healthy” but it’s dayum good when you’re ready to indulge. The food warrior took a bite and could not believe how packed with flavor, tender and juicy the meatloaf was. Mind you, this is coming from my cousin aka the Bacon BBQ King, so I consider this to be a worthy testimonial. I took a big swig of my mint lemonade and was ready for a carb coma nap.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how good the first sandwich was, so I had to go try the Homegrown Smoker 2 food cart (now open at NE 20th & Everett) the next day for lunch. Lightning can strike twice, proven with the existence of the Mac-strami Sammich:thinly sliced, double smoked Psstrami on grilled wheat sour dough with Mac-NoCheese, cabbage mix, grilled peppers & onions, Daiya cheeze, Mellow Yellow. Oh.Mah.Ger. I want to move to PDX so I can eat this sandwich everyday and I will gladly gain 200 pounds in the process. Go here, eat this.
Obscene that I was even able to think of dinner? Yes, but I rationalized that if we consumed some living cuisine, all would be right in the world. On to Blossoming Lotus in the Irvington District for dinner. The food warrior was still stuffed from lunch, so he opted to drink his dinner with a blend of apple, lime, ginger, basil, cilantro -Thai Greens juice. There was still room in my bottomless pit of a stomach, and with a “never say die” attitude I ordered the Live Sampler: tahini-cilantro pate, almond cheese, live pizza, kale- wakame salad, live falafel, served with seasonal fruit and cucumber slices. This was raw food done right. Taste and texture exploded on my tongue like 4th of July fireworks. The almond cheese was my favorite…tangy, smooth and decadent. If you enjoy the taste of bitters, give the Ginger Fizz cocktail a try: Bourbon, fresh lemon and ginger juice, agave. Shaken and Served Up. Loved the vibe at this restaurant, friendly service and a great neighborhood find.
The next morning, we hit Dovetail Bakery on Alberta St. It’s a cute little hole in the wall that serves up some very fine looking cinnamon buns. Perhaps mine would have tasted better when it was fresh out of the oven, but I’m still dreaming of the cinnamon roll goodness I had at Angeline’s in Sisters,OR. The food warrior had a ginger molasses cookie that we both gave thumbs up.
At our last stop, Back to Eden Bakery, the food warrior was seriously begging me to stop the madness. ” No more food!” he exclaimed. “Stop being selfish, you need to take a picture of me eating” I said as I dragged him out of the car. My trip would not be complete until I tried the strawberry vegan soft serve ice cream. It was the first warm spring day I had experienced during my two month stay in Oregon, so I was doing the happy dance as the creamy smooth cold sweetness touched my lips. Of all the things I miss from my days as an omnivore, nothing pulls at my heart strings like the thought of a lemon meringue pie. I thought I had died and gone to dessert heaven when I spied the mini lemon meringue pie in the case, so I got it to-go along with a rosewater sugar cookie. There is something about eating anything with flowers or floral essence that makes me feel like a goddess. After the long ride back to Bend, dessert for dinner was all I had the energy for. The thin layer of meringue was light and airy while the lemon filling was perfectly tart and sweet. Paired with a flaky pastry crust, this pie is certainly on my “Best thing I’ve ever eaten” list, hands down.
24 hours just wasn’t enough time to eat and see it all. Next time, we’ll see if I can tackle this wonderfully veg-friendly in 48 hours.