Urban Safari

July 29, 2011

Alright, I know this isn’t strictly food related (well, not vegan food anyway), but I have a new favorite Portland activity: goat watching.

At SE 11th and Taylor roam the cutest goats I ever did see.  They have a whole block’s worth of foliage to munch on, and the woodworking shop across the street built them a platform for frolicking.

There are little goats and big goats and baby goats and goats with beards and goats bleating “maa” and goats cuddling and goats headbutting each other.  Apparently I can’t help but turn into Dr. Seuss when I watch them.

If you get bored with the goats, it also provides great people watching opportunities.  So many variations of the absurd squeals and moans inadvertently elicited by the mere sight of cute animals.



July 27, 2011

Once again I find myself ensconced in my favorite plush olive-green chair at my new favorite cafe, Townshends on Alberta.

Townshends is a tea company featuring 84 kinds of hot and iced tea, as well as kombucha, boba, and elixirs.  They also have a small food menu, featuring two vegan pot pies from Stone Pie Joe’s for $3.95, and miso soup for $1.50 (although they’re perpetually out of soup).

Two things lure me back:

1. The kombucha.  Townshends brews & bottles their own kombucha, and their white rose flavor is the best I’ve ever had.  Makes me all tingly in the knees.

2. Between the wooden ceiling beams and the rich umber walls, it’s easy to relax.  No perching on a metal chair, feeling conspicuous against a barren backdrop.  Plus, they play my high school soundtrack – John Lennon, The Pixies, Iggy & the Stooges.

Sizzle Pie

July 17, 2011

Sizzle pie!  So satisfying to say excitedly in so many different accents!  That’s the first thing they’ve got going for them.  The next is their flashy sign.  Love it.  And it just keeps getting better from there.

The decor inside has got that no-frills, we-don’t-fuck-around-we-just-make-pizza, punk/biker feel apparently common to vegan-friendly pizza places (reminds me a lot of Lanesplitters in the Bay Area).  That said, their back patio is quite lovely.

They’ve always got two vegan pies ready made, so you can buy slices.  The first time we got slices of the Bad Reputation: Daiya cheese, black olives, mushrooms, and onions on a thin crust.  It was definitely tasty, especially if you add all the extras they’ve got sitting on the tables: red pepper flakes, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and Aardvark’s sauce.  Simple, good, affordable.

Plus they (like many other places in Portland) have punch cards!  I love feeling like I’m accomplishing something, working towards a goal by eating vegan pizza or soft serve or drinking kombucha.  I’m so damn productive here!  Plus, Sizzle Pie’s punch cards go to 11.

The next time we came to check out their brunch special, one slice of breakfast pizza and either a bloody mary, mimosa, or espresso stout for $6.  They didn’t have their usual Drugs Benedict (“Cheesy” Tofu Scramble, Hash Browns, Vegan “Bacon” Bits, Creamy Shallot and White Bean Spread on our Whole Wheat Crust.), which I was kinda bummed about.  We got one with tofu, vegan sausage & onions.  It was almost alarmingly meaty, but again tasty if you add all the accoutrements.

My big complaint about the brunch was the size of the drinks.  Both the Bloody Mary and the espresso stout came in tiny little-kid sized glasses.  There wasn’t even room for the salad-in-a-glass that usually accompanies Bloody Marys.  Even so, we were pretty happy:

So then.  We were wandering around SE last night around 10:30 looking for a worthy place to nosh, and found ourselves at Sizzle Pie.  We were hungry enough for a full pie this time, and decided on the New Maps Out of Hell: basil cashew cheese spread, seasoned soy curls, and your choice of three veggies.  We got mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts.

Oh my god!  This is my kind of pizza, loaded with toppings.  Everything about it was so damn delicious, from the savory & salty basil cashew spread to the expertly seasoned soy curls.  I would highly recommend getting artichoke hearts on it too.  You’ve gotta try this pizza!

Vita Cafe

July 15, 2011

What better place to begin our eating adventures than Vita Cafe, mere blocks from our new sublet.  Rob & I strolled down there for our first morning on Alberta.  We’ve since returned many a time to this vegan-friendly, slightly-punk & airy cafe, so I’ll just sum up what we’ve had:

Supergrain Salad: It was alright.  I can make better at home.

H.O.G. : Homemade Herb & Onion bread with almond Gravy. a.k.a. HolyOhmyGod.  Look no further on the menu.  Must order.

Huevos Rancheros: Not the best I’ve had, but they’ll definitely satisfy your early-morning mexican faux-eggy cravings.

Vegan Club Sandwich: Not quite as dripping with Vegenaise as I had hoped, but their tempeh & seitan turkey have a nice flavor.

Vegan Fish & Chips:  Mmm, fried + more fried.  I couldn’t stomach this myself, but if you’ve missed uttering the words, “Fish and chips, please,” indulge yourself.  Don’t forget to add plenty of malt vinegar + lemon.

Faux Tofurkey Florentine: This tasted like nutritional yeast.  Delicious, delicious nutritional yeast.

Sloppy Biscuit Sandwich: Had this on my birthday (only way to justify it to myself).  It necessitated an immediate nap, and the daiya cheese was really guilding the lily, but it was worth every gloppy bite of indulgence.  #thisiswhyyourefat.com

I thought I was moving to Portland for the summer to experience the city.  I quickly discovered that I will be steadfastly dedicating my time to eating.  And eating.  And maybe taking sugar-coma-induced naps.

So for those of you who want to know what I’m up to and how my days are going, this blog will provide you with the most relevant info: what new delicacies I’ve been scarfing.

Hopefully this blog will also help fill in some of the gaps in digital documentation of the overwhelming options for vegan food in portland.  At the end of the summer i’ll release my top 10/vegan bucket list.