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Thursday, September 16, 2010

PNW Trip: Day 5, Part 2 - Good Evening, Portland!

After our Voo Doo Doughnut overload, walking the sugar off at the International Rose Test Garden sounded like a good idea.

Wikipedia says: New rose cultivars are continually sent to the garden from many parts of the world and are tested for color, fragrance, disease resistance and other attributes.
It's always good to stop and smell the roses.

(this grey-ish-lilac color is probably my favorite)

Next stop, the vegan strip mall! I remember reading about this years ago and thinking how amazing it was that such a place exists. The vegan strip mall in Portland is made up of Sweetpea Bakery, Herbivore, Food Fight!, and Scapegoat Tattoo.

With my sweet tooth still more than satisfied from Voo Doo, I didn't pick up anything from Sweetpea, but I did take a look inside this adorably cozy bakery. I glanced around a bit through Herbivore, but it was Food Fight! where I had the most fun (and had to show the most restraint, especially when I saw the display of Go Max Go candy bars).


Look at all of those vegan cheeses!

I'm not a fan of mock meats, but I've heard good things about the new Tofurky pizzas. Has anyone tried them? Thoughts?

Really strange mock meats...


True fact: Veganism is SEXY.

Shortly after romping around Food Fight!, we met up with some friends at Portobello, a vegan restaurant that was recommended to me by several people.

I didn't realize how tiny the restaurant is, and we had an "at least 45 minutes" wait ahead of us. We hung out outside, on an awkward bench, chatting and debating. We perused the menu, and since it wasn't jiving well with everyone, I felt like a Portland Food Cart Experience was in order. Portland is known for their food carts, and I'd heard about how vegan-friendly they all were, so we relocated.

Oh, so many options at our hub of choice on Hawthorne Street. Mexican? Vietnamese? What's that, Potato Champion? You have vegan poutine?! SOLD!

I've never had poutine before in my life. All I knew was that it's a Canadian delicacy of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. I do like gravy...

Holy no-cow, this is GOOD! It's super-super-salty, but it's awesome! The gravy is heaven, and the mozzarella-style "curds" were a nice addition.
I also couldn't help but try the PB&J fries.

WOW. I never would have thought of this combo: hot, salty French fries smothered in peanut satay sauce, with a drizzle of raspberry-chipotle sauce. AMAZING. The sweetness of the raspberry-chipotle really cuts through the saltiness of everything else, and it's just a party-in-your-mouth experience. I will be trying to recreate BOTH of these fries at home in the near future. I'm amazed my fingers didn't puff up to triple their size from all this salt, but it would have been worth it, regardless! No, this food was not healthy, but by golly, it was good! Potato Champion, you're my hero.

And let me say, food cart hubs have a great atmosphere. The several carts all form a kind of circle, with picnic tables in the center. White holiday string lights are criss-crossed overhead. It's like a romantic trailer park, or a clean "food court" of a carnival with better eats. They attract a wide variety of people: families, hippies, Average Joes, single people, and couples. I had a great time sitting outside at our table, chatting and devouring potato goodness, with fresh, cool air.

I feel that I had a much better experience at the food cart hub than at Portobello, hands down.

We concluded our evening with more strolling around the neighborhood, then stopping for a drink at the Bagdad Back Stage.

Portland, I'm going to miss you.

1 comment:

  1. Vegan haggis?! That's sick! ::shudder::

    My best friend tried a Tofurkey pizza, and she really liked it. Considering she's just now getting into vegan foods, that seems to bode well for it.

    Amber Shea