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Compassionate food is healthy food!

I run the Portland (Oregon) vegetarian and vegan Meetup.com group.

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Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery

 6835 Sw Macadam Ave
Portland, OR
 

Alas, No More Karaoke Tuesdays

I was there to attend my first Karaoke event and get some happy hour food. I quickly looked at the menu and thought “HUMMUS!” I was also seeing “QUESADILLA”, so had to order both as they were very cheap after 10 p.m.

Now, it’s open mic on Tuesday nights, and Channing Frye is no longer a Trailblazer hanging out here, but still, I have a lot of good memories.

Hummus Plate

First, the Hummus plate….it was a lot more than I expected (quantity-wise) and though it didn’t have a big pop of flavor, the bread and veggies made it really good. I was able to share this dish with others and still have more than enough for myself.

The Quesadilla was also a good sized meal, especially with the Hummus. It was accompanied by sour cream and, I think, salsa.

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Old Wives' Tales

 1300 E Burnside St
Portland, OR
 

Baby Boomers in the Back, Gen X'ers in the Front

This was my second time actually eating here. The menu is very vegan and vegetarian friendly and tends to list a number of gluten-free items as well.

After hosting a Meetup viewing of Wall-E, four of us headed out to Old Wives’ Tale for dinner. Their front room is noisy, mostly with kids running around, while the back room seems to get preference for the aging hippies. I think the owner is one.

Tofu Scramble

I had the tofu scramble this particular morning. Yum. I didn’t mean to stuff myself, especially as I had another Meetup to attend (my own) at Sweet Lemon. Yikes! Well, I enjoyed the tofu scramble and vanilla soymilk I had and since I don’t get to go as often as I could make it out to Sweet Lemon, it’s okay.

Alicks went with one of their weekly specials, which was a pesto/spinach sauce over fusili pasta. The first bite was a little iffy, but as I got into the meal, I realized how great the meal was and thankful that the flavor was so unique that it may have actually stunned my taste buds upon first contact!

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Panera Bread

 3435 Sw Cedar Hills Boulevard
Beaverton, OR
 

Coffee and Carb Heaven, Vegetarian Purgatory

There isn’t a lot for a vegetarian to choose from, so the Mediterranean Veggie obviously stood out. Though I ordered early, my sandwich was done after everyone else’s. I’m usually the slowest eater, so that wasn’t making my day. Funny thing is that this was the first time I had stepped into a Panera Bread and wouldn’t you know where my friends were having lunch the following day? I just got a frozen coffee drink this time. I learned my lesson.

Bagel

The sandwich came on a pinkish colored bread that I didn’t really like too much. The contents of the sandwich itself was not too bad, but it’s sad when you think the best part of the meal is the potato chips. I’d much rather go to Subway and get a huge footlong sandwich for less than I paid at Panera.

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Bye and Bye

 1011 Ne Alberta St
Portland, OR
 

Hipster Heaven with Vegan Soul (Junk?) Food

If you don’t know that it’s a vegan bar, you wouldn’t be helped by the menu. Veggie meatballs are mentioned for the Meatball sub, but for the spaghetti, it’s just listed as “meatballs”. Also, there are many references to “cheese” with no indication that this would be a non-dairy version…but I have been informed it’s all vegan. It’s a small list of food items, which is kinda nice. There are bowls, sandwiches, spaghetti, and a few different sides.

I started out getting chips and salsa while we waited for more of our party to show up. I have to say the salsa was tasty and had a little bit of a kick to it. It’s only $2, so you can afford to try it whenever you feel the urge.

It is kind of loud with limited seating and sometimes poor service from the hipsters with an attitude behind the bar. Also, be aware that there’s smoking on the patio out back, not quite legal considering the proximity to the doors going in.

Vegan Meatball Sub

I had read the portion was generous and it definitely was. I dipped some of the tofu into the marinara and even forked some of the veggie meatballs to eat with the tofu. Once the sub was condensed to a smaller more edible version, I lifted it and took a bite. I think I would have preferred it on a softer bread, but other than that, it was quite good. I think the “cheese” and whatever else was at the bottom of the sandwich was just okay, so I might even opt to leave it off on my next visit. Will I visit again? Yes. Will I order the sub again? Yes.

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Vita Cafe

 3024 Ne Alberta St
Portland, OR
 

New Location, Same Great Food

Nine of us decided to have a nice leisurely lunch at Vita Cafe. We were lucky enough to get outdoor seating back at their old location, though the table was a little too small for all of us and the umbrellas only managed to shade some of us. As organizer of my group, I sacrificed myself to the sun and took a sunny spot. I survived.

The food may not be worth the cancer I could get as a result of that sun exposure, but it was pretty darn good. I have never had a regular BLT sandwich in my life, so it seemed weird to have a vegetarian one. I really enjoyed it and if my work computer didn’t crash everytime I tried to access the Vita Cafe website, I would tell you more about it. Let’s just say that I really enjoyed it and my guests all really enjoyed what they ordered as well, so I have a feeling that you will probably enjoy the food there as well. I plan on going back many, many times and update this pathetically short review.

Date Visited: Saturday 9/6/08 (Dinner)
It’s one of the rare times that I’m kinda glad my original plans fell through. I had to change my rating for this place thanks to this night.

Buffalo Tofu Wrap

The Buffalo Tofu wrap is currently my favorite, though I have them hold the vegan ranch dressing, as it’s a little much with the barbeque sauce. I usually also get their smoothie with tofu and soy milk instead of apple juice.

Alicks had a ‘Chicken’ Fried Steak meal that came with mashed potatoes and it was all smothered in an almond gravy. OH MY GOD. It’s been over a week since I had it and I’m still craving the darn thing! I want it day after day! I’ve been having some stomach issues and I distinctly remembered that I was not only terribly energized after eating this meal, but my stomach felt fine! I hope it stays a 5-Star place for me and that it’s around for years and years to come.

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Chaos Cafe

 2620 Southeast Powell Boulevard
Portland, OR
 

Nice Place to Go When Everyone's Out Drinking

Date Visited: Sunday 7/27/08 (Lunch)

A group of 13 were all present for lunch at Chaos Cafe. We took up all the seating in the back and had ourselves a fine time. There were a variety of dishes being ordered. They have expanded their seating and have a nice vegan dessert case now.

I’ll have to re-visit Chaos in the future to give a better review on the food, the service, and the restaurant itself. Don’t forget your Chinook Book coupons!

Sweet Corn Tamales

The sweet corn tamales with vegan sour cream and a cup of chili is my favorite!

My girl ordered the Cascade sandwich. The cascade consists of marinated and grilled tempeh with lettuce, tomato, onion, and seasonal pesto on sourdough. Yum. Comfort food, and not too hot in the summertime now that they’ve expanded (and added A/C?).

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Morning Glory Cafe

 450 Willamette Street
Eugene, OR
 

What's the story, Morning Glory?

Date Visited: Friday 8/29/08 (Lunch)

Driving on our way to Ashland, OR, I was able to check out vegetarian restaurants on an iPhone and saw that this place had some nice reviews and didn’t seem hard to get to.

I’ve never been to Eugene, but from the guy at the post office (right by the restaurant) to our servers at the restaurant, I would have to say it’s a pretty friendly place. The restaurant is located just by the train station, off of Willamette St. The painting on the sign let me know we had reached the restaurant before I had even seen the name.

I had read about the no cell phone guideline, so I checked my message just outside the door of the restaurant and then went in after listening to it. The artwork tickled me as I had something pictures from Sweet Pea, which were similar. We sat at a table and ordered.

Kudos to this restaurant, even if no one yelled at the lady who took TWO cell phone calls in the 5-10 minutes I was paying attention to anyone else in the restaurant!

Biscuits and Gravy

My girl had the waffles with fruit while I had the biscuits and gravy.

Both dishes were very good. The waffles had blueberries, bananas, apples, and strawberries. There was a side of butter and organic maple syrup, which were perfect for me. Portion-wise, the meal was more than enough for her and she had to keep from buttering all the waffles because she knew I would probably end up eating a decent portion of what I couldn’t finish. She only had one bite of the biscuits and gravy, but it was quite good and if I ever go through this town again, I will 1) visit Morning Glory again and 2) have something with the mushroom gravy because although I dislike mushrooms, but it was really tasty.

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Govinda's Vegetarian Buffet

 1030 River Road
Eugene, OR
 

Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna! Krishna Krishna! Hare Hare!

Date Visited: Monday 9/1/08 (Dinner)

It was Labor Day and we were returning from a nice long trip from Ashland and seeing Crater Lake, so we were eager to find a nice vegetarian restaurant that was open. Govinda’s was open until 8 and once my girl found out I had located a Hare Krishna restaurant, he was very excited.

We got to the restaurant at 7:20. You pay for the buffet ($7.95) and then help yourself. Everything is labeled as far as what it is and whether or not it has dairy or is vegan. The salad bar was pretty normal and had green leaf lettuce instead of iceburg (always a good thing).

Buffet

I honestly couldn’t tell you what each of the items I had were. There were 2 kinds of rice and a yogurt-like sauce that was suggested to go on top of the rice. I did this. YUM. There were some chick pea things that went well with a tomato chutney sauce. There were some breads and other than the vegan cornbread being a bit on the dry side,

I can’t really complain about the food. We were told to get whatever food we wanted before they packed everything up around 7:45, so I had another helping of salad. We walked away quite stuffed and quite content with our meal. If you’re in the area, I would definitely say go and check it out. Be sure to get there early so you can have additional helpings.

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Greenleaf Restaurant

 49 N Main St
Ashland, OR
 

Best Restaurant in Ashland

Date Visited: Friday 8/29/08 (Dinner)

Arriving in Ashland and knowing there were restaurants all about can be overwhelming, but finding a good vegetarian or vegan friendly one can be too much. Thankfully, between the Yellow Pages and an Ashland Guide, we were able to find some choices.

You wouldn’t think anyone could get lost on Main Street, in the heart of Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival, but we did. I now think it was an evil plot to throw off tourists because the address we had for this restaurant and another (according to our documents) were completely different from one another and yet they were located right next door to each other. Turns out the documents were wrong, but still….logic doesn’t work so well in this town.

In any case, we found the restaurant and were happy to find they were open. We decided to sit outside as the inside was a bit cold and it was a beautiful night. Despite the location (behind the restaurant, by the creek), there was very little lighting to see our menus. If not for the candle they provided our table, I’m not sure I would have really seen much.

BBQ Tofu Sandwich

I settled on a BBQ Tofu sandwich and thought their Italian fries sounded interesting and ordered some of those. I didn’t expect the fries to be enough for an entire meal though. The BBQ Tofu sandwich was hard to eat, but it was quite tasty and VERY filling. The sandwich came with potato chips, which of course were wasted because I had the Italian fries. Our take-out boxes were actually the cute Chinese meal ones, which were awful to stuff half a sandwich into. Oh well. I had some of the Italian fries for breakfast the next morning. Word to the wise, split the Italian fries with someone if you can.

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Pizza King Restaurant

 1348 Front Street
Crescent City, CA
 

Surprisingly Good Pizza Near the Redwoods

This restaurant wasn’t actually the one we were aiming for. We had stopped at the visitor center near the Jedidiah Smith Redwood Park and were told about a Thai restaurant that we could eat at, after going through the Park. So, we headed down 101 and easily found the Thai restaurant. After looking at the menu and looking at the restaurant, we decided to go just across the parking lot to the pizza place. It’s hard to even consider places that have names like Pizza King sometimes, but I think pizza in places you’ve never been to (and probably won’t visit again) can be exciting.

Sicilian Pizza

I am vegan, so I ordered their Veggie pizza without the ranch sauce that normally comes with it and then asked that half of it be without cheese.

It didn’t take long for our order to be ready and since I was pretty starved, I kept my fingers crossed it would be good. It was. If I’m ever in Crescent City again, I WILL re-visit this place.

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