All Reviews by blisssu
1713 NE 15th Ave, Portland, USA
Worth the ride
Sad was the day when Blossoming Lotus left its yoga studio in the Pearl, which was an easy walk from home. It had become a happy habit--always delicious, always friendly, always reliable. We still love Blossoming Lotus and we gladly take the bus or drive to 15th Avenue, but we don't get there as often as before. The room is lovely (though the lighting could be better) and the daily specials are just as inventive and tempting as ever. The regular menu, which changes with the seasons, is a welcome fall-back position. Some of the regular stand-outs: Live pizza, Southwest bowl, apple-lemon-ginger juice, chai, any flavor of soft-serve. So many people love this place that there's often a wait in the evening. We need a second location!
Updated from previous review on Saturday January 08, 2011
3033 NE Alberta St, Portland, USA
Another great veg restaurant for Portland
Add another great food experience to Portland's growing number of top-flight vegan/vegetarian restaurants with serious chefs proving that plant-based foods can be beautiful, delicious and fully satisfying for anyone--veg or non-veg--who cares about eating well.
Natural Selection, open for about six months, is a small, European-style place with an open kitchen where you can watch Chef Aaron Woo and his small team of cohorts turning out the evening's fare. The menu consists of a four-course, fixed-price meal at $35, and is limited to a choice from two offerings for each course. Each selection is labeled as to whether it's vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free. As the menu is short, diners do best by putting aside preconceptions of what they want to eat, and place their trust in the talents of Chef Woo. Wines and wine pairings are also available, and you can order any of the courses a la carte.
After we ordered our meal, the friendly server brought us each an "amuse-gueule," French for a single hors d'oeuvre that serves to put you in the right frame of mind for dinner. This offering probably varies from day to day according to the chef's imagination and what he has on hand. Our "taste-teaser" was a single endive leaf with an English pea puree, a fava bean, red pepper curl and two tiny flower petals. I moved on to the first course, a perfectly seasoned Sweet Corn and Saffron Soup ($10 a la carte) with a crispy sweet corn timbale. Then came a generously sized Baby Beets and Cress Salad ($10 a la carte) with red, pink and yellow beets, yellow carrots, fava beans, and a variety of the fresh greens that grow abundantly in the Northwest--delicious. My main course, Artichoke and Porcini Stew ($16 a la carte) surrounded a flavorful wild rice cake dressed with almonds and carrot sauce. An unanticipated palate-cleansing grapefruit granita came next, and it was just the thing, though I had no desire to remove the flavors of what had gone before. Dessert, a Fresh Berry Crumble ($8 a la carte), showcased the Oregon harvest of raspberries, blueberries, and pear with a sublime frozen vanilla cream made with coconut milk. The presentation suggested a particularly elegant graffiti painting complete with cubed blueberry jellies as tiny pedestals for the randomly scattered berries. We figured this was the chef's way of keeping us smiling all the way to the end of our meal. If so, he succeeded.
1605 N 45th St, Seattle, USA
A 5-Star Evening Studded with Delectables
We were advised to come a bit early, so we could choose our table. But when we entered the small dining room, a young woman directed us to two seats at the four-seat counter. At first disappointed, I soon realized we had the best seats in the house, at least for purposes of observing the impressively choreographed process of serving a 5-course meal to about three dozen diners in a tiny restaurant and getting to ask questions and hurl compliments at sociable chef Colin Patterson and cook Karianne. All in all, this night was an adventure in dining, and not just because of the delectable prix fixe menu and non-alcoholic elixer (for me) and wine (for my husband) pairings we enjoyed with the food. Chef Colin made us all feel like guests at his home by thoughtfully introducing the menu, which was all vegan. Then, from our catbird seats, Jerry and I watched as each course unfolded from a perfectly-arranged pattern of plates, bowls and cups to a cornucopia of garnished foods. It's hard to describe the meal--sublime might do it, and so far beyond what I had expected--both in flavors and combinations of texture, color and taste. It would take too much space to recount all the dishes we ate. One highlight: I was transported by the subtle roasty flavor kicked up by citrusy zing of the Roasted Cauliflower-Preserved Lemon Soup with Tarragon-Garlic Gremolata. As someone with an ever-lurking sweet tooth, I looked forward to dessert, but I couldn't have imagined the Rose-Chocolate-Coconut Mousse with Star Anise Carmel Sauce and Sunflower Cacao Crumble until I tasted it. I found it hard to keep from licking my plate (maybe I did!). This is a place to go for a celebration or just to spike the experience of an ordinary day.
5-560 Johnson St, Victoria, Canada
We arrived yesterday in Victoria, and after reading quite a few posted menus, my husband and I were struck by how few omnivore restaurants offered acceptable dishes for vegans or even vegetarians. Therefore we were delighted to find Green Cuisine, one of those wonderful places with an all-vegan menu. The pay-by-weight system defines this place as informal. Cheerful as it is, I felt a bit as though I was eating in a college dining hall because of the cafeteria layout of the food selections, waiting in line to have my food weighed and busing my dishes. But the food is very good and as plentiful as you want to pay for. Particular favorites were the multi-grain focaccia, the plentiful vegetables, the cashew rice and a delicious chocolate-hazelnut bar. The only problem was not holding up the line while I tried to chose from the many offerings. I'm sure we will return before leaving Victoria.
220 Hwy 101N, Yachats, USA
Oasis on the Coast
We hesitated when we read the name, but inside found a vegan-friendly place (hard to come by on the Oregon coast) that appeared to be a neighborhood hub. The Green Salmon offers coffee drinks, Italian sodas, "teas and herbals" and a 12-item list of breakfast and lunch dishes posted on a blackboard. You place your order and pay at the cashier, find a seat at one of the multi-party tables in the eclectically furnished dining room and pick up your food when someone from the kitchen calls your name. The casual and relaxed lunchtime atmosphere fits well in this seaside village. I ordered a very good avocado, lettuce and tomato whole wheat wrap with a tempe bacon add-on, lots of avocado and smeared with Veganaise. There was a vegan falafel wrap that was sold out, and one or two items that could be veganized with the use of different dressing or substitution of Earth Balance (which the restaurant offers) for butter. We also stopped for breakfast, when offerings include a vegan granola and a hot cereal made with amaranth, quinoa and polenta. My husband had a generous plate of whole wheat bagel with hummus, tomato, lettuce, and onion. I had a very fine vegan scone served with Earth Balance. We are happy to return to The Green Salmon whenever we're nearby on the coast.
4237 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, USA
What a find!
Sometimes I get cranky that there are too few vegan restaurants in Portland, and so the good ones are always crowded. But then I remember the food carts--so many with vegan options to try! All-vegan Homegrown Smoker is a recent discovery--I found it through getsconedpdx.com--and it's a 10-minute walk from home. Thank you! On my first visit I tried the Combo Meal--smoked soy curls, tempeh and sausage, cornbread, sweet potato fries and the best ever MacNoCheese for $8 and enough for three meals. The smoke flavor is real, not liquid smoke flavoring, and that makes for very tasty food. I almost missed out on my second visit--arrived just past the 3 p.m. closing, but the nice guy at the window sold me his remaining chili, some baked beans, cornbread and excellent collards--enough for two meals for two people (i.e., four meals) at a bargain price. I had been hoping for an order of MacNoCheese, but the lucky customers who preceded me finished off his supply. I am not one of those people who lives for barbecue, but the Homegrown Smoker may lead me to a new addiction.
617 Johnson St, Victoria, Canada
Lovely lunch at the Lotus Pond
My husband and I probably wouldn't have gone into Lotus Pond had we not seen its enthusiastic reviews on Happy Cow and been very hungry for lunch. It's not prepossessing from the outside, but we read the extensive all-vegan menu posted in the window and decided to give it a try. So glad we did. Inside, the small dining room was simple but clean, and the staff was welcoming. We chose from the small but attractive buffet and paid by weight. Too bad we didn't have enough time in Victoria to return and order from the extensive printed menu as a few other customers had. Everything was fresh and delicious, and it's such a treat to go to an all-vegan place and not have to wonder about ordering something unfamiliar that might be made with meat. The turnip cake was delicious and a new dish for me, and the spring roll was noisily crispy and flavorful. I particularly like restaurants that offer vegan desserts, and I was attracted to the colorful lotus flower and sesame cakes, even though I assumed they'd be too sweet. Well, they were sweet, but crunchy and tasty too, and the rice-and-wheat-flour pastry enfolding the fillings was flakey enough to rival a well-made pie crust. So much for pre-judgements. The staff was friendly and helpful and we left Lotus Pond full and very happy.
Updated from previous review on Monday September 23, 2013
Updated from previous review on Monday September 23, 2013
450 Willamette St, Eugene, USA
A Reliable Treat in Eugene
We completely agree with VeganMusicMan--Morning Glory is a must-stop anytime (before 3:30) we're near Eugene. At our most recent visit, the cheerful interior had been repainted and as usual there was an interesting show of local art on the walls. The servers were pleasant and helpful, and if there ever was a problem with slow service, I don't remember it. My usual tendency is to order one of their sweet vegan breakfasts, such as the smackin' sweet Vegan Cranberry Walnut Waffles and the Blueberry-Ginger Smoothie shown in my photos, but this time I branched out to savory and ordered Chilaquiles, a rustic dish of the chef's invention. The young woman who took our order promised me it was delicious, even though I had my doubts about the idea of blue corn chips mixed into a tofu scramble. The dish satisfied on every level--flavor (sort of down-home with cumin), appearance (lots of vitamin-rich colors), and generously sized (I took a recycled paper container home with enough for the next day's lunch). Jerry let me taste his order, Little Bear's Vegan Omelette, which was folded into a crackling crisp shredded potato shell, surrounded by a bunch of sautéed vegetables and topped with tofu-based sour cream. I had my eye on one of their intriguing pastries (vegan key lime shortbread) but the feast had left me too full. Next time . . .
Updated from previous review on Friday June 21, 2013
1125 SE Division St, Portland, USA
Vegan Heaven Not Just for Vegans!
The photo of Portobello shows the entrance to their old location. The trattoria is now at SE 11th and Division in a group of small stores, with a (small) parking lot. My husband and I go whenever we can get in, and that used to mean before 6:30. Tonight we learned that the trattoria now takes reservations for small parties as well as large, which will make later dining with friends much more convenient . This is a wonderful kitchen with every dish carefully considered for flavor, quality of ingredients, and appearance. Salads and entrees are offered on small or large plates, and the small plates are often generous enough for a full meal. If you look at my photos, you may notice that we'd already started to eat a couple of dishes before I remembered to take a photo! Too bad, because everything looks like a magazine spread when it arrives at the table. I can't imagine coming up with anything but praise for this place--excellent and inventive all-vegan food, fabulous desserts, wine, full bar and wonderful "mocktails," very friendly and helpful service, and reasonable prices. Really, the prices are low, given the quality and deliciousness of what's offered. Be sure not to skip dessert--Portobello has some of the best.
1011 NE Alberta St, Portland, USA
Vegan restaurant that doesn't look like one
Once you see the very unobtrusive sign, it's hard to believe that Bye and Bye serves only vegan eats. The place looks more like a bar, happy-hour, music kind of place where the staff doesn't even know what vegan is. Wrong. My husband and I went there for dinner a few nights ago and loved the food. I also loved the ginger beer (which was spicy enough to make me sneeze!) Jerry ordered a Georgia Bowl (tofu, brown rice and the most delicious collard greens) and I had the Brussel Bowl (BBQ tofu, brown rice and brussels sprouts), because we love those cruciferous vegetables. The collards especially were cooked to perfection and the brussels sprouts were dandy too. Both It was one of those rare warm and not raining Portland evenings in May, so we sat outside on the patio, not aware that smoking was allowed. When the folks at the next table lit up, we had to move or it would have ruined the flavor of our bowls. Sure enough, after we moved, the people two tables away lit up too. The problem might be solved if the non-smoking tables were placed together on one side of the door with the smokers on the other. Or if there were no smoking at all. The music from inside was louder than we liked, but not nearly as noxious as the smoke. We really liked the place and the food and drinks they served, but smoke and loud music did detract.
508 SW Taylor St, Portland, USA
Fresh, Friendly & Vegan
My husband and I eat at the friendly, informal Veggie Grill often, since it serves excellent vegan food and was nice enough to open in our neighborhood. At lunchtime, it attracts people from nearby offices, and some of them may not realize they're eating vegan--the food sounds that familiar and tastes that good. The decor is simple and cheerful, giving the impression of a nice fast-food place, but that's where the similarity to McD's or any of the others ends. Meals at Veggie Grill are made of fresh, plant-based ingredients and completely free of cholesterol, animal fat and trans fat. The chefs at this California-based chain have developed great recipes for an array of veggie proteins--no-meat chickin' (including blackened chickin' and buffalo wings) and veggie-steak in various forms, from burgers to barbecue. Today, I noticed a "crab" cake sandwich on the menu. And if you're hankering for the cheese you no longer eat, VG's plant-based cheeses and creamy sauces are as good as any I've had. I love the kale they serve on many of the plates, sandwiches and salads. It is uniformly tender, bright green and flavorful. There's a small selection of soups and desserts too.