Back in February, John and I took a week long trip to the west coast. We stopped by Oakland for a day before spending the rest of our time in Portland and Seattle. Since I’m currently packing everything up for our move to Portland, what better time is there to recap all the things we ate on this trip?
Oakland > Lane Splitter Pizza
We randomly wandered in here and were pleasantly surprised to find multiple vegan options. Vegan pizza FTW! The herbivore was loaded with olives and an interesting vegan cheese that reminded me of blue cheese. The spicy vegan is not for you if you can’t handle the heat.
Oakland > Rosamunde Sausage Grill
Rosamunde was perfect for dinner, beers, and catching up with family. $15 gets you a sausage plate with two sausages, green salad, vegan baked beans, sauerkraut. There were four vegan sausages available (kielbasa, chipotle, apple sage, and Italian), and since John and I both ordered the sausage plate, we got to try them all. The chipotle was my favorite. Our tummies were full and happy that evening!
Portland > Prasad
I am in love with this place! Prasad shares a space with a yoga studio and offers healthy bowls, salads, and fresh juices at very reasonable prices. I got the urban bowl salad ($9) with mixed greens, steamed greens, cabbage-apple kimchi, sea veggies, avocado, carrots, scallions, za’atar, and garlic tahini. We liked this place so much that we also got takeout from Prasad East on the final day of our trip.
Portland > Fat Head
There’s no shortage of breweries in Portland, so instead of picking one to visit, we decided to just play it by ear. We stopped by Fat Head’s to get out of the rain. The $8.50 brewer’s choice sampler includes five 16 oz beers, which turns out to be a lot of beer. It started with the a summery honey blueberry ale, then moved on to an IPA, a bock, a pale ale, and finally, a rich chocolate cream stout.
Portland > Los Gorditos
With a name like Los Gorditos, you know what goes down in here. Confession: the item I wanted most on the menu was the vegan garbage burrito ($8). It’s gigantic and stuffed with vegan soycurls, soyrizo, tofu, beans, rice, salsa, onion, and cilantro. We also shared an order of the enchiladas ($10) and
walked rolled very slowly back to our hotel after this meal.
Portland > Boke Bowl
If I’m going to consider moving to a new city, I gotta try the ramen first. We enjoyed quite a lunch at Boke Bowl, and this was one of the more unique vegan ramen bowls I’ve had. Caramelized fennel dashi ramen ($10) with Japanese eggplant, rice tots, mushrooms, butternut squash, and greens. Light broth with a subtle sweetness. Noodles were delightfully slippery and bouncy!
Portland > Glowing Greens
Not food, but Glowing Greens has to featured in this recap… black light pirate themed mini golf. And of course, John wore a lot of flannel on this Portland trip.
Portland > Ground Kontrol
Brooklyn’s got Barcade, Portland’s got Ground Kontrol. I wonder who was first, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the latter was the original. Arcade games, booze, snacks. Not a bad way to end the evening. The Press Start cocktail was tasty, but not all that spicy. I’ll have to ask for more heat next time around!
Seattle > Pike Place Market
The next day, we hopped on the train to Seattle. It wasn’t as scenic as we had hoped, but riding the train was relaxing. First stop after checking in to our hotel, we strolled on over Pike Place Market, ate some mediocre Indian food, and caught a glimpse of the first Starbucks. Look at the Starbucks mermaid in all her nippley glory…
Seattle > Seattle Public Library
It rains, and rains, and rains in the northwest. We spent some time exploring the central library while taking a break from the rain. By far, the most remarkable library I’ve ever visited and the best moments are when you look up from the ground floor or down from the upper levels.
Seattle > El Borracho
Poor John was a little under the weather about halfway through this trip (I blame the rain). He just sat and watched me eat at El Borracho. I sipped on the hibiscus margarita ($8) with a cinnamon sugar rim, while chowing down on the vegan mushroom quesadilla ($11). They use Daiya cheese in the quesadilla for perfect melty, stretchy goodness.
Seattle > Bainsbridge Island Ferry
When in Seattle, you gotta ride the ferry, right? Despite the gloomy weather, we caught some views of the city in 50 shades of grey on our ferry ride to Bainsbridge Island. By the way, this is an #nofilter photo. John mistook it for a black and white photo as he walked by my computer.
Bainsbridge Island > Streamliner Diner
Over on the other side of the ferry ride was the cutest little town for a morning walk. We stumbled across a diner that seemed popular among locals and tourists alike and discovered that they had a tofu scramble. Happy to start my day with large chunks of tofu with veggies. The flaky biscuit was a good snack for later in the day.
Portland > Portobello Vegan Trattoria
Date night at Portobello, and I’m glad we made a reservation as Portlanders sure love their vegan food. The mushroom leek tart was a good pick for an appetizer. The crust was light and flaky, while the filling was creamy… you kinda forget it’s vegan. We got the gnocchi and ravioli, which had nice flavors, but needed a little more salt. Sharing one pasta dish would have been the better way to do it as the portions were hefty.
Portland > Bula Kava House
After feasting at Portobello, this kava house caught our eye as we wandered along Division Street. John and I had never heard of kava root before, but the staff at Bula quickly filled us in. Kava is an earthy beverage that leaves you relaxed without reducing your mental clarity. Very unusual, but enjoyable sensation. The traditional way to drink kava is to chug it, but it’s very bitter in flavor and that pineapple chaser is barely enough.
Portland > Pok Pok
Our lunch at Pok Pok was the best meal of the trip and not just because we were starving when we got here. The green papaya salad and Yam Samun Phrai herbal salad were a refreshing start to the meal. Both dishes could be made vegetarian, and it’s a good thing we got the chili on the side. The vegetarian Khao Soi was the standout for me. Bouncy, thick noodles topped with crispy noodles in a slurpable curry broth.
Portland > Vegan Mini Mall
It’s not everyday that you come across a vegan mini mall. Actually, I think this is supposed to be the world’s first vegan mini mall. Not sure if “mini mall” is the best way to describe it as this is just a cluster of four businesses — grocery store, clothing store, bakery, and tattoo parlor — but it was cool to stroll by and take a peek.
Portland > White Owl Social Club
We don’t watch football, except for the Super Bowl which is basically just an excuse to drink beer and eat a bunch of food. (Oh wait, I do that all the time anyway.) White Owl Social Club had the game on and some nice vegan options. The buffalo cauliflower was good, but the vegan beet burger was the winner of the night. Someone sitting at the bar recommended the burger, and she noted that she’s not even vegetarian.
Portland > Voodoo Doughnut
Grabbing donuts from Voodoo is the thing to do when you visit Portland, right? Bonus: they have a wide selection of vegan options. John the cereal man got the fruit loop covered donut, while I was content with my donut that was heavily covered in sprinkles. Not the most amazing donuts, but certainly a fun spot to stop by.
Portland > Home Grown Smoker
It rains a lot in Portland, but we were graced with a beautiful sunny day on our final day. T-shirt and outdoor dining weather in February! There’s a big food cart culture here, and we were looking forward to trying Home Grown Smoker. It’s an all vegan (!!!) BBQ cart. The half rack rib plate is $9 and includes smoked tempeh ribs, hush puppies, and your choice of a side. Both the mac and cheese and collard greens were nicely done. Home Grown, I’ll see you again soon for 4th of July!
Foodwise, moving to the west coast doesn’t seem too bad. Regarding Pok Pok, is it the same as the Pok Pok in New York?
Btw. not sure if I told you, but I found a really nice ice cream shop in LA called Salt & Straw, and they are from Portland. They have some really amazing flavors, including a few vegan ones. Fifty Shades of Grey, ha ha!
I’m really excited about the food scene here. When I first moved to NYC, I really missed all the great produce on the west coast. Stopped by Whole Foods today and was delighted by all the fresh fruit and veggies. Also, I’ve gone from the 2nd most vegan friendly city to the 1st. ;)
I gotta stop by Salt & Straw sometime. Didn’t get a chance to visit when I came out here for vacation. Pok Pok PDX is the original location!
Hi! Found you through Mitzie… What a culinary journey… So many interesting choices and how’s the move to Portland?
Thanks for stopping by! I just got to Portland a couple days ago… What a road trip. Look forward to sharing more delicious eats here and checking out your blog too! :)