This post is in collaboration with Travel Portland.
It’s that time of the year again! Every March, over 100 restaurants in Portland offer 3-course menus for Travel Portland’s Portland Dining Month. This year is the first time popups have been included in the Portland Dining Month series, and Feastly popup venue on Hawthorne offered a variety of 3-course dinners. One of the most unique menus in Feastly’s lineup is Chef Salimatu Amabebe’s vegan Nigerian cuisine. I’m no stranger to Salimatu’s magic, and as always, she delivered a delicious meal that just so happens to be vegan.
First up was the banga stew with fufu. Salimatu explained that this was a vegan version adapted from her father’s traditionally Nigerian recipes. Made of palm fruit, onions, pepper, bitterleaf, and spinach, this vibrant stew has a subtle hint of heat What is fufu? It’s a soft dough made of plantain flour. Looks like mashed potatoes, feels like playdough, and pairs well with the stew. Fufu is typically eaten with your hands although you risk staining your fingers with the intense color of the stew. That didn’t stop me from diving right in!
Ewa agoyin, the mashed black eyed peas entree, is another Nigerian classic. I’m normally not a big fan of black eyed peas, but in this dish, they were hearty and flavorful unlike the snooze fests I’ve had elsewhere. The smoky pepper and palm oil sauce was my favorite element from the entire meal. That stuff is addictive. Where can I buy a bottle of it to enjoy at home?
The dessert course was a gluten-free mango vanilla cake with maple cashew lime cream. I always enjoy Salimatu’s desserts, but I’m curious to try a traditional Nigerian mango cake. This cake was Salimatu’s reinterpretation, very different from the mango cakes she grew up with.
Interested in giving vegan Nigerian a try? Salimatu hosts popups at Feastly once a week, and the $33 Portland Dining Month menu applies through the end of March. The menu rotates from time to time, so you’ll have an opportunity to try something new on each visit. Salimatu also hosts Black Feast, a monthly popup celebrating vegan artists and writers. This month’s Black Feast highlights Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” with dishes inspired by lines from the play. Black Feast is one of the most unique concepts I’ve seen at Feastly so far. If you wanna check it out sometime, hit me up!
Note: This post is in collaboration with Travel Portland. I received a Portland Dining Month gift card to this establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.