This post is in collaboration with Native Foods.
As much as I enjoy vegan fine dining, fast casual vegan eateries are the real game changers of the food industry as they’re able to reach a much larger audience. Native Foods Cafe is one that does that well, appealing to both vegans and non-vegans with approachable, made from scratch dishes. For the record, the first I heard of Native Foods was from a friend who is far from vegan. Native Foods offers an extensive seasonal menu, and I’m sure even the pickiest eater will find something suitable here. Earth-friendly and vegan-friendly go hand in hand, so you can feel good about grabbing a bite here.
I was invited to the Bridgeport Village location of Native Foods to taste their new spring menu items. There are Native Foods locations in Colorado, Chicago, and throughout California, but Bridgeport is the only one in Oregon. It’s a good thing too, ’cause you’d be hard pressed to find a good vegan option (salad doesn’t count!) at other restaurants in that shopping complex.
Remember when kale was the cool vegetable? Well, kale is out, and cauliflower is so in right now. Native Foods’ Orange Cauliflower features crispy cauliflower florets in a sweet and tangy orange sauce over a bed of veggies and brown rice. I like that there’s tofu scrambled in there too for a little extra protein. The orange sauce is light on heat, but you like more heat, I’d recommend trying the cauliflower starter with gochujang.
Native Double Cheeseburger
A vegan burger is still a burger, but I didn’t feel like I needed a nap after enjoying this one. The Double Cheeseburger features two juicy seitan patties with perfectly melty Follow Your Heart cheese. The default toppings include pickles, red onions, lettuce, Thousand Island dressing, and BBQ sauce. Next time, I’ll ask ’em to throw a slice of tomato in there too! Pro tip: get a side of sweet potato fries with this bad boy.
Everyone loves noodles, and Native Foods offers a veggie Pad Thai if you feel like twirling some noods. Rice noodles, cabbage, carrots, tofu, scallions, broccoli, jalapenos, cashews, basil, and cilantro. Lightly spicy. It’s tasty enough, but I normally save my Pad Thai cravings for my go to all veg Thai restaurant.
Bulgogi Kimchi Tacos
At Native Foods, you don’t have to wait until Tuesday to enjoy tacos. Bulgogi jackfruit meets rainbow kimchi and spicy peanut sauce in these tacos – yum! Each one is topped with a generous slice of avocado and cilantro. Maybe I’m a messy eater, but the corn tortillas didn’t hold up well to all that taco filling. PS. I’m always a fan of jackfruit!
Described on the menu as “a bowl of happiness”, the Buddha Bowl features teriyaki sweet potatoes, avocado, dehydrated shiitakes, pineapple, roasted corn, daikon, scallions, and jasmine rice. I eat a lot of bowls, but I don’t often see fresh fruit as an ingredient in a savory bowl. Remember to give it a good stir and mix everything together. It was slightly heavy on the rice for my personal preferences, but nothing a little hot sauce can’t fix. ;)
Chicken & Waffles
This is not a new item, but I was told that you can’t visit Native Foods Cafe without trying the Chicken & Waffles. #TreatYourself, right? The generously sized “chicken” cutlets are made of a combination of non-GMO soy, wheat, and pea protein. They tucked some kale in between the chicken and waffles to make sure you get your greens too. And that sriracha maple syrup is the perfect finishing touch.
Last, but not least, there’s the Brookie if you have a sweet tooth. It’s a brownie inside a peanut butter cookie, so you don’t have to choose between the two. Some vegan cookies struggle with texture, but this was a good one. What’s even better is that portion of proceeds goes to a charity of your choice when you place your order!
Note: This post is in collaboration with Native Foods. I was invited as a guest 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.