It's been too long since I blogged! I've been in Portland, OR for 5 days, with 2 more days on either end for traveling to and from Vancouver. I took the Amtrak Cascades train from Vancouver-- what a nice ride! I got back on Monday, worked at the library on Tuesday, and intended to blog yesterday. I got all the the photos uploaded and resized, etc.,and then our internet access disappeared yesterday afternoon about 3:00! It turns out that an underwater cable was sliced and many of us on or near Vancouver island were without internet access for about 24 hours (it came back on just a little while ago).
I did have a productive day doing chores, doing my weights, making a new bread (more about that in a later post!) and soup, and cake for yet another granddaughter's birthday, etc. The computer does take up alot of my time!
I have so many things to report on and lots of pictures, so I'm going to try to blog some of it every day this week!
Anyway, back to Portland! I had several reasons for visiting there-- to work with the Field Roast folks at their booth in the Culinary Expo at the IACP conference ("Portland and the new Culinary order"); to visit friends like Julie Hasson, who was my hostess, and seeing Fran Costigan, my friend the vegan Dessert Diva from New York, who was attending the conference.
Julie and Fran, two beautiful Vegan Dessert Divas!
I also wanted to meet Kittee, an internet foodie friend (creator and producer of the Papa Tofu zine) whom I'd never met in person and who had recently moved to Portland. As well, I wanted to see my friends Yongkie and Pokie. Kittee, Yongkie and Pokie are also friends of Julie's, and we all kind of met via my old subscription newsletter, The Vegan Feast. Julie had met another "Vegan Feaster", D., by accident. D., who is a fabulous cook and writes this blog, had attended a 5-day cooking class here on Denman Island and we all became friends. Her friends, Yongkie and Pokie, moved to Portland. D. told Julie that they were making fresh tempeh and could make it for her, so they met, too! Whew!
Kittee and Julie after a great meal at Blossoming Lotus
Pokie and Yongkie at Pittock Mansion, with the Portland panorama in the background.
Julie picked me up from the train Wednesday afternoon, we dashed to her house to drop off my luggage and change into something suitable for the IACP opening reception, which features some of Portland's best chefs, restaurants, breweries, and Oregon wineries. (We could have got totally blasted on all the samples of booze, but I'm just not much of a drinker! DH was jealous about missing all the micro-brewery samples!)
Unfortunately for hungry vegans, this was not a very vegan-friendly event (lots of people remarked that this was strange, considering that Portland is so vegan friendly!). In fact, we found few vegan items we could eat-- some bruschetta with a green pea spread topped by asparagus was the only plainly vegan item there. We managed to ask for a few things to be served vegan-- some bean quesadillas without the cheese; crostini with onion jam and arugula, minus the meat; and some pumpernickel with beets, also minus the meat. I tell, you, we were ready to steal one of the decorative red bell peppers to munch on!
The next day, Thursday, I accompanied Jay and Julie to their food cart, Native Bowl, at the Mississippi Marketplace at N Mississippi at Skidmore. (If you don't already know about the Portland Food Cart phenomenon, check out this blog.)
Native Bowl serves several rice bowls-- layers of fresh, fragrant jasmine rice topped with grilled tofu or Soy Curls™, crunchy vegetables, killer sauces and a topping of sesame seeds, or crushed pita chips, or other crunchy stuff. Yum!
Native Bowl Menu
Julie also makes a number of her famous vegan dessert goodies!
The Native Bowl dessert menu
Jay stocking up
I had lunch at Native Bowl, of course! I had the Broadway Bowl: Grilled Tofu, house-made peanut ginger sauce, fluffy jasmine rice, shredded red cabbage, carrots, scallions & cilantro. De-licious!
The Broadway Bowl
The new lemony Hollywood Bowl topped with pita chips
Julie at the window
Jay at the window
Here are the other vegan carts at this spot (3 out of 10 are vegan and most have vegan options):
The Ruby Dragon:
Here's their menu. Here's their mission statement.
The wonderful Sushi Tree Vegetarian Sushi cart (I couldn't resist having some, even though I was full!):
Delicious Mock California Roll (made with Soy Curls™) and Smoky Tofu Roll. The lovely young owner very kindly made these especially for me.
Here's a review and their menu. Another review.