Next food stop in Portland was the Bye and Bye. I’d heard that there was a vegan pub in Portland but I wasn’t prepared for quite how ace it was going to be. We sat outside in the sun and chose from the all vegan menu while browsing through the wine, beer and cocktails list. If this was near us at home we could probably sell our house as we wouldn’t need to go home. I was craving something healthy so I had this Eastern bowl with brown rice, sesame seeds, tofu and broccoli which was very tasty. I didn’t get a shot of Matthew’s pasta but he pronounced it excellent.
Next up was Homegrown Smoker. I’d read all about Portland’s food carts, of course, and already passed by plenty of them, but I was so excited about this one. You’ll already know about my love for smoked foods, so this was a no brainer for me.
This was the SloMoFo with a side of macaroni cheese, but I’d have been happy with anything on this glorious menu. the smoked soy curls and BBQ sauce were perfect. Matthew had a Macnocheeto, a tortilla stuffed with mac and cheese, BBQ sauce, beans, peppers and onions, which again was excellent and again I forgot to take a picture of!!
Next stop was Blossoming Lotus, which was walking distance from our hotel. Seeing it was something to do with yoga and a menu scattered with raw food, I was a bit concerned that it’d be too healthy and we wouldn’t like it. I needn’t have worried. I started with the special, which was a summer roll but stuffed with kimchee amongst other things, and served with a Korean dipping sauce. Fresh and zingy and a great start.
Matthew chose one of the raw starters, tahini – coriander pate with flax crackers. It doesn’t look like much but it was one of the stars of the evening, amazingly tasty and moreish.
I chose another raw dish for my main course after much deliberation. There were other things I fancied more on the menu but I thought this was a good chance to try more raw food done well, although I did ruin it by having some extra tofu on it. It was amazing – the walnut “taco meat” was delicious and the raw “tortilla chips” were a revelation. I almost ordered a dehydrator there and then.
Matthew had the four cheese lasagne, which was highly intriguing. I didn’t like it as much as he did; I thought it was bit too tomatoey but it was clearly very well done.
Matthew couldn’t resist the raw key lime pie which was gorgeous but flashed horribly on my camera.
Blossoming Lotus was the most expensive meal we ate on the whole trip (including a lot of wine, unraw I’d have thought!) but well worth it and interesting that our favourite dishes were the raw ones. I was very sorry to miss the brunch there and will definitely head for that if we’re ever back.
The last place for this part of the report was Juniors Cafe, for breakfast. It’s not vegan or even vegetarian but I’d been told it had good vegan options. I loved the old fashioned decor and old style diner feel. My fennel leek potato hash with extra tofu, grilled tomatoes and rye toast was amazing – so good I couldn’t eat lunch, and when you turn down an opportunity for a meal in Portland you really must be full!
There’s yet another Portland instalment still to come – stay tuned to see our four other picks!