Monday, August 02, 2010

Amey in Portland: Friends, Food, Family, and Dogs

Not too long ago, I finally got myself up to Portland, even if it was just for a paltry few days. I have many beloved family members there, some dear friends there, and the alluring promise of delicious vegan food pouring out of the municipal water supply. Nonetheless, I hadn't been there in about 15 years. But, when my great aunt turned 95, and her son (my 1st cousin once-removed, if you must know) turned 70, they decided to throw a joint party. This was finally incentive enough for me to book a ticket. Apparently, this is what it takes, people.

I stayed with a very sweet pal, Sandy, a long-time friend from junior-high onward. She is very awesome and was a wonderful hostess with the mostess. Within one hour of arriving in Portland, she had escorted me to a super cool neighborhood near her house, with a totally delicious all-vegan bakery/sweetshop and before I knew it, I was busily eating a swirled soft-serve vegan ice cream cone in one hand while holding a cherry-almond scone in my other hand. Sorry, but there were no free hands available for taking pictures. It was rather urgent. Maybe next time!

When Sandy had to head off to work, I rendezvoused with the lovely Miss Kittee!! It was so good and wonderful to see her again. You can see I am sporting my most beautiful Kittee-bag, like any stylish vegan. Kittee and Dazee and Vee and I went out for dinner and then they even took me to get DONUTS from Voodoo Donuts. Once again, this was a situation where I was too totally stoked to bother with the camera. Really, my first yeasted donut in 10 years. I kept exclaiming "I haven't had a donut in 10 years!" as I plowed through my half of a maple bar and a plain chocolate-glazed donut. Dazee was supposed to share them both with me but wimped out after half of a maple bar. Wimpy!!

The next day, Sandy and I met up with Kittee and family again at Native Bowl! HOORAH! I got to meet Julie of Everyday Dish, and she is as wonderful and lovable as I always thought she would be. I love this happy picture of the three of us. Doesn't Julie look cute poking her little head out the window?!

This is the amazing Broadway Bowl from Native Bowl. Man, I really loved this meal. Fresh, perfectly filling, nutritious, and totally delicious. I think Native Bowl alone is reason enough for a return trip to PDX. Definitely my kind of food, and I want to try all her other offerings as well. Mmmm.

Julie also had some totally amazing macaroons at Native Bowl. One was lemon flavored, and the other had chocolate chips in it. I'm not sure how she makes such crazy-good macaroons without any eggs, but MAN, these babies were rich and deeelish. Naturally, I preferred the chocolate one, because I am a chocolate lover, and that is that.

I was only in town for two nights, but I packed in so much fun. Family festivities, friendly time, doggie snugs, doggie walks, and even a trip to the farmer's market. It was really great. The farmer's market had many intriguing goodies that we don't have here at home, and was a very good stand-in for my regular Saturday morning farmer's market ritual. Sandy and I went and met up with Kittee and Dazee. I purchased these glorious roasted hazelnuts, which were practically a religious experience. So good. Also I got some of the legendary Dave's Killer Bread. I got a "Peace Bomb" baguette and brought it home to enjoy. I was so sad when it was all gone! You can see my google maps there on the picnic table with me. I'm all nerdy like that, so I mapped out all the places I was hoping to visit before leaving home. Be prepared, scouts!

After the market, we all went for a dog walk together, and I met this little dog named Archie. It was love at first sight. Seriously, I wanted to run off with this man's dog. Just look at that peaceful little face!!

In between family fun times, my aunt S. and I had a little break and snuck down to the Vegan Mini Mall. Kittee and I had met there the day before, but I arrived just as most things were closing up shop. So my auntie and I got to peruse the offerings... We split a tasty muffin at Sweet Pea Bakery and had some nice big glasses of water. Then we cruised over to Herbivore, where we both purchased Webly's little popcorn zine. I am looking forward to exploring her special popcorn ideas. Finally, a quick stop in Food Fight for bulk Soy Curls. Santa Cruz has just about everything a vegan needs these days, but we don't have Soy Curls, so I stocked up.

Sandy's dog Sadie kept trying to lick my face. In this picture, she is pretending to be coy, but I'm sure you'll believe my side of the story.

Finally, on the last morning, Sandy and I snuck in a quick eat-&-run brunch at Blossoming Lotus. I have the World Vegan Fusion cookbook, but I hadn't ever eaten at Blossoming Lotus, despite hearing so many great things about it. Even though I was technically headed to a family brunch, I asked permission to arrive with a full stomach... So glad I asked!! I got the French Toast with a side of sausage, and it was really really wonderful. French toast was my #1 favorite breakfast in my pregan days, and here in Santa Cruz the only thing a hungry vegan can order for brunch is a so-so scramble. So now, on principle, whenever given the opportunity to order vegan French Toast, I do not hesitate. I guess you could say I'm a very principled person in this way. I also ordered a side of kale, to assuage my more health-oriented dietary principles.

And Sandy got a really, really delicious tofu scramble with some perfect potatoes and that glorious pile of kale. I don't usually order tofu scramble, but this one was way above average, and next time I go to Portland I will be sure to wake up at 6 am some Sunday morning, and do copious amounts of cardiovascular exercise to work up a huge appetite and then I will go to Blossoming Lotus for Sunday Brunch and eat as much as humanly possible.

And I'm pretty darned sure that I won't wait 15 years before I head back to Portland again. There are too many friends to hug and family members to love and doggies to cuddle and vegan foods to enjoy. See you again soon, Portland!!


  1. Love your Portland post! I want to do all those things!! Most especially meeting Julie and eating at Native Bowl! ps - I'm starting a Sadie fan club asap

  2. I <3 that picture of you and kittee and julie!!! So cute!

  3. Anonymous6:38 PM

    What an amazing trip! I really hope I get over to Portland someday. It sounds like you hit up every cool vegan place in Portland.

  4. That looks like a fantastic trip! And you met Kittee!!!

  5. I wish I had an excuse to visit Portland! We have it pretty good here in NYC, but Portland looks like the mecca of veganosity!


  6. I want a Sandy in Portland weekend!! This looks like so much fun (and yummy!!) That's great that you were able to do this. Maybe some time we can all go up together as a group?

  7. Looks like you packed quite a bit into your trip! I have yet to make it to Blossoming Lotus for brunch, but that French toast is really calling to me. Soon!

  8. here's hoping you come back soon, dearest amey.

    <3 <3

  9. Sounds like it was an amazing trip! I don't need pictures of Voodoo's donuts to imagine how good they are :)

  10. You make my heart sing...thanks for a wonderful visit. Looking forward to a repeat.. Sadie's kisses are waiting... all love

  11. I didn't know you were going to Portland- fun! I'm glad you got to hang with Kittee. I'm dying to go to Back to Eden and of course, Native Bowl!


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