Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kittee's Schnitzel with Noodles

Pretty bunting outside of Vintage by the Pound.
Vida Vegan Con is in Portland next week (I'm a speaker come give me a hug!), and with it comes the pitter patter of little vegan feet.  Crazily, I still feel like I'm planting my own in this here dirt, but I do have my favorites.  I wrote them up to share with you.

This list is by no means comprehensive, and since it's no secret I like to eat and make stuff, it reflects this fair nature of mine.  That said, nature is my home-girl, so if you visit here and aren't rushed to experience our vegan jewels, by all means walk the neighborhoods to see our amazing flower gardens and front yard veggie patches, visit the coast, hike Forest Park, bring your dog to Ross Dog Park, stroll the Far Mars, and burn off some of the calorie damage by taking a walking vegan (eating) tour.

Below are a few must-grabs,  then I've clustered favorites together by neighborhood.

No matter what, get yourself some Soy Curls!
Soy Curls are made in Oregon and are readily available all over our sweet town--in bulk, packaged and prepared.  They're made from GMO and pesticide free soybeans, and are minimally processed and so MMMmmmmM.  They're also xgfx, but not always cooked that way, so be sure to check on their preparation if that's important.

Buy them in bulk to take home from Food Fight and Alberta Co-Op (and probably other places so keep your eyes on the prize).  They also make great neck pillows on International flights, if you mold your purchase just so.

Lots of restaurants and carts also sell them prepared and ready to eat, so feel free to try them on for size before you commit:  the infamous Mississippi Bowl at Native Bowl, Macnocheeto Burrito or in a special at Homegrown Smoker, in a salad at Blossoming Lotus, in a burrito, taco or bowl (my favorite) at Los Gorditos, jerkied and ready to chaw at Food Fight, Southern Bowl at Canteen, buffaloed at The Sweet Hereafter, in Caesar salad at Back to Eden and glorified to the max in nachos at Nutri Taco.  I know there's even more, see if you can find them all.

You also need to get yourself a Peanut Butter Pit Bull chocolate bar by Rescue Chocolate.  They sell them at Food Fight, and since you're going there anyway, no problem!!

Brunch is one of the most important food groups of all, so of course you need to know where to go.  Most of these restaurants have active Facebook pages with updates if their websites don't reveal enough.
  • Blossoming Lotus:  Brunch on Sunday only.  Any of the scramble plates, which also come with steamed kale and ovenroasted potatoes.  The ketchup and hot sauce are made in house, and they also have great Bloody Marys.  My favorite of late is the Tofu Migas, but the menu changes regularly.
  • AND Cafe:  Brunch everyday they're open. Their menu changes all the time and it's filled with tons of xgfx including waffles and potato nests.
  • Vita Cafe:  Brunch everyday they're open.  We usually hit this with the omnies.
  • Junior's Cafe:  Brunch everyday they're open.  I don't go to Junior's too often, 'cuz the xgfx is limited, although their potatoes with tofu sauce are really good.  They have vegan French toast.

So many loves for this. SoOOOoo many.
I also love★lovelove Pixie Retreat Raw'r Laboratorie & Makery's Mock BLT. That's quite a name isn't it? These folks so-do-not mess around. If you spot one, don't be a cheap wad--the $6.99 you throw down will change your life. These L'il Grubbers are a xgfx delight: microplaned, spicy dehydrated eggplant shreds are planted between homemade onion-sunflower seed-flax crackers with smooth and tangy cashew cream cheese, a single tomato slice and fresh chard. You can find these in the cooler at Food Fight, the co-ops and New Seasons or directly from the Pixies on Thursdays.

Just wait and seee what 6g of fiber and protein do to you.
If you're doing the xgfx tour, you'd better pick up a loaf of Happy Camper bread.  It's wee, but it's organic and we all know small loaves travel better.  Plus it comes in dynamic flavors.  I like Party Hearty, 'cuz I'm WILD.  Also, they make buns (check the freezer at Food Fight), but if you don't have room for a bag Portobello serves their eponymous mushroom burger on them.

Here we go!
NE Alberta Arts:
  • El Nutri Taco--This place used to be a cart, but they've recently expanded.  Get their Soy Curl Nachos (best nachos in the 'Land).
  • The Bye and Bye--Yea, yea, but I'm reminding you to get something you might not be able to order at home.  Like a Bloody Mary, White Russian or their signature fruity Bye and Bye (which always gets me drunk).
  • Back to Eden Bakery--XGFX Bakery!  Soft serve, sundaes and shakes!!!  I love their chili with spoonfuls of nooch on top.
  • Vita Cafe--We've found Vita to be a great spot to bring our omnivorous visitors, so if you're in town with folks like that, they will be happy here (or they're just not happy people).  I always get the green salad with vegan ranch and a side of battered tempeh on top.  Amen, and I've heard their carrot cake is really good.
  • Bolt Fabric Boutique-Not just a store but a boutique!  Conveniently located across the street from Back to Eden for all your cute vegan sewing needs.  They have a great collection of Japanese imports from Kokka and Echino and an awesome selection of indie patterns.  Don't leave without buying something from Colette Patterns (locally designed and locally awesome).
  • Don Pancho Taqueria--Good tacos and a right on salsa bar, but the beauty is in their grocery store.  I visit for their insane assortment of dried chiles.  They let you open bags and mix 'n' match.
  • Alberta Cooperative Grocery--For when you need a kombucha after all the nachos, or as a digestive beforehand, or in between.  Stock up!  They have a great bulk department.
  • Kennedy School--Bathing suits are so not my thing, but this place has a heated saltwater soaking pool for $5.
  • Bollywood Theater PDX--Dazee will read this and think I'm a complete yutz for including it, but between us, I have the best taste.  I've only been here once, but I loved it so much I wanted to be an instant regular.  Kim will go with me.

Historic N. Mississippi or Thereabouts:
  • The Rebuilding Center--A huge warehouse filled with old toilets, doors and cabinets.  I love it.
  • Native Bowl--Julie and Jay Hasson's yummy cart!  Everything is named after streets in Portland--my favorite is the Mississippi Bowl.  Layers of jasmine rice, ranch dressing, bbq soy curls and cabbage slaw.  Also, make sure you get a coconut macaroon! Everything is X to the GFX.
  • Homegrown Smoker--Tell whoever's working you're gluten-free and you'll get set up with all the sides and a protein of your choice.  Smoky adventures await.
  • North Portland Wellness Center--If you're into fire cups, book an appointment with Colleen in advance.  She's so good, and she will make you look as though you've been attacked by a giant octopus.  Plus there was a Portlandia skit filmed here, so TOTES LEGIT.
  • Window Shopping--Cute shops, falafel, waffle sammies and coffee abound.

Seriously, do not block this garage door or you are getting in the way of treasure.
NE MLK-ish/Williams (My Hood-ish):
  • SCRAP--This place is a gold mine of used craft supplies:  vintage patterns, fabric, picture frames, broken crayons and so much other stuff.  You never knew you needed it until you came here.  Plus they're dog friendly, Vee knows his way around this joint.
  • Vintage by the Pound--Across from SCRAP.  Sometimes they have great stuff, sometimes not so much, but almost always worth the chance.
  • Merkato Ethiopian Food Store (corner of NE Russell and MLK)--My go-to-shop for supplies like berbere and miten shiro.  They also make and distribute their own injera.
  • Twisted--A really well stocked yarn shop.  They don't have the best vegan yarn, but they make up for it in well-priced circulars.
  • Lodekka--An old double decker bus converted into a vintage clothing shop.  Plus they love Vee, and I love watching Vee go up and down the steeeeeep double decker stairs.
  • Akemi--Want a cute haircut on your cute vegan head at a cute vegan owned and operated salon?  Check, check and check.  They give a tiny vegan discount too, book with Ted or Suzette!

Blissin' at the Kitten
NE 82nd-ish:
  • Knittn' Kitten--THIS IS A YARN AND FABRIC THRIFT STORE!!!  They have vintage fabric, trim, patterns and Czech buttons and other amazing stuff. Yell it from the rooftop. 
  • Bui Natural Tofu--Across the street from Knittn' Kitten.  Fuel up here.  They make tofu in-house. They even have some with noodles and green onions mixed into the milk before it's curded.  Get their fried lemongrass tofu and an order of tofu salad rolls.
  • Hanoi Kitchen--Their vegan menu is limited, but I would marry their Pho and Bun Dau Hu.
  • Fu Bonn--Everyone needs a big ol' grocery store specializing in East Asian goodies. Here's one!
  • Value Village--If you've seen one Value Village, you've seen 'em all, but this one treats me right.  You never know when a small wicker basket will come in handy.
  • Van Hanh--I don't get out to not-for-profit Van Hahn often (it's just a little bit further than I usually venture, but I do enjoy it's volunteer run quirky nature). However, I keep a copy of their menu in my car just in case, so that tells you something. Get the Vietnamese crepes (Banh Xeo).

As if Merkato Ethiopian Food Store wasn't cute enough.

SE Close-In:
  • Vegan Mini Mall (SE Stark and SE 12th)--Just go.
  • Canteen--Yummy kombucha on tap, juice and home of the Portland Bowl.  MmmMM.
  • Cool Cottons--Another small fabric shop with a great Japanese import collection.  I usually go when I'm on errands and leave Vee in the car.  He barks the entire time I browse.
  • Bete-Lukas--My favorite Ethiopian restaurant.  The vegan combo is dynamite (get it with shiro) and the injera is said to be xgfx.  
  • Microcosm Publishing--Independent DIY reading material.  Zines 'n stuff.
  • Yarnia--A vegan knitter's sticky happy place.  They have tons of plant fibers and synthetic yarns and have a machine that will wind it all up together.  Plus you get to work off a cone, no more tangly skeins for you.
  • Portobello--If you have your heart set on eating at Portobello (and who doesn't?) make sure you go online and get a reservation at least two weeks before you visit. Otherwise, it takes about three hours to get a table, no exaggeration. But if you do end up waiting, their awesome mixologist Lauren will help you forget your woes. I ♥ Lauren.

SW/NW Downtown/Pearl:  
There's kinda too much to go over here, cuz you know it's DOWNTOWN and everything.
  • Petunias--If you want a ridiculously cute hangout where you can drink fancy cocktails and stuff xgfx pastries into your cake-hole, it's here.  We like this for the girls' night out. 
  • Emame's Ethiopian Food Cart--Emame's is conventiently located across the street from Dazee's office, so we eat here a lot.  Homestyle Ethiopian deliciousness with xgfx injera upon request.  
  • Prasad--Bowls!  Raw collard Wraps!  Juice!  You have to take off your shoes to use the bathroom.
  • Los Gorditos--I am way into Los Gorditos.  My jam is the Soy Curl bowl, but they have tons of great stuff and a separate vegan menu .  There's a cart and restaurant in SE and this newest location downtown even has a bit more stuff on the menu.
  • Blush Beauty Bar--A dog friendly vegan nail polish supply shop which stocks Zoya's ever elusive nail polish remover!!
  • Window shopping and sushi eating in Alphabet City.
  • Mai Pho--The little Vietnamese food cart that could.  It is good.  Maybe even better than Hanoi Kitchen.  Maybe.
  • Luc Lac--Sorta hipsterish Vietnamese food.  Muy yummy.
Ta Da!


  1. ah, Kittie, you rule. this list is perfection.

    I CANNOT WAIT for a week from now!!

  2. Very useful! Thanks. What does xgfx mean?

    1. Vegan and Gluten-Free. You must be new! <3

  3. Niiiiiiice work, Kittee! I live here and don't know about some of the places you mentioned. We must go on a date soon. Annnnd, you have a typo! Star instead of Stark. Fix it up right or everybody will be lost and confused and won't ever find the vegan mini-mall. xoxo

  4. Thank you Kittee! I was just thinking how badly I need a haircut and how I never have time and how I should find a vegan salon while in Portland next week... and now thanks to you, I have a haircut booked at Akemi!

  5. Y'all have thrift stores with craft supplies? That's blowing my mind.

  6. Why do I suddenly feel like I need to move to Portland?! I can't make it to the conference, but I seriously need to go out there for a (possibly never-ending) visit.

  7. Thanks for putting this together - I'm so excited (I'm a Portland virgin)! I may need to pack an extra bag for all of the soy curls I'm going to by - my fave!

  8. Holy Cow! I am so excited. Thanks very much for putting this together!

  9. I love this!! I'm vegan and my mom is xgfx so this is very useful. I'm bookmarking this page.

  10. So so so so so so wish I could go!

  11. i hope you have an awesome time!! can't wait to hear all about it!

  12. Now I want to take a trip to the other side of the world to do/try all this! what a great tour guide you would make!

  13. Best list Kittee!!! Thank you. I have no idea how I will possibly try it all but at least now I have a goal to reach for. Can't wait to see you.

  14. Thank you for this wonderful list — so many opportunities to play. Looking forward to Portland next week.

  15. Wish I were coming this year....maybe next time. You will be fab. And oh, this list makes me swoon. *swooms*

  16. Aaah I wish I were going to this. Portland is such a wonderland of vegan eats!!

  17. I've learned things from this post!


I like comments, unless you're a spammer.
Spamming kills baby sea turtles.