The next stop on our vegan tour of the US and Canada was Portland. You can’t really have a vegan tour without it, can you? I’d done lots of research about eating places and I knew that even though we were staying for 6 nights we’d have some tough decisions to make about where to eat. Even if we’d stayed another week we’d still have missed places on the list.
Anyway, we arrived pretty late in the evening so I’d already checked out what was close to the hotel and found we were just round the corner from Hungry Tiger Too. I couldn’t find an online menu but I knew it was a pub with a vegan menu so I was confident we’d be alright. We were more than alright!
I had the corndogs with tater tots. I loved the idea of going into a pub and getting a vegan corndog, but actually I found the batter a bit sweet and I’d made a far nicer version when I was testing for Vegan Substitutions. The tots on the other hand were every bit as good as legend has them. Matthew had some kind of burger with chillies and garlic sauce, which was very good.
We enjoyed it so much and it was so close to our hotel we went back the following day on my birthday for breakast. I had the biscuits and gravy, which were so buttery I struggled to believe they were vegan. The portion was huge, but you can just spot my side order of hash browns in the background:
Matthew had the Spanish scramble, which contained beans, jalapenos, avocado and salsa
For my birthday dinner I wanted to go to Portabello. An all vegan Italian restaurant? Who could pass? They have a no booking policy, which I never understand and find highly frustrating, but even though it was very busy we didn’t have to wait too long, and it’s lovely space with a buzzing atmosphere. I agonised over the menu (even the cocktail menu was difficult to narrow down!), and finally chose the cashew crusted mushroom leek tart with truffle essence and fines herbes:
This was beautiful, really rich and creamy and one of the most elegant things I’ve ever eaten. It’s unlike Matthew to order salad, but the produce was so fresh and tasty that he didn’t regret this arugula salad with apricots, Chao cheese, walnuts and moscatel vinaigrette for one minute:
Matthew’s main course was roast mushroom and cashew cheese raviolo with sauteed mushrooms, creamed leeks and fines herbs
Delicious home made pasta, rich creamy sauce which managed to be light. Unfortunately my main course was disappointing. In fact I wish I’d sent it back. It sounded good (lemon pepper pappardelle, broccolini, artichoke, capers, lemon and cashew buerre blanc), but the pasta was so stodgy it was sticking together, it was mouth puckeringly lemony and I’m pretty convinced the artichokes were tinned. It just took me a while to realise that there was something wrong with it when everything else had been so perfect. It was the biggest disappointment of the trip.
I know you are all frustrated that there’s never any pictures of desserts on here; I just very rarely eat them. Still, here’s one that Matthew had. I can’t remember the title but it was some kind of pound cake with cherry icecream and almonds, and it was very nice.
I had the Dr Cow aged cashew cheese, which I’d heard a lot about but can’t get here. It came with lots of fruit which I wasn’t really interested in, but I just cut thin slivers of the cheese, which tastes a lot like a reserve gruyere, and nibbled it all up.
There was a strange incident when our complete bar bill was left off (1 cocktail, 1 glass of white wine, 1 bottle of wine, 1 glass of dessert wine and 1 glass of port), and when we pointed it out we didn’t even get a thankyou. But overall Portabello is a great restaurant which made a mistake or two, but can clearly produce wonderful food.
Next up we went to Sweetpea, again just round the corner from our hotel, for their eat as much as you want Sunday brunch. The theme for this changes every week, and I don’t think the week we went would have been our first choice (McBrunch) but it was still great fun to kick back in an all vegan place lingering over coffee.
McMuffins, pancakes, hashbrowns and kale. I’ve never seen kale on the menu at McDonalds, but this was a Portland version afterall. I didn’t get a picture of the apple pies but they were amazing, even for a non sweet toothed one like me.
I’ll be back soon with the next Portland instalment – by this stage my trousers were increasingly uncomfortable…