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Portland Vegan Restaurants


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#81 Amanda

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:07 PM

Welcome to the board, OnPDX.com and thanks for the great information!

Best regards,

Amanda

#82 OnPDX.com

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 02:33 PM

Long time lurker, happy to jump into the mix B)

#83 vj

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:18 PM

I'll be curious, too, Nick, how you do with higher end restaurants.

Whenever I talk to anyone in the restaurant, "oh, no problem. Make a reservation with a note that you'll need a vegan meal. "

But how does that restaurant really do?

My favorite go-to place has lost its sheen after assuring us it would be no problem on the phone to serve a couple vegan meals, and then once we got there and as I spoke to everyone in the gawddamn place, it was apparent we were in fact a big problem.

Our waitress wasn't sure what vegan meant -- was it like celiac?, and then told us if we didn't order sides, (eg, fries and spinach) it would be impossible. In the end, they got it together and brought us some food, and it was tasty, but it felt like pulling teeth. We were part of a $500 ticket for heavens sakes.

#84 ExtraMSG

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:47 PM

VJ, if you get a chance, read through the upper-end vegetarian dining reports Scott did for DallasFood.org. Vegetarian is probably as edgy -- maybe moreso -- as veganism here. Fascinating stuff.

There are a lot of interesting issues with veganism, since it's really more about ideology than diet. I'm going to try to explore some of these side issues that come up for me on Extramsg.com.

Thanks for the well-wished everyone and the recommendations. I should probably start a spreadsheet or something. </ computer geek>
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#85 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:24 AM

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Had dinner last night at Karam. Told the guy serving us that I was vegan and he quickly went through the menu showing me which items were fine. Several items have choices to make them either veggie or vegan. There are really plenty of choices. It was harder to decide on just one than it was to find something worth eating.

My wife is mostly sticking to vegan items when we go out, so far, which adds to the options. We chose: the veggie mezza, ful mudamas, and the pumpkin kibbee.

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The veggie mezza and ful could barely fit on the table. Each individual item on their mezza platter: falafel, grape leaves, baba ghanoush, hummus, and tabouli are among the better versions in town.

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Their falafel probably is the best in town. I don't think anyone else does it consistently better. I love that it's nutty without too harsh a raw onion or spice flavor. It has a crunchy exterior that gives way to a moist and light interior. Just delicious.

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Their baba is probably also my favorite in town. It doesn't have the fake smoke flavor that so many have. It's creamy, lemony, and rarely bitter, one of my problems with eggplant.

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The ful mudamas is rich and creamy, punctuated with tender beans. Nice strike of lemon and subtle cumin flavor.

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The pumpkin kibbee comes with mixed grilled vegetables and a saucer of hummus. The kibbee itself consists of a bulgar and pumpkin pate atop a layer of tart caramelized onions cut into two triangles. I thought it needed a little salt to bring out the pumpkin flavor a little more. However, my wife thought it was perfect. I did enjoy the texture and the tartness added by the onions. Enjoyable either way, though not as enjoyable as the mezza or several of their meat dishes.

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This looks harmless enough, right? The chef came by and asked if we enjoyed our food and then offered to bring us a baklava on the house. I said I would love to pay for one, but she insisted. I was hestiant because I still hadn't decided if I was going to eat honey. I wanted to read more about the issue among vegans first. I figured I could just let my wife eat it since she loves baklava. Then the chef brought out two. So I ate and as I ate someone on twitter pointed out that, sure, there was honey but there was also a lot of butter. Ugh. Butter. Hadn't even thought about it. So I screwed up. Ironically, I don't even like baklava that much. It's generally too sweet for me. I ate it mainly to be polite.

I'm going to screw up. At least I don't eat many processed foods where I have to break out a chemical dictionary to decipher the ingredients list to see if it's vegan or not. It'll become habit soon enough.

The meal was very good, though, and Karam will always be a backup for me during the vegan quest, especially since it's so close to work.

More pictures here:

http://www.extramsg....=view_album.php
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#86 vj

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:26 AM

You oppressor of... bees!

Just teasing.

Yeah, you're going to make mistakes. You've already found one of the hard spots of dining out as a vegan -- having to constantly remind waitstaff -- wait, are you sure that's vegan?

(And obviously, when they're sending out a gift course, yikes)

It might not have helped either that the folks at Karam probably know you -- when you go there, you order well, you tip well, and of course, there's the whole picture taking which does make a customer stand out a bit in ones memory.

Interesting stuff. I'm looking forward to checking out Scott's stuff on Dallasfood. I can't imagine being vegan outside of Austin, and when I think of visiting Houston, I think of all that wonderful Tex-Mex and I doubt there are even vegetarian options at the most mainstream places like Pappacitos. Visiting Houston as a vegan? Sadness!

#87 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:59 PM

Went to El Nutri for dinner last night. Didn't have cash on me, but knew they took credit cards, which sealed it.

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Their veggie and vegan menu is extensive. Even those items that are veggie, but not vegan, because of cheese or sour cream, can be made vegan with the use of alternative "cheese" and "sour cream". Smart.

We ordered three items: the green burrito, huarache with soyriso, and torta, all made vegan, along with a jamaica (the horchata apparently is not vegan). The total was less than $20.

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The green burrito has cactus, cabbage, onions, avocado, salsa fresca, rice, soyriso, and sour cream. The thing felt like a pound. It was really hefty. It was kind of strong on earthy, spicy, and vegetal flavors. More avocado or some guacamole would have been nice. Their avocado salsa isn't vegan there, otherwise a couple squirts of that would have been perfect. I really liked the cabbage and cactus in this, though.

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The huarache was my favorite. Their lovely thick tortilla topped with fantastic black beans, the tart cactus, and the spicy soyriso. Soyriso is great stuff. I really think in a blind taste test most people couldn't tell soyriso from supermarket chorizo. (However, go to La Tapatia and get some of their housemade chorizo? Yeah, you'll tell the difference.) Just great stuff. My wife actually thinks she would have preferred it without the soyriso, just with the black beans and cactus because they're so good. Potatoes or potatoes and soyriso might be another really tasty choice.

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Again, because of the soyriso, I don't think you lose much with the torta either. Things like cheese and sour cream are just background textures, primarily, so the faux versions work fine here. I think more avocado would be nice and a better bolillo would definitely be welcome, but this was a delicious torta. Other than the soyriso, it had beans, vegannaise, pickled jalapenos, avocados, onion, and lettuce.

The jamaica was very good, though they put too much ice in it.

El Nutri is very good for meat eaters and just as good for vegans as far as I can tell. You can get a damn fine meal here under $10, vegan or not. Since this is so close to my house, it will certainly be a go-to spot when I'm hungry over the next month.

After El Nutri, we went over to Fred Meyer. We had fruit and almost nothing else vegan at home. Picked up some dried fruit and nuts for snacking, plus a couple soy yogurts to try. Protein sources seems to be a problem. Also picked up some dessert. We got: Luna & Larry's Naked Coconut, Haagen Dazs Mango Sorbet, and Ben & Jerry's Berried Treasure. Tried them all.

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I generally think coconut ice cream -- more properly, frozen coconut cream -- is a great alternative to traditional ice cream. Dairy really isn't necessary for coconut ice creams. And this was decent, though it had some off flavors, highlighting one of the problems so far with a vegan diet. Since veganism is an ideology, vegans often couple their ultra-progressive view of animal rights with ultra-progressive views on the environment and other left-leaning causes. This means that something is often not only vegan, but organic and "natural" with an emphasis on certain trends in natural foods. Such was the case here, with sweeteners like agave nectar. Agave nectar just doesn't have as clean a flavor as cane sugar -- or maybe it's just what I grew up with -- but it's not as tasty as it could be. Something being vegan is one difficulty in making it taste good. Organic is another. Limiting to certain "natural" sweeteners is another. Together they're a lot of limits on taste. Still, it was enjoyable enough.

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Haagen Dazs rocks textures, both in ice cream and sorbet. This was great as always.

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Even tastier, though, was B&J's Berried Treasure, a lemon sorbet with swirls of blueberry and blackberry sorbet. Damn delicious. There are lots of evaporated juices here as sweeteners, but I think the dominance of the lemon covers any oddities that might have come through.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#88 OnPDX.com

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:32 PM

There are a lot of interesting issues with veganism, since it's really more about ideology than diet. I'm going to try to explore some of these side issues that come up for me on Extramsg.com.


That's sort of a generalization. For some Vegans it really is about diet. The original chef at Nutshell went Vegan for health reason. When he cooked at Tablea he was considered one of the best meat grill chefs and his squid ink pasta was considered 'legendary'.

There are a lot of reasons people go veg. Some it's pure animal rights, other's it may be pure diet. Also there are people who are veg in line with their religion and others who see the environmental impact of meat to be the core issue.

Not trying to start a debate or do a diatribe, but I think it's important not to lump all Vegans in the same bin.

#89 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:36 PM

I'm following the original meaning of veganism, which was created in order to separate itself from a vegetarian diet. I think it's fair and instructive to say that people who are on a vegan diet are really just vegetarians who don't eat dairy or eggs either. Veganism is more of a lifestyle choice bolstered by an ideology. But I get what you're saying.

I'll try to explicate these thoughts more on Extramsg.com to keep them from bogging down this restaurant-oriented thread. Maybe I'll start a thread in another section for these side issues.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#90 OnPDX.com

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:14 PM

I'm following the original meaning of veganism, which was created in order to separate itself from a vegetarian diet. I think it's fair and instructive to say that people who are on a vegan diet are really just vegetarians who don't eat dairy or eggs either. Veganism is more of a lifestyle choice bolstered by an ideology. But I get what you're saying.

I'll try to explicate these thoughts more on Extramsg.com to keep them from bogging down this restaurant-oriented thread. Maybe I'll start a thread in another section for these side issues.


Yeah don't want to derail this thread on your vegan food adventure... Interested to see what you post next!

#91 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:02 PM

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Went to Papa G's for lunch on my way to work today. They have an all-vegan and organic menu, along with a vegan salad bar.

The menu is broken up into a couple groupings:

* Sandwiches: including hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, and other (hot dogs, tacos, burritos, nachos). Hot sandwiches include things like a tempeh reuben while cold sandwiches include things like the tempeh, lettuce, and tomato.

* Hot Buffet: includes mostly curries, pilafs, and pastas -- a starch with a sauce, basically. The menu allows you to choose a number of these along with various sides for a fixed price.

* Soup & Salad Bar

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I ordered a tempeh burger with a side of carrot salad, a side of black beans, and a chocolate cashew milk. Total was about $15.

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Tempeh burger was decent. You can't think too much about it being a burger, though. I wonder if the faux meat places hurt themselves by using the names of their analogs, because rarely will a mock meat measure up, but people will naturally compare the two. Then again, these places aren't catering to omnivores. The flavors here were really about the combo of pickle, mustard, ketchup, and vegannaise. Tasting the vegannaise by itself it wasn't bad. It didn't have the greasiness of a real mayo, but it did have a nice creamy texture with a bit of tartness. Certainly close enough for most uses. The tempeh burger, which also appeared to have wild rice and other starches, wasn't assertive enough to be the dominant flavor in the burger. I think a portobello mushroom really does the job here better, though I'm not sure I'd want a portobello with mustard and ketchup. The "burger" was fine, but I think it just highlights how much of a mistake it is to try too hard to force vegan foods into carnivorous forms. Let the foods be what they are and develop into dishes more naturally. I thought the bun was pretty good here, too. The corn chips on the side were mediocre. They come with all the sandwiches.

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The black beans were sad. They were cooked properly, maybe a little soft, but god were they insipid. Even adding a lot of salt, they lacked flavor. You certainly wouldn't do any worse just opening up a can of black beans from the store. They'd probably be seasoned better. For goodness sake, chop up some onions and garlic, maybe some chiles or some chile powder, maybe some cumin or coriander or other spices, sautee them, add the beans, cook in as little water as possible, and make sure you salt them. There are plenty of great Mexican and Caribbean black bean recipes out there that are authentically vegan and authentically delicious. No reason for this.

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The carrot salad, otoh, was great. Really enjoyed it. It's about the only ruffage I've gotten in my three vegan meals out so far. I ate more vegetables before going on a vegan diet. Starch. Starch. Starch. This, though, was simple and yummy. It had sweetness and tartness and creaminess, along with a little crunch from the carrots. That's all it really needed. This is the dish that will get me to give them a second try.

The chocolate cashew milk was awful, though. It tasted like dusty sour milk, vaguely chocolatey. They could do much better by taking a traditional horchata recipe of rice/almond milk and adding Dagoba's chocolate syrup to it and stirring. Hell, I could probably do better just grabbing some soy milk from downstairs and doing that.

I will give them another try, though.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#92 whippy

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:15 PM

Does anyone know if the soyrizo at El Nutri is the widespread, popular brand (the sort in the Fred Meyer "natural" section in a plastic tube sealed with an iron ringlet)? Or is it homemade, or a lesser-known brand? That would be nice to hear.

The popular brand I wonder about is a too-sweet, tomatoey TVP pastey mono-smoosh...and in my gentle, gentle opinion a very poor example of reasonable food.
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#93 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:18 PM

Hit Ten-01 for dinner. Made a reservation and told them there was a vegan in the party. I put the reservation under another name because I knew they'd recognize mine and I didn't want them planning too far ahead to do something special. I know the managers there and the a couple people in the kitchen. So take that into account in judging my report.

The menu didn't have anything vegan on it, but we were informed that the salads could be made vegan and that the risotto could be made vegan. Here are those menu items:

local arugula salad, $12
duck confit, pecorino, corn, guanciale, lemon

organic mixed baby greens, $10
truffled balsamic vinaigrette, shaved fennel, cipollini onion, pecorino

heirloom tomato salad, $11
ancient heritage feta, celery, onion, bayuls vinaigrette, panzanella crouton

---

summer squash risotto, $21
carnaroli rice, zucchini, summer squash, grana padano


The server said that the chef could also come up with an entree for me, rather than the risotto, if I preferred. I, of course, chose that option. My wife ordered the chilled pea soup with carrot, basil, and flowers for $12 and the pan seared halibut with braised fennel, wild rice, gooseberry beurre blanc for $30.

They brought us out a moist and crusty bread from Pearl Bakery along with both butter, for my wife, and olive oil for me. They also brought us each out a glass of sparkling wine on the house.

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Soon an amuse followed, a potato and corn salad with chive oil. My wife's also had duck confit. It was delicate and well-balanced. The chive oil did a nice job of sharpening the flavor of the sweet corn. Not sure if this is bold enough to make a really good amuse, though. I'd love to have this as a larger side dish or as part of a larger salad, however.

The chilled pea soup was gorgeous, though not vegan, unfortunately. Buttermilk added a tart note to the flavor, according to my wife. The flower petals and whisps of carrot puree, though, made it look like a watercolor painting almost too beautiful to eat. She did say the pea flavor could have been more intense.

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They started my meal with the heirloom tomato salad minus the feta. This had several sizeable slices of ripe, sweet heirlooms in various colors, lightly dressed with vinaigrette, subtle enough to just enhance their flavors. A chiffonade of basil, I believe, along with thin shavings of red onion and celery never got in the way of the tomato flavor, just adding subtle balance. The croutons were crisp and bulky, kind of difficult to eat. The flavors here were great, though I think this dish could be improved by making it more like a traditional panzanella, letting the flavors of the dressing and tomatoes soak into the bread. I'd like to see everything chopped into more manageable bits, too. I think it would make the whole dish more cohesive. But the flavors here need no improving.

My wife loved her halibut. Even after she said she was full, she kept on eating another bite and another bite until every last bit was gone. It looked great. I love to see a crusty sear on fish -- and even better on vegetables. The gooseberries looked like a nice addition for acidity.

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My entree was on the menu -- sort of. Chef Parks took elements from one dish and elements from another dish and combined them to form an entirely new and unified dish -- also the best dish of the night. On the left were lentils and roasted corn kernes wrapped in a roasted zucchini peel.

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On the right were slices of zucchini topped with crispy breadcrumbs and roasted beets with crisped mushrooms, sweet braised fennel, and roasted cherry tomatoes just behind. Drops of black olive puree punctuated the front of the plate.

Yum. Each element was good and everything worked in concert. I loved the earthy lentils with sweet roasted corn. Each kernel of corn had a little charred mark indicating its flavor had been intensified with heat. A light herb, possibly chive oil, helped add a subtle undertone to the mix. The zucchini peel wasn't just for show. I ate every bit of it. This is one of the best side dishes I've had in at least the last year. That it was vegan? Who the fuck cares.

And probably even better was the main part of the dish. It was just really well-conceived. I loved the play of textures and flavors. The mushrooms were crisped (somehow), the fennel was caramelized, and then you had the little breadcrumbs on the zucchini also. The fennel was juicy and tender inside, however, as were the roasted cherry tomatoes. The zucchini itself was soft and tender. The beets, also juicy and smooth. Vegetal/earthy elements from the zucchini and mushrooms vs sweet and tart from the braised fennel, beets and tomatoes. And while there were a lot of elements, it all came together. The only thing I wish was that the black olive puree could have been incorporated a little better. Black olives are such a unique flavor and this was so wonderful that I would have liked it to be more than just something off to the side that was difficult to do much more with than run a vegetable through. But damn this was a tasty item. A risotto is so boring. This is exciting, seasonal, and delicious. This should be the veggie entree. I'd like to see what Chef Parks would do for a veggie tasting menu after eating this.

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There's only one vegan item on the dessert menu: a trio of sorbets. This is where the veganism gets tough because they had a pretty enticing dessert menu. My wife had a hard time choosing, but finally settled on a blackberry soda float with sweet corn ice cream and white chocolate polenta cookies.

Each of the sorbets was tasty with a nice texture. Definitely intensely flavored, to the point of jamminess in one of them. A crunchy bit of sugar glass garnished the scoops.

Really good meal. Other places around town have a high bar set for them.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#94 katez0r

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:21 PM

A co-worker of mine was telling me about Portobella Vegan Trattoria yesterday. She said they make their own pasta, and seemed to be pretty smitten. I can't find a real website, but here's a myspace: http://www.myspace.com/128664968

#95 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:20 PM

I've heard nothing but praise for Portobello so far. It's my highest hope for the vegan-oriented places. It's the only one of the many such places that I'm actually looking forward to.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#96 ExtraMSG

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:13 PM

Went to Laughing Planet for lunch yesterday after dropping off a catering order. Menu has lots of vegan items, plus a decent-sized pastry case, all vegan. I ordered the cuban bowl, the "thai me up" burrito, and a hempseed carob cookie.

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Cuban bowl had brown rice, black beans, sweet potato, plantains, and salsa fresca. I got some habanero salsa on the side. As is becoming the norm for vegan/natural/health-oriented places, the dish was sorely lacking seasoning. I added a lot of salt. Worse, though, was the lack of balance in the flavors. This was really earthy and starchy. You'd think the sweet potato and plantains would add some sweetness at least and that they might think about some lime juice in the salsa fresca to add some tartness, or maybe some vinegar in something like the beans. But no. There was no tart element, no sweet element. The plantains occasionally had a ripe bite, but were largely just another starch. Same with the sweet potatoes which were really bland. The habanero salsa was flat as well and added little more than heat. I was able to add some guacamole that I got on the side to add some richness. It was okay guac, also lacking a tart element, though it was a bit better on seasoning.

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The burrito suffered in largely the same way. It was creamy and peanutty, but didn't have the wonderful play between sweet, sour, salty, and spicy that makes Thai such a palate explosion. Instead, this was very flat, badly needing salt and a sour element. The veggies -- zucchini, carrot, broccoli, etc -- were undercooked and bland as well. The carrot was so undercooked, it was actually difficult to bite through at times. I threw most of this away.

There's probably not an item at Chipotle that isn't better than both of these items, with or without meat. I'd be happier at Taco Time. Obviously, these aren't the paragons of Mexican food, either. El Nutri or Los Gorditos every time, if this is typical of Laughing Planet's vegan options.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the cookie's texture. It was crisp and chewy, like a decent oatmeal cookie. Problem here was flavor. Much too earthy. It tasted like someone had taken a chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie and mixed some sand or dirt into it. Reminded me of the hippie foods my mom would buy occasionally growing up in Eugene or the occasional awful things she'd expeiment with like vegetable loaf, instead of meat loaf. Or like the diet granola bars you can get out there. Just flat, dirty flavors. Seems ridiculous to me. Texture is the hard part without eggs. Once you get past that, a tasty vegan pastry shouldn't be that hard.

I think this is just further evidence that the problem with a lot of vegan foods is that it's not enough for the niche customer base for it to be vegan, it also has to be natural, use unrefined sugars, agave, hempseed, flaxseed, etc, etc, etc. Vegan is one difficulty in making something good. Oragnic is another difficulty. Natural is another. Unrefined sugars is another. Making it high in fiber or protein is another. You start putting all these restrictions on one items and you're left with shit. Making a beautiful mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is tough enough, but it can be done and it's an impressive feat. But you give even someone as brilliant as Michelangelo only two colors to paint with, and make them watercolors, and the result ain't going to be pretty.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#97 ExtraMSG

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:19 PM

btw, went to Zoolala last night with my wife. Only place serving anything vegan was Hoda's, generally one of my least favorite Lebanese places in town. Gained some respect for them, though. The freshly fried falafel were good and the hummus solid as well. I probably ate 10 falafel. Horrible pita. But based on this, I might head there again some time and give them yet another shot.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#98 doit

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:43 PM

FYI, Portobello's website, including menu.

#99 Kristi

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:14 PM

FYI, Portobello's website, including menu.


Wow, that menu sounds great. I'd love to give it a try.

#100 chefken

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:27 PM

I think this is just further evidence that the problem with a lot of vegan foods is that it's not enough for the niche customer base for it to be vegan, it also has to be natural, use unrefined sugars, agave, hempseed, flaxseed, etc, etc, etc. Vegan is one difficulty in making something good. Oragnic is another difficulty. Natural is another. Unrefined sugars is another. Making it high in fiber or protein is another. You start putting all these restrictions on one items and you're left with shit. Making a beautiful mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is tough enough, but it can be done and it's an impressive feat. But you give even someone as brilliant as Michelangelo only two colors to paint with, and make them watercolors, and the result ain't going to be pretty.


I can't believe that's the whole issue. Not to toot my own horn in the least - I can name any of 30 cooks that I know personally, and that can't be all - but I can take completely vegan ingredients, and use all natural and unrefined products, make it high in fiber or protein, and still produce something that is well seasoned, balanced and tasty. It's basic Cooking 101. I've eaten Laughing Planet's food a number of times - it's blocks from my house and one of my wife's go-to take-out places, god help us - and I find it consistently bland and completely uninteresting. It's not the ingredients, IMO, but the lack of cooking skill or palates. Plus, I think there may be a general assumption in veggie-oriented places (I know, I know, they serve chicken there, but it's really an afterthought) - right or wrong - that they're cooking for hippies, who eat to live rather than the opposite.

I think you need only point to a failure like Nutshell to prove a point. A place that only serves Vegan food is not going to make it with those prices and pretensions. There won't be enough Vegans who will have the interest, taste and can spend the bucks, and not enough omnivores who will eat there often enough without some animal protein, or at least some eggs or dairy. Whereas, if there was a place serving terrific food across the board, that served meat and fish, but also had substantial vegan and vegetarian entrees, it would have more universal appeal and stand a better chance of success. I think if Vegans want more and better restaurants offering a wider range of Vegan options, they need to be alright with those options appearing alongside non-Vegan offerings.
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