Portland – Part 2
In my last Portland post I brought you up to speed on the first couple days of our trip. Sunday I was in workshops all day for Vida Vegan Con, and as a result, I was totally wiped out that evening. So we ended up just wandering around the neighborhood near the hotel (which is close to the PSU campus and has this awesome wall painted with book bindings) and stumbled upon Hot Lips Pizza. They had vegan cheese available, but we actually got a couple different tasty slices that were cheese-free and packed with lots of veggies. The staff there was unbelievably nice and accommodating, and I can’t recommend this place enough. It was a perfect quiet Sunday night.
On Monday I finally got to try Homegrown Smoker, which we had for lunch. I got the eggplant po’ boy sandwich with sweet potato fries, pictured above. The sandwich was awesome, but the fries weren’t the best that I’ve had, though I’m pretty spoiled on good sweet potato fries here in LA.
Ryan got the Macnocheeto, a burrito that was packed with smoked soy curls, barbecue sauce, beans and mac n’ cheese. It was insane. Definitely the best mac n’ cheese I’ve had outside of the New Farm recipe, and I’m picky about my vegan mac n’ cheese! Ryan had actually eaten the burrito on Saturday while I was at the conference, and he ordered it again on Tuesday before we left for the airport if that gives you any idea how much he loved that thing!
The only downside of Homegrown Smoker was they closed early a couple days, which threw a bit of a wrench in our plans. We had asked how late they would be open, but when we went over they had closed more than 45 minutes early, which was kind of frustrating. Their truck is located near the hotel where we stayed, so we at least didn’t have to go out of our way. Other than that, this place was awesome, and definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
After lunch we headed over to Voodoo Doughnut. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long, though it felt like we did because the guy in front of us was playing terrible music on his cell phone the whole time. My temper has gotten much shorter as the pregnancy hormones take over (and my temper wasn’t so long to begin with…). I kept dreaming about grabbing his phone and whipping it into the street. Thank God there were vegan doughnuts at the end of the rainbow to soothe my agitation.
For some reason I didn’t have super high expectations for these, but they were awesome. We got two that were creme- filled – the white one with sprinkles and the chocolate one with two white dots (I don’t remember the names of all of them.) They were dreamy, and we actually liked the long john the best, despite the fact that we only got it off the recommendation of the girl who helped us. The one with the Oreos, chocolate and peanut butter one top was good, but it almost had too much going on. The smaller one was a chocolate cake doughnut with peanut butter frosting, and it was our least favorite, thought it was still tasty.
After Voodoo we headed over to Powell’s bookstore for a bit before making the short trek on the train back to the hotel for some rest (man, I miss readily accessible public transportation!). I definitely found that I wasn’t able to walk as far as I used to pre-pregnancy, so our last days of the trip were definitely slower and packed with lots of down time. It was kind of nice to be forced to slow down actually. It made us realize how much we busy ourselves, even when we don’t need to.
One of our favorite parts of the trip turned out to be something that we hadn’t even planned. We were going to try to head over to the Japanese Gardens before leaving for the airport on Tuesday afternoon. We asked someone at the front desk of the hotel what the best route would be to get over there, and as we realized that it might not be as easy as we thought, we debated whether or not we wanted to go. She suggested we check out the Chinese Garden instead, which was closer, though smaller than the Japanese Garden. She also told us that it had a tea room, which sounded like a pretty appealing way to spend the gray morning.
It turned out to be perfect, and we absolutely loved it there. We were able to join a tour that had just started, and afterwards we hit the tea house for some drinks and snacks. I had a white Earl Grey tea, and Ryan had an unfiltered saki. We got some edamame, which is in the photo above, and it came seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, five spice powder, nori and sesame seeds. It made us wonder if we can ever eat regular edamame again, and we definitely want to try to recreate this at home. We also ordered some veggie dumplings, which we ate too fast to get a photo of. It was such a beautiful setting, and I highly recommend checking it out if you happen to be in Portland.
We were sad to leave Portland, and we really look forward to heading back there some day. I’m glad we took a couple extra days so that I could see more of the city. And speaking of seeing the city, stay tuned for my next post – Ryan shot some cool video while we were up there that I can’t wait to share with you guys!