Saturday, November 1, 2008

Three more Portland Stops: Vendetta, Kalga Kafe, and Paradox Cafe

One last entry about my vegan-in-paradise weekend. Friday night we wound up at a neighborhood bar called Vendetta (4306 N Williams Ave) and it was awesome. Such a great place with a mellow vibe and a couple of vegan options right on the menu. I had the tofu sandwich, which was really really good, but because I was so caught up in the moment, I forgot to take any pictures of my food. But picture or no, trust me it was good. My omnivorous husband had the veggie Sloppy Joe, known as the Sloppy Jane, and gave it a glowing review as well.

After a fun day around town in Portland, we stopped at Mt. Tabor Park to watch the sunset from the top of an extinct volcano. It was particularly pretty, and there were two men a few yards from us, one playing a guitar and the other on a harmonica, so we had some music to accompany our sunset.

Speaking of music, we decided to go to the Kalga Kafe (4147 SE Division St) for dinner, based on a previous experience I had there with my husband about a year earlier when we went there for dinner and the guy who worked at the bar was also playing some really great jazz and world music on two turntables. It really contributed to the vibe of the place and made the dinner very memorable. Unfortunately, the turntables were present but weren't being used this time. There was music playing quietly from a CD, music which sounded good, (some Mingus which pleased one of my friends in particular), but the volume was so low it was hard to really hear it and I was a little disappointed. One thing, however, that I was not disappointed in at all was my pizza, as seen below. Yet again, I was so caught up in the moment I almost forgot about the picture, as evidenced by the one missing piece of pizza I had already begun to consume...

I chose a pizza with spinach, kalamata olives and onions. The vegan cheese actually melted and was really tasty. The crust was thin, sort of like a flatbread, and really good.

The next morning we checked out the Paradox Cafe (3439 SE Belmont St) for breakfast. One of the cool things about the place is their commitment to local, organic, and sustainable food and businesses. It is an example of one of those places you can feel good about supporting because of what they support.

After some initial confusion regarding how to accommodate a group of five people, we were seated and ready to order. (For some reason we couldn't add a chair to a table, but we could pull two tables of varying size together, so it ultimately worked out fine.) My husband and I wisely chose the "Paradox Benedict," mine with tofu and his with eggs. It was a phenomenally delicious breakfast. Seriously. The sauce was out-of-this world.

Unfortunately, one of my friends did not fare as well. He ordered the breakfast burrito (I think it was called the "Fiesta burrito"?) with egg and cheese. There was a little mix-up and his egg and cheese for some reason came on a separate saucer, and his burrito which came later was a gargantuan mix of various vegetables, including squash, zucchini, broccoli, and I can't remember what else. There were a whole lot of veggies wrapped in a very large tortilla, with about an avocado's worth of guacamole on top.

The waitress was very nice and apologetic and offered to remake his burrito, but my friend does not believe in wasting food so he declined the offer. To me the burrito looked like something I would have enjoyed for lunch or dinner, but I am not sure I would have wanted it for breakfast the morning after a late night. I really wish I had gotten a picture of it to help enhance my description. About 20 minutes or so after eating what he could of the meal, my friend proclaimed: "I feel like I have a winter garden in my gut," which I think is a pretty colorful description that can serve as a substitute for a picture. I told him on the upside he had ingested all of his recommended daily allowance of vegetables in one shot.

In summation, my husband and I were amazed and impressed with our breakfast selections, and I would totally and happily eat there again. In addition, the service was good and the people very nice. They also took some money off of our bill as a way of apology for the burrito mix-up. They have a pretty awesome-looking menu and there were a number of other things I would love to try sometime.

Thanks to everyone who made the weekend so fabulous. My weekend in Portland did make me more than a little envious of Portland vegans, and I definitely want to come back again and explore more places. But don't get me wrong, my heart belongs to Bellingham and it is nice to be home. (Coming soon: Rudy's Pizzeria)


Patrick said...

I love the group pic! You are rolling right along with this blog...yeah I said the ugly word LOL.

It is so nice to see you writing away!

CM said...

Thanks for reading this Patrick, despite your dislike of the word "blog." :) I am having a lot of fun with this.

VeganFabulous said...

Hey CM! I just realized that I forgot to tell you about Dove Vivi! It is an amazing pizza place that has two unique vegan pizzas. Put that on your list for next time! Or better yet, when you are here you and I should meet up there!

CM said...

Hey VeganFabulous--I only just now saw your comment--I would LOVE to check out that pizza place and that would be awesome to meet up with you there! Count me in! :)