Friday, February 24, 2006

Lunch at Bay Leaf, Portland's newest vegetarian restaurant

Our adventure at Bay Leaf: A Review by Jess and Tommy~


I think the first thing you notice when you walk in is that it is the cleanest place you've eaten in a long time. On top of being clean the dining area is spacious and has cherry stained tables. The service is friendly and quick. When It came down to ordering, JD and I deceided to split two dishes and try the spring rolls for an appetizer. I never had a spring roll that wasn't soggygreaseshit inside. I recognized what I was tasting and found it nice to find fresh vegetables still crisp and delicious inside the hell fried shell. It was a first for me and frankly I want more of them just thinking about it.

My lunch special was served with a bowl of brothy corn chowder (sounds bad, but wasn't). I'm not a corn chowder fan so I graciously gave it to Tommy, who ate practically every last drop.

Tommy: The Sesame Tofu came with a seemingly out of place but good corn chowder. It wasn't too thick and had an asian accent to it, but still corn chowder.


Spring Rolls. Fried just enough (unlike Vege Thai, where they're quick but tend to underfry just a bit) Delicious fruity & sweet, slightly thick, dipping sauce. The only thing I didn't like about the spring rolls was the few strands on dark mushroom, a personal preference.


For main courses We got Sesame tofu and "Vegetable" tempura (i'll touch base on these " " later). The Sesame tofu came in a brilliant orange sauce with the seeds mixed into it. I don't like seseme seeds if something is covered in them, but this added a nice texture. Since I'm on texture I have to bring up how soft the tofu is. It's effortless to chew. The stuff practically eats itself. If I ever had to jaw wired shut I would suck this stuff through a straw day and night.

Jess: We decided to sample dishes and ordered the sesame tofu with brown rice, which was actually purple/black. It also came with broccoli, that was the teeniest bit overcooked, but still scrumptious with the sauce. The tofu was amazingly slightly crispy yet tender. And the sauce..sesame citrus magic. The crispy white noodles softened just enough in the sauce as well.


Along with this we had an order of vegetable tempura, which was tasty and lightly fried but was all potato and sweet potato. This was served a soy dipping sauce.
Tommy: My only real problem with the whole meal was the "vegetable" tempura. It was tasty, don't get me wrong. But it was all potato (I think all sweet potato), and that's all well and fine. But I was expecting maybe broccoli, carrots, etc. You know, the usual stuff. If I had only ordered that I could See this review going very differently.
... Tommy:

All in all the meal was great and well priced. An appetizer, cup of soup, two main dishes, and two satisfied customers all for under 20 bucks.

Service: Good to Very Good.
Food: Very Good
Bathroom: Fit for surgery.

Jess: My classiest veg meal in PDX so far.

And a couple blocks after we left, we heard music..which was Good Clean Fun performing at Food Fight! I'm a geek who's very out of touch with the music scene, especially the music scene circa my teenage years when I listened to a lot of Weezer and The Beatles above all else, but I knew who they were by pop culture reference (whoa) and Tommy's music history lessons/conversations.


sarchan said...

I like your review. Funny:) Looked like a good meal.

EatPeacePlease said...

I like your review too. They should have called it Potato Tempura. Weird.

Tiffany said...

I really miss Portland for reasons like this.
Thanks for sharing your adventure.
Where in PDX is it?

Tiffany said...

I see you are also a big fan of Sigur Ros.
My husband & I just returned from
seeing them in St. Louis.
freaking unbelievably amazing.

vegancore said...

Man, I'm so jealous of where you live. I've always been enamoured of the pacific northwest area. I'm pretty sure there's not even one vegetarian restaurant where I live.

Mmm, spring rolls.

SDGvegan said...

Yeah, I should just move to Portland. Boise/Meridian is just so lame in comparison.That food looks great :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the great review! It's nice to know which, of all the vegetarian options here, are good. :-) Yeah, all you vegetarians should move to Portland, because it's such a cool place to live.

Fiber said...

I wish I had a vegetarian restaurant somewhere around here.
Of course in Amishland, home of cows and deer hunting, I'm not sure it would go over too well.

Carrie™ said...

Yummy! I don't have any veg*n restaurants near me. Closest is about 30 minutes away. We go to a lot of ethnic restaurants and they are so cool about substitutions for a vegetarian diet. North American type restaurants are getting better, but still don't seem to care that much. At one restaurant, the menu had little pictures beside the dishes to give a quick visual reference. Little chili peppers meant it was hot, a carrot meant it was vegetarian. There was a carrot beside the tuna melt. HELLO? Sometimes it easier to just say "I'm allergic" than to try and make them understand. It is nice to go into a restaurant though and order anything off the menu and know that it's OK to eat. Keep the reviews coming! I may make it to Portland some day.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Tiffany- it's about se 46th and se division. I feel so fortunate in Portland to not have to eat at meat-heavy restaurants, it's wonderful. I saw Siguar Ros in Boston at the Berklee School of Music about four years ago, I'd love to see them again - what a shame it's so pricey.

Vegancore- It's such a treat, it's funny that now I really like cooking and don't actually want to go out a good portion of the time I end up doing so.

SDG- thank you : )

Elizabeth- Thank you. And I second your words of encouragement to visit Portland.

Fiber- Here's hoping the random veg eatery opens. Strange, hopeful things happen.

carrie- Yeah, I've used the allergy line myself. It came in most handy when fearing butter and cheese in Italian pasta dishes in my experiences. And I have another fodo review to post from today's brunch : )

amygeekgrl said...

fun review. sounds like a great place. :) wish we had more veggie restaurants around here. heck, maybe we do, but i haven't sought them out!
incidentally, i had sesame tofu (takeout) for dinner tonight. mmmmm. :)

allie said...

i know this is a little weird, but i was curious what food fight looked like haha! i mailorder stuff from them hehe :D

Harmonia said...

Sounds like a great time!

Harmonia said...

Sounds like a great time!

Anonymous said...

Great review, guys. We are on our way to the Bay Leaf right now!!!!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Anonymous- I hope you folks have a lovely time~

micah and melinda said...

Hey just lovely- thanks. How about the Pirate's Tavern?

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