Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yo ho, Yo ho!

Today is my amazing boyfriend Thomas' birthday, and this past weekend we went out to celebrate..first stop (and the only in photo form) Portland's newest all-vegan restaurant:
Pirate's Tavern~
We also went to Dots in SE Portland to celebrate, home of fries and spicy tofu sauce, plus a few other vegan options as well.
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Both of our meals came with soup or salad - I had a salad with ranch dressing. At first bite, the dressing screamed dill, but with every additional bite, I loved it more and more and honestly could have eaten a larger version as my meal.
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Thomas choose the soup - mixed vegetable. Stew-y, potato-y goodness. Just throw on a little salt and pepper and you're set.
We also had an order of fries, quite possibly the crispiest in Portland, and Thomas had a mug o organic beer. They had a TON of organic, vegan wines, but only 2 were available by the glass.
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I went with the dish I've heard the most (positive) things about - the fettucine alfredo with garlic bread and veggies. I didn't live up to the hype, and I like pasta and cream sauces and have made a few types of vegan alfredos at home.
Warning: Annoying complaints ahead:
I ate it, and was fine with it, but it was almost bland. The only 'nutritional yeasty' flavor was the dusting on top. Increase the garlic!
It was creamy in a way that vegans crave, not having that sensation. None of the vegetables, which the menu said came steamed or sauteed, but actually only came sauteed, really stood out. The garlic bread was more bun-like and seemed to be 2 day old bread, toasted.. (12.95)
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Thomas went with the chicken-fried steak - a very sloppy plate that was mostly potatoes, but what small patty of chicken there was (food fight lita chicken?) was super tasty, in my opinion.
He liked it, our overall verdict is that we didn't like it enough take the bus here, and we'd have to take two different buses to get out there. Both of our meals were luke warm at best. We'd eat there for an event, but it's not something we'd go out of our way for, and I wish it was, being all-vegan and mostly organic.

Personally, I think with some more time under its belt, the food could rock..right?
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For dessert we split a piece of Sweet Pea carrot cake. Delicious, of course, though pricey, like the rest of the place. Oh, and if you go, check out the ladies room, creepiest bathroom I've been to that's not in Romania (no offense to Romania).

I'll leave you with a bad joke:

What does a vegan pirate do in jail?



Kris said...

Well, I'm glad you guys had a pretty good dinner. The distance, the prices and the mostly bad reviews don't have me wanting to trek out there yet. Plus, I've heard some really questionable stuff about the owner sexually harrassing some of his staff, which makes it even less desirable. But your food did look yummy, especially the soup. But I have soup on the brain lately!

Taylor said...

Too bad about the food. Why would you name a vegan restaurant Pirate's Tavern? It conjures images of dirty, drunk men rubbing grease on their beards.

Anonymous said...

I love the look of that dill dressing.

I hear your complaint about the alfredo sauce. I've had a lot of bad vegan versions. In fact, I've never had a vegan version I like. Have you? I'd love to know the recipe.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Kris, we're on the same page. I wasn't rushing out to try it, but I figured I might as well since our friends had offered. I'm glad I at least have it under my belt, and unless there's a reason to go, I won't. Plus, my alfredo on the bill was 12.95, yet the menu said 11.95 and my server, when asked (I notice prices!) said that the menu had changed, and now the meal come with garlic bread..which the menu already said..I was only charged the 11.95, but still, it was annoying - and I hated being annoying even mentioning it.
I actually had to rewrite my words a couple times in my review, so I wasn't overly harsh, because I don't want to slander them, here's hoping they pull it together.

Back to the happier topic of soup, I have made a mental note that I must make minestrone with these white beans I soaked this past weekend, yum.

Taylor - Yeah the pirate obsession is a little much for me. The decor is really great, but Portland actually already has a Caribbean/pirate place! (though not purely veg).

Megan - The closest to a real creamy alfredo is the low fat vegan alfredo on vegweb, you need to alter it to your tastes (roasted garlic, earth balance, spices) but it almost hits the spot - http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6955.msg82919
I've also liked the 'coconut milk alfredo' on the site as well, but it's quite different.. good luck!

Cherie Anderson said...

I just read this and then saw the brussels sprouts underneath. Must go check them out!!!!

Too bad about that place. The cake looks good and the chicken dish looked promising. Could you leave them a comment card or something?

Maria said...

I see onions!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Maria, no onions on mine! That was sliced boy choy or something..

erica said...

My boyfriend has really wanted to go to Pirate's ever since it opened, to try the beer. Actually, he was disappointed they didn't have some food or beer at the Holiday Festival (but I can understand not having alcohol there). I haven't been too terribly interested, I think mainly because of the WoW-looking website - or rather, the girl on the website. And their whole "Real vegans don't wear leather or eat honey", which is true, but I'm not interested in my dining establishment judging me before I set foot in the door. It doesn't seem like a good way to get non-vegans over there, either. It just kind of turned me off, but I would still go if someone else were driving, I suppose.

Julie said...

Happy Birthday to yo man!!

Sorry the food was kinda lame. The salad looks really good, though!

Pixie said...

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I myself am waiting for the first vegetarian restaurant to open up here in San Antonio. I'm so excited. The menu looks fantastic and we are looking forward to it. Probably a little too much.

vegancore said...

Aw, that's sad that the Pirate's Tavern wasn't as awesome as one would expect from a pirate-themed vegan restaurant. Reading that back, it sounds sort of sarcastic, like oh, of course it was going suck. Pirates! Vegans! Balderdash! But I am not being sarcastic at all. I think pirates are fantastic and am saddened by the mediocre review.

But I still with there was a pirate-themed vegan restaurant in my town. My state, even. Arrrrgh.

Anonymous said...

The food looks great. That's too bad it didn't live up to it's name. At least you had a tasty carrot cake (one of my favs)!!

Celine said...

oh the carrot cake would be the end of me! I have tried to find a super good recipe for carrot muffins, but haven't had much luck thus far. still have to try Isa's recipes. yum! FOOD! :D
awesome pictures, btw, and I love the fact that you also mention the downsides of the food when you ate out. woohoo! happy belated birthday, Thomas!

Gaia said...

I'm sorry you were dissapointed.
I love the look of the salad and the fact that the dressing has dill in it LOL

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Celine - You need to try the carrot cake recipe from VWAV! Need! I've made it without the candied ginger and it is still amazing, and that's according to non-vegans as well.

Sorry this review turned out less than complimentary, because I did have compliments, in fact I want more of that salad right now.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your boyfriend!
too bad for the food, but they all look amazing!

Nikki said...

Pirate's Tavern?

What a completely wrong name for a restaurant!

Anonymous said...

I've been following the reviews since they opened. My significant other and friend and I have come **this close** to making the trip there. But as a 15 year vegetarian who wears leather shoes and jacket, I am a bit concerned they'd spit in my food because of my unethical non-vegan ways. Or, at least, get bad service.

Any experiences such as that?

The place sounds spendy, but possibly more fulfilling than Vegetarian House or Veganopolis. Hate the name/ shtick/ theme, but if the food and drink can pull it off, and if I don't feel put on the spot or out of place with my leather jacket and shoes, I'd be a near-regular.

Too bad they could not be more conveniently located and with a more nondescript theme (that is, the pirate dress-up thing, which honestly, is a turn off).