Sunday, November 04, 2007

Why Portland & Tacos

Vegan Nachos from Los Gorditos

I moved to Portland in late September 2004. I moved with my boyfriend, Thomas for many reasons.
I seem to have always been keen on the idea of ‘moving’. I never envisioned myself living in my hometown 20 years, 40 years down the line. I didn’t foresee the Pacific Northwest, but another country. I still foresee myself leaving the country and working internationally, but for now Portland will be my home at least another few years (though you never know).
One of the biggest draws to Portland was its vegetarian/vegan scene. Thomas and I were moving from Boston, which is fairly veg friendly and I hear its gotten even better, but we had heard Portland and Seattle were almost as veg friendly as NYC – which already blew us away with places like Red Bamboo, Teany’s, Candle CafĂ© and Vegetarian Dim Sum House (bring on my east coast trip!!). For one, we choose Portland for its low cost of living - the price of our first two bedroom was the same price as one room I had rented in a 5-bedroom house in Somerville, MA; its liberal values, I had heard it was a good market to get into advertising, the organic produce happiness and of course, the veg-friendly appetite of the city. Which brings this post back to food.

Part of the awesomeness of Portland is that you can get a great meal at veg*n restaurants and veg-friendly ones as well. We actually know mostly veg*ns and don’t have many visitors since we’re thousands of miles away from home and all, but this makes it so easy to dine out with coworkers and colleagues. Many of my favorite meals are at non-veg specific places. Of course, Webly and I are also contributing to the Portland vegan dining scene, as is Vegan Fabulous.

This weekend I went to a ‘vegan Sunday’ at Taqueria Los Gorditos. It’s one of Portland’s food carts, and they’ve been trying out/celebrating vegan Sundays these past 3 weeks (and more to come). They have a vegan and vegetarian menu during the week, and are considering cut back, or out, of meat options altogether. The fact that they consider doing this financially and responsibly is one of the reasons I dig Portland so much. The vegan community loved their food, passed the word around and has been flocking by on Sundays, let alone on other days. I don’t consider myself a big fan of Mexican food, but there’s something about their mulita that just screams satisfaction. Yesterday, Thomas and I tried the nachos…

The end. Visit Portland. You don’t have to move here or anything, but it’s worth a visit. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll tackle my love for farmer’s markets…



17 comments:

urban vegan said...

I've heard so many great things about Portland. I want to eat my way through the city one day soon.

Ashasarala said...

I would love to visit Portland. Despite the fact that I need to do more traveling, I've heard all good things about vegan eating out there!

Boston does have some veg-friendly restaurants, but it's mostly Asian cuisine. While I love Asian cuisine, I need to spice things up a little bit. I think a trip is in order!

Gaia said...

Well, I know it wasn't your intention but you convinced me. I too want to move to Portland. Ok, frankly, I have wanted to go there for a long, long time ;-)

Hope you are happy there and make lots of wonderful new friends <3

Taylor said...

I've wanted to do the Northwest for some time now, and you make a convincing case for Portland!

erica said...

I am glad you're here, girly!

Erika said...

Hi Jess. I love your blog and I'm so glad you talk about Portland in such high regard. I currently live in Austin but I'm moving to Portland at the beginning of next year and can't wait to live somewhere so vegan friendly. Keep up the good eating... and cooking.

anja said...

I haven't had the nachos yet! They look so good, I think I will get them next time. I'm glad that this cart is so popular, the people that run it are so nice & friendly too.

I think I will live in Portland forever, or at least a very long time.

Elizabeth said...

Portland is truly a wonderful place to live! I cannot imagine moving anywhere else at this point. Veg food is only one aspect of that, but a wonderful one!

Could you at some point jot me an email (or put it on your blog, I guess) about where to eat in Boston? We lived there for four years but we were not veg then. I can remember one place I liked heaped I don't know how many pounds of meat on your plate, with not much else! I was vaguely nauseated by it even then. Anyway, we're heading back for the first time next summer and we'll need veg places now! I do remember a Chinese place in China Town, called Little Buddha or something like that? Anyway. I'm sure we won't starve.

Chris said...

Now you've really made me want to move. We visited Portland in 2000, probably before the veg. scene really started taking off, but still we had some of the best food ever on a trip and generally really enjoyed the place.

Cost of living is relative though as I think it's higher there than where we are now. Still... maybe one day... I totally dig the cycling scene there too.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh I would move to Portland in a heartbeat if I thought I could find a job. I never thought I would end up back in Houston (after growing up here, moving to Colorado for seven years, then having to return). But visits are fun too...we need to get back to Portland soon!

Rural Vegan said...

Portland is next on my list of places to visit. It sounds like vegan utopia, which would be a wonderful change of pace from living in the rural midwest!

Vegan*asm said...

This post makes me want to visit Portland 10,000 times more than I already did. Now I will just have to add it to my growing itinerary. It sounds like an amazing place.

selina said...

wow! thats a far move. i'd love to move to seattle or portland. i'm very fascinated by the west coast & have yet to even visit there.

hopefully next year i will be visiting some family in seattle. hopefully my husband will like the area. maybe i'll end up there. maybe. indiana is horrible for being veg-friendly.

megan said...

Jess -

Great post! I grew up in the area and it wasn't until the last couple of years that I have come to realize how great PDX is. According to all of your comments it sounds like you have convinced so many other folks to move here too! i love it!
ps. I still haven't tried the taco joint yet. so much food, so little time!!!

vegetalion said...

I read somewhere recently that portland is the top vegan-friendly city in the US (even above NYC?). I have wanted to visit every since. And I didn't know thecost of living was lower! how nice! 'cause it's NOT low here in boston...

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Elizabeth - I left a comment on your blog!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

You guys are all so cute.