Friday, July 11, 2008

Dear Meal, You're Boring!

Sometimes I'm really in the mood for straight up, wholesome food. Like steamed kale with a sprinkle of sea salt or baked yams, plain and simple. There are even restaurant dishes I can think of that are on the plainer side of things that I crave - like the Incan bowl at Blossoming Lotus and the similar design-your-own quinoa bowl with sesame ginger sauce from Chaos Cafe (how I adore thee). However, one of my formerly favorite places in Portland is officially on my boring list due to a second bland meal. Bland when it seriously shouldn't be.
That's you, Vege Thai.

Sigh. New management took over in the past year: we lost the short, short lived food cart before that , prices went up (what else is freaking new) and the menu was updated, for better to a degree. It's almost hard for me to write this, and I don't think I could if it was the old management. Vege Thai, while not quite authentic, served vegan and vegetarian Thai food - and guarantees no fish sauce or shrimp paste. Vegan! Thai!
I've had 3 traumatic this-Thai-food-isn't actual-vegetarian/vegan experiences in town in the past year alone!

The restaurant still offers both vegan and vegetarian meat substitutes (....), the chicken being my protein of choice there. I adored Vege Thai because the food was fairly naughtily greasy, well priced and tended to send me home with leftovers. The Pad Sei-iew, Pineapple Curry, Chicken Nuggets and sinfully delicious Peanut Sauce were, and are still my favorites on the menu - but since the ownership change, things just haven't been as flavorful, and frustratingly - at all as saucy!

Anywhoo, here's the recent meal I 'treated' myself to on a day of playing hooky from work.
Well, really I took a sick day and hobbled since I recently fractured my foot during a business trip and have a giant boot on. I get sad when my weekdays off don't involve a lunch special on the east side of Portland.

Lunch special soup. This used to at least have tofu in it.


Noodles in the Jungle with tofu (with rice noodles instead of yakisoba - to blame?)
Tofu=tasted old.
Vegetables=overcooked and watery
Spices sprinkled on the sauce=not working for me.
Peanut sauce=the only actual flavor.


Time for a break, old favorite. I'll see you again one day.

Vege Thai on Urbanspoon

16 comments:

Nikki Douglas said...

I totally feel for you. Its dreadful when a favorite restaurant changes especially in the veg*n world because there aren't that many for us.

My favorite Thai place offers strictly vegetarian dishes right on the menu that say no fish sauce.

Taylor said...

oh, the heartbreak! I had a favorite Thai place that would fluctuate between awesome and just good. I hated the days when it was less than awesome.

Katy said...

I just hate when my favorite place to eat takes a dive into Suckville.
On the bright side, you're in a city filled with lots of yummy veggie places! :)

Chelsea said...

I've never been there, but that looks lame :( Thanks for keeping us in the know because it's been on my list to try for awhile.

Chelsea said...

New management? That is always bad news when things are going well. So sad to hear the food isn't as good. I'm still dedicated to Pad Thai Kitchen on Belmont. Really yummy food and the owner is really considerate to the vegan at heart.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, too bad :0(

CeciLiA said...

oh I hate it when the management change and the food "yummy-o-meter" deteriorates - all in the name of profit!

On a second note, this post (odd I know) inspire me to try out the Thai Food here in Perth (Aus) Hopefully, they don't pre-made the sauces - i.e.: made with animal stock/sauce...

Nehoos, hope you find a better vegan Thai restaurant soon :0) Have a great day!!

Kerri said...

Agree! Been there once and it was totally forgettable lack of flavor, and too small a portion even by reasonable healthy standards.

Anonymous said...

chelsea knows where it's at! pad thai kitchen is my favorite thai place. plus it doesn't hurt that's close to home.
jess, we should go there together soon!
karla

springsandwells said...

Oh, the fall from glory. So disappointing, isn't it?

Bianca said...

Sucks their foods sucks now! The peanut sauce dish looks delicious, at least.

Happy Herbivore! said...

I hate when you end up with boring food! I was recently at a thai place and ordered the steamed veggie platter (sans fish sauce) and it was pitfully bland. but my husband got some eggplant dish, (also sans fish sauce and egg) and his was wonderfully flavorful. I guess its a crap shoot.

better luck with your next meal out!

VeganFabulous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your foot! I hope you get to take that brace off soon. It is too hot for braces!

shellyfish said...

Hi Jess! This is my first visit to you blog & I really love it! I wish I'd have come to visit after eating my lunch, though, because now i'm freakin' starving! Sorry about your lame experiences...changes of mgt. often screw things up...

Vegan_Noodle said...

That's really too bad about VegeThai. Hopefully they make some improvements!

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