Thursday, August 21, 2008

pdx, lately

UPDATE 8/28/2008 - Since I dined at Nutshell on August 15, 2008, they have decided to go from a vegetable and grain based vegan restaurant to include dairy and eggs on a tapas style menu. There are still vegan options, and the non vegan dishes (11 out of 25, approximately) can be veganized - but the concept of the restaurant has effectively changed. I am saddened, but this is a restaurant in it's first year or so of inception, and as a curious restaurant reviewer and Portlander, I plan on checking it out within a month or so.

Yo, here's what I've been nibbling lately outside of my own kitchen..

BBQ Tofu plate from the wonderful Bye & Bye. With collards, black eyed peas and bread. I love reasons to go there! It's my favorite item to order, even if the amount of tofu varies with every visit. The sauce is excellent and spicy as heck.

Sweetpea Brunch - seitan sausage, kale, tofu scramble and a hash brown. From a couple weeks ago.

And starting with dessert - dinner at Nutshell. Please note that I know the owners of this restaurant also own a restaurant that has foie gras available, though not on the menu, apparently. I have read that the new head chef at Nutshell is an ethical vegan, and the restaurant is entirely vegan, and I think their caliber and presentation of food raises the bar of vegan culinary concoctions in our city, and for that I support them.

I ordered the Chocolate Maple tart. If it came in truffle form, it'd be perfect. So rich!


My dining companion ordered the Fresh blackberries with coconut custard and phyllo cookies. The coconut part was very agar meets coconut.

Zucchini carpaccio.

My entree - Fried quinoa & polenta with tandoor roasted summer squash, quinoa greens & an excellent Romesco sauce

The kitchen, with their blackboard mentioning their VegNews Best Veg Restaurant Nomination.

And something actually from my kitchen, albeit not photographed that well -
Lemon Pepper Baked Tofu. A PPK Brunch book test recipe.

And moving outside the kitchen again, I went to a really fun BBQ and ice cream social last weekend and met a lot of new folks. It was hosted by Chelsea, the Flavor Vegan, another vegan blogger in Portland and my neighbor.
She made her special homemade veggie burgers and homemade cookies and cream ice cream. I didn't get a shot, but I brought white white sangria.

My BBQ plate..

Coming soon... more! stuff!


VeggieGirl said...

I'm all over that Chocolate-Maple Tart!! Yum!!

Foodeater said...

I ordered that 'berries with coconut custard and phyllo cookies' on my recent visit and it looked NOTHING like that! It was very tasty, but yours is much more pleasantly presented... ours looked rather messy on the plate, no solid chunk of agar/coconut like you got, more of a melty blob. But yum!

VeganCowGirl said...

Looks like fun! the coconut custard dish looks divine...who doesn't love coconut?

Judy's Nutrition said...

My god you eat a lot of fantastic looking food.....can I come to visit?

Anonymous said...

Wow - lots of great food - the BBQ tofu looks especially tempting to me. I think I will have to make some!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

How casually you mention "another vegan blogger in Portland and my neighbor"! That's so cool. We are few and far between around here! And the black eyed peas and BBQ tofu look great.

jelymo said...

screw heaven! when i die, i want to become a vegan zombie and live in portland.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

foodeater - I saw that on your blog - so different! which we'll chalk up to creativity...haha

judy's - come visit, of course!

lisa - it's true, we have so many veg*n bloggers here : )

jelymo - that sounds like an excellent plan.


Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, that tart looks good! I really like Nutshell. I wish I'd had the BBQ tofu at the Bye & Bye, next time!

Ali said...

I'm with you on your ambivalence about Nutshell, personally I just can't stay away from it because the food is so good(I'm a vegetable freak, fake meat scares me). But I keep wishing there could be a happy resolution to the issues with the ownership, they make me sad.

solteronita said...

This post inspired me to eat dinner at Nutshell tonight, but I was shocked and disappointed to see that they have added dairy and eggs to the menu within the last few days! The menu is now "tapas style", and we were told the change was due to "popular demand". Most items can still be prepared vegan, but nearly everything listed now contains cheese or eggs. There also is no longer a bread/salt/oil menu. I'm so sad to see this change.

sarchan said...

It all looks good. I want the BBQ plate and a piece of your lemon pepper tofu.

Animal-Friendly said...

The chocolate maple tart looks so rich, but I'll gladly eat the entire thing!

Kati said...

Wow - a hashbrown patty! I haven't had hashbrowns in patty form since...McDonalds??

Very beautiful food from Nutshell. I think I'd need at least a month in Portland to experience all the vegan dining options. *sigh*

kimmykokonut said...

I think I need to eat out more often. There are so many places I haven't tried yet. Mmm, the desserts. I rarely order the desserts but I want to try everything you have a picture of. How was the carpaccio? Was the squash raw?

Laura said...

i. want. that. tart. now.
why don't i live it portland??

mixtape cupcakes said...

that chocolate maple tart needs to make its way into my cupcake liners, in some way, shape, or form.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

kimmy - the squash was raw, and thinly sliced. It had a basil/champagne dressing - I would definitely try it again (Webly actually ordered it) - but this brings me to the new menu...

solteronita - thanks for bringing this to my attention! Funny that I was able to go the week before the change, ugh. I have seen the new meu, and there appear to be 11 non-vegan items amongst about 25. I am very saddened by this news, and by the addition of dairy and eggs and wish it was the other way around.
I do plan on checking out the new food for myself, though it is with hesitation and much despair.