Playing tourist in Portland

In strange yet true developments, I have two friends from my hometown visiting Portland on vacation right now. Tis adorable. I don’t typically admit this, but I’m originally from the South Shore of Long Island and my accent is in full bloom once more from being around my friends. Commence TAWKING AND WAWKING AND CAWFEE without any deep prompting from excitement or libations.

Said friends aren’t vegan, so I’m not breaking out the normal must-go-to Portobello and vegan bakeries routine. One friend, however, is allergic to eggs, and the other is a pesceterian, so they’re both cool with vegan options – which has included obligatory $1.25 vegan corndogs * at Hungry Tiger Too this past Wednesday and perusing food carts. I haven’t been joining in on many of their tourist activities as I’m working during the day, but we have strolled Last Thursday and Alberta a few times, Powells, and hit a few carts – pretty damn Portland. Isn’t it nice that the food carts (and that IFC show which I warned my houseguests to watch in preparation but to never mention in town) have finally given tourists something more to do in this city besides drink Stumptown coffee, sip microbrews, eat donuts and plan hiking adventures?

With that, it’s hard being a food blogger and playing a tourist in this über hip city – you have to be incredibly discreet with your photography so you’re not mistaken as either role in public, jeez.

Iced toddy and carafe of soymilk, Barista II. Creepy friend in the background, of course.

Iced toddy and carafe of soymilk, Barista II

Alyse, meets the Floor Punch. aka The Bye & Bye without the booze.

BBQ Brussels bowl, The Bye & Bye. I'm normally a BBQ Platter gal, but the brussels were calling my name.

BTW, The Rapture TM hit NE Alberta. Remnants.

I played tourist myself, lunching with a friend at Nicholas, SE. Photo by Melissa.

Obligatory rainy day lunch time visit to the food carts, SW 9th. I had a vegetarian "can you leave out the fish and oyster sauce, please? thanks!" lemongrass tofu salad bun from the Mai Pho cart on SW Alder.

Small french fry, vegan chipotle dip, Potato Champion! (now bigger!)

Alyse's first Whiffles. I think she found our peanut butter chocolate chip fried pie both mystifying and glorious. I think it was my first pie of the year! I dedicate this pie to Panda.

Back to NE Alberta for Last Thursday

Last Thursday on Alberta. My friend was considering buying one of these fabulous skirts until she saw the $125 price tag.

For some reason, my friend was a bit creeped out by the candy schoolbus. Quirky buses I've seen on Alberta now include the beer bus, grilled cheese bus, bong bus, Vaudeville showbus and the candy bus.

El Nutri Taco Truck

Could this really be the first cupcake first cart I've seen in town? The return of the cupcake? I didn't check it they had vegan options- anyone know? cute logo & colors.

food & beer buses. how we roll.

Lastly, I had a chance to hit up the Baked! ma & cheese window for dinner.

Margherita vegan mac with tomatoes & garlic, Baked! take out on NE Alberta. Hell yeah. It was super salty, but super creamy and good without any of that gross packaged vegan cheese-ness going on - I'd add a green vegetable next time, for maturity's sake.

And before they depart, they plan on getting hitched at the 24 Hour Church of Elvis window after a couple rounds of Ms. Pac Man and Visos at Ground Kontrol. Oh my god, what should I wear?!

*Truthfully, I’ve gotten to the point where I have ordered a corndog, but I can’t bring myself to eat it. As much as I can get down with pancake batter, I just don’t have any desire to eat veggie dogs.

Petunia’s Pastries, be still my heart-shaped vegan heart

Mini Marionberry Pies $5.95/each

Last year, I was introduced to Petunia’s Pastries during their premiere Last Thursday on NE Alberta via my friend Michelle Crocodile. I sampled one of their very few vegan offerings at the time, a beautiful Chocolate Hazelnut cupcake. This was before I was aware of my stupid new hazelnut allergy, and I can still look back fondly about that rich & dreamy dessert.

This year, Petunia’s temporarily opened the season at the glorious PSU Market and now most of their case is usually vegan – and gluten-free! They’ve moved to the Sunday King Market and will be starting at the brand new Pioneer Square Market on Mondays next month. I took my first visit to the King’s Market in NE to revisit Petunia’s this past weekend. To my awe-filled delight, everything in the case just happened to be entirely vegan! It was a rainy day, and sweetness overcame gloom.

I picked up the cutest Marionberry pie I have ever seen in my life (and I’ve been looking at a lot of pies lately at The Piehole). Juicy, luscious berry filling with an even sweeter heart-shaped adornment. So juicy you almost make up a song in your head about it.

My friend Lucas documented:

Petunia’s also does custom orders and was recently raved about by former Portland Trailblazer and famous Yelper, Channing Frye, on his blog.The next time you’re at the market for some kale, stop by Petunia’s for a pretty decadent treat! They may a new kid on the block, but they’re certainly a growing, welcome addition to the Portland Vegan-Friendly Bakery Scene, and a new highlight at the farmers markets.

Vegan Bake Sale: The Rainy Day Edition

Smiling vegans and the temporary shelter of our bake sale tables…

Bake Sale in the rain

The scene: Last Thursday on NE Alberta, in front of the Green Microgym

The event: Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Fundraiser for Try Vegan PDX & Vegan Iron Chef, one of 120 international fundraisers during the time period!

The goodies: adorable and delicious!

Special guest appearances by: a rainstorm and the Last Thursday roaming health inspector.

The volunteers: wet, but really dedicated!

The rain and Last Thursday health inspector tried to keep us down, but we prevailed!

Credit goes to the volunteers, their umbrellas, and quickly moving everything that wasn’t in cookie form into the Green Microgym after the threat from the health inspector.

Thank you to everyone who donated, including Sweetpea Baking Co. and Back to Eden Bakery!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by, regardless of the sporadic rain storms! Vegan cookies awareness.

Before the storm:


Michele’s charming South Park style sign


After the storm:


Lovely Mini Cardamom Orange and Marionberry cupcakes from Back to Eden


  • Try Vegan Week is coming August 15-22nd, featuring the third annual Vegan Prom on Saturday, August 21st – Save the Date! The theme will be revealed at the free Vegan Iron Chef After-Party!
  • Look for the Try Vegan PDX Vegan Trivia Night (with prizes!) fundraiser this July.
  • Portland’s Inaugural, SOLD OUT Vegan Iron Chef Competition is one month away! If you didn’t get a ticket, see you at the after party or next year’s bigger event.