Veggie Grill Double Feature

It makes sense that while I’ve been overwhelmed with the rest of my life lately, the one matter I’ve somehow made time to post about, is the one topic that vegan Portland is jumping up and down about: the downtown opening of our very own Veggie Grill.

It’s the growing chain that offers more than just novelty – Veggie Grill boasts the delicious normalization of vegan food in mainstream America.

Most importantly, the Veggie Grill in legitimate downtown Portland is NOW OPEN. The sneak peaks were held last week, and the very grand opening just happens to be today, June 6th, 2012. As usual, the location is shiny and new and sending countless people home with bellies full of soy chicken burgers and kale every single day. That’s what you really need to know.

Mac-N-Cheese and much more ahead…

I would say I became a Veggie Grill fanatic back in January, when sure, they invited myself and a few other Portland area food bloggers for a weekend tasting event down in Los Angeles. I had stopped by for a meal here and there on past visits to the area, and I enjoyed it, but the devotion was official while sampling nearly every thing they offered, including knife & fork items that were recently developed, while meeting the founders and head chefs. I had returned from a month-long escapade to Southeast Asia mere days before, and looking back, I realize their American vegan cuisine could not have come into my life at a better time. I remember people asking me if there was anything I had missed, vegan wise, while spending a month expanding my life and culinary horizons, and the only thing that came to mind was nooch sauce and seitan tenders. Cue nachos. Cue tenders.

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure – the tasty, tasty pleasure, of attending two Veggie Grill events in the past couple of weeks.

Let’s start with the most recent, the sneak peek of the much-awaited downtown Portland locale on SW Taylor & 5th.


Janessa’s Thai Chickin’ Salad

Without a doubt, my new favorite item is the B-Wing Salad, with Buffalo glazed wings and creamy ranch dressing.

All Hail Kale Salad, Bayou Chickin’ Sandwich. All Veggie Grill chickin’ is a Gardein-ish substance, which trust me, tastes way better than that sounds.

Near definitive Veggie Grill Feasting ™

The gluten-free Urban Plate, featuring an entire portobello mushroom on top of tempeh and caramelized onions.

Uptown Nachos: an easy favorite

Veggie Grill offers both beer and root beer

A week or two before the downtown opening, Michele, Janessa and myself traveled all the way to Beaverton for a new menu items tasting. The things we do for Veggie Grill access! We were joined by Kristin, from Beaverton-based blog Our Ordinary Life, for a family style debut of B-wing Salad, VG Rollers, the Blackened Chickin’ Plate, “Crab” Cakes and a couple of other dishes we’d been fortunate enough to have a sneak peek of back in January. Bring it on.

Behold, a sign of great hope in the suburbs. How much better is this than a TGI Friday’s or a Subway?!? At least 200x.


You’ve got to be kidding me.

Serious preparation

Once again, more glorious Veggie Grill Feasting ™ lays ahead…

My adorable VVC cohorts and fellow Veggie Grill enthusiasts, Michele & Janessa. Appropriately hiding behind a menu.

Another brand new item: VG Roller, spicy tortilla bites with blackened chickin’, cabbage & zesty Santa Fe spread.

Also new, the “Crab” Cake with tartar sauce. Intriguingly chickin’ of the sea-like.

Time to bring on the kale – the Blackened Chickin’ Plate, one of the newer homestyle, fork & knife  plates on the menu.

Instant classic?  The Crispy Chickin’ Plate with cauliflower mashed potatoes and porcini gravy. Don’t you just want to cover it in nooch?

Another encore: The Urban Plate

I can’t get enough! This was first time trying the B-Wing Salad. I even brought one home for my girlfriend. She’s had it twice new, and declares it “the best thing on the menu. Obviously”. I concur.

Ed Casey insisted we try their staff-inspired Mac-N-Cheese paired with the bonus spoonfuls of basil & garlic pomodoro and pesto. I’m glad that Michele was there to remind me about my silly little nut allergy and I stuck to the pomodoro with my mac – delish!

VGF™ in progress

Michele liked the crab cake so much she went for a full order. Nice.

Ah, dessert. The new chocolate pudding parfait awaits.

Tah dah! Digesting with Janessa.

Hold up, carrot cake.

Til we meet again, Veggie Grill!

As in…tonight, for dinner.

Full disclaimer: All dishes featured in this post were courtesy of Veggie Grill.


  1. I could eat the VG Rollers, the Thai Chickin’ Salad, and the B Wing Salad all day every day. That said, I’m still full from dinner 6 hours, so I may only eat once a day if I were to attempt that.


  2. Oh, my goodness! I really need to get out of Medford & travel up to Portland. There are very FEW vegan places to eat out here. I adore Portland because it has so much more to offer. I’m very envious!


    PS – I am hosting a special event on my blog – If you’d like to participate, I’d absolutely love to have you do a guest blogger post!! You can email me at – This is open to anyone, too 🙂

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