Monday, March 19, 2012

Portland and the Day of Food

As I said previously, while vacationing in Seattle, my boyfriend Greg, our friend Amanda, and I took a day trip down to Portland. We learned ahead of time of a vegan mini mall and made that our first stop.

Since we arrived in Portland around lunch time, we made Sweatpea Baking Co., a completey vegan bakery that also serves soups and sandwiches, our choice for lunch. And since the weather was so beautiful, we took our food to the park across the street. Which actually turned out to be a bit awkward because the park was filled with homeless people. I feel bad eating in front of people who can't as easily buy their meals. The men in the park ignored us and continued on about their business, and we all enjoyed the sunshine and new spring flowers.

When lunch was finished, we explored the other vegan businesses. First up was Herbivore which specializes in cruelty free clothing, much of which is, sadly, a cotton and polyester blend. I try to stick to only 100% natural fibers (and food, thus I got a hummus sandwich from Sweatpea rather than a fake meat one). I had been looking forward to getting a T-shirt that said "eat like you give a damn," but they were out of 100% cotton ones, so I had to settle for a button instead. When I asked the girl about it, she said they had to redesign them and would have more in a few weeks, but since I obviously won't be in Portland, I will have to keep checking their website.

Next to Herbivore is Food Fight, a little vegan grocery store, where I bought some delicious blueberry licorice. Also, I was so amused by the wording on the front door giving the store's hours, that I had to take a picture of it.

And the last store in the little strip of shops is Scapegoat Tattoo where Amanda thought she'd try to get a vegan tattoo, but the cost was too much in question and she wasn't certain what she wanted to get.

From the vegan mini mall, we headed to the infamous Voodoo Doughnut on 3rd Ave, the original location. The entire brick building is covered in glitter, which is pretty fun, and the decorations are, as you can imagine, whimsical and fun. The frosting on the doughnuts is very sticky and the raised yeast doughnuts are chewy. The doughnuts are as kooky as the decor. Some of the flavors we ordered were voodoo dolls with raspberry filling, bacon maple (Greg assured us it was delicious and "tasted like breakfast"), Fruit Loops, and Butterfinger, among others. The cake doughnut that I ordered was possibly more delicious than the raised yeast.

Voodoo Doughnut has a wide array of tasty vegan doughnuts, which made Amanda very happy. She was even having cravings well after we departed Portland.

Our food tour of Portland continued at Old Town Pizza, a famously haunted pizza parlor located in the lobby of a beautiful old hotel. The atmosphere was both awesome and creepy, and the food was fantastic. According to legend, the ghost who haunts the restaurant is named Nina and used to be a "working girl" in the hotel who was killed in or near the elevator. The elevator has since been removed and the old shaft has been converted to a cozy little eating nook. Be sure to look for her name carved into a brick.

Though we still had plenty of doughnuts still for dessert, we had one more stop to make before returning to Seattle. Thus we headed over to Rimsky-Korsakoffee House located in a converted Victorian home, and where I had the best cafe mocha I have ever had. What is so noteworthy about Rimsky's isn't just the coffee, however. The table next to us slowly - almost imperceptibly - raised and lowered itself. Another table disappears into the wall while another slowly rotates. There is also a surprise in the bathroom upstairs, but I won't spoil it.

Many of the places I have mentioned don't take credit cards, so be sure to carry cash with you should decide to visit.

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