Recipe: Double Bacon Cheeseburger a.k.a. “The One Bun Solution”

The rain has returned to Oregon, so for lunch today I craved something hearty.

But I had a problem…I only had one hamburger bun.

Soon, a smile crept in and I decided it would be National Vegan Junk Food Day in my house, and at that very moment.

WARNING:  This is not a fancy recipe.  It’s a bachelor version.  Heat, serve, stuff.

Things that make you go YUMM
You will need:
  • 2 Vegan burgers (my fav are currently sold at Fred Meyer)
  • 2 slices of Daiya Vegan Cheese slices
  • 4-6 slices of Tofurkey Bacon Tempeh
  • Condiments of choice.

1. Grill your burgers on the grill and add bacon slices about half way through.

Not the most appealing image, but at least it’s VEGAN.

2. Add the Daiya when the burgers are just about ready.  I used an electric grill, so I had to hold the lid down close to the cheese so the heat would melt it, but not too close that it stuck.

3. Once the cheese is melted, build your burger!

4. Enjoy at once.

Product Install: ACE Engineering Rear Bumper with LEDs

This week, my Black Friday package from ACE Engineering finally arrived!  All the hardware was glistening.  Horror stories of boxes being deformed in transit were unfounded for me.  Everything was in perfect condition…except one thing.  Where are the instructions?

ACE did not include any, and I personally found their video online as missing some key updates.  So I hope this install write up is a help to many!

NOTES: This install is for a 2013 Jeep JK.  I also found that ACE has been making changes to their products, and not everything in their video instructions is accurate anymore.

1. Open all boxes and lay out all hardware.  Ensure you properly protect the bumper and other items from concrete and damage to the powder coat.

2. Remove the factory or other bumper from the Jeep.

Remove the old bumper.

Continue reading Product Install: ACE Engineering Rear Bumper with LEDs

Restaurant Review: Araya’s Vegetarian Place [Bellevue]

Bellevue has a surprising number of vegan-friendly places, and when all goes South you can always count on Whole Foods.

But there is a certain “must go” spot on the map that beckons from afar:  Araya’s Vegetarian Place.

This sign beckons people all the way from Portland!

I have only been there for lunch (but on many occasions) and the lunch buffet is absolutely amazing.

One of the most beautiful things at Araya’s (besides the awesome decor) is the massive, always-full tub o’ Pad Thai.  It is piping hot, perfectly flavored, and you NEVER have to worry about fish sauce!

The Pad Thai is deelish.

The egg(free) rolls are the bomb, their rices are always fresh and deelish.  The salad bar, while I never tried it, looks awesome as well.

Endless supply of Egg Rolls!

The service there is mild (it is a buffet after all) but super friendly and accommodating.

The inside is cozy and clean.

The only down side is the parking situation.  At lunch time, the tiny parking lots on each side of the building will be full, which leaves you parking across the way and crossing a very busy street.  But that is my only qualm.

The Salad Bar

Next time you are in Bellevue, be sure to hit up Araya’s!

In the meantime, how about more food porn!?

Rice and veggies on the bar.
More veggies and food!

Everyday People doing Beautiful Things

It isn’t everyday that the Jeeping community gets to do something that dramatically helps other people.  So when we heard about a restored 1974 Jeep J20 being donated to a family to help them, I jumped at the chance of being part of the Jeep family that would deliver the truck.

Our small group of Jeeps met in Troutdale and convoyed out to Hood River where we finally met up with others and the Hood River Police Department.  Aaron is a retired Hood River Police Officer that ended his career early to stay home and assist his son, Thomas who needs special care.

The Jeep convoy from Troutdale to Hood River.

The group “Keeping Disabled Vets Jeepin and Free” works on and provides Jeep vehicles to vets and those needing a little Jeep love to keep them offroading and to allow them respite from their day to day.

They do wonderful things.

With a full police escort, our group snaked through Hood River, and ended up 11 miles out at the Jubitz family home.

There, the family was surprised with their fully restored Jeep J20.

After some walkthroughs of the Jeep, and some words shared by most, it was time for the maiden voyage as Aaron drove his wife off in their new Jeep.

Below is a video from the day I put together:

The thought I walked away from is how there are so many people around us doing beautiful things, and we don’t even know it.

If you can, please make a contribution to the program by contacting the group on their Facebook page.

Product Review: Rampage Products’ Jerry Can Toolbox

It is critical that on trail runs you bring ample tools with you.

On our recent trip to Moab, a brake caliper bolt somehow wiggled free, causing my caliper to slide down and grind along the inside of the rim.

Luckily I had my tools with me, and I fixed it in about 10 minutes.

But having a huge, noisy toolbox in the back of the Jeep also leaves a lot to be desired.  So what is the best storage option for tools on the trail?

Is it a gas can or a tool box!?

I believe it is the Rampage Jerry Can tool box.

Continue reading Product Review: Rampage Products’ Jerry Can Toolbox

Restaurant Review: Wayward Vegan Cafe [Seattle]

Lunch one day at A.N.D. in Portland and Dinner at Wayward in Seattle!?  It’s a vegan race up I-5 in this week’s restaurant review double header!

This was my second visit to Wayward Vegan Cafe, located in Seattle’s vegan mecca of University Way.

When you first pull up, the outside leaves a little to be desired, looking pretty run down and sandwiched between a couple of sketchy bars.  And, honestly the inside, while clean, is not much better.

But, once you are over the austere decor, you are in for some truly delicious vegan chow!

Wayward Vegan offers more healthy choices, but each time I go, I find myself opting for a more “junk” food experience.  It is also really cool that you can order breakfast or lunch all day.

The first time I visited, I ordered the “Mac Daddy” which is essentially a vegan Big Mac.  Their menu describes it as “Two no beef patties, reuben sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”  It was pretty awesome to eat something so vegan and so bad for you.

The Mac Daddy

I also ordered the peach cobbler which quite honestly was not really that good.  The nuclear fuel rod temperature it came out at might have had something to do with it, as it was waaaay over warmed.  After letting it cool for a long time, I had a couple of bites and left the rest for the compost.

The super hot peach cobbler.

On my second visit I was starving.  I had just raced the clock, trying to make it by 9:00PM (closing time).  I asked the person taking my order what their most popular thing was, and ordered it.  I waited in eagerness while my food was delivered.

It was a beautiful vegan club sammy!

This puppy was huge.  Full of tempeh bacon, ham and turkey, on buttered bread, it was also really filling and probably not that good for me.

The Vegan Club Sandwich

The Club was pretty good.  The tempeh was not very bacony (which may or may not be a good thing for some) and I found it overall just lacking some flavor.  It was still yummy, but surprisingly missing something.

For dessert I ordered the Oreo Cheesecake and it was really good.  Not as firm as some of the better cheesecakes I have had, but still tasty and fresh.

Oreo Cheesecake!!

The Wayward Vegan  Cafe is a good place to stop for some really “good” junk food.  I will most likely check it out once a year or so on my visits to Seattle, but not more than that.


Restaurant Review: A.N.D. Cafe [Portland]

As many people know, brunching in Portland is something of an olympic sport.  It is part of our heritage, much like good espresso, grey Winter days,  and cold craft beer.  And, just like never owning an umbrella, people have come to look at standing in a long line as something that actually defines a true Portlander.  

So, when you can find an amazing vegan brunchery (not a word until just now) with not much of a wait, it is like the heavens have opened up and a thousand angels are singing.

This sign beckons me in my dreams. Is that creepy?

A.N.D. Cafe rarely has a long line of hungry souls, but that is not due to the food, atmosphere, or service.  I tend to think it is due to being “farther out” on Burnside than most fixie riders are willing to go.

Let them have the Screen Doors and Tin Sheds of the World.  We’ll fill up the Jeep and barrel her down Burnside for some of the best vegan food Portland has to offer.

A.N.D. Cafe is, by default vegan.  However, upon request, vegetarians and omnis can elect to have eggs and dairy cheese subbed.

Let’s talk food.

I cannot recommend enough, anything with their walnut meat loaf. My personal fav is the Meatloaf Benedict, but the sammy is great also.  On their menu, the MB is defined as “herb tofu or two poached eggs, walnut meatloaf, hollandaise, toast.”

Meatloaf Benedict

The Florentine waffle is an amazing choice, with chicken (Beyond Meat), gravy, scrambled tofu, hollandaise, and tomatoes.  It also is stuffed with cheese (I’m thinking Daiya) and spinach.

The Waffle Florentine

Just today I tried the Buffalo Blue Hoagie, a buffalo chicken (ala Beyond Meat) sandwich with homemade blue cheese and spinach. The soft, velvety bread makes this easy to eat. It is a top contender for possibly being one of my favorite all-time vegan sandwiches.  And I don’t just throw that around all willy-nilly.

The best vegan sammy in ALL of Portland? The Buffalo Bleu Hoagie.

Melanie ordered their special today, which was a fried tofu cutlet with gravy, kale and cheddar jalapeno corn bread.  She liked it, but made the mistake of trying my chicken sammy first.  Once she had that, the bar was set too high for the tofu cutlet to keep up.

Today’s special: The Lucky Plate

Service is short, brisk, and very pleasant which is really what you want in a place like this.  I don’t have time for clingy waiters and waitresses – get my order right, bring me my food, check on me from time to time, and let me free up that table for the next hungry group.

The people at A.N.D. Cafe are always great.

Let’s talk about the BAD parts of A.N.D. Cafe:


(there are none)

In conclusion,  this place is a pillar of the vegan scene in PDX and should never be missed.  If you are a vegan in town and have not been here yet, GO THERE.  Make it a regular stop.  If you have out of town guests, take them here and blow their minds.