RESTAURANT REVIEW: Yuan Su Vegetarian [Portland]

When it comes to vegan sin food, look no further than a steaming chinese buffet to quench your carby-starchy-salty cravings.  And, no two Chinese vegan joints are ever created equal.  There are upscale locations and, well, downscale too.  Which was honestly what I expected as we pointed the Jeep to Portland’s “felony flats” to try out a new Chinese place.  And boy was I wrong.

Yuan Su is located in a large building at the corner of 112th and Powell with ample parking.  Once inside the huge wooden doors, the place is well lit, clean, and very spacious.  I was surprised to see a stage there, but figured it was just part of the building’s history.

The service was warm and humble and quickly brought us water, house soup, and discussed the new business.  As we pored over the immense menu (I honestly do not know how they can sustain such a huge menu) we decided on some options.

The menu is pages and pages of this.

As an app, we ordered the fried shrimp.  It was super good! The sauce was perfect and the breading was not over done.  It was a nice precursor to what was to come.

Apologies. We were so hungry and excited we grabbed some before I could take a photo of the fried shrimp!

For our main, Kristin ordered a dinner combo with Sweet n sour Chicken (do I need to really put it in quotes?), Beef n broccoli, and fried rice.

I ordered the same combo, but with beef and cashews, and Sweet n sour chicken with fried rice as well.

The mains were really good with flavor and portions.  I do wish the been and cashews didn’t have a half ton of  celery in the mix (cheap filler?) but it isn’t a show stopper.

We finally received our check and a handful of fortune cookies which I hope are vegan.  According to the server, the entire place is vegan, but everything says “vegetarian.”  I hope this isn’t something lost in translation – I know internationally most veg places are vegan and that only the US makes that distinction.  But I have no reason to NOT believe them.

I really hope this place succeeds and becomes a staple of Portland’s vegan scene.    With the large footprint, questionable location, and specialty nature I really hope they can pull it off.

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