Tag Archives: vegan

Restaurant Review: No Bones Beach Club PDX

Trigger warning:  This post contains more superlatives than a Donald Trump speech. 

It is often said in religious circles that “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”  The vegan scene has had a few doors closing as of late, with Portland staples like Portobello shutting their doors.   But, the vegan heavens soon burst open a giant window upon us all. And it is tremendous.

Bigly tremendous.

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We weren’t sure that they were even open, and after some internet sleuthing we decided to just drive by.  We saw the glowing OPEN sign, high-fived, and parked with a quickness.

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Upstairs decor.
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Downstairs is really colorful.

Walking into the No Bones Beach Club, the decor was a great mix of Waikiki dive bar, and Pier 1 imports.  The bamboo, tiki masks, and surfing elements reassured you this was, in fact, a tiki bar first and vegan joint second.  There was no mention anywhere of it’s vegan roots which I get, and actually appreciate.

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Full service bar.
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Respectable draft list.

The bar was front and center with TVs, a pretty large seating area, and more seating upstairs.  The place is spacious, well designed (I love the colorful sheetmetal wall), and open.  Upstairs they have a small “Tiki Hut” that is available to rent for a small fee and is the only reservable spot.

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The rentable Tiki Hut.

The service was super warm and made us feel comfortable.  Even though we caught them on a soft open, they seemed experienced, knowledgeable, and at home.  They happily accommodated our 18 month old with a cool pineapple sippy cup and a high chair.

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Mojito, water (for the kiddo), and Beach Thyme.

The first choices were on cocktails and I asked our server to just surprise me. She inquired about my love for mojitos and I happily confirmed.  Kristin ordered the Beach Thyme which was a coconut-based tropical drink.  I have never had a mojito in Cuba, but certainly many in various tropical spots (think Hawaii, Singapore, and of course Florida).  I have to put this mojito right up there with one of the best.  The mint was great, the sugar not overpowering, and it was just a great drink.  The Beach Thyme was also really good, albeit a bit different with the coconut milk base.  As far as a winter tropical drink goes, it was perfect.

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Buffalo cauliflower wings.

Next came the appetizers. The Buffalo Cauliflower “wings” (quotes are mine) were absolutely amazing, as was the ranch on the side.  Perfect amount of heat (which for me is minimal), and tremendously fried to crispy perfection.

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Nachos.

The nachos were a great surprise and I have to tell you, some of the best I have had.  The cashew cheese is ridiculous, and the chips themselves seemed almost like won ton wrappers…in strips.  Hard to describe, but amazing to stuff in your face.  Some may appreciate the fresh jalapenos, but this New England-born kid kept them on a side plate, lest they drop a seed somewhere unexpectedly.

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Eggplant fries.

The last app we sampled were the  Eggplant Fries.  Like a bad vegan, I hate eggplant but the fry I did have was perfectly fried and had a great flavor (as did the side of poblano ranch).  These all came home for later.

I was so overcome with the immature excitement of a new vegan establishment of this caliber, I forgot to consider the menu for my actual lunch.  No, we had not yet ordered lunch.  Yes, I was being an absolute fat ass.  Anyway, continuing.

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Crab cake benny.

Kristin ordered the Crab Cake Benedict, with crab cake made of parsnips – f’ing PARSNIPS!  I popped on the Mango and Blueberry stuffed French Toast (I know this is a shocker, but I held the jalapeno syrup and went with good ol’ fashioned maple syrup).

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French Toast.

I know some may think I am being over the top here, but I honestly mean this.  Like to the core of my being.  This was, hands down, the absolute best french toast I have ever had in my entire life.  Period.  It was absolute perfection.  I’d write about the fluffy bread, the delicious fruit, and all the other stuff, but I am just going to leave it at that.  It was just that good.  Period.  Done.

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French Toast with fruit stuffing.

The crab cake Benedict came out and was presented beautifully.  The garnishes, color, and overall design of this plate was impressive.  When I was able to finally taste it (I admit I was a little leery of parsnip-based crab), it literally blew me away. As far as a savory dish is concerned it was awesome.  I think the word “stupid” came out my mouth. It was that good.  I actually ran out of positive words and ended up repurposing negative words.   It was like infinity had wrapped back on itself.  The food was stupid good.

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Non-profit of the month.

I also think it’s awesome they choose smaller non-profits and feature one each month, sharing a percentage of sales with that organization.

So in conclusion….

So I need to say something here after our experience today.  When I think about the cool decor, the awesome service, and the stupid food….No Bones beach Club is THE best vegan food right now in Portland.  And I don’t just make claims like that.  It really is.  Absolutely without a doubt.

You need to go there right now.  Order some amazing drinks, toss back some buffalo cauli, and just soak up the awesomeness of the place.

It’s tremendous.  No bones about it.

Find No Bones Beach Club PDX at 3928 N Mississppi, Portland, OR 97227

Restaurant Review: FoMu Ice Cream [Boston]

When you think of a cold, New England city like Boston, the image of ice cream probably isn’t the first thing in your mind.  When you realize it is a 100% vegan ice cream shop, it seems even further from reality.  But I am not complaining!  FoMu ice cream is an amazing little shop with multiple locations around Boston.

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FoMu is located in the little vegan paradise of Allston, right at the craziness that is Union Square. Many vegan establishments have come and gone here, so I am happy to see FoMu sticking around for a while.

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The Case for Open Veganism

I remember when I lived in Alaska and was a meat eater.  The whole concept of “veganism” was an odd one – a stereotype of skinny, pasty, punk kids sitting in a drum circle eating lettuce and gravel.  They were angry at the world,and irrational. I never took the time to meet or understand vegans, so my irrational vice held.  That is of course, until I gave away all the meat and fish in my freezer and became an Alaskan vegan myself.

I soon realized the error of my ways.

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Product Review: The Beyond Burger and the Vegan Uncanny Valley

Well, it finally happened.  I was able to sink my teeth into the newest, and possibly most anticipated vegan food item in a long time. Beyond Meat has been releasing their new product, the Beyond Burger in limited Whole Foods stores across the country (yet to be found in the PNW, sadly).

But Veggie Grill worked out a special deal with Beyond Meat and have included it in their new Winter Menu.  We made a bee line for the closest VG (downtown Portland) and raced in from the car.

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First things first, the second I walked into the place it smelled different.  Veggie Grill never really had a “smell” (Like Subway, Burger King, or Abercrombie).  But now, they did.  It literally smelled like a Burger King in there.  I wasn’t, and am still not, sure it is a good thing.

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Restaurant Review: Vtopia [Portland]

I have never liked cheese.  Only as a slice on a cheeseburger, or on a plain pizza.  All the fancy cheeses just grossed me out.  The thought of moldy, fermented cow milk was never anything I really wanted to try.

But now, as a vegan, I am really excited to try out all these new cheeses!  They are not gross at all, and, ironically I’m learning all about different cheese now that I am vegan.

What does all this have to do with Vtopia? Well, for starters, it is Portland’s first all vegan cheese shop.  For seconders (is that a thing?) they have an incredible deli that let’s you try all their cheeses in their glory.

Kristin and I pointed the Jeep at Vtopia, and headed to NW Portland for some lunch.

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Highline [Seattle]

One of my favorite things when traveling for work is to hit up the ol’ Happy Cow app and see where fate and GPS lead me.  Tonight they both conspired to land me in Capitol Hill in Seattle, off bustling Broadway, and to the steps of Highline Bar.

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Restaurant Review: Lovin’ Spoonfuls [Tucson]

On a recent trip to Arizona, I checked out the Happy Cow app to help me find some local vegan restaurants and was stoked to see a place called Lovin’ Spoonfuls.  After reading a few reviews I decided to head over and check it out.

The location is simple, but nice, nestled into a strip mall off Campbell Avenue.  Parking was simple, and I found a spot right in front.  They have a nice covered outdoor seating area and on this cool evening, I decided to eat out front.

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Once inside, there is a really nice seating area with a dessert case, small retail section, and some information on animal rights and activism.

Continue reading Restaurant Review: Lovin’ Spoonfuls [Tucson]

Product Review: Silk Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative

While roaming around our local grocery store, something caught my eye – a few Silk brand yogurts in the refrigerated case.

I have never been a huge yogurt fan, but I thought I’d give these a try.

So tonight we cracked them open and gave them a go.

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Restaurant Review: Vegan Pizza [California]

One of my favorite parts of traveling is finding new vegan places to eat.  Last night I arrived in Anaheim, California and resigned myself to a dinner at the local Taco Bell.  But I figured I should check the Happy Cow app, and sure enough, it delivered in spades!

I found a 100% vegan pizzeria about a mile from my hotel called Vegan Pizza.

I opted for the walk, to check out the place but was pleasantly surprised they also delivered.

I walked up to the little shop in the middle of a nondescript Socal strip mall.

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Vegan in Bend, Oregon

Bend is one of my favorite cities to visit.  It has the high desert weather, some amazing wilderness, amazing beers, and a pretty decent vegan scene to boot.  Also, Cline Butte OHV area has some nice options for wheeling.  Only thing is, you need to know where to go.

Hopefully this guide will help for your next trip.

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