Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Thai Bistro

My friend and I made plan to go to Pho Van, and it was closed on Monday. Both of us were super pissed. Its lunch time, I've got 1 hour for lunch break from work. What to do!? We walked by My Thai Bistro, only a block away. The restaurant is small, maybe just enough to seat 20 people. The atmosphere is sophiscated with a lot of vintage indochina decorative arts and sculptures. We got a pot of hot green tea. The lunch specials range from $5-$9 (vegetarian - seafood). The dinner menu looks more expensive, ranging from $8-$12, and they have a special deep fried section... hm... I wasn't sure if that's healthy. Maybe its fine but naming a part of your menu "deep fried", isn't very eye pleasing.
For lunch special they start off with a serving of soup. I got the coconut soup, sweet and savory. So I got the pumpkin yellow tofu curry, super tasty! Maybe I was really hungry, but it was good. I loved it. Just enough food to keep me full until end of the day. My coworker got chicken pad thai. He said its really good, not too sweet and not too spicy. A well balanced savory dish. We'll definitely come back to try for more.

Yellow Pumpkin Curry with Tofu

vegetarian/vegan friendly, thai. Daily 11am-10pm
3500 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97214

Monday, November 17, 2008

Opposable Thumb Gallery + Cafe

Opposable Thumb is more of a cafe than a gallery. The place is split into two sections. One side with more crowded space like a cafe, a wall of blackboard written with the menu. Very very cute. (from the photo above) The other side of the cafe is spaced out with couches and magazines for you to read and chill. A lot of cute hipsters and indie locals come here to use the wifi and enjoying a cup of joe. The smoked tomato soup is really good. Not very sour but a bit spicy. The bread side is really soft and crunchy. The jicama salad is really good. I love it. Soft boiled with salt and vinegar. The cous cous salad is not bad. Definitely a bit too blend. $6 for both salad, $3 for a cup of soup. And its all vegan! Excellent! They also have bagel, pastry, coffee, and gelato!!!! Very nice.

Jicama Salad & Cous Cous Salad

Smoked Tomato Soup

vegan, cafe, gallery, salad. Daily 9am-10pm (11pm on Friday/Saturday)
3312 SE Belmont St. Portland, OR 97214

Number 1 Bento (korean food cart)

Oh Portland, I hope the food cart trend never goes away. I can't believe a Korean food cart just opened over the late summer. It started off as a corn cob bbq food stand, but I guess that didn't go way. So the Korean ladies that run it decided to run a korean bento food cart. Korean cuisine is usually meat based. Such as Kalbi (pork chop), Bugolgi (bbq beef rib), and of course, tofu. Bibimbop is basically a bowl of white rice, bedded with vegetables from spinach, mushroom, bean sprouts, and pickled relish and some tofu (usually served with meat). The lady who runs the cart is also really friendly. Everytime I eat there she always give me a generous serving of soup, or yam noodle salad, and sometimes hot tea. Bibimbop goes for $5.50 The most expensive item on the menu is $6. California rolls go for $4. Not too shabby. I just wish they have more vegetarian and vegan dishes aside from tofu.

PS: Most dishes come with a side of Kimchi.

Vegetarian Bibimbop

Vegan/vegetarian friendly, korean, food cart. Weekly 11am-3pm
SW 10th and SW Alder St. Portland, OR 97205

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Give Pizza A Chance

All pizza is hand made on the spot with home ingredients. As a vegetarian, I love it, half of the menu is vegetarian! And few vegan options. There's a vegan calzone which I heard is very filling and tasty. The vegan eggplant pizza was too sour. I like their goat cheese with spinach pizza, so tasty!!!! The bbq tofu was pretty good too. Though my favourite part is the home made soda. I love and possibly addicted to their cucumber lime soda. It is probably the best soda I've ever had in years. And I don't drink soda, I haven't had coke or sprite since high school. $2 for a drink and $3-3.50 for a slice, not too shabby.
PS: I saw a French mom ordering the pizza with her son, and they were loving the mushroom cheese, it was so cute.

Cucumber Lime Soda

Vegan Eggplant Pizza

Vegan friendly, pizza, food cart. Weekly 11am-3pm
SW 5th St & Stark St. Portland, OR 97202

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mini Vegan Fig Blueberry Walnut Pie (recipe)

I was going through my LA Times news clipping of recipes from last year when I was still a college student, and there are so many recipes that are too good to be forgotten. I saw a recipe for a mix berry mini pie. I wanted to make it vegan, and I had to do something with my ripping figs in the fridge. So I took action. I played around the recipe and finally got it right the third time. Here's to share the discovery.

(makes 5 pies)

  • 2 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup of vegan shortening or Earth Balanced Margarine
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar or cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave nectar
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup of walnut pieces
  • 1/3 cup of blueberry
  • about six to eight riped figs

    In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, mix it quickly. Then add vegan shortening or margarine in the bowl, mix it with the pastry cutter. Cut and mix until the shortening/margarine is brittled into the flour into little pebbles. Add the soy milk and stir until the pastry is soft and forms into a large dough (add more milk if the dough is too dry, if you add too much just add another 1/4 cup of flour). Once the dough is formed into a large sphere shape, wrap it with plastic wrapper and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
    Heat up the oven at 350.F Degrees. Cut the figs into cross pieces. Get another bowl and mix the fruits, nuts, sugar, and syrup/nectar together. Mix it well until it becomes a tart jam. Take the dough out! Spread some flour on a clean platform, scoop a handfull of dough on the table and flatten it your hand or a clean glass bottle. Try to flatten the dough into a flat circular shape (about 0.5cm inch or less thick). Pour 1 tbsp of the jam mixture onto the center of the dough, fold the dough towards the center forming a sun shape, but leaving the jam revealed a bit in the center.
    Spread some canola oil on the baking sheet, lay the pie on top and bake it for about 12-15 minutes. Check every 5 minutes to make sure you don't over bake it. Until the crust is baked golden brown.

    PS: I should've post this earlier, now the fig season is about to be over.
  • Thursday, October 16, 2008

    S'Nice (NYC)

    This is one of my new favourite places to eat lunch in New York City. It is probably the big portion of the food and the cute environment. Who could complain? Maybe the small bathroom. The sesame chicken wrap is so delicious, large, cut in half, side salad, delicious! Really really good sesame sauce. I love it. The buffalo chicken wrap is alright, a bit too spicy, and would've better in a sandwich instead of wrap. The smoked tempeh wrap is clean, fresh, and deliciously stuffed with tomato and sprouts with spicy vegannaise. $8.75 each! CASH ONLY THOUGH. The mango and cider shake is good, what a great idea? apple cider with mango! Yum! And the vegan raspberry bunt cake is really good too. The $4 side of smoked garlic broccoli, really really amazing. I love vegetables! They steamed and baked it to perfection. Soft and crunchy. Their mate latte is probably the best I've ever had, and you get to use as much as agave nectar you want. Sugar high? without the fat.
    The place is setup like a cafe with a lot of wooden crates, tables, brown stone, and a small patio in the back. A lot of cute indie vegan boys work there too, reminds me of portland.
    REMEMBER, cash only. ENJOY!

    Mango Cider Smoothie & Garlic Roasted Broccoli

    Sesame Chicken Wrap

    Spicy Avocado Tempeh Wrap

    Buffalo Chicken Wrap

    Mate Latte

    vegan, sandwich, salad, lunch, cafe. Daily 8am-10pm
    45 8th Ave New York, NY 10014

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Curly's Lunch (NYC)

    I actually met Curly and talked to him. He asked me about the Portland vegan scene too. The waitress was really cute, I think she was being "extra friendly" with me. The food is good! They have the best vegan cake in downtown Manhattan. Get the mango cake or the red velvet cake. I also got their salsa bowl, that was mighty delicious and hearty. My friend got the vegan buffalo chicken sandwich, very spicy and satisfying. Really tasted like chicken, to my memory. The soy meat in the Tostada is so GOOD! The curly fries are just delicious, and you can pick vegan or real cheese. I say.... real cheese, hahaha, fattier. Another friend got the vegan chicken sandwich, now that was probably the best. This is one of my favourite eatery in New York. So good!

    Vegan Tostada

    Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

    Cheese Curly Fries

    Mango Cake

    vegan, Mexican, American, diner.
    328 E 14th St. (between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave) New York, NY 10003

    Tarallucci e Vino (NYC)

    So bring your fancy mom and dad, with their boat shoes and knitted swedish sweater, 'cause you are going to Tarallucci e Vino. This is one of those nice laid back cafe with the Hampton upper class feel. I went there with a friend and we just wanted something to hold us off until dinner. We got the cookie platter $7 with two mini chocolate truffle muffins, two pignoli cookies (which are probably the best we both ever had, it was so soft and chewy and the almond paste just burst in your mouth), and two chocolate covered macaroons. $3 for the expresso, and $4 for the americano. My friend who is a local tried to take a photo of the cookies for her blog... got whispered yelled at by the waiter, "sorry, no photos." Made me laughed but whatever.
    PS: I heard dinner is good here too. But can be pricy.



    vegetarian friendly, dessert, tea, coffee, bar.
    15 E 18th St. New York, NY 10079

    Lan Cafe (NYC)

    Stupid me, I didn't get the vegan pho. Somehow I scanned through the menu and completely forgot the soup/noodle section. My friend and I got the Seitan Lemongrass Vermicelli and the Seitan Ginger Casserole. The vermicelli is bedded with BBQ seitan and layers of bean sprouts and cilantro. Really good! Clean and fresh. $8.75 Though, the Seitan Ginger Casserole comes in a small portion in a clay oven pot and a side of white rice. The casserole sauce is so thick and spicy I had a hard time swallowing it down my stomach. The rice made it easier, but the rice bowl is tiny. It wasn't enough to mix with the sauce. Really tasty ginger sauce though. $9.75 Kinda expensive for the small meal. The place is also very small, run like a mom and pop's place... and I think mom is the chef and pop is the waiter. cute!

    Lemongrass Grilled Soy Beef Vermicelli

    Seitan Casserole

    vegan, Vietnamese.
    342 E 6th Street New York, NY 10003

    Clinton Street Bakery Company (NYC)

    This is a really cute place to eat brunch or lunch. I would say avoid the weekend 3 hour wait, and just get up early and go get breakfast. There's no wait on the weekdays. The bakery is famous for their pancakes, "wild maine blueberry pancakes". I thought they were pretty good, really fluffy, heavy and rich with butter and egg, but I wouldn't say they were amazing. $12 for three slices of pancakes, overpriced. Their biscuits, $2 each with home made rasberry jam, super good. Again, very fluffy, heavy and rich with egg and butter, also served warm. If you are in a hurry I recommend the blueberry muffins. They are so sweet almost tasted like a dessert. I still think the best blueberry pancakes or muffins or scones are from Portland, Oregon. Oregon known for its organic berry farms.
    PS: Bring cash! No plastic.
    Blueberry Muffin

    Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes

    Scrambled Egg with Hash and Biscuit

    Homemade Raspberry Jam

    vegetarian friendly, breakfast/brunch, biscuit.
    4 Clinton St (between Avenue B & Houston St) New York, NY 10002