Saturday, September 27, 2008

Moxie RX

After my previous two harsh reviews I think its safer for me to rate a brunch place. Now, Moxie RX, possibly the cutest food cart I've ever eaten at in the entire world. Hm... I might have said that about every other food cart in Portland. Moxie RX is in a super cute chromed trailer, surrounded by beautiful garden flowers and vegetation. Plenty of patio sitting for the nice outdoor. The two ladies who runs the cart are also super nice. They keep apologizing to me as they continue to tell me "we are out of that, and out of this..." I was sad but happy with Green and Egg. Its a medium bowl of salad with an egg (usually with lox hidden under it). Sprinkled with crystal salt, spices, grilled lemongrass, and mushroom. YUM!!!!!! The egg is fried, and I love how the york is spread all over the salad. Their juices are also very very good. Any of them is good! I won't be bias. I also recommend getting their little cookies and pastry goods. The only thing I remember is the Italian pine nut cookie. CRAZY GOOD! I haven't had such delicious pine nut cookie since Little Italy in Manhattan.
Their hours are really weird, so I would check them out in the morning. They did mention that they reduce their hour to weekends only once winter kicks in.

Green and Egg


B
$
vegetarian friendly, food cart, juice bar, salad.
N Mississippi Ave at N Shaver St. Portland, OR 97253
www.moxierx.com

Caffe Mingo

I live in the area and I never find the interest to eat at Caffe Mingo. It just looks like a typical tourist playground. Though the new bar they opened up next door called Bar Mingo seems to have more potential. So I went here only 'cause a friend just moved into town, and she really likes Italian food. We already went to Justa Pasta, and I didn't want to drive (and she doesn't bike). Serrato is too expensive and Caffe Mingo is our next option. The menu is really extensive, from risotto to rigatoni, all sort of Italian dishes you can think of. I think they also had personal pizza. The salad seems to be interesting. The waiter brings a plate of bread with olive oil and olive. Great! So far so good. I told him I'm vegetarian and he instantly recommended the side entree noodle plate, which all range from $8-10. I asked if I can add vegetables, he said of course, some cherry tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, mushroom, and cheese. The noodle was okay, the portion is fair, steamy hot vegetables. A bit way too greasy for my taste bud. Guess how much it is? $18! It was $8 to get vegetables add on. I think it might have been $5 to add chicken. When did vegetables become more expensive than meat? My friend who was munching down a meat dish seems to like it a lot more than I did like the place. I guess Caffe Mingo is not a place for vegan or vegetarian.

Linguini Noodle with Vegetables


C-
$$
vegetarian option, Italian. Daily 5pm-10pm
807 NW 21st Ave. Portland, OR 97209
www.caffemingonw.com

Red and Black Cafe

I always get confused by calling it Black and Red. The cafe is located right around the corner of the "mini-vegan" mall on SE 12th and SE Stark. It is in a large red house, with few patio sittings outside. Recently the owner planted vegetation on the sidewalk. I hope they don't serve the salad from that garden since there are constant coming traffic. Hm.... dust in my salad. Anyways, two things I had and always get is the Dragon Salad and the Dragon Noodle, both on the price range of $6-7. Which is cheap for enormous amount of food! I always share the noodle dish with a friend, the salad is probably bigger. Since I couldn't even finish half of it. The noodle bowl is simple yellow udon noodle with sesame oil, cilantro, peanut, peanut sauce, and some broccoli and tofu. Very simple and straight forward. A bit spicy. I wouldn't say its fantastic, it fills the stomach. The Dragon Salad is served on a giant plate, spread with cooked brown rice, greens, minced peanut, and olive oil/vinegar dressing. The dressing is very very thin, could use more! It tasted blend and boring. I keep stealing my boyfriend's peanut sauce from his noodle bowl to mix in with the salad. The people who works there are really nice and friendly. The cafe also serves up coffee and chai. I wish they have a juicer or smoothie or something!

Dragon Salad


Dragon Noodle


C
$
vegan/vegetarian, cafe, deli. Daily 8am-11pm
400 SE 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97214
www.redandblackcafe.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Helser's on Alberta

Helser's is a great example of fancy Portland brunch eating. Of course, a place like this good the line is super long. I would try to make it there at 9am before everyone else shows up. A even better news is that Helser's has the early bird special from 7am-9am, where everything is $4.50, about half price off from the regular menu. So! Helser's is famous for its homemade crumpets, options like Cheddar, blueberry, butter, ...etc. whatever is in season and in stock! You can take a pack home and make your own breakfast meal. Or else, stay at Helser's and have a delicious Egg Benedict, which is stacked with spinach, mushroom, egg, and Holliander sauce. Now, let me warn you, the dish comes with TWO of the wonder crumpet egg stack and a side of hashbrown. A lot for $8.25! The Crumpet Egg Sandwich is smaller, and my boyfriend had to exchange the bacon for vege sausage patty. Which the waitress happily made that change for him. Oh yeah, since Fig is in season so we got a bunch of them as a side. The side fruit is always available depend on what's locally in season. Like I said, this place is really popular so I would try to get there before 9am, the wait is about 20 minutes on the weekend. During the weekday it is not that busy.

Egg Benedict


Crumpet and Egg Sandwich


B+
$$
vegetarian option, breakfast/brunch, crumpet. Daily 7am-3pm
1538 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR 97211
www.helsersonalberta.com

Flavour Spot


So Flavor Spot is probably one of the best cheap brunch destination in Portland. Its a simple waffle food cart. $4-5 can get you a waffle with some sort of fantastic filling. The sweet fillings are like Nutella, banana, peanut butter, whip cream, lemon curd, maple butter, strawberry, jam, ...etc. The savory fillings are bacon, sausages, vegetarian and vegan sausages. SO GOOD! My favourite would be the vegan sausage with maple butter wrapped with a tasty vegan waffle, that's about $5.50 The waffle spot also serve coffee, water, juice, ...etc. So just sit back on the patio and enjoy your breakfast.

PS: Even though the line can be long, but it is really fast service.
PSS: There are two spots in North Portland.

Vegan Sausage and Maple Butter


B
$
vegan friendly, waffles, breakfast, weekday 7am-3pm, weekend 8am-3pm
NE Fremont St & N Mississippi Ave
or 2310 N Lombard St. Portland, OR.
www.flavourspot.com

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Van Hanh

What do you get when you have a group of Buddhist nuns that can cook? A really really tasty cheap vegan restaurant. Everything here is very authentic peasant food. You will not find your typical Pho dish here. My friend who is Vietnamese, he claims that everything is very authentic, so are the dishes. The egg rolls are delicious. Its fried and filled with tofu, vermicelli, mushrooms, and vegetables. So delicious! $2.99 for four spring rolls. WOW! CHEAP! Moving on to the entrees. I highly recommend the bird nest chow mein with soy proteins and bok choy. YUM! I just love crispy noodles. Pretty much anything you get here is gonna be good. Everything is either vegetarian or vegan, just don't get anything that says "egg". My personal favourite is the fish tofu. Shredded tofu wrapped with seaweed, deep fried, how great is that??? The only downside I have with this place is the environment and the service. The nuns who are the cook and the waitress, are either neutral or unfriendly. They hardly ever smile at all or at anyone. The environment of the restaurant is in a house and smells really stale. If its a nice day I would sit outside and eat at the patio, facing the on coming traffic near the highway... not nice at all.

Vegan Fish Noodle Soup


Vegan Fish Tofu


B+
$
Vegan and vegetarian, Vietnamese, 11am-9pm
8446 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97255
www.vanhanhrestaurant.com

Julia's Russian Food Cart

Okay, everyone, Russian food, very meaty and tasty. But every once in a while Julia, who runs the fantastic Russian food cart, she cooks up some tasty vegetarian treat. The one thing she has always available is the Potato Pirogi. Its flour wrapped potato, cheese, and butter. Aside from the Pirogi she makes the vegetarian cabbage roll every once in a while. Its rice with mushroom and paprika wrapped with cabbage, boiled to perfection with some tomato sauce and sour cream. YUM! It goes really well with some spicy sauce on the side. I just love it. Before I turn vegetarian I love Russian food. I just wish there are more vegan or vegetarian options.

Vegetarian Cabbage Roll


C-
$
vegetarian friendly, Russian, 11am - 2pm
SW 10th and SW Alder St. Portland, OR 97205