My long weekend in Portland was filled with both amazing lessons learned at World Domination Summit as well as delicious new gluten free (and mostly vegan) food finds around the city. In a matter of four days, I managed to make it to six new to me eateries. However, I had to back to a few of my old favorites which to my delight had lots of new amazing things to offer. New Cascadia Traditional Bakery is now selling the absolute best gluten free bread I've ever had and it's in baguette form. This baguette is based on the Portland Sourdough they've been baking for years - but now it's light, fluffy, and has a fantastic crunch to the crust. It reminds me of that bread crunch scene in Ratatouille. Tula Gluten Free Bakery Cafe is offering their amazing salted chocolate chip cookies in the form of an ice cream sandwich using vanilla Coconut Bliss ice cream (my favorite!). Of course I also returned to Prasad and Andina - where I always feel so well taken care of and eat the most amazing food.
Now that I've covered the old, let's move on to the new!
Any restaurant that boasts an unintended gluten free kitchen is bound to get my attention. I'm a huge fan of eating food that's naturally, historically, or culturally gluten free. So the first chance I had for a meal in Portland, I stopped in to Verde Cocina in the Pearl District. It's simply wonderful to be able to order almost anything on the menu and watch your corn tortillas be handmade without fear of cross contamination. I just loved how the fresh made guacamole was served with hot fresh tortillas rather than chips. For my main dish, I ordered the Roasted Chicken in Adobo and was overjoyed when the seasonal vegetables included kale - my kind of place. Even though for some strange reason I ordered chicken, Verde Cocina has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options identified on their menu as well. Also in the Pearl District, I gave Los Gorditos a try - they offer gluten free, vegan, vegetarian meal options. I put it squarely in the fast and fresh Mexican food category, so it's great and simple if you need just a quick and inexpensive meal.
Towards the end of my long weekend in Portland, I got word via Facebook that the owners of Prasad had just opened a full sized sister restaurant over in the Hawthorne neighborhood. So I made Harlow my very last stop in PDX before heading back to Seattle. The ambiance was amazing, a combination of rustic charm with lots of light and full of comfort. Breakfasts at Prasad were always my favorite, so I ordered my favorite teff toast, a spiced hot chocolate, and a cashew cream fruit and granola parfait. As always, it was all amazing and I wish I could eat there every single day. Their lengthy gluten free menu is filled with vegan, vegetarian, and raw options - all tasty and very healthy. Harlow offers the full juice and beverage menu that Prasad does and even more. Guess I have a new PDX favorite now.
At the corner of SW Alder and SW 12th shops filled with local goods, crafts, and custom dress makers circle around an amazing gluten free and vegan bakery cafe. Hands down, Petunia's Pies & Pastries, is the best I've been to yet. Offering a wide selection of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, bars, savory foods, cocktails, and a full ice cream sundae bar - it just doesn't get much better than that. My tummy was a bit unhappy (you'll find out why later in the post), so I kept my selections limited to a cookie sandwich with guava filling (OMG, amazing and one of my all time favorite flavors) and a plain vanilla cupcake. Again, hands down the best gluten free and vegan treats I've ever had. What I'm really dying to get back to try though is the ice cream sundae bar - they use my favorite non-dairy ice cream, Coconut Bliss, and offer oodles of toppings including cookie dough and caramel sauce!
On the hunt for some healthy food, I ran across Kure Juice Bar smack in the middle of downtown Portland. For juice fiends like me, Kure offers a big menu of options along with lots of to-go gluten free and vegan food options.
Kyra's Bake Shop is just south of Portland in Lake Oswego and it's been on my list to try for a few years now. On this visit, I still didn't make it down and upon tweeting withKyra discovered she was also attending WDS! We made plans to connect on the last morning of the Summit and she was kind enough to bring a whole box of treats to share! I got to try two of her dairy free items, a cupcake with a marshmallow topping (mmmm) and a bar with the most delicious chocolate crust I've ever tasted. I should also mention that Kyra is absolutely lovely in person and had so many great recommendations for gluten free eating around Portland.
Gluten Free (& Mostly Vegan) Friendly New Finds In & Around Portland:
View GFT's Gluten Free Oregon Map in a larger map
There was a seventh new spot I tried, a spot that I've heard lots of folks rave about. One night, I drove out to the adorable neighborhood of Sellwood to try Jade Bistro. With all the gluten free options on the menu I struggled to pick the best of the best dishes to enjoy. Perhaps it was an off night, but the bistro itself was not so clean and the staff were not exactly attentive. Had I not heard so many amazing reviews - I probably would have left. But I stuck it out in my corner booth where the table was dirty, there was trash underneath, and a garbagy smell wafted in the air. When I left the bistro - I had some intense stomach pains going on and later I knew I had been glutened. That was Saturday night, because of that experience I had to miss half of Sunday's events, my ambassador duties, and an epic dance party in downtown Portland that sounded right up my alley. So I'm not including Jade Bistro on my list of recommendations.