I’m sitting at Dovetail Bakery (3039 NE Alberta St.) after taking in some of the cute little shops on Alberta St, nibbling at a vanilla bean and raspberry jam scone (after already eating a bartlet pear and black current scone.) Scones people. Scones are amazing. Plus today (August 26th, 2011) they’re donating 20% of the profits to Sisters of the Road, in support of the organization’s work towards community driven and nonviolent solutions to homelessness and poverty as part of the Dining with Dignity event happening at various businesses in August. It’s such a cute little space, with four tables and a street facing counter top offering additional seating, bright windows and baking related decorations.
In case you didn’t know, this weekend is Vida Vegan Con, the first (and best) vegan blogging conference ever (ok I’m biased.) so while I like Portland, that’s the real reason behind the visit. Unlike most people, I opted to take the greyhound bus here, from Buffalo (after driving down from Toronto). I don’t even know where to start in recapping that journey (so it’ll have to wait). After a year or so of excitement, the event is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. The weather is atypically and relentlessly sunny, so I’m a bit disappointed that I’m not getting the full PDX experience… but I’m hoping that maybe later this weekend I’ll get my rain.
Yesterday’s early morning arrival left me hunting for vegan breakfast options, and after getting a coffee fix at the only cafe open before 6am (from a large Seattle based chain) I found a perfect place. Open 24hours, Voodoo Donuts (22 Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR), has a ridiculous variety of vegan and non vegan options (and even has coffee.) I think I’ve tried most of their vegan friendly donuts, but I’m always drawn to the maple. Oh maple donut, you can do no wrong.
After meeting up with the wonderful person that’s letting me stay in her home for the weekend, I went off to meet a group of fellow bloggers for lunch at Hungry Tiger Too (207 SE 12the Ave, Portland, OR.) It was such a pleasant surprise when so many folks showed up, even a fellow Torontonian! Portland spoils me almost every time, with good food and great people.
I ordered a basket of spicy Tofuffalo, (but just FYI… you can totally order it half and half spicy and bbq… do it!), they’re pieces of chewy, deep fried tofu dripping with whatever sauce you choose and come a a dish of creamy vegan ranch sauce for dipping. A little messy, but so delicious. Part of the excitement of heading over to Hungry Tiger Too, was it’s close proximity to my favourite strip mall in the world on Stark street. Home of Sweetpea Bakery, Herbivore, Food Fight, and Scapegoat Tattoo. ( I had to visit at least once, while I had the chance.)
I picked up an oatmeal, peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from Sweetpea Bakery (1205 SE Stark St, Portland, OR), and went over to Food Fight to pick up all the personal care products I forgot to pack with me (or lost on the road). Sigh. Then I proceeded to get lost for a couple hours before another well attended Vida Vegan Con related event, the Meet and Greet at Vendetta (4306 N Williams St, Portland, OR) a vegan friendly bar with a giant back patio space.
More awesome people, more sun shine and copious amounts of RC cola, the long busy day was finally getting to me. But it wasn’t over yet! My host and I met up with a few non VidaVeganCon people at Hungry Tiger Too (I liked it so much I went back) and got a basket of half and half spicy and BBQ Tofuffalo. After 7pm on Thursdays the Tofuffalo turns into a crazy bargain at 49 cents per piece. BBQ is now a hands down definite favourite.
Soon, it’ll be time for early registration (name badges!!!), and shortly thereafter the VegNews reception, (complete with sweet treats, cider and wine.) I can’t wait!