Months ago I was watching an Instagram story that featured Virtuous Pie in Vancouver BC. I was seriously salivating over all the pizzas that were featured and then at the end the person made mention that they would be opening a location in Portland OR. Well months went by and I just completely forgot all about it until we happened upon the Portland location when we tried The Baker’s Mark a sandwich shop just next door at SE Division and 12th. Since that day I have been anxiously waiting for Virtuous Pie PDX to open and that day has finally come! This week they had a soft opening and tomorrow June 10th they will have their grand opening starting at 8am with coffee and pastries from Shoofly Bakery.
Tonight we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stop by and try out a few pizzas and ice creams. I should note that everything is 100% plant-based.The 100% plant-based pizzas combine unique flavor pairings using three-day dough and house-made nut cheeses, including cashew mozzarella, almond ricotta, and non-GMO tofu feta. The full menu can be found here. If you are gluten-free you’ll be in heaven because most of their pies can be made gluten free and they even have gluten-free waffle cones for their ice cream.
We struggled to narrow down which pizzas to order for our first visit but initially settled on the Meatball & Chevre and the Stranger Wings. To go with the pizza Neil chose one of the local beer offerings and while I wish I could have joined him I decided to start with water. Now I maybe a total geek but I was so excited to see that they had both still and sparkling water for you to serve yourself.
We chose a table outside and within a matter of 6-8 minutes our pizzas were ready and after getting my Instagram shots we dived in and those pizzas were gone in about the same amount of time it took us to wait for them. At first bite we were a bit underwhelmed with the Stranger Wings but the second slice completely changed both our minds and we were sold. It had a bit of spice (although could maybe have used a touch more for my personal taste) and the blue cheese sauce was seriously amazing. If you are from Maritime Canada I would closely relate the blue cheese sauce here to donair sauce. Neil couldn’t get over how close he thought it tasted and we are considering buying up a few sides to have with homemade vegan garlic fingers (again a Maritime thing).
Our second pizza was the Meatball & Chevre that came out with a vegan parm that not only looked like freshly grated parm but SMELLED like parm as well. This pizza was packed with so much flavor and we instantly fell in love. The meatballs were so flavourful and lemon herb chevre was like nothing I’ve ever had. Seriously amazing.
Once we finished these two pizzas we opted to go for a third for one out of pure curiosity and also because neither of us had really eaten much all day. We narrowed it down to three options and ultimately went with the Kim-Jack a Korean inspired pizza. I have to say this wasn’t the one I would have chosen just based on the description alone because while I love Korean flavors I’m not big into jackfruit but it was suggested so I agreed. The pizza came out and it was love at first bite. The jackfruit on this pizza was incredible and combined with the cashew mozza it was even more incredible and ended up being both Neil and my favorite of the three pizzas.
We ate most of the Kim-Jack before deciding to pack up the remainder to go and switching gears to something a bit sweeter. Since we really wanted to full experience we decided to go with an ice cream flight. I left the flavor choices up to Neil and he chose the Double Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Coffee & Donuts and Lavender & Meyer Lemon. All of these ice creams had really great flavor and out of the three my favorite was the Lavender & Meyer Lemon. Next time I’d love to try the Turmeric & Black Pepper and the Marionberry Cheesecake.
The Verdict? If you live in Portland (or Vancouver BC) you need to drop everything and head to Virtuous Pie. One of the best food experiences I have had in awhile and I already have plans go back tomorrow morning for a mug of Heart Coffee and Shoofly Pastries and again next week for a mamas night out so I can try another pizza and more ice cream (assuming this baby doesn’t come first).
Have you tried Virtuous Pie? Which is your favorite pie and/or ice cream?
Many years go when I was a student living in Boston I would go to California Pizza Kitchen on a semi-regular basis. Back in those days I was vegetarian so eating at CPK was super easy for me. Back in those days my go-to menu items were the Tuscan Hummus, Margherita Pizza and Chinese Chicken Salad (obviously hold the chicken).
Once I moved out of Boston I don’t think I visited a CPK again until this Fall when I was kindly invited to visit the Bridgeport Village CPK. One of the reasons that I never visited again was because my diet changed from vegetarian to plant-based and I had it in my head that there just weren’t enough options but I was oh so WRONG. The team at the Bridgeport CPK was super nice and they hooked us up with so many amazing plant-based options so let’s get started.
If that wasn’t enough food we also got two different salads – the Roasted Veggie and the Thai Crunch with Avocado (no chicken). I will put a disclaimer here that we eat honey and both of the dressings for these salads contain honey. If you do not partake in honey most of the salads can be made vegan by taking off the dairy and meat and they can do an oil and vinegar for salad dressing.
As for these salads I was really into the roasted veggie salad and Neil was all about the Thai crunch. The roasted veggies were just so delicious and exactly what I was in the mood for at the time. The Thai crunch had amazing flavor, a nice crunchy topping and the avocado was the perfect addition.
We were stuffed at this point but we powered through and tried a few bites of the Asparagus & Spinach pasta. Now this pasta was probably my least favorite dish because without the salty parm that normally would be on it it was lacking a bit of flavor. I would personally recommend asking for a few lemon wedges to squeeze over the pasta to brighten it up and give it just a bit more flavor and then it would be practically perfect.
We also tried a few bites of the California Veggie pizza (no cheese) before packing it up and finishing it off the next day at home. This pizza was really delicious. I loved the crust and the veggies were super fresh. A great option.
Before I wrap this up let’s not forget about the kids! At this point the kids were feeling pretty full as well but Edith was thrilled when her fusilli with tomato sauce came out and she ate about half of this huge portion. CPK can also do a simple fusilli with olive oil for kids as well if you little one isn’t into tomato sauce.
Overall we had a great dining experience, we really enjoyed the food and we will be back. Again we would like to thank the Bridgeport CPK for having us in and we are already making plans go come back for more of that Tuscan Hummus.
*Disclaimer: CPK invited us in to dine on them. As always all opinions are my own.
Disclaimer: Sharky’s provided me with a voucher to try their new location. I was not compensated for this post and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
When it comes to eating out I tend to stick to local spots in Portland. I love to support local businesses, the ability to know where my food is coming from and unless we are traveling I don’t spend a ton of time in the ‘burbs. However there is the occasional time I cross the river and head out of Portland and when I do I need a go to spot to eat.
I feel like I have been searching for places that not only have great plant-based options but also quality of food and finally I have another great spot to add to my list – Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. Sharky’s does their best to source organic, natural and local ingredients and they have so many plant-based options!
Before heading in to give them a try I did a little research regarding plant-based options and they actually do a pretty great job of labeling items on their menu. I also found that The Veganista Foodie had put together a pretty great cheat sheet as well – which I of course used.
We started out with chips and guacamole and of course took advantage of the salsa bar and tired just about every salsa available. I could have eaten a bowl of the guacamole and those chips – so good! While we waited for our meals the kids also munched on their mini churros which were okay but a bit too crunchy for their liking.
For meals the kids shared a kid’s bowl with organic tofu, organic brown rice and organic beans and a kid’s power plate with organic tofu, organic brown rice and organic yams. The went nuts for the tofu and while they weren’t so much into the yams Neil and I thought they were fantastic. In order to waste not I took the yams home and added them to a vegan mac and cheese and of course the kids gobbled it up.
As for the adults we shared the organic tofu and veggie burrito and an organic tofu and veggie taco plate. The burrito was massive and we could have easily just shared it because it was so much food. The veggie taco plate was delicious as well; we both loved the tofu and the veggies were cooked perfectly. Overall we were super impressed.
We don’t head to Tualatin very often but I have to say Sharky’s might just have me visiting a bit more often. Our trip also took us to a spot we had never visited before and we ended up visiting a nice New Season’s and discovered the Tualatin ArtWalk. So mini trips to the ‘burbs are proving to be a bit more delightful.
What are your favorite restaurants in the ‘burbs? Have you ever been to Sharky’s? If yes, any favorites?
Pickles, kombucha, kraut, kimchi, miso….fermented goodies. All the amazing goodies we got to taste at the Oregon Fermentation Festival this past weekend.
Our house is one that is constantly stocked with delicious krauts and kombuchas and we often have something fermenting (some more successful than others). What can I saw we love fermented foods so when we found out about the Oregon Fermentation Festival we marked our calendars and purchased our tickets and prepared for an afternoon of funky foods.
We sampled some of our favorites like Kevita, Health-ade and OlyKraut. We also tried some new (to us) places such as Rawkstar Creations which not only has really great kombucha but an AAAAAMAZING raw BLT.
Overall we loved the festival and the kids couldn’t get enough kombucha so of course we ended up going home with a box of different varieties.
So fermented foods and beverages- love or hate? What are you favorites?
So you have only six hours to spend in Portland, what would you do? I mean there is so much to do it can incredibly overwhelming. So here I am narrowing things down for you and giving you a few great spots to eat, play and soak up Portland.
9am – Kure
77 SE Yamhil St (or your favorite location – they [currently] have five)
Kure is easily one of our favorite spots in Portland. They have an amazing variety of healthy vegan and raw options that taste amazing. We recommend the Bowl of The Gods (acai bowl), Little Wing (smoothie), Liquid Sunshine (juice) and the Kure Bar (snack). Also take advantage of their awesome grab-and-go section.
9:45am – OMSI
1945 SE Water Ave
Just around the corner from Kure is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and one of our favorite spots to explore and play. Now you might be thinking isn’t OMSI just for kids? NO! There is so much to see, do and learn that it is fun for all ages. Currently there is a space exhibit which is a must see IMO. If space isn’t your thing don’t worry there are plenty of other things to see and there is always an IMAX show.
When you are done at OMSI head out the side door and you’ll find yourself over looking the Willamette River. Here you can go for a stroll and take in the Portland skyline. So stop, look and take a photo or two.
Now that you have played it is time to feast so we are hopping across the river for some hearty vegan BBQ or if you are looking to go a bit more refined a cheese plate at Vtopia – or go crazy and get both! Homegrown Smoker started off as a food cart here in Portland a few years ago and they now have brick and mortar spot that is serving up their delicious fare. If BBQ isn’t your thing then head next door to Vtopia where you will find some amazing cashew based cheeses and cheesy foods.
1:15pm – Wunderland
3451 SE Belmont St
Save your nickels and head to Wunderland for hours of fun at the nickel arcade. This is one of our favorite spots in town because it is fun and cheap. Again you might be thinking isn’t this a “kids” spot and while you will find yourself sharing the space with children there is more than enough fun to be had. This is actually one of Neil and my favorite date night spots; we stop into Stumptown and grab a coffee, then the nickel arcade and end our night at Sweet Hereafter for dinner and drinks – the perfect date night. If you want a little more of an adult spot and a place where adult beverages are served then head a few streets over to QuarterWorld – but warning these games don’t issue tickets so you won’t have an awesome robotic arm or Mickey watch at the end of the day.
So that is how to spend 6 hours in Portland or a few more than that if you want to add in our favorite date night spots.
If you had 6 hours in Portland what would you do?
Neil and I have been trying to get a little more creative with our date nights instead of the same old dinner and drinks. On our most recent date we (finally) visited the Smith Teamaker Southeast Tasting Room. The space is bright with a modern industrial feel – I’m terrible at explaining interiors so just look here.
The tea list is pretty extensive so we decided to go share a tasting flight of four teas of our choice. We had a hard time narrowing down four but eventually we did. We chose a oolong tea, two black teas and an herbal tea.
For the tasting you are presented with a tray of teas, a spoon each, a cup of water to rinse your spoon, a few little cookies and info cards for each tea along with the teas in their un-steeped form. From there it works a lot like a coffee cupping but instead of spitting the tea out after tasting you just drink it all down.
While we peacefully sipped our teas we read through The Teamaker’s Almanac that had been left at our table. It was filled with a variety of little stories about tea, how to taste tea and what do all those numbers really mean on Smith Teamaker teas. It was pretty comical at times as well.
Overall this is has become one of my must visit spots in Portland. Stop in and try the flight if you have time but make sure to bring a friend or you’ll be downing 4 full cups of tea on your own. If you’re in a rush grab one of their cold teas they have on draft. We sampled the chai but were too full of tea to grab one to go but you know where I’ll be next time a chai craving comes on.