PDX Sites & Eats | Brunch at Harvest at The Bindery

We have wanted to go to Harvest at The Bindery since it opened at the beginning of this year.  But,  with our lack of date nights,  we just hadn’t been able to make it there for a date night dinner. I am not sure how long they have been doing brunch but we stumbled upon it by chance on Saturday. We were out and about Saturday late morning and decided that we should go out for brunch. After perusing Yelp, we saw that Harvest at The Bindery had brunch and Neil and I both squealed a little. Finally we were going to have our chance to give it a try without having to worry about getting a sitter. 

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We checked out the brunch menu and instantly wanted to order almost everything on the menu. If I could have justified the cost and had three or four stomachs I just might have. But, nevertheless, we only ordered a few things and they were all delicious. 

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We started off with the biscuit and jam. The biscuit, while a bit dense, was really tasty and the jam was housemade and delicious. Neil and I snagged a few bites but the kids devoured most of it.

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Neil and I also shared one of their spicy dilly bloody marys and it was easily the best bloody mary I have had in Portland. We followed this one up with the spicy smoky one to share as well and while it was good the dilly was so flavorful and refreshing and the pickled veggies were amazing.

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For one of our mains we shared the hazelnut french toast and it was incredible. There is something about french toast that is made with baguette that I just love. The chocolate hazelnut spread tasted better than nutella and that coconut cream on top was amazing.
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On the flip side we also chose one of the savory options, the benedict. For me the true test with a benedict is how good the hollandaise sauce is and in this case it did not disappoint. I was sold just based on that. The kale and the housemade seitan were fantastic. The only thing I didn’t love about the benedict was the butternut squash. I felt like it didn’t add a lot of flavor to the dish and roasted mushrooms or a slice of tomato would have been a better addition. 2015_11_14_HarvestatTheBindery-benny

I didn’t get a photo but we also had one of the herbs hasbrown casserole but compared to everything else it fell flat. It was mushy and bit bland. I wish it had been crispy on the outside but it was essentially a mashed potato patty.

Overall we loved Harvest at The Bindery. I would recommend ordering the french toast, the benny and a spicy bloody mary with the dilly mix. 

Now we just need to get a sitter so we can go on a dinner date there! 

Have you been to Harvest at the Bindery? What did you think? What is your favorite thing to order out for breakfast/brunch?

Native Foods Clackamas Town Center // Plus a Giveaway

Disclaimer: My family was provided with VIP passes for dinner last week. All opinions are my own as always!

Prior to moving out to Portland I had heard about Native Foods but since there are currently none the East Coast (there are however two opening in D.C. soon) we had never been. We were thrilled to first try Native Foods at their Bridgeport location last year but since we don’t make it down to Bridgeport Village very often we haven’t been back. Needless to say I was thrilled to see that they had a new location at the Clackamas Town Center which is close to where we live in SE Portland.

Now the Clackamas Town Center Native Foods doesn’t officially open until May 21st but they have been doing VIP events since last week to give people a sneak peek of their new restaurant and the food. We received VIP passes for last Wednesday night and we were able to sample a variety of items.

Starters:

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Butternut Polenta BitesIMG_7587Saigon Roll

Entrees:

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Twister Wrap with Side SaladIMG_7586

Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with Seasoned FriesIMG_7588Kids Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Drinks:

IMG_7578Lavender Lemonade & Watermelon Fresca

Dessert:

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Thoughts on the Food:

We really liked both of the starters that we ordered and I would definitely get the Saigon Rolls again. I was actually a little surprised I liked them so much but they were really good. As for the entrees neither of us enjoyed the Twister Wrap it was a little boring and by the time I ate my half (we were sharing) mine was super soggy and I ended up eating two bites before removing the “chicken” and eating that on it’s own. The side salad that came with our Twister Wrap was good though!

I really liked the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger despite it not being what I think of when I want a vegan burger.  It isn’t so much of a burger but rather a sliced seitan sandwich, either way I thought it was tasty and I was glad we ordered it because I don’t think I would have had we not been at the VIP event (aka it was free). The side of fries that came with the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger where meh. They were super salty and just not great fries. Edith enjoyed her mac and cheese and Neil and I both had a bite and thought it tasted good.

Lastly dessert and drinks. Neil chose the lavender lemonade which was SO good I made him go get more because while Edith enjoyed her kids size watermelon fresca I just didn’t love it. As for dessert we all loved the Peanut Butter Parfait and some little munchin decided to devour it before we even got more than two bites. We also got a sticky toffee cake that we took home with us and shared after Edith went to bed. It was so good!

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Service:

The service was great! Super friendly, super efficient and helpful!

Overall:

Overall we had a good experience at Native Foods. I have to say we would probably get a meal of lemonade, starters and desserts because those were our overall favorites but there are so many things on the menu to try like the Chicken Run Ranch <–regretting not getting this after hearing other people rave about it. Also umm have you see the colossal nachos? I think we need to try those too!

Giveaway:

Since many of you guys out there don’t have a Native Foods near you they have agreed to send out one of their cookbooks to one lucky reader!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

VT Sites & Eats: Montpelier

When Neil and I first moved (back for me) to Vermont we ended up living in the state capital of Montpelier. While it wasn’t our favorite place to live as newlyweds it has always been one of our favorite Vermont cities. We loved living within walking distance to the downtown shops and restaurants and the co-op. When we saw a deal for one of our favorite Montpelier spots pop up on Localvore Today, a Vermont deal site, we decided to jump at the deal and planned a day trip to Montpelier.

Our first stop in Montpelier was to our Localvore Today deal spot,Three Penny Taproom, one of our favorite spots and totally worth the drive to Montpelier. When we lived in Montpelier Three Penny was just a small taproom with bar seating for about 20 or so people and the fall before we moved it expanded and now has a dining area.

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While I longingly perused the three boards of beer options I of course ended up with a non-alcoholic option- Rookie’s Rootbeer. While not one of my favorite Vermont beers Rookie’s is a Vermont made rootbeer that is just so good and I have enjoyed far to many on this trip.

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To go with my rootbeer I had the falafel with greens which was good. My parents had the burger, a small order of spicy wings and salad and they really enjoyed their food as well. I look forward to returning to Three Penny when I am not pregnant so that I can actually enjoy a Vermont beer. VT-Montpelier-ThreePennyTap-Falafel

After lunch we wondered around Montpelier stopping into our favorite shops which included Zutano where I picked up a few hats for baby #2, Bear Pond Books and Splash Naturals. Of course we had to make a stop at Hunger Mountain Coop to browse and pick up some of our favorite bagels.

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Family bridge photo!

Coming up: Adventures in Burlington and Stowe/Waterbury!

Adventures in Eugene

For the past five years Neil and I have gone on an annual long weekend getaway in January for his birthday. This year we had to postpone our trip since we were in the midst of moving and since we were on opposite sides of the country on Neil’s birthday weekend. Once we finally reunited in our new home we decided that we would take a little weekend trip in February and we finally did this past weekend to Eugene, Oregon.

Let me start off by saying I had an entirely different idea of Eugene and I have no idea where it came from. My knowledge of Eugene was that there was as huge university there and that it was somewhat eclectic. Well both things proved to be true however I also imagined it to be quite a bit nicer and have a central downtown area that we could walk around.

When Neil and I drove into town I was shocked to see that it wasn’t the nice little area that I had imagined and while there were a number of good vegan friendly restaurants and fun looking shops they were not very walkable to each other and with a baby that makes things difficult. Don’t worry though we ended up making the best of things but overall it wasn’t the magical getaway that I had envisioned.

Our plan was to get dinner before heading to our hotel but since it hadn’t taken us as long to get to Eugene as we expected we decided to first stop into Ninkasi Brewery for a tasting. Although located in a very industrial part of Eugene (who am I kidding the whole place is super industrial) it had a beautiful tasting room and outdoor patio with rotating food trucks. We got a sampler board of four of their brews and really enjoyed them all.

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After our tasting we headed to Cornbread Cafe, a vegan comfort food restaurant, where we ordered up some yummy plates of Southern inspired food. We ordered two plates to share one with the “fried fish”, cabbage slaw, mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit and the other with chicken fried tempeh, greens, mac and cheeze and cornbread. I enjoyed the “fried fish”, cabbage slaw, mac and cheeze and cornbread the most, but overall everything was good. After dinner we headed to the hotel and slipped into our bathing suits and took Edith for her first swim in the pool before heading to bed

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Saturday morning came and we had hopped to take advantage of all of the running trails in Eugene (one of the best things about Eugene) but the weather was not cooperating so instead we headed to breakfast at Studio One. We both ordered up the tempeh hash plate sans bread (not vegan) and ordered a fruit cup for Edith to enjoy. Since we had dinner on the early side the night before we were both super hungry and devoured our large plates of food. The food was good but the coffee was lacking so since it was still early we decided to head to Wandering Goat for a coffee where Neil had an amazing Americano and I had a really delicious hazelnut milk latte.

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After our breakfast and coffee we decided to brave the rain and headed to the Raptors Center to see the birds. The Raptor Center is a hospital for raptors that have been injured and they care for a number of birds who have been so injured that they are unable to be released back into the wild. This was really the highlight of our trip and made the entire trip worth it. We all had an amazing time seeing the beautiful birds and enjoying the outdoors together even if it was raining.

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After our trip to see the raptors we headed back into town and went to Morning Glory Cafe, a restaurant suggested my friend Kim. Kim certainly did not steer us wrong because this place was delicious. We had the white bean burger with a giant side salad and a veggie scramble wrapped in a hashbrown with the most delicious vegan sour cream on top. Edith enjoyed some steamed veggies and shared our carrot juice with us.

After lunch we were stuffed so we decided to walk over to a few shops we had seen near the cafe and did a little shopping. We also took Edith to a toy store that had those mechanical animals and boats that cost 50 cents to ride and had her try out a few, she was in heaven. After our little shopping excursion we made one last stop at Oakshire Brewery before calling it a day. We arrived to a very busy brewery where we sampled a few brews and enjoyed the sun that finally came out.The day ended with Cafe Yumm and bed.

While we had a nice time it wasn’t our dream getaway and since we came in under budget we are thinking of doing another weekend away in April if you have any suggestions please leave a note in the comments!

What was your best weekend getaway or what is your dream weekend getaway?

You can check out more photos of your trip here.

Vacationing In The Ocean State: Sleeps & Eats

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Where We Stayed: Warren, Rhode Island.

We rented a three bedroom, two bathroom townhouse in Warren, RI (about 20 minutes from Providence) with my parents. We found the rental on VRBO and were very pleased with our accommodations. The townhouse was located on the top two floors of a a three story historic home and it over looked the water.  It was wonderful because it had two balconies and a deck where we were able to sit out and relax, enjoy a cup of coffee and take advantage of the grill. The townhouse was so beautiful and Neil and I really wanted to just move in, we loved the layout and the location.

We also stayed an extra night at the Hilton Providence which was in a good location (downtown Providence) but we were less than impressed with the accommodations. I am not sure if it was because we had a baby and they worried she would be loud but when we checked in they said they were going to move us to a higher floor and we ended up being in a room across from the ice machine and on a floor with younger (rowdy) adults and lots of little kids. The bed was comfortable but it was so noisy!

Where We Ate:

We actually picked up a bunch of groceries from Whole Foods and Trader Joes and ate the majority of our meals at the house.  The few meals we did eat out included:

  • Kabob and Curry (take out): One of the nights we picked up Indian take out to enjoy at the house.  It was great because the menu had a vegan section and everything was clearly market dairy free and/or gluten free.  We ordered two curries and pakoras and some house pickled veggies.  The pakoras were delicious and I am so glad I ordered two orders of them! The curries were pretty good not the best I’ve had but not the worst either.  The pickled veggies were …um….well they had a really  off putting smell so I didn’t even try them.
  • Wildflour Bakery: Neil and I visited Wildflour last year and instantly fell in love so we had to visit it again.  The first visit (yes it’s so good we went twice) we had a granola scone, a gluten free lemon blueberry scone, a gluten free raspberry cheesecake brownie and a slow drip coffee for him and a (too) spicy coffee for me. My coffee was super spicy because of the cayenne and although I tried to drink it I just couldn’t. On our second visit I had a yummy broccoli cheddar scone and Neil had a granola scone (what can I say it’s really good) and we shared a green smoothie and a slow drip coffee.
  • Julian’s: When we visited Providence last year Julian’s was on the list to try, however since we were just in town for the day we could only go to one restaurant so we didn’t end up making it there.  This trip it  made the list again and not only did we go once we went twice! Our first visit was for dinner with my parents, I ordered the Mediterranean Spice Fried Seitan Skewers with saffron-olive-portobella bulgar, pea tendrils, preserved lemon, & paprika roasted cauliflower purée, Neil had House Made Vegan Teriyaki Sausage with wasabi-salted pommes frites, pickled cabbage, & hot mustard and my parents both ordered grilled chicken one with asparagus the other had a green salad.  We all absolutely loved our meals and would recommend it to both vegans and omnivores. On our second visit we went for Sunday morning breakfast and word to the wise get there early.  They open at 9am, we arrived at 8:55 and there was already a line.  People had been waiting awhile as well and had already put their names on the list.  As we were leaving the line to get in was huge! At least if you do have to wait you can get yourself one of their tasty (sounding) breakfast cocktails to enjoy outside while you wait.  For breakfast Neil and I shared the St. Jamez ‘Benedict’ fried tofu ‘egg’, garlicky spinach, & vegan hollandaise and the special tofu scramble.  Both were good but not as good as dinner.  We wish we had ordered the benedict and the vegan carrot cake pancakes instead of the scramble, oh well there is always next time.

  • Federal Hill Pizza: Federal Hill Pizza was located just a few blocks from our house in Warren so we decided to try it out with my parents for lunch one afternoon.  We shared the bruschetta flatbread, garlic broccoli rabe, the green salad that was topped with grilled veggies and the pasta with garlic, olive oil and grilled veggies.  The star of he show was the green salad with the grilled veggies, it was delicious and we all loved it.  Overall the food was good, my parents had a pizza there one of the nights and they really enjoyed it as well.
  • Crazy Burger: Neil was able to take part of one day off while we were in Rhode Island so we decided to head out of a drive and that’s when we came across Crazy Burger in Narragansett.  Apparently (we learned this after visiting) the restaurant was on Diners, Dive-in’s & Dives, what brought us to Crazy Burger however was the selection of vegan burgers and other vegan offerings. Neil and I really wanted to try everything (vegan) on the menu but decided to go with two burgers one with the slaw and one with fries.  For our burgers we ordered BIRDIE MAE BURGER: Grilled Tempeh, purple sticky rice, sweet potato, roasted sunflower seeds, and rosemary-pumpkin pesto combine to create a wonderful taste & texture; grilled into a tomato tortilla and the WILD & CRAZY MUSHROOM BURGER: Portabella, Porcini & Domestic Mushrooms mixed w/Italian rice & fresh vegetables; served on a vegan bun with a wild mushroom gravy. Both of the burgers were really good but the mushroom burger was extra tasty because of the amazing wild mushroom gravy (which was amazing on the fries as well).  This is definitely a place we hope to visit again, I mean we need to try all of their veggie burgers to really decided which one is best.

Up Next: Coffee Joints and the Happenings in the Ocean State

Where are your favorite places to eat in Rhode Island?