Portland: My New Home Away From Home

My Mom and I took a trip to Portland, Oregon last weekend and boy was it awesome. I had been researching Portland for years (even before going vegan) and knew that I would love it but I had no idea how hard it would be for me to leave. In fact just thinking about heading back home made me want to cry :0... But enough drama, lets talk about what we did and where we ate!

When we first arrived it was cool and breezy out, the perfect weather for sweaters and coats which I love to wear. We picked up our rental car and ventured out in search of one of the many vegan restaurants that I had planned on visiting after watching Lauren Toyota's "What I ate in Portland" video. As we hit the road it began to rain and in no time became so intense that we were having trouble seeing the road so we "settled" for a restaurant called Shari's instead. I say "settled" because their food was amazing and their staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Being a vegan in a non vegan restaurant I of course had to order outside of the menu but what they were able to put together for me was not only filling but extremely delicious. I had sauteed mushrooms on a bun with all of the fixings (minus the cheese and mayo) with a side of fries and my Mom, being a non vegan, had the steak with a stuffed hash brown and a side of broccoli (I didn't think to take any pictures).

Any pictures taken from inside the car turned out this way which is to be expected on a rainy day xD

After being informed that there was a high wind advisory and  flood warning we picked up some groceries in case the weather prevented us from venturing out the following day. Luckily the next day was much MUCH calmer, Still raining but nothing we couldn't handle. Our first stop was at a wonderful little gluten free and vegan bakery/coffee shop called "Back to Eden". Now with me being vegan and my mom being gluten free I'm sure you can imagine what happened when we got there... we bought the entire store! Well not literally but we spent about $50 collectively. We ordered a latte each, a Chocolate Creme Pie, a slice of Vanilla Chai Cake, a Mini Apple Cake, a Cinnamon Roll, a Pizza Roll, and a Spinach Quiche. We were in heaven.

           Through out our trip we visited many other vegan and vegan friendly restaurants such as:

(To the Left: Melody[green] and North Star[orange] and To the Right: I had the Cheesy Mac and my Mom had a chilled zucchini noodle dish)

                                                               Papa G's Vegan Deli
(I somehow managed to loose the picture of the amazingly delicious Tempeh Ruben, Curried pasta salad, and the blueberry cheesecake that I ordered. I did, however, manage to save a picture of the best beer I have ever tasted! It also happens to be gluten free.),

                                                                               Vita Cafe,
(To the Left: The Pastry case at Vita Cafe and to the Right: The Country Fried Tempeh Steak and roasted potatoes along with a side of french toast)

                                                          Homegrown Smoker 
(I got the BBQ plate with Grilled Beyond Chicken and Tempeh BBQ ribs, with Greens, Mac, and Hush Puppies on the side. I also added the Hyam as a third protein because I extremely curious about  it and how it would taste. It was all amazing by the way)

                                                              Toadstool Cupcakes,

(I had the vegan chocolate cupcake which a delicious, and my Mom picked up a Boston Creme Pie, a Pumpkin Spice, and a Rasberry Cupcake. Her eyes are waaay bigger than her stomach)


We also returned to Back to Eden for round two.
(In this pastry case there are both Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Cinnamon Rolls, Tempeh Bacon Scones, and Pizza Rolls!)

The food was great but our trip consisted of more than just engorging ourselves. We also stopped by Powell's which is The worlds largest independent bookstore... in which I got lost several times.

                                   We headed out for Multnomah Falls and (I) hiked to the top.
(Everything was so beautiful that I couldn't help but take tons of pictures and videos. The rain as well as the back splash from the waterfall led to my phone being soaked yet it managed to pull through with absolutely no water damage... Because Portland is magical like that!


                      We then hiked back down to eat at the falls restaurant and visited the gift shop.

 We also visited the International Test Rose Garden located in Washington Park. The roses weren't in bloom but they were beautiful nonetheless.

Lastly, because my Mom is a major fan of the TV show "Grimm" which is filmed in Portland naturally we had to pass by all of the houses used in the show, the spice shop, and we even attempted to find the Aunt Marie's trailer which we did not find (most likely because it was destroyed in an episode of the show).

In my opinion our stay was way too short. I can't get over how much I loved the weather, how friendly the people were, how many delicious options there are for vegan dining, and how clean the city is kept. Portland is the largest city in Oregon and the 26th largest city in the US but remains spotless. The people who live there take pride in their city and I really admire that.

I also loved the art work, there were beautifully designed and surprisingly intricate murals all over town.

This was me when I realized that it was time to leave!

The Mermaids scales are made out of  broken CD's

                                          "I always feel like, somebody's watching me!"

          The weather may have been gray but that city was full of color.

                          Thank You So Much for Reliving Our Trip With Me,

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