‘Twas an action-packed weekend, that’s for sure. We had friends in from out of town, but they weren’t arriving until almost 3:00 p.m. on Saturday…plenty of time to climb a mountain in the morning. So before driving out to Wahkeena Falls we fueled up at Paradox Cafe. (Remember, Paradox is 10% off with your NW Veg card!)
This is my friend’s go-to breakfast: the Paradox Benedict. I think you should win a free t-shirt or get your photo on the wall if you finish this thing, but I guess if you’re a six-and-a-half-foot-tall guy with the metabolism of a sea otter, this isn’t all that intimidating. He substitutes herb & onion bread for the regular sourdough, but the rest is standard issue: sausage patties, tomato, tofu, and vegan hollandaise sauce, with a side of the most reliably fantastic potatoes in the breakfast game.
To put this into better perspective, I ordered just two sides, the herb & onion bread and sausage patties. Those make up the bottom layer of this dish. Unfortunate side note: The sausage has changed since the last time I was there. It’s way grainier. With my consistency issues I just couldn’t get through the second patty. Tom didn’t mind, so maybe you won’t either.
So hiking, beauty, nature, sore knees…time to go to the airport! After unpacking and unwinding we headed over to Hungry Tiger Too, which I’ve written about so many times before. It’s blocks away, always has a table open, and has a very accommodating menu for your omnivore friends and family. To cap off the day, I pulled out the cupcakes I’ve been looking forward to making for weeks now…
Oh yes. It’s a bunch of recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. This is your basic chocolate cupcake, topped with peanut buttercream and drizzled with quick melty ganache. I hadn’t tested the whole to-do, so I was nervous about serving it to one old friend and one completely new friend, both omnis, but this baby went over like gangbusters. I even successfully piped my first frosting ever—this stuff is so light and subtle that it can handle the high-piling without stepping over the cupcake’s lines. Just perfect.
Sunday we made sure we got up early enough to beat the brunch crowd at Vita Cafe (also 10% off with your NW Veg card). Another go-to when you’ve got omni visitors, it’s almost always packed. In fact, we got there a half hour after they’d opened and still had to wait for a table. Luckily, two people who were alone in a booth noticed our group of four and moved over to the bar. Even though I said it yesterday, I’m saying it again, “Thank you. That was so unbelievably nice of you.”
Tom got the breakfast burrito, another gigantic heap o’ food (brought half home with him). It’s your choice of tofu or tempeh, plus veggies and chili, in a whole-wheat tortilla, topped with nutritional yeast–based cheese sauce, salsa, and guacamole. Oh, and then there’s the potatoes. I got the much less photogenic side of tempeh bacon and some herb & onion bread. (For those who don’t know, Paradox and Vita are sisters, so you can count on some shared menu items.)
We ran our full bellies all over Portland, tourist style, then before our friends left for the next leg of their trip (to check out UO in Eugene), we refilled the bellies with a carry-out spread from Nicholas. For $25, the four of us feasted on falafel, hummus, tabouli, and my favorite find: manakish. This is thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, and olive oil baked into a crispy crust. Tangy and fresh and good hot or cold.