portland vegfest 2009

vegfest crowd

Another VegFest under Portland’s belt. The space was pretty big—much bigger than the high school. I’m not 10 feet tall, so unfortunately you’re not getting the whole picture here, but it was crowded. When I left around 1 p.m., the line to get in was maybe 30 deep. Impressive. Even with the number of tables and people, it never got stuffy. ( I didn’t have to leave due to sensory overload.) Bands played pretty much nonstop, and there were plenty of tables and chairs for folks to rest a while and eat, eat, eat.

DKB sin dawg
Dave’s Killer Bread had its new Sin Dawg out for sampling. All my photos of this turned out crappy, but I still had to show you. It’s pretty much a log of cinnamon roll, covered in seeds. They don’t have these in stores because to make any sort of profit they’d have to charge way too much. But you can find it at the PSU farmer’s market (among others) and at the outlet. When I tried this, VegFest had only been open for about an hour and a half and they were cutting into the last one. So friggin’ good.

sweetpea table

And here’s the Sweetpea table. As fast as they could refill these trays people were cleaning ’em off again. The sign said “take 2” and we all did. On my way out I noticed they were down to two quickly emptying trays. The bite-size cupcakes (I had a chocolate-on-chocolate) were awesome. If I were doing a function of any sort, I’d go with a bunch of these rather than fullsize cupcakes. You could pop a whole one into your mouth and not feel guilty trying another flavor. Genius.

Raw, vegan, and organic. Oh, and delicious. Bishop’s vegan gelato here, coffee to be exact, served with a little flax cracker. I’d helped them unload in the morning, photographing the license plate of this seemingly crazy woman who hit their car then yelled at them for hitting her, so they hit me up with a free scoop. Who am I to turn down free gelato? Their gelatos start with an almond milk base, so condolences to the nut-allergic, because this stuff is so yummy.

Speaking of helping, my volunteer shift flew by. If you plan on attending next year, you might as well sign on for a shift, which gets you out of the admission fee. For the first hour or so I helped exhibitors unload their cars/trucks, then I manned a table, passing out samples. I scored the Stahlbush Island Farms table, which was an easy sell. I didn’t have to feel guilty pushing organic fruit and vegetables on people, especially those grown on a certified-sustainable farm that uses the “garbage” to produce more energy than it needs, thus feeding the grid to power other homes and such.

So I ended up eating a ton of blueberries instead of Dandies marshmallows, which was across from me. OK, I ate one marshmallow. And the Missionary Chocolates ladies from down the aisle made sure I got a taste of their coconut milk-based salty, caramel-y, vanilla-y wonderstuff. (And later I went back for a taste of the Meyer Lemon Explosion truffle.)

Some savory stand-outs were Field Roast’s new meatloaf and Turtle Island’s marinated tempeh. I’d never eaten meatloaf in my life, so I was a little scared, to be honest, but this was good. It’s like their Celebration Roast but fluffier, if that makes sense. And I tried both the lemon-pepper and the sesame-garlic tempeh, and both were great, perfect for a quick sandwich or stir-fry.

In addition to vegan food and products, there was much to learn, and I haven’t even begun looking through the leaflets and whatnot I picked up. That will have to follow in its own post, methinks.

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