You know that blogger conference I organize with the lovely Janessa and Jess? Well, we never stopped meeting and planning, and we’re already working on a series of events for the next couple of years. We can’t afford an office, however, so we usually meet in bars and restaurants, combining mealtime and worktime. Some meetings are more pleasant than others. No, not that we argue—it’s actually pretty amazing how well we all get along and share the vision of Vida Vegan—it’s just that some locations are more fun than others.

Last week we went all the way out to the suburbs to check out the first Native Foods in the Portland area. Rumors are they’ll eventually get to us here in the city, but until then, it’s a roadtrip out to the bling-ass outdoor mall. It’s worth it. Aside from the food it was fun to just look around and see a packed fast food joint in the suburbs…and they’re all eating vegan!

Take a look at what we got (and do notice notebooks in most of the photos—it really was a business meeting).

We started with the Native Chicken Wings. That’s right, no cute alternative spellings of these meat-alikes. They came with a bunch of sauces that I didn’t eat. The others seemed to like ’em just fine. The texture of these is pretty soft, more like Gardein than seitan. To our delight, we got six pieces, very easily shared among three people!

I got the Chicken Run Ranch Burger…hold the ranch. Look at all that stuff; why would you need dressing? I totally didn’t care that my sandwich was the same as our appetizer. It was great and I was hungry. The fries were decently spiced. Next time I’ll try the sweet potato fries.

Behold Janessa’s Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger! The bacon is tofu, and those are fried pickles up top. This was so intimidating…and messy…and impossible to finish, but she sure as hell enjoyed herself.

Jess’s Chicago Dip Au Jus: peppered seitan, giardiniera, and au jus. I might try this one; it seems simple enough. Sorry for the schmer photo, but when you’re sitting down to dinner with other bloggers, by the time you get to the last plate you’re shooting pretty quick just so you can start eating.

We had to try dessert. These little lovelies are the Cardamom Rose Cupcake and Peanut Butter Parfait. Both were pretty good. Not pictured is the cheesecake. My photo was crap, and I didn’t really love it. It seemed sour-creamy, and when I ate cheesecake, it was the crazy cold, crazy firm kind, not squishy. So you may love it—cheesecake’s personal like that.

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