UFO Fest in McMinnville May 2017

This was the first time I’ve been to the UFO fest in McMinnville, and it was so much fun!  A friend asked if I would like to share a suite at the 3rd Street Flats, and I said yes.  We had the Coco Chanel suite that over looked 3rd Street where the parade was going to be going by.

As soon as I got settled in, we started walking around to see what was going on.  Lots of things to see in the stores and the people watching was a lot of fun with people dressed up as aliens, live music.



My friend and I didn’t have costumes, but we got our faces painted.

My friend loves to entertain, and since we had a full kitchen, she wanted to make dinner for me and a couple of her vegetarian friends.  She made a veggie stir fry with noodles and rice.  I brought a snack tray of olives and vegan cheese to nibble on prior to dinner.  She is a wine aficionado, so we drank quite a bit of wine.


The next night we went to The Barberry where I ordered the Ancient Grain Salad…it was pretty good!  I did not ask to see if it was actually vegan, but from the ingredients listed, it looked vegan.

Next door to where I was staying was the Local Health Flow Bar, where they have smoothies and acai bowls.  Looks vegan friendly, just make sure they don’t add honey to your smoothie.

Our last night, we went to the McMenamins in McMinnville.  I needed my stamps for my passport.  We ended up running into a bunch of people we knew and enjoyed drinks up on the rooftop bar.


Glad I was able to partake in this festival!


Yelp Wigs Out at Rock and Roll Chilli Pit

Having a Yelp Elite status, you get rewarded by being invited to special events with fun themes.  As a vegan that works a weird night schedule, I don’t get to go to very many events.  Well, one popped up on my radar that I thought would be fun to go to.  I got invited to an event at the Rock and Roll Chilli Pit in downtown Portland.  I looked at their menu, and they have a couple of vegan items on the menu.  I RSVP’d for me and one guest.  I asked my son if he would like to be my guest, and he agreed.  Here’s a photo of us on the MAX train after the event. I don’t know why he has to make goofy faces when he takes pictures.

It was a wig theme, and it was fun to see people dressed up in wigs.  I couldn’t find my favorite pink wig, but I donned my beaded headdress that I picked up in New Orleans.  They had these gorgeous female impersonators that were going around talking to everyone.  Here I am with Kimberly.

When we arrived, we were directed to a buffet line.  They had BBQ items, chili, cornbread, but the only vegan item was the vegan chili.  It was good, and from friends that tried everything, they said the vegan chili was one of the best things in the buffet.  Later, they were passing samples of burgers around.  I asked if they were going to do any of the vegan burgers, and was told they would check.  I was willing to order one and pay for it, but they told me to hold on.  Later, they tracked me down and presented me with my very own burger!  I guess I was the only vegan there.  It was very messy, but so tasty!

My son and I were joined by some of my friends, and we listened to the live music.  It was a fun event!

Edgefield McMenamins April 2017

I have stayed at McMenamin’s Edgefield 3 times in 3 years.  The first year, I played hookie to watch the Superbowl.  (Gee, I hope no one from work sees this!)  The Power Station Pub was perfect to view sporting events on a big screen television.  They have hemp burgers that are decent.  The room I stayed in was awful, though.  Every time I rolled over in bed, it squeaked loudly and was really hard.  I didn’t sleep at all.

Last year, my ex-husband wanted to stay at Edgefield to celebrate his birthday.  We have the McMenamin’s passport, so this was convenient to getting all our passport stamps and get extra stamps for touring the winery, brewery and distillery.  Plus he got a birthday stamp as well.  I reserved a king suite, and it was awesome!!  The bed was really comfortable.  We enjoyed all the activities, and we especially enjoyed the soaking pool.



This year, I reserved a king suite, but I did not request the same room.  Big mistake!  We got a king suite and it was large, but the bed was uncomfortable.  Our room was next to the Men’s Lavatory, and men were going in and out all hours of the night.  We could hear men showering and hacking while doing so…not very soothing when trying to sleep!  Workers in the winery seemed to be working very early in the morning, very loudly!  I tried to change rooms, but they were all booked up.

As soon as we got settled in our room, we went to the Black Velvet bar that was down the hall from our room.  I was starving.  There wasn’t anything vegan friendly on their afternoon snack menu.  Even the salad had cheese in the dressing.  My ex ordered the kale and cheese melt sandwich with a side of fries.  He’s vegetarian, so he was good with the cheese on his sandwich.  Later, I checked my Happy Cow app for what was vegan nearby, and Plantwiches popped up.  I got there right before they closed, and I got 2 BBQ Pulled Jackfruit sandwiches.  I ate one for dinner, and my ex didn’t touch his, so I ended up having his for a midnight snack.

I made a reservation to have a facial done.  I went to the soaking pool by myself before my appointment to soak and relax.  The facial was really relaxing, and I probably dozed off, since I was unable to sleep during the night.  My ex was under the weather for most of this trip, so I ended up doing a lot by myself.  For lunch, I went to the Black Rabbit Restaurant and asked if they had anything that was vegan friendly, and they had a coconut curry that was good, but needed a little more flavor.

My ex and I went around the property and got all our stamps.  Did all the tours.  It really is a nice property.  It used to be a poor farm.

I used my Happy Cow app to find vegan food near where we were staying.  My ex was still sick, so the first night, I went to Plantwiches. A really cool food cart parked in a tiny strip mall.  I called to make sure they were going to stay open.  I later found out that the owners are friends with a co-worker.  They had BBQ pullled jackfruit sandwiches. They were amazing!  I got 2, in case my ex wanted to have one, but he made other arrangements for dinner, so I had a handy midnight snack for later!

The next night, I decided to try out a vegan Chinese restaurant.  Yuan Su. Really nice people that own the restaurant.  The food is good, it’s a little lacking in flavor, and if I go next time, I would like to order something besides the combo plate.

I love opportunities to check out vegan restaurants in my state, that aren’t that close by.



Girls Beach Getaway in Long Beach, WA

Last year, I went on a mini vacation with a couple of gals that I work with.  On Facebook, a memory presented as a reminder of the fun we had.  Last year, we went to Lincoln City.  This year, my friend scoured Groupon for deals, and she found a place in Long Beach, WA.  She found a condo that we each would pay $75 for 2 nights.  It had a kitchen, indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. The condo was a little on the old side, but it was alright.  We carpooled from my friend’s place in St. Helens, OR.  We took a little break in Astoria.

Once we checked into our room, I really needed a nap.  I had worked 12 hours the previous night and only slept for a couple of hours before heading out for our trip.  My 2 friends went shopping and unbeknownst to me, they went and checked out the indoor hot tub and sauna.  When they got back to the room, they were ready to go to dinner, so off we went to the Pickled Fish. This restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of Adrift Hotel.  They were very nice.  Their menu denotes which menu items are gluten-free or vegan.  I ended up ordering way too much food.  I got the pickle plate to share.

And I got their salad, which was really delicious!

And their spring vegetable risotto was terrific!

By the time we got back to our room, I was in a food coma!  We got a movie to rent from Redbox, Manchester by the Sea.  I know this won a couple of Grammy’s, but my friends and I found this to be pretty boring.  I kept dozing off.

The next morning, my friend prepared brunch.  It was really sweet of her.  She did a potato and veggie dish.  We also had toast and coffee.  She also made eggs and sausages for the 2 of them.  Brunch was fantastic!

After brunch, we went for a walk on the beach.  We really lucked out!  It was supposed to rain the whole time, but it was just overcast.  After our walk, we went into town and did some shopping.  Afterwards, we had massages scheduled.  I really need to make it a point to get more massages!  When we got back to our room, we got ready to go for a soak in the hot tub…felt wonderful!

Next morning, we were on our own for breakfast.  I had leftover potato/veggie dish, and I made a sandwich of Tofurky deli meat and Chao cheese.  I also had leftovers from the pickle plate.  I had bought a non-dairy creamer that was really delicious!  I normally don’t drink coffee in the morning, so this was a nice indulgence.

This was such a wonderful trip with the gals!

Proper Eats

I’ve heard many good things about Proper Eats in the St. Johns neighborhood in North Portland.  I’ve been intending to dine here for several years, but it’s an effort for me to make it to St. Johns.  It’s a quaint neighborhood, but the traffic has been getting worse over the years.  Plus, I have to drive over Germantown Road to get to St. Johns, and I just don’t relish the thought of driving this windy road.  I learned that Proper Eats is set to close on April 29th, so I needed to make a bigger effort to check this place out before they close.

I do enjoy seeing the St. Johns bridge, I think it’s one of the most beautiful bridges I’ve seen.  And it brought memories of the last time I was visiting Cathedral Park at the base of St. Johns bridge.  Here’s a photo I took of a one of the last performances of Trek in the Park: The Trouble with Trebbles, back in August of 2013.  You can see the bridge in the background!

Here’s my granddaughter posing with cast members and trebbles!


Here’s a photo of the bridge that I grabbed off the internet.

The traffic is very congested going into St. Johns.  It makes me nervous to be on a bridge for any length of time.  Next challenge was to find street parking near the restaurant.  I parked a little ways from the restaurant, I lucked out after circling around a bit, and was able to just pull up behind a car, but not too close.  I wanted to make sure I had room to get out if a car parked behind me.

I entered the market part of the business.  There were deli cases filled with scrumptious looking desserts, but I need to make a bigger effort to not eat dessert.  I headed towards the back, where I could see diners.  I asked to see if it was seat yourself, and it was.  After the waitress asked me if I knew what I wanted to order, I asked for her recommendation, since everything on the menu looked good.  Her favorite was the Cornmeal Tempeh plate, which I ended up ordering.

Cornmeal Tempeh Plate- pan fried and cornmeal breaded tempeh, quinoa and pinto beans, served over sauteed greens. Topped with tofu cilantro sour cream and corn pumpkin seed relish.

I really enjoyed this dish, and the tofu cilantro sour cream really made this  outstanding!

I decided to order the House Smoothie for the road. So refreshing!

So glad I could make it out here!  And of course, when I got back to my car, the car behind me was pretty close!  I had to do the back and forth thing for several minutes till I was able to navigate back onto the road without nicking any vehicles!

No Bones Beach Club

I’ve heard this place is good…from so many people! I was planning on a happy hour with friends on a Friday, and I could not find parking nearby. It was cold and windy and I did not want to walk very far. Needless to say, I was very disappointed to miss out. Well, I’ve been doing vegan girls night with a friend, and she chose No Bones Beach Club. I had to park on Skidmore and walk, since I suck at parallel parking! But I was determined to make it this time!

I was greeted warmly when I entered the restaurant, and quickly located my friend. The tiki bar decor gave it a fun vibe. The waitress took my drink order right away. I ordered a pina colada, and was perfect in taste…though it was not in one of those large cocktail glasses that I am accustomed to when on vacation. I couldn’t decide on which food item to order, everything looked so good on the menu. I kept changing my mind, but finally settled on the Crispy Stuffed Poblano Pepper….it was a great choice! The cheese was so melty! My friend ordered the Sesame Crunch salad, and she really enjoyed it. Portion size was really big, so she took half home for lunch the next day. We shared dessert, a brownie bar with dark chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and drizzle of caramel…very decadent. We’ve already discussed coming back again to try other things on the menu!

My friend’s Sesame Crunch salad!

Crispy Stuffed Poblano Pepper

The dessert we shared!

2017 Portland Dining Month: Harvest at the Bindery

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to try Harvest at the Bindery for Portland Dining Month!  I met with my sister and a couple other friends.  I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant.  It gives the atmosphere that makes a special occasion feel special, but not over the top fancy.

We were seated promptly, even though I was 15 minutes early for our reservation.  I made reservations for 5 people, but one was not able to make it, and the hostess said that was totally fine.  We ordered cocktails while waiting for one more of our party to join us.  As soon as she arrived, we all decidedly ordered the 3 course for $29 menu.

For our first course: Smoked kohlrabi carpaccio, made with thinly sliced sections and a delicate vinaigrette


We received cornbread muffins with hazelnut butter with our meal:


Our second course: Sweet potato cake dressed in a pesto of nori and kale, topped with glazed kabocha squash, miso preserved burdock root and black radish, finished with sesame crusted shallots


Our third course: Beet-infused handmade gnocchi pasta with marinated grilled portobello mushroom, toasted farro, crisped sage and spring micro greens


We received complimentary cheesecake at the end of our meal.


At first, I thought the serving size was small, and I thought I would still would be hungry.  But the portion sizes were just right, and I left at the end of the night feeling satisfied and not stuffed.  Perfect!

El Nutritaco

I haven’t had a chimichanga since I became vegan…I really miss these deep fried packages of tasty morsels!  Although the thought of meat really makes me ill!  I was talking to a co-worker who happened to be vegan as well.  She was telling me about a place that serves vegan chimichangas that have soy curls as the protein option.  I then saw another friend post on Facebook their love of soy curls, so I commented on her post about El Nutritaco having chimichangas with soy curls.  We promptly made a lunch date!

El Nutritaco is located on Alberta Street, and I’ve driven past it numerous times in the past, with hardly a glance in that direction.  This is a small, unassuming place.  Counter service.  My co-worker suggested the Verde Chimichanga with chipotle soy curls and a side of vegan sour cream.  I forgot to get my side of sour cream, but it did come with guacamole and pico de gallo. Honestly, this didn’t come close to the chimichangas of my past…but I did enjoy it immensely!  I would definitely go back!


Yellow Llama

I am always interested in restaurants that are in the town that I live in.  If I can stay close to home and enjoy good vegan food, that’s awesome!  Yelp kept telling me that there was a hot new restaurant in my area.  The Yellow Llama is a Peruvian restaurant in the Forest Grove area.  So when I saw the Yellow Llama had vegetarian offerings, I called to see if they were vegan as well.  The person who answered the phone assured me that there were indeed vegan dishes.

After conducting some errands, I was a little on the hungry side.  I convinced the person I was with to check out the Yellow Llama.  We were greeted warmly upon entering the establishment.  Soon after being seated, one of the owners approached us and asked if we had any dietary concerns.  I told her that I was vegan and my dining companion was vegetarian.  So she pointed out which dishes were vegan or could be veganized.  I chose the Arroz/Quinoa Chaufa which is a Peruvian fried rice dish.  Very flavorful!


My companion ordered the Quinoa salad and a Long Island iced tea.  He enjoyed both!


The owner checked on us many times, and even mentioned an upcoming menu addition that could be veganized.  I really look forward to checking it out in the near future!

Heart Bar

I’ve decided that Wednesdays were going to be my cheat day.  Although, this week seemed to be cheat day everyday!  So many fun and delicious places to discover or re-visit.  I chose Heart Bar in SE Portland.  This space used to be the fabulous Portobello restaurant.  From what I understand, the restaurant is owned by the folks that own Sudra.  I love Sudra!  I heard that this would be an all vegan bar with bar type food.  On this particular Wednesday, a group called No Vegan Left Behind was planning an event.  I asked a friend if she would be interested in going, and she accepted my invitation.

When I got there, she was sitting at a table apart from the group.  I only recognized one face in the group, so I was OK with sitting separate from the group.  This gave us an opportunity to catch up.  Except the sound level was really high so it was difficult to hold a conversation.  Once the music started it was even more difficult, and when karaoke started, impossible!

But the food was good, and I might try to go back during a quieter time.

I ordered the BBQ Chickpea Chop sandwich with a side salad.  It was very tasty.

My friend got the Chickpea Chops with mashed cauliflower potatoes and gravy…she gave me a taste, and I had wished I got that instead.

We got a couple of appetizers to share.

Black eye pea fritter

green chili fries fondue