The weekend before last I went to Portland to see my best friend, to present at the Northwest VegFest and hang out with Scott from PlantFusion. That was my third visit to this amazing city and my desire to move there grows each time I go. Austin got to tag along for the weekend and he fell in love with it too! I'm so happy Austin and my best friend got along so well. We had a complete blast the entire weekend! You can read more from Austin on his blog. He's been vegan a month, so let's give it up for him!! *applause*
Portland is a foodcation where vegans have so many choices for meals your mind will be blown just walking down the street. And the coffeeshops! There's got to be more coffeeshops per square mile than any other city. And each of those coffeeshops have vegan snack options from the many vegan bakeries around town. Heaven.
We stayed in NE a few blocks from Alberta so we ate at Vita Cafe two times for breakfast and stuffed ourselves silly. Vita isn't 100% vegan but at least 85% of the menu is vegan. Austin recently went vegan AND gluten-free so when he saw they had a gluten-free chicken-fried steak made with tempeh (his favorite protein source) he was sold. I went with the healthier option of a gluten-free corn cake, tofu, and steamed veggies (yes I do try to eat veggies at every meal, even breakfast!).
I finally got to Blossoming Lotus, once for lunch when Austin arrived in town and again for dinner on the final night of the festival with Jill (The Veggie Queen) and Robin Asbell. Their food is wholesome and creative, and the atmosphere is really lovely. I loved getting to hang with some of my mentors and after working all weekend we were all happy to sit and have a drink. I tried the blackberry margarita and was a happy camper.
The VegFest staff and volunteers were great and the whole festival was a blast. It always replenishes my energy and warms my heart to teach a class and show others how delicious and easy eating vegan can be! I got to reconnect with old friends (Jasmin from Our Hen House, Jill and John from Vegan Cuts, Ginny Messina, Robert Cheeke, Julie Hasson, Barb and Judy from All Things Vegan Radio to name a few) and make new ones (Laura the Jazzy Vegetarian, Del from Forks Over Knives, and Ed from PlantFit to name a few).
The last day before we took Austin to the airport we went up to Mt. Tabor to check out the view and play frisbee and badminton. It was amazing and beautiful!! We had so much fun playing in the park. We also witnessed a bull dog riding a skateboard. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I need to get Austin to post the video on YouTube!!
If you attended my cooking demo at the VegFest I thank you for coming and hope you enjoyed it! It was a packed room of 200 people and I wish I had time to speak to you all. For those of you in Texas be sure to come to my cooking demo at the Texas State Veggie Fair which is October 21st. Can't wait to see all my friends back home!