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US adventures part 3: week 2 in Portland, OR

TUESDAY 29th June: Hungry Tiger Too

Tonight we went to dinner at Hungry Tiger Too for one of Imber's workmate's goodbye dinner. This isn't a vegan place but has a huge seperate vegan menu and half of the space is a bar and the other is the restaurant.

wontons


Imber & Mark had Stuffed Wontons (above) US$6 with roasted butternut squash and served with warm coconut milk and sweet chili sauce.  Mark had a Hawaii Five-O Burger (below) US$9.75 that consisted of a Boca burger, grilled pineapple, soy mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onion with teriyaki and garlic aioli and served with sweet potato fries.

burger

Imber had the Corn Dog Basket which is two hot dogs dipped in batter and served with golden tots (potato gems) US$7

corn_dogs

I don't like deep fried food much at all, so I chose the healthiest item on the menu, the Tofu Skewers which I assumed the tofu and the vegetables would be on skewers with each other, this however was served as a slab of tofu on one skewer and the vegetables on another, on a bed of savoury polenta.  For one person US$6 (US$8 for two)

tofu_skewers

Mark was deciding whether or not to have the cherry pie (US$4) that a couple of the other people at our table had ordered.  It looked and tasted great - but Mark was too late - they had just served the last piece ;(

WEDNESDAY: Portland on foot & various food places

Today I decided to go into Portland city and wander around for the day.  I was armed with instructions of what buses to catch and a map of the city.  The buses from Lake Oswego only go into the city between 6:12 - 9:02 & 15:43 - 17:57 and back from the city to Lake Oswego from 14:32 & 18:36.  I caught the 9:02 which got me into the city at about 9:30, I had a lovely bus companion, a lady studying Childhood Education as one of her boys has ADHD and the other is autistic.  We had a great chat into the city.

I got off at SW Jefferson and 5th and walked up until the Oregon Historical Society and Portland Art Museum which I had thought I would check out, but both weren't open until 10am and I wasn't in the mood to wait around.  So I headed up through the Farmers Markets until I got to SW Salmon Street which I followed up West until I reached SW 18th Street.  My main goals for the day were to get another phone card from T-Mobile for my international text messages and to go to Powells bookstore, plus find some vegan places that Mark had suggested for me from the Happy Cow website.

So I walked North down SW 18th Street, past the Stadium where baseball and (US) football is played, the stadium was huge!  Then I walked East down NW Glisan Street until I was around NW 3rd, 4th & 5th Streets where the vegan and vegetarian places are.  Worked out that the closest one was going to be Vegetarian House so walked South on NW 4th Street until I found the restaurant in China Town.  This is a Supreme Master Ching Hai Association vegan restaurant, just like Loving Hut (my favourite) is in Brisbane, so I was sure I would be fed well.  There was an option of buffet or ordering from the menu, I chose to have the buffet which had: fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, TVP, chili and noodles, battered/deep friend sweet potato and broccoli.  The meal was alright, not as good as Loving Hut and the buffet only cost US$7

After lunch I walked along W Burnside Street until I found Powells bookstore - WOW!  Powell's City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block with more than a million new and used books in stock. The store has nine colour-coded rooms that house over 3,500 different sections.  I looked in every section and this store is simply amazing!  I spent a couple of hours wandering around, found a great Rhyming dictionary from 1960, hung out in the astrology section for an hour or so, bought a couple of astrology books - one from 1927! - and another study guide on Wuthering Heights, my favourite book.  There is also a great record store, Jackpot Records on the same street!

I started to walk back to where my bus stop was and met a great guy, Derek, who had lived in Portland most of his life but now lived overseas.  He was here on holiday as as all his friends were at work, he was wandering around Portland taking photos.  We wandered around for about an hour together, chatting like we were old friends, Derek gave me some tourist information and he left to eat his lunch at one of the parks.  I had a bit of time until my bus so I decided I would go to another of the vegan places Mark had suggested and headed to DC Vegetarian on SW 3rd Avenue.  DC Vegetarian is one of about 10 different streetcart food vendors in this particular area. I bought a Tofutti mint chocolate ice cream sandwich (for now) US$0.75 and a Monkey Wrench double chocolate cookie (for later) US$2.  There is also a cart called Sonny Bowl that serve curries with quinoa and another cart for the Portland Smoothie Company, both of these are also vegan.

At the bus stop in the city to go back to Lake Oswego, I met a lovely 17 year old young lady who had just finished volunteering at one of the hospitals in the city.  We had a great talk all the way home and I was excited to find out that her best friend is vegan, mostly raw and gluten free as well!

That night we were going out for dinner with Marks' Animal Rights law lecturer, Steve Wise and some of his classmates. Steve had decided we should go to Vegetarian House for dinner, so off I went again to China Town to eat.  This time I ordered from the menu.  Imber ordered spring rolls US$2.50 and Lemon Chicken US$12.95 which is similar to the one at Pu Kwong restaurant back in Brisbane.

lem_chicken

Mark ordered mixed tofu with vegetables US$8.95

tofu__veg_SF

I ordered the mixed vegetable chow mein with tofu US$7.50.  My meal had way too many noodles, I pretty much picked out all the vegetables and left the noodles for Mark to finish.  We weren't really impressed with the meals, but I don't think you can do better than their lunch buffet for US$7!

chow_mein

THURSDAY 1st July: Blossoming Lotus & Skin Trade

The lovely Jackson came to visit Lake Oswego from Eugene where he's been staying.  We were meant to go for a ride on his motorbike but as it had been overcast, cold and raining most of the afternoon, decided that we would see if the weather would be better tomorrow.  Imber, Mark, Jackson and I went to Blossoming Lotus for dinner. We didn't get to the restaurant until about 8pm and the place was full, plus there were people waiting to be seated, about 4 couples or groups in front of us.  So we ordered some drinks and waited patiently for about 30 mins (though it seemed longer to me!) I ordered the Lavender Lemondade US$3, Jackson had the Berry Fusion US$7, Mark had the Coconut Kauai Chai US$4 and Imber had the Thai Greens US$8.

I think that Blossoming Lotus is my favourite vegan place in Portland to eat, the staff are very friendly and helpful, the meals are delicious and the place has a great atmosphere.  Jackson and I shared the Live Nachos as did Mark & Imber (see my last update " US adventures part 2: Portland & Let Live conference" for the great photo!) these are amazing! US$9 each

However by the time we got our main meals it was about 10pm and we weren't as hungry as we were in the beginning.  I ordered the Live Wrap US$10 ate half and took the other two wraps home for lunch tomorrow.

live_wrap

Jackson ordered the BBQ Tempeh platter US$12 that came with a side salad

bbq_tempeh

j_salad

Mark had the Seasonal Stir-fry US$12

seasonal_SF

Imber had the White Lotus soup US$6 and the Crispy Thai BBQ salad US$13

soup

BBQ_salad

When we got back home, Jackson and I watched Skin Trade the latest documentary from Shannon Keith, Uncaged Films and ARME. Skin Trade is about the Fur trade and how fur industry is trying to promote their "products" as ethical and environmentally friendly.  Shannon had done a great job, there are interviews with celebrities, undercover footage as well as some cute animation. This is a really great documentary, and though there are obviously some graphic scenes, it's not too graphic of a documentary and one that everyone should watch.  See here for the upcoming screenings.  The AR Conference in Washington, DC will also be showing Skin Trade on the Saturday night.

FRIDAY: Motorbike adventures & Mt Hood National Park

Most mornings start with a green smoothie made in Mark & Imber's Blendtec blender, that until I used it I did not believe that it would actually blend to a smooth consistency.  This morning I made Mark, Jackson and I a green smoothie with various green leaves in the fridge, carrots, and walnuts.  Jackson and I also had one each of my left over Live Wrap meal from last night at Blossoming Lotus (see last night's picture)

Mark then took Jackson and I on a tour of the Lewis & Clark law school where Mark is studying Animal Law and where Jackson is planning on sitting in on a course or giving a guest lecturer next year.  The law school is very tranquil and lush and we also visited the Manor House which was gorgeous - Mark is a great tour guide!

It was a bit wet in the morning but after our tour of the law school campus, the sun came out, so Jackson and I decided we would go on a bike ride.  Before we left, I made a simple sandwich for Mark, Jackson and I that consisted of Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Rye bread, Wild Wood Organics Sproutofu veggie burgers and Galaxy Nutritional Foods vegan mozzerella cheese slices. Then we were on our way!

We went through quite a few places including Damascas, Estacada, Mt Hood National Forest and we stopped along the way in a few areas to stretch our legs and eat Larabars which are delicious, raw, gluten free, vegan bars mostly made up of 4 ingredients! We had the Lemon bar that consists of dates, cashews, almonds and lemon as well as the Chocolate Cherry made up of organic dates, organic almonds, organic walnuts, organic unsweetened cherries, Fair Trade-certified organic cocoa powder and cocoa mass.  These bars are divine!

We stopped at a lil' town (I think it was Estacada) to get some snacks for our trip: some more bars, fruit, juices and chips and Jackson and I stopped at a lovely place Timothy Lake (see the photo below) to eat at around 8pm - it was absolutley FREEZING! I had so many layers on and Jackson's jacket, he didn't have much to keep him warm at all ;( we couldn't have been any colder and our fingers were like ice.

lake

On the drive back to Lake Oswego it started to rain and it wasn't that bad but then it started to pour and was truly scary when going down the mountain slopes.  We pulled over a couple of times but then when the fog appeared and Jackson couldn't see in front of him, we turned around to a place we'd just passed and decided to stay at a lovely place called Mt Hood Inn, right at the bottom of Mt Hood.

Dinner that night was from Ice Axe Grill, the place next door to where we were staying. I wasn't venturing out in the cold anymore, so Jackson went next door to see what vegan fare they had.  We shared The Buehler Burger US$10.75 a house made lentil burger with cucumber, arugula (rocket), tomatoes, stone ground mustard sauce on a 9 grain bun, with chips and a side salad - it was actually quite good!  Then we thawed out...

SATURDAY: Motorbike adventures & Mt Hood

We started the morning with a breakfast of one banana each and half a Chocolate Mint Larabar! Since we were right at the foot of Mt Hood, Jackson and I headed to the tip.  With an altitude of 11,249 feet (3,429 m) we were right at the top of Oregon's highest mountain and it was truly beautiful!  We stopped at Timberline Lodge where we wandered around the lodge, played badminton, and Jackson played the piano while I played Shuffleboard with some of the kids.

snow

mt_h

Photos from right at the top of Mt Hood at the front of the Timberline Lodge

J__LC

In my biker attire (guess how many layers I have on?!)

biker

Then we headed back to Lake Oswego.  It was a beautiful experience to be amongst nature and on my first 2-day motorbike adventure with the lovely Jackson!  There are so many beautiful spots throughout Mt Hood National Park, to drive, cycle, walk or camp, so make sure you check it out next time you're in the area!

Before Jackson left to head back to Eugene, I made us both a double-decker sandwich on Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Rye bread that consisted of Greek Olive & Roasted garlic Hummus, avocado and Wild Food organics Royal Thai Baked Sproutofu for the bottom layer; and Galaxy Nutritional Foods vegan mozzerella cheese slices, strawberries and baby spinach leaves - yum!

SUNDAY: Red & Black cafe

Imber, Mark and I headed to the Red & Black cafe for dinner. Imber and I both had a Hot Chocolate US$2.50 each.  Mark had the Tempeh Reuben sandwich US$6.25 with house-made tempeh/onion/mushroom rueben mix with house-made sauerkraut and Russian dressing. Imber had her favourite, Black Dragon Noodles US$5 (see Thursday's info in my US adventures part 2: Portland & Let Live conference for the great photo)

sandwich

I had a great Margharetta (open) bagel with vegan cheese, tomatoes and pesto US$5.  This is one of the staff member, Ryan's new dish and it's great! Unfortunately I couldn't eat it all as I'd had a hot chocolate beforehand. Why do I do this to myself?  I know if I have an entree or a drink before a main meal that I'm not going to be able to eat my main meal, yet I still do this.  Too many great vegan options to try I guess ;)

bagel

Mark also had a chocolate cupcake and I got one to takeaway US$2.50 each.

cupcake

USA_Adventures_CoverMy USA Adventures - the Book by Leigh-Chantelle (ISBN 978-0-9808484-2-7) is now available to purchase in paperback on Amazon US & Amazon UK, Barnes & NobleEspresso Book Machine and other online retailers. Wholesale info for Retail Stores, Libraries, Colleges, Schools, Universities: Ingram Books.
See HERE for more information.



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