Often requiring a fair wait unless on off ours, this restaurant seems to have outgrown the particular space. I've probably eaten here dozens of times over the last few years, it seems to continue to evolve, in a good way. It has a balance on the menu between hard core plant eaters who have developed the taste and microflora for lots of raw or nakedly cooked leaves, and the less initiated non-vegan crowd with palettes locked into the animal fat type flavor. As such, I find that I need to be careful to eat particularly slowly and/or check ingredients, because some of the richer foods seem to expand the stomach with a delay or something like that....Too many times I've left uncomfortably full until I learned to use caution. As I've become less interested in oil rich foods, the menu seems to have followed the same trajectory, to my pleasant surprise.
Generally the chef uses a wide enough variety of aromatic ingredients to keep things interesting with a great balance of flavors. Typically you'll find many nut based creams, "cheezes," ice creams, etc. along with some soy also used for the same, depending on the dish and the day. Many of the various spicey sauces, yeast coated tempe and other ingredients seem to remain the same. They have gluten free dishes, though I don't require this, so don't have a strong opinion. The menu has changed pretty dramatically the last few times I've been there, so I'm not sure what to recommend, but I'm generally pretty pleased with most things on the menu. Some of the earlier menu items seemed to imply a non-vegan food substitute like "lasagne" etc. I think this was a mistake as it generally did not give a hint of the actual flavor. Lately I haven't detected such an issue lately.
IMO, the popularity of this place exceeds it's offerings. Having said that, I like it for some variety. I attribute the popularity to it's location (among a more vegan crowd), it's mix of fast and slow food type menu selections, and the fact that it's not bad in general.
However, I've only had the chance to eat there once. The last time I checked, it had reservations weeks in advance. This doesn't quite make sense to me. To me the food and atmosphere are a mix between Blossoming Lotus (not quite as good from my samples) and Native Foods Café (some similar food, but Portabella has slightly better atmosphere), both of which you might have to wait a bit to get in, but no weeks in advance reservations required.
This is fast food vegan with a slant towards non-vegan tastes and traditional dishes. Every now and then things like a Reuben, without the animal fat (as in the rye bread, the saur kraut, caraway seeds, along with other flavors) I like for a bit of variety outside my somewhat wide variety diet norm. You'll find such things here.
Sort of slowishly prepared food with a fast food atmosphere: Asian slant with some of the meat substitutes seeming a bit too processed for my taste. I think of this place as like a vegan dim sum or sushi bar in that many of the dishes are rice based with light additions of other ingredients, mostly not very filling, so plan on a few dishes if you require more than 1000 calories for your total daily caloric intake (> 333 calories per meal on average).
318 SE Grand Ave., Portland, OR 97214, (503) 235–5123, & 3223 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 445–4700http://nicholasrestaurant.com/
IMO, the popularity of this place exceeds it's offerings, but it is good. So if you are lucky enough to get in without the wait, it's a good experience. Too much refined white wheat flour for my usual diet, but I like it on occasion for variety. Aside from the usual hummus, baba ganoush and similar offerings with freshly baked, enormous, soft, steamy and roasty flat bread, they offer other dishes, including a za'atar (dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds) and olive oil based pizza.
The menu seemed too fast food deep fried type for my tastes. Have had vegan sandwiches.
This is a fast food place. The staff seemed a bit ill prepared to answer vegan related questions, but made an effort to accommodate. It left the impression that bread was the principal ingredient available for calories. I had an OK sandwich. It was not particularly memorable.
Looks good, wide variety, incl. pizza w/ miner's lettuce, etc. on rare good weather days, opens entirely to street and decent atmosphere.
As I approached the entrance, I could hear bits of artsy conversations and the lively crowd looked a bit like a cross-section of the vegan society, with the super trim looking older set, the trendy younger, the power project producerish folks in between, etc.
I decided to try this place because the online menu mentioned ingredients normally considered "wild." I had a mixed greens and flower salad followed by a pesto pizza with grilled peach,fresh fennel,herbed "ricotta", miners lettuce. The salad was impressively quite fresh and delicate as if they had just picked ingredients from a garden. The first bite of the pizza was impressively good. After the first slice, I noticed there was excess olive oil oozing onto the plate. I'm not used to eating so much oil, so I encouraged the oil to ooze from each slice and was happy to see it on my plate instead of gone and in my stomach. I felt full enough without the oil, but found I got hungry a few hours later in the evening.
I had quick friendly chats with other diners. They all seemed happy in general and pleased with the food. I'd be happy to return to try some other dishes.
Recommended from a kind stranger dining at the Plum Bistro, this place has good food with thriving live flora based atmosphere indoors and out. It's in a more sleepy and, shall I say "new-agey," neighborhood than the other restaurants reviewed here: genius baby is on the next block.
Dining in the garden out back between herbs growing behind me and a cherry tree almost within reach in front of me, I had the "sweet and sour" soap which was suprisingly umami type rich (as opposed to oil/fatty rich) and hearty. And also suprisingly, it was not that sweet nor was it particularly sour. My guess is that the cook miscalculated the miso and/or vegetable ingredients proportions. In any event, I found it much better than any sweet and sour soup I've ever had, so this was a plus.
The salad featured "sorrel", which I could not distiguish from the spinach, along with strawberries and roasted nuts. It was quite good, fresh, etc., though a bit smaller than I expected. The chick-pea fritters with arugula, sauces and a mix of numerous other plant ingredients was suprisingly good. I remained quite hungry still after these 3 dishes. So I ordered the pate variety plate, which was good, but I discovered I had made a miscalculation and ended up over-eating afterall.
Overall, for someone fascinated with the idea of solving some of the most pressing global problems via eating plants, I'd be happy come back again and continue to explore the menu.
Vegetarian (vegan on request): wide food genres cramed into a bun. $6/hr PC/internet use. A funky little hole in the wall with very retro rock and R&B during lunch hours, offering such vegan and vegetarian (which become vegan upon request) chopped up dogs in a bun in a paper basket within a plastic basket as, "doggi lama" (house spinach sauce, potatoes, spices, veggies with "yogurt" sauce on top), Dog from Ipanema ((long grain rice, black beans, tomatoes, coconut milk, heart of palm, "beef", walnuts, cilantro, avocado) and the Cajunesk "Red Hot Bayou." As it is just adjacent the Washington State Convention Center, I twice dined there, once because I otherwise lacked needed internet access.
For a venu that's sort of one step away from being a street cart, and my expectations for soggy disintegrating bun and general bitter wateryiness, I found the "doggi lama" to be suprisingly good, a bit like making a hot dog as close to saag paneer while still including the dog.
The "red hot bayou" came across OK, somehow with a Gestalt reminiscent of spicey relish on a conventional dog, but pushing a bit past that.
I found these to be filling despite having relatively small volume for a meal (I drank cold water with them...ask for a glass of water from their pitcher in the fridge instead of buying bottled water). For something fast and funky near the convention center, especially if you're feeling like college-y not so upscale atmosphere, it's OK.
Kind of a divey, sort of beat up, run down punk club/bar: wraps, STROGANOFF
In an extended, partly upscale-ish, outdoor mall built during the early to mid 2000's, the Turkish decor, music and locals, including clothing, made for an interesting atmosphere in this relative oasis (as in much of the surrounding franchises were meat and dairy centric) of vegan and vegetarian turned to vegan food. Early evening on a Tuesday, the place slowly gathered customers, a mix of travelers looking local and locals looking foreign. I struck up a long conversation with a fellow traveller about food and some usual topics. It is not suprising to find a fellow traveller since the few blocks of mall is surrounded by mega-hotels, each generally hosting large conferences and collectively easily totalling over a thousand rooms.
Bread was more like Italian-American restaurant style than the flat or other styles of bread I'm used to in Greek, middle eastern and similar restaurants that serve dishes as here: hummus, baba ganoush, etc. The bread was the least interesting portion of the meal, but served well as a substrate for delivering the baba banoush, which was excellent, but a little heavey on tahini, less on the egg plant.
This went quite well with "Jay Creek Shiraz-Cabernet" wine, which was decent, especially for the price. The mousaka was "vegetarian" but only the top thin shell of cooked cheese was not vegan, and it was easily peeled off leaving behind a beautifully aromatic roasted pepper dominant plate of vegan mousaka, along with roasted tomato, egg plant, tomato sauce, onion and more. Also on the same plate was safron scented and flavored rice.
The baklava was a bit on the sweet side for my taste, but not much more than average. The flavor intensity made up for the small quantity, which was fine with me given how filling the meal was (especially with finishing the baba ganoush).
Overall I'd be happy to experience this place again.
At 8:15pm on a Wednesday evening, it appeared I was immediately seated at the last table inside overlooking the street through an open air window. A very lively and loud atmosphere is created with approximately 100 customers in a rectangular interior with a high ceiling. The waitress was particularly pleasant and accomodating.
I tried their "Ayruveda Thal," a sort of Indian tapas or dim sum which included
Small to medium sized venu with many dishes seeming to cater to both non-vegan and long-time vegan tastes. The outside tables along the street were most popular during good weather. At 8pm on a Thursday evening the outside was full and the inside was near empty, despite the near front-side wall width window wide open. One may notice about a 5 to 1 ratio of women to men and the absence of kids. This was one of the quieter streets among restaurants I've come across that specialize in vegan dishes. Being one block from a park seemed to bias the pace and mood to be slightly more slow and relaxed.
As of June, 2013, many experiments with lupines had surfaced on the menu, which on-line was not current, in English was not current, but in German in print in the restaurant was mostly current, while German fliers for lupine dishes found on each table were only partially current. I had read about lupines becoming more popular as an ingredient among the German vegetarian and vegan communities. So I was curious to try some dishes prepared using lupins as a main ingredient. Dish after dish I identified from these menu listings I was told, sorry it was no longer available....until finally I found these: "Hungarian goulash," "Lupine fillet," and lupine based coffee-like beverages including "lupresso," a lupine based expresso.
The "Hungarian goulash" was essentially a vegetable soup with a strong meaty (umame) and slightly spicey broth. The lupine fillet dish had a well spiced tomato sauce in a small bowl in the center of the plate which worked well with every other item on the plate, including a suprisingly meaty lupin fillet (a richly, as opposed to fatty, flavored firm tofu-like patty reminiscent of dark meat umame), length-wise quartered roasted sweet potato, many other vegetables. I usually skip dessert and coffee, but being still curious about lupins, ordered lupresso and chocholate mousse w/ mango sauce. As sweets go, the mousse was pleasantly less than average on the sweet scale, while I had the somewhat bitter lupresso straight to counter-balance the sweetness left. The rooibos vanilla tea I sampled was reminded me more of the tea Ethiopian restaurants serve than vanilla.
A common dish among vegan restaurants in Munich, "Ayruveda Thal," a sort of Indian tapas or dim sum served mostly at once was also available.
Overall, the cullinary experience and atmosphere was good and price medium to high. Unless they make more of an effort to keep their menus up to date, you might plan on just asking the waitress to explain everything they actually have instead of wasting time reading about things that they no longer include.
--------------- Translation of Online Menu (From German, and as of 6/23/2013. Again, the online menu was not current re: actual): For breakfast -------------- "Scrambled Eggs" 6.5 E by choice with smoking tofu and cherry tomatoes or mushrooms and herbs "Butter Cheese sausage" 6.8 E (from soy and seitan) warm kitchen from 11:30 a.m. Soup ---- Dal soup 5.5 carrot-orange-ingwer soup 5.5 Miso soup 5.5 with seiten tofu, vegetable strips and rungs Starters and salads -------------------- Platters from the showcase small 6.5 large 9.5 Beetroot-carpaccio 10.8 with Lamb's lettuce, grilled oyster mushroom, balsamic-walnut dressing Spinach salad 12.50 with warm rice noodles, marinated seitan and Shitake mushrooms in mirin-sesame dressing Salad plates 3.5 Different vegetables and salads in Lime Vinaigrette with cashew core "cheese" and linseed Crackers Main Course ----------- Palak Tofu 14.50 Spinach coconut curry with mushrooms cherry tomatoes, marinated tofu, rice and a poppadom volkorn Puszta goulash 12.80 This noodles and small salad Falaffel plates 13.80 With ratatouille, hummus and couscous-tabouleh Ayurveda plates 20.50 with vegetable curry, samosas in, bhoris, not hit, apple and tomato chutney, basmatirels, a poppadom and small mango-lassi For the small hunger --------------------- Makam veggi kebab small 6.80 with salad, tzatziki, olives and pita bread large 9.80 Club sandwich 9.80 with hummus, Pflanzerl vegetables, tomatoes, olives and cucumbers All the dishes are also available as small portion http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.max-pett.de/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dmax%2Bpett%2Bmunich%26biw%3D1600%26bih%3D799
This is a tiny organic cafe offering one hot dish per mealtime along with mostly usual coffee house fair. The 5 of us patrons were asked to leave promptly before the closing time of 8pm.
From my perspective on the street, the sidewalk folding sign lead me to the wrong entrance, which turned out to be an entirely empty night-club with music blasting throughout. Once I figured out no one was there, I left and found the correct entrance right beside the wrong one. The woman behind the register at the counter explained that there was only one dish offered, a rice bowl with pickled vegetables (radishes, red cabbage, celery root), curried tofu and lettuce. The dish was offered in small and large sizes. I found the dish to be suprisingly better than my moderate to good expectations. I also had the rooibos tea, similar in flavor to the tea commonly served in Ethiopian restaurants.
If you happen to like the dish they happen to have, get there well before 8pm and find a place to sit, this might be OK for you.
I found this place unusually difficult to find: It is in a particularly ubfuscated street lay-out in the city, with lots of curves, changing names, plazas with no markings and alleys through blocks. Louis is within a hotel and has its entrance off of an alley way which is found near the listed address. The atmosphere reminded me of a good copy of an upscale restaruant where I once dined in Tokyo, apart from the absence of patrons other than the few Germans and Americans together at the only other table occupied. It is rather expensive with presentation and other aesthetics given attention. Beef seems to be the main focus, with menu selections including steaks ranging from 25 to 80 Euros. The art of presentation is not among the criteria I use to select a restaurant, especially at these prices, but I just arrived from a long flight and had little patience to look for an alternative.
There are 6 vegetarian dishes on the menu:
The waiter first suggested starting with the seaweed salad, but then changed the recommendation to edamame "to get protein." After figuring out side dishes and other options, I ordered several dishes:
Overall, I probably will never return to this place.