My Week In Review

 

Hello guys, welcome to the first (and most likely only—we discussed my attention span in my previous post) edition of My Week In Review.

This past week, I:

  • Ate these vegan nachos at Moonshine Tavern while discussing a new project with my friend Amado (hint: PODCAST).

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  • Decided that enough was enough and asked my friend Rob to take some professional shots of me. By professional, I mean not in a photobooth and not eating a spaghetti sandwich or a taco, which is my typical MO.

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Exhibit A: this photo from 2011 was my profile picture for longer than I care to share. But come on, ya’ll. A spaghetti sandwich. Made with a grilled cheese. Side note: my hair was so short!

I don’t have any of the pictures yet (and lord knows YOU WILL ALL KNOW when I get them cuz they’ll be all over my Facebook and Yelp and Twitter and Blog and Pinterest and Instagram and whatever new social media comes out between now and then) but I do have photos of the photographer taking pictures of me, because I’m post-modern and stuff.

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  • Took a trip to Astoria (on the Oregon Coast, about a two hour drive from Portland) with my friend Zach. I was in desperate need of a getaway (bruised heart problems, yadda yadda), so this was PERFECT timing.

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We played Bingo at the best little dive bar in the world:

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I swear to god, the person taking the picture and the bartender TOLD US to get up on the bar for this picture. This was not my idea, though I gleefully complied.

…and we ordered a sampler of fancy (read: expensive) and delicious beers at Ft George Brewery…

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…and checked out the fogginess of the Oregon Coast from the vantage point of the Astoria Column.

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  • I attended a Sausage Party.

It’s not what you think.

Or is it?  It was just a vegan sausage potluck, guys. Gosh.

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It was tons of fun and I ate the heck out of some vegan sausage. Some highlights included:

  • Apple, Brussels Sprouts and Soyrizo Soup
  • Homemade Pepperoni on English Muffin Pizzas
  • Fennel Sausage Links
  • Soyrizo-stuffed Mushrooms
  • Cheesy Apple Sage Sausage and Jalapeño Muffins

 

  • I ate at Veggie Grill’s Grand Opening of their 3rd Portland location in Hillsboro (their treat):

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I could eat Veggie Grill every single day. Now, if only they’d put their vegan Caesar back on the menu…

I tackled a big bowl of pho after an extensive and always-hilariously fun grocery shopping trip with the roomie (love that gal so much):

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Had a few Vida Vegan meetings:

One was at the Portland Art Museum, to go over a few minor setbacks we encountered (don’t worry, Vida Vegan Con goers, it’s going to work out even better for us in the long run!)

Art Museum Outside

 

And the other was at a potential Galarama + Silent Auction site:

Staver Locomotive

So pretty, right??

 

I’ve also been munching my way through the treats in this Healthy Surprise package that they sent me. This company specializes in sending vegan, gluten-free and soy-free snack to your door. Review coming soon.

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Just another week in my life. I do feel very fortunate that I’ve carved out a life that keeps me busy and happy and surrounded by fantastic friends and great food.

 

Note: This is in addition to my normal 40-45 hour work week at the restaurant. I don’t blog about that because, well, is that boring? I don’t know; it’s not to me. If anyone is interested in a ‘Day In The Life’ type post about what I do in a day as a restaurant manager, let me know and I will totally consider it.

 

…..And now I want a spaghetti sandwich. Great.

**Vida Vegan Tech Seminar Giveaway**

 

Oh, HI, GUYS!!!

Pardon me, I’m drinking coffee for the first time in 12 days. WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!

I also happen to be very excited to announce that I’m doing a giveway right here on this ol’ blog.

Guess what for???

 

Give up?

 

It’s the…………..

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Vida Vegan Seminar Series: Tech

When: Saturday, November 3. 9am-5pm

Where: The Sexy Seattle Public Library

How Come: Because Jess, Michele and I love you and want you to learn all the ins and outs of techy blogging so vegan blogs can take over the worrrrrld.

This ticket includes 100% complimentary full-access registration to the first (of many!) specialized one-day seminars.This first one is all tech, all the time. A lot of the feedback we got from VVC1 suggested even more focus on techy stuff. You talked, we listened!

The line-up is looking stellar—see this page for details on speakers and classes.  We’re so thankful to be able to gather together some truly top-notch experts in the vegan tech field. And, in case you haven’t heard, guess who’s providing lunch? Only the makers of the best salads and sandwiches and buffalo wings and peach iced tea in the multiverse(drum roll please): VEGGIE GRILL.

 

Rules

* Winner gets complimentary full-day pass to the entire tech seminar.

* This covers the day of classes, a coursebook with materials provided by our speakers, lunch and snacks, and a notebook.

* Must provide own transportation and lodging, if coming from outside of Seattle.

 

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

Q. Do I need to be a vegan to enter?

A. Nope. The lunch may be vegan, but the content is universal. If you’re interested in learning more in-depth blogging skillz, you’ll get a lot of this seminar, vegan or not.

Q. How do I enter?

A. Comment below about 1.) something you’re interested in learning in the blogging technical sphere. 2.) Or, if you know everything already, leave a comment with your favorite vegan spot to eat in Seattle.

Q. Who’s eligible?

A. Anyone who wants to come and can make it to Seattle on Saturday, November 3!

Q. When and how do I know if I won?

A. You have until Wednesday, September 26 to enter. That will give the winner plenty of time to make travel arrangements if needed. I’ll randomly pick a winner and announce it on here, Facebook and Twitter, so stay tuned.

Q. I entered, but I didn’t win.And now I wanna go so hard. How do I buy a ticket?

A. If we still have tickets available, you can purchase them here.

 

Good luck, lovelies!

My Day at IFBC

 

A few weeks back, Jess, Michele and I attended The International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) at the DoubleTree. We were contacted last year by the organizer, Sheri, for advice and we were asked to give a talk.

We gleefully accepted, and found ourselves on a sunny Friday heading into the hotel for a  day’s worth of meals, talks, samples and ‘networking’. (<—I don’t particularly like that word, it sounds so sort of douchy, but I mean it as a catchall—meeting new people, catching up with old acquaintances, making new connections and friends—it was enjoyable.)

I was just able to attend the first day due to having to work on Saturday and Sunday, but it was a full and fun day.

We had been assured all along that there would be vegan options at every meal, so I came in hungry. First thing we saw, at the the coffee station outside the main room:

 

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Vegan milks for coffee! Awesome. Michele and I had geekily brought our own soy creamer (she has pictures to prove it), but I thought that was a nice touch.

Turns out the lunch didn’t have vegan options—it was sponsored by Organic Valley, who provided an array of grilled cheese sandwiches. The flavors sounded nice, and if they were vegan, I woulda snatched a few up.

Instead, I had an (admittedly very delicious) apple and a coffee with home-brought soy creamer.

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I wasn’t too tripped out—still happy to be there, sucking down coffee and chillin’ with the fun peeps at our table.

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Plus, I had just acquired my newest favoritest thing in the multiverse:

 

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My OXO Water Bottle. Seriously, I love this thing. I can close it up and throw it in my bike bag, and when I’m ready to drink, I just twist the top and out pops the little straw. I love it so so much. I’ve used it non-stop and have been staying way hydrated just because I like drinking from it.

 

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(The rumors are true.)

 

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After an introductory talk, and a welcoming address by the guy in charge of the new Hungry channel on You Tube (heads up: they’re looking for a vegan host, so if you have personality, pep and passion, hook it up, vegan brothers and sisters. Common consensus at our table was that Brian Patton, aka The Sexy Vegan, would be a great choice.), we participated in a ‘Live Blog’ session sponsored by Travel Portland.

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Essentially, there were 21 different local vendors, and 10 of them would visit each table in 5 minute increments to explain their product and give us samples.

It was a genius idea.

Half of the people at our table (Jess, Michele, Grant Butler and  I) were vegan, so about half of the vendors got a polite interest in their product at best, though the stinky cheese lady might have got a few well-timed bathroom breaks from Jess and I.

But even with some options not vegan, there were still plenty of amazing treats.

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The kale chips weren’t part of the rounds of vendors, but they somehow ended up on our table, and we starving vegans ate the heck out of them.

The sushi guy from Cannon Beach actually had vegan sushi for us! I love him.

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The true standout was the housemade wasabi. Oy! So good.

 

Some other vegan options:

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Fresh fruit jam from the Fruit Loop in Hood River…

 

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Beer from a new brewpub in Hood River called Pfriem…

And….

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Vodka!

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A quick shot and some kale chip crumbs before going to our talk on Niche Blogging.

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I don’t have any pictures of the talk, but we had a nice turnout of about 20 people, and it turned into a really good discussion. We met a few really nice ladies afterward who came up to chat with us. (Hi, new friends!)

 

Following the talks, there was a wine reception. I sampled a few whites and met a few nice people. I chatted with a nice guy from Kentucky who told me about a watermelon julep slushy thingy that sounded AMAZING.

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I also spent some quality time taking pictures of corks and candles.

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Following the wine tasting, we headed into the amazing swag bag room to collect some fun products (see Jess’s picture here) and sample food from more local peeps.

This was my favorite part. We were starving. A huge thanks to Biwa, Boke Bowl, Veggie Grill and Departure for having vegan options!

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How do I find an up arrow on my keyboard? This dish in the above photo was soooo good.

 

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Guys, f’rill, I don’t even particularly LIKE zucchini, and I could eat this thing all day every day.

 

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Yurm.

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Chef Gregory of Departure working his sweet sweet magic.

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Vegan Roasted Vegetable Bao. Heavenly.

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And then! You guys! BUBBLES!!!

 

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Any event with bubbles gets an automatic A from me. What can I say, I’m easy.

 

And last but certainly not least:

 

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Veggie Grill!

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Look at that big delicious plate of kale salad. They really know how to make vegan girls happy.

It was my first food blogger’s conference other than our own Vida Vegan Con, and it was tons of fun. I met several rad people; I’m stoked that we were asked to speak; and glad I could take the day off work to come check it out.

 

 

 

 

Veggie Grill Downtown

Thank you so much for the incredibly sweet and supportive comments on my post last week about my dad. The comments, and the intention behind them, mean a lot to me.

 

I’m going to switch things up a little bit now. I’m going to talk about Veggie Grill. Within the last few weeks, I was invited to try their new menu items and to be one of the first to dine at their new downtown Portland location.

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love Veggie Grill. In part because I think it’s cool they don’t pay for advertising; instead they just invite people to check them out and hope they spread the word. (Recently they had a day where if you bring in a Veggie Grill virgin who had never enjoyed Veggie Grill, the virgin ate for free. That’s pretty cool.) In part because I really like the mission of the company—the founders and CEO’s really want to spread the word that eating vegan is convenient, affordable, and most importantly, delicious. And in part because the food doesn’t just sound good; it is good.

Veggie Grill makes my favorite buffalo wings (now in salad form!!), my favorite Thai-style salad, and my new favorite whatever-it-is VG Rollers. Is it an appetizer? An entrée? Both? Whatever it is, I’ll take a full order, please.

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B-Wing Salad: Buffalo wings over chopped romaine, avocado, celery, roasted corn salsa, and ranch dressing. $9.95 * New Item

 

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VG Rollers, served appetizer-style in first picture and entrée style in second picture (minus the 2 I already ate): Blackened chickin’, cabbage, creamy Santa Fe spread rolled in grilled flour tortillas, served with salsa and chili $7.95 *New Item

 

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Thai Chickin’ Salad: Chillin’ chickin’, romaine, cabbage, corn salsa, green onion, mandarin oranges, sesame seeds, cilantro, wontons and spicy Thai dressing $9.95

 

Veggie Grill opened on May 31st in the old Carl Jr’s spot in downtown Portland on SW 5th and Taylor. Centrally-located affordable and convenient vegan food? YES PLEASE!!! I occasionally miss Veganopolis (you guys remember that place?) because it was convenient and had a pretty extensive (though expensive) menu. While there are a handful of vegan options downtown, most of them are carts. I don’t work downtown, so when I’m down there, I typically want a sit-down option with a roof over my head.

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I like that they offer beer and wine, though the peach iced tea is my jam. I can never seem to stray from it. Don’t even waste your time with the other drinks. Sure, strawberry lemonade sounds good, but seriously, try the peach iced tea.

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In addition to offering the B-Wing Salad and the VG Rollers, the new menu items also include a Crab Cake and Buffalo Bomber sandwich, and 3 new Homestyle Plates (with gluten-free options available, too). Oh, and we can’t forget the new dessert: Chocolate Pudding Parfait.

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This was a sample of the crab cake, cut up with a side of the tarter sauce that comes on the sandwich.

 

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Crispy Chickin’ Plate:Fried chickin’, cauliflower-mashed potatoes, porcini mushroom gravy with fresh rosemary and steamin’ kale (with a terrific ginger dressing!) $9.95

 

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Urban Plate (Gluten-free option): Blackened tempeh-caramelized onion-portobello mushroom stack, steamin’ kale, sliced tomato salad and chipotle ranch $9.95

 

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Blackened Chickin’ Plate: Papaya salsa topping, steamin’ kale and quinoa pilaf $9.50

 

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Buffalo Bomber: Crispy chickin’ tossed with spicy buffalo sauce, tomato, red onion, lettuce and ranch dressing $8.95

 

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Chocolate Pudding Parfait: Made-from-scratch pudding, topped with chocolate sauce, crushed cookies, walnuts and VG crema $3.50. (This is SOOOOO GOOD.)

 

One last pic:

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Jess’s cute freckled arm.

Oh, and one more picture of the B Wing Salad:

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