Archive for the ‘Food Cart’ category

Butler Soy Curls

January 14th, 2012

Butler Soy Curls

If you’ve been to Portland you’ll find plenty vegan food and you’ll also likely experience a thing called soy curls. They’re found everywhere from Homegrown Smoker to Native Bowl. Nothing more than dried soybean protein they have a chewy texture and, like tofu, Butler Soy Curls can take on the flavor properties of whatever you season them with. So when given a few bags of these versatile goodies I brainstormed on what I should prepare first. The obvious choice was a simple barbecue sandwich.

I’m no fan of meat substitutes and I’ve made that clear before. I do, however, realize that fake meats have their place for transitioning vegetarians and the occasional vegan who likes the chance of getting with some junk food. I’ll indulge in junk food from time to time and sometimes one of those fake meats might be what I choose if it’s new or really doesn’t have exact properties of actual meat.

I chose to make saucy barbecue sandwiches using some of the peach BBQ sauce I made and bottled over the summer. Instead of simply soaking the curls for a few minutes as the directions indicated I simmered them in a mixture of broth, seasonings and a little of the peach BBQ sauce for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid had boiled away leaving the soy curls well-flavored before I added them to a saucepan of peach BBQ sauce. I turned them down on low and simmered them again for about 30 minutes. Fresh baked buns awaited great vegan barbecue sandwich.

Butler Soy Curls

Butler Soy Curls hydrated. At this point they have a slightly chewy texture and are ready for your recipe.

 

Butler Soy Curls BBQ

Butler Soy Curls simmering in homemade Peach BBQ Sauce. Getting ready for a great vegan BBQ sandwich.

 

Butler Soy Curls - Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Butler Soy Curls

 

The soy curls are slightly chewy and have no flavor on their own so they can be made to fit into most any dish you choose. They’re great for stir fries, sandwiches, fajitas and could be chopped slightly smaller and used in soups or stews.

Butler Soy Curls are available from their website as well as many online retailers.

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Portland, Oregon: Off The Griddle

October 25th, 2011

Off The Griddle - Portland, Oregon

After going through all of the notes I made on our trip to Portland and all of the food pictures I took, as well as the non-food pictures, I’ve come to realize that I could be writing a post a day. I don’t have the time to write a post a day and that would have me wriiting about Portland up until my next Portland trip. I’m not going to do that so I’m going to touch on a few of the highlights of the food portion of our trip and maybe a conglomeration post with a few tidbits of what’s left over with the pictures that are left.

I am a veggie burger lover. I will make one at home on occasion and always skip the frozen ones opting for fresh. If you’re looking locally in Nashville for a decent one in a restaurant you could always go with J. Alexander’s which makes a pretty good one.  However, in Portland I encountered the best veggie burger I’ve ever had in a restaurant. For lunch one day we searched out Off The Griddle, a small food cart on the corner of SE 50th and SE Division. Serving nothing but veggie burgers, both vegan and vegetarian choices, you knew they had to have it down and would serve up a killer burger. No disappointments. All of Off The Griddle’s burgers are mostly organic, homemade and served on Dave’s Killer Bread. Dave’s Killer Bread is another anomaly of amazing food goodness but I’ll try to give you more on that later. The cart is also solar-powered. Solar-powered, homemade, mostly organic and vegan. How can you possibly beat that? Make the best veggie burger you’ll ever eat.

We ordered the Smoky Bleu Burger, topped with tempeh bacon, spinach, onion and a vegan bleu cheese sauce that was so close to bleu cheese that it had me questioning it’s vegan authenticity. Our second choice was the daily special, a Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger. This one had the usual inclusions, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and sweet pickles but also a great tasting curry coconut tahini sauce that made the burger perfect. Both burgers were, of course, vegan and had great texture. They weren’t mushy and didn’t fall apart. These could be the perfect vegan veggie burgers.

 

Off The Griddle - Smoky Bleu Burger

Smokey Bleu Burger

 

Off The Griddle - Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger

Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger

 

There’s ample seating available in the food cart pod so you don’t have to search our a place to sit on the street or walk with your food. These tasty burgers are prepared fresh to order so grab a seat and wait for the most amazing veggie burger you’ll ever encounter.

If I could get to Off The Griddle right now I would. If I could have the veggie burger perfection that I found at Off The Griddle right now I would. However, that would be a 2,351 mile trip and I don’t have enough time during lunch to get there and back. Next trip to Portland, though, it’s on!

Walk up and order the best veggie burger you'll ever eat. The special the day we visited was the Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger. Whatever it is the day you visit it's sure to be delicious.

 

Off The Griddle Menu - Portland, Oregon

Vegan and vegetarian veggie burger choices galore. Time to get your veggie burger eats on!

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Portland, Oregon: Homegrown Smoker

October 20th, 2011
Homegrown Smoker

Homegrown Smoker Food Cart in Portland, Oregon

Food carts! In Portland they’re everywhere. 6×12 (or somewhere in that general area) portable trailers fitted with small kitchens and setup in empty lots around the city. You’ll find just about any cuisine you’re in the mood for: Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, burgers, pizza, coffee bars and juice bars and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. One we searched out and really enjoyed was Homegrown Smoker.

You’ll find Homegrown Smoker in a food cart pod at SW 4th and SW Hall at Portland State University. The menu is completely vegan and filled with barbecued and smoky goodness. It was hard to choose from the menu. So many delicious sounding choices. There’s the SloSmoMoFo: BBQ soy curls which are chunks of seitan in a sweet, smoky barbecue sauce, and chipotle slaw on a grilled bun. A Macnocheeto: vegan mac and cheese, baked beans, grilled peppers and onions, BBQ sauce, vegan cheese sauce and a choice of those soy curls or vegan chipotle sausage wrapped in a tortilla. We settled on the Smoked Chili Pie: A bag of Fritos corn chips opened and inside poured smoky chili, cabbage, onions, chipotle aioli, Daiya cheese and the vegan NoCheese sauce. It looks very subdued but that’s one bag of a filling lunch. We also picked the Loafaroni, my favorite of the two. Two thick-cut pieces of smoky vegan meatloaf topped with Mac & NoCheese and covered in BBQ sauce and NoCheese sauce on a grilled bun. That’s right, ON A BUN! It’s a sandwich! How can you possibly go wrong with vegan mac & cheese on a bun? It’s served with one side so spicy baked beans worked perfectly. Did I mention it is ON A BUN?

Everything on the menu at Homegrown Smoker is 100% vegan. When you’re faced with so many vegan choices in a city like Portland, Oregon and then most all of them are 100% vegan you have to pick and choose wisely. Choosing Homegrown Smoker won’t be a bad decision.

Loafaroni

Loafaroni: Smoky Vegan Meatloaf, Vegan Mac & Cheese, BBQ sauce and vegan cheese sauce ON A BUN!

 

Homegrown Smoker - Smoked Chili Pie

Smoked Chili Pie

 

Food Cart Pod at SW 4th & Hall Portland, Oregon

Food Cart Pod at SW 4th & Hall

 

Homegrown Smoker Menu

Homegrown Smoker Menu

 

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