Herbivory.

This post is a nod to all those vegans and vegetarians out there. I was very curious about whether vegan food can truly match wits with non-vegan food–and I have to say, Portland nails it.

Prasad Cuisine is a crowd favorite, a little restaurant that shares a space with a yoga center. This kind of place gives a glimpse into a health nut’s sort of routine. Do yoga, eat clean, and peace out with a raw fruit smoothie. I only did one of those three things and already felt immensely proud of myself.

The menu at Prasad featured a lot of intricate bowls and salads along with a series of cocktails and drinks. I opted for the Dragon Bowl, a beautiful presentation of a red quinoa base layered with beans, collard greens, steamed kale, and a delicate finish of sliced avocado sprinkled with hemp seeds.  All I saw was green, seriously.

prasad

There were multiple sauce choices as well, and the carrot habanero I selected had a rich and bright orange hue with a smooth, silky texture. That sauce was the most delicious carrot concoction I’ve ever had–minus carrot cake. Its sweet taste enhanced with a little spice gave the other mild-flavored foods a touch more character, so I actually quite enjoyed the bowl. And it took a me while to polish off that whole thing–the portion was definitely generous.

For dessert, I was eager to try Petunia’s Cakes & Pastries, a renowned vegan bakery in downtown Portland. The interior had cutesy, girly vibes with mint green and pale pink prints, and a long glass display of various treats caught my eye. A massive cake dubbed “Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bomb” particularly beckoned to me. Clearly, choosing was easy.

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The best part of the cake, to my surprise, was the peanut butter filling. A creamy consistency  with a little bit of coarseness enhanced the rich, decadent peanut flavor . That’s what I think peanut butter should taste like. The frosting tasted beautifully light with a rather subtle cocoa flavor while the cake itself featured a moist and slightly dense texture, sort of like a soft banana bread.

After eating Petunia’s take on this classic dessert, I have nothing but praise for vegan bakeries. It was a different adjustment in terms of flavors and textures, but I think people just need to find the right places. Herbivory isn’t such a daunting route, after all.

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