Properly Full

Today marked the opening of yet another all-vegan food cart in Portland! I am forever lost in the numbers of vegan-friendly dining options here since Tim and I rarely go out to eat. But, we were lured by the opening of this new cart, Kitchen Dances, because the owner used to be a partner at Proper Eats, one of our most favorite places to dine in Portland. We impulsively decided to take a quick bike ride over to the new cart for lunch:

The cart is located in the Good Food Here cart pod on SE Belmont and 42nd Avenue (surprisingly, Tim and I had no idea this cart pod even existed! See? We don’t eat out much!). It’s tucked away in the back, but you can’t miss the bright red exterior or lovely aromas wafting from the inside. For their first day of business, Kitchen Dances had a non-stop flow of customers, which makes me insanely happy because I want this cart to stay firmly planted right where it is! The menu boasts super-fresh cooked and raw items:

After a few moments of pondering the menu, the woman working there offered us a free sample of their homemade basil-hazelnut pesto spread on some awesome chewy bread:

I was seconds away from darting off with the entire plate of samples because (1) I love bread; (2) I love pesto; and (3) I love free samples. While we were waiting in line to order, the gentleman behind us asked if we had ordered yet. I told him that we had not and when it was our turn to order, he cut in front of us and placed his order first! What? If ever there were a time for me to exercise my desire to punch someone in the face, this would have come close. Don’t fret, I’m not violent and I pretended not to notice.

I ordered the Raw Hummus Wrap for $5.00 and Tim ordered the Roasted Eggplant Sandwich for $7.50. The prices are fair considering the amount of food you get and the quality of ingredients. The food is so clean and so good for you – there’s no guilt! Kitchen Dances also offers desserts, primarily from Black Sheep Bakery. We didn’t get any desserts because I overdosed on chocolate yesterday… Maybe next time though!

Our food:

Tim’s Roasted Eggplant Sandwich consisted of: roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, and tomato with a garlic-herb aioli and a side salad. He said it was really good. I was proud of Tim because when we go to Proper Eats, he ALWAYS gets the Tempeh Reuben (which is on the menu at Kitchen Dances too) and he tried something new today!

My Raw Hummus Wrap: this was a chard leaf filled with raw hummus, carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, and quinoa tabouli. I was a bit disappointed because there were no carrots or beets (two of my favorite veggies) and the tabouli was loaded with lots of onions (which I’m not a fan of, sadly). The hummus was delicious and so was the chard leaf, but I couldn’t finish my wrap due to all the onions. Tim devoured it though, even after cleaning his own plate.

I will definitely be riding my bike back to Kitchen Dances because there were other items on the menu that looked incredibly yummy. I should have known better about the onions, but I was too excited and didn’t think before I ordered.

Yay for even more vegan food options in Portland!!!

And hey, if you haven’t entered my giveaway yet, you should! I keep adding more fun items to the prize!! I hope everybody’s week is off to a good start.

Food Carting

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I am quite lucky to have an hour for lunch during my workday. I am also quite lucky because Tim rides his bike to meet me for lunch nearly every day – his visits make the lameness of a desk job a hazy smear, at least for a little while! We usually pack yummy lunches and sit in the park to eat and do crossword puzzles. But there are days when we just want to treat ourselves (or we are simply out of food at home) to a purchased lunch. Earlier this week we walked to an area a few blocks from my office full of food carts, a few with vegan goodness!!! We decided on a place called DC Vegetarian, an all vegetarian food cart with plenty of vegan options. I ordered a vegan Italian sub and Tim ordered a vegan Steak & Cheese sub. While we waited for our food, other folks were placing orders and collecting orders and it was awesome to hear that every person had ordered vegan!!! Right on!

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My sub sandwich came on a lovely grilled roll that was fresh, soft, chewy, and crispy all at once. It was filled with vegan meats and cheeses, spicy mustard, mayo, lettuce and avocado. Admittedly, I rarely eat vegan deli slices or cheeses, so this was a special treat. It reminded me of “Sub Night” from my childhood – my family would put a bunch of sub rolls, filling, and condiments out on the table and we would each assemble and toast our own subs for dinner. Happy memories!!! I enjoyed my HUGE and well-priced ($5.25) sammie very much, even though I ate the whole thing and had a small tummy upset later… Greedy lunch snarfer.

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Tim’s sub was amazing! It was filled with house seitan that had been doused in what we think was Yumm Sauce (a crazy good sauce used at Cafe Yumm and also sold in select grocery stores, maybe Whole Foods?) and perhaps some other goodness, plus grilled peppers and onions.

DC Veg 1

With so many old and new vegan-friendly food carts (thanks for compiling the list Jess!) popping up all over Portland, it’s easy to scoff at packed lunches, but in all honesty, I love homemade food much better. It’s fun to eat out and have others cook for you, but Tim and I always make those special occasions so it doesn’t become habit. With that being said, I would definitely go back to DC Vegetarian when I want a warm, filling sammie on my lunch hour that won’t bust my wallet (just my tummy).