Vegan BBQ, it’s true, it’s true!

Tonight was the grand opening of an all-vegan BBQ in Portland called Homegrown Smoker. I know!!! Tim and I tossed aside our previous dinner menu and rode our bikes up to Last Thursday, which is a chaotic mess of arts, crafts, food, music, costumes, and hoards of people roaming the street having fun and being silly. Usually a crowded environment makes me a bit unpleasant to be around, but come on, vegan BBQ!!! 

Homegrown Smoker turned out to be quite delicious. They have a decent-sized menu with sandwiches, specialties, side options, beverages, and local vegan desserts (check out the menu on their blog!). Making a decision wasn’t easy and the smoky BBQ smells emanating from their stand were numbing my mind. I finally decided upon the Smoked Soy Curls (served on a pita) with a side of Mac No Cheese. Tim opted for Chronic Tempeh Ribs & Vegan Sausage (I believe they use Field Roast sausages) with Cole Slaw and Baked Beans. The wait was incredibly short since we arrived before the crowds. With food in hand, we found a cozy spot on the curb to dine, people watch, and listen to music. Here, take a look:

Smoked BBQ Soy Curls

BBQ Tempeh

The smoky flavor was perfectly subtle, and the BBQ sauce was sweet, tangy, and a little spicy (there are two sauce options). My pita bread was chewy, soft, and gently grilled. I was a bit disappointed with the side portion of my meal, there was maybe a 1/4 cup of macaroni, which isn’t very much, especially for a hungry BBQ-crazed vegan food snarfer (such as myself). But, the Mac No Cheese was yummy, and I happily shared bites with Tim. We both agreed that the ribs would have benefitted from simmering in BBQ sauce rather that having a squeezy bottle for customers to dispense onto their food. Overall, we enjoyed our food and look forward to visiting again (we live only a few miles away!!!). The ever-growing number of all-vegan businesses in Portland makes me overflow with glee. Taco trucks, milkshakes, Italian food, bakeries, groceries, tattoos, bars… I love it here.

The street fair also had a sweet little baked goods vendor called Petunia’s. We purchased two cupcakes for dessert and probably should have purchased a dozen. We chose a Chocolate Hazelnut and a Lemon Coconut, but there was Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars too, I think. We also purchased a Strawberry Vanilla cupcake from a vegan bake sale that was happening during the festivities (Portland’s 3rd and final in the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale). Mmmmmmm, cupcakes!!!!

2 Cupcakes

Pardon the smooshed top, Tim was handling the box.

Lemon Coconut Cupcake

Lemon Coconut cupcake

Tim Snarfs Cupcake

You would think he’d share…

Petunias

Pretty, pretty baked treats!!

This weekend Tim and I will be attending the second annual Let Live Animal Rights Conference!! We learned so much last year, and the speakers lined up for this year are equally amazing. You can see the schedule here, and look forward to photos from the conference in my next post. It’s always nice to be immersed in a room full of like-minded compassionate people working together to benefit the animals. Veganism has made a huge difference in my life, and I wish I’d made the choice years ago. Go eat a cupcake and get happy!

Keep on Let Living

First off, I have been a lazy poster. But, I have been super busy too! This past weekend was a whirlwind of awesome. The Let Live Animal Rights Conference kicked off on Friday evening and lasted through Sunday. This was an amazing event, and I really, really enjoyed myself. There is something about being surrounded by like-minded people that puts one at ease. So, Friday night was a small turnout of people, but there was delicious food from Los Gorditos, and several of the organizers for the conference spoke.

Saturday was a long day. There were lots of speakers and workshops to choose from throughout the day. Here is what I did:

1. Conference Orientation and Opening Plenary Address (with Lauren Ornelas and Elsbeth Seymour)

2. Exposing Institutionalized Cruelty (with Nathan Runkle and others)

3. Striking at the Roots (with Mark Hawthorne)

4. How To: Solo Activism (with Mark Hawthorne and Veda Stram)

5. How To: Dealing with Law Enforcement (with Shannon Keith)

6. How To: Becoming the Media and Getting Creative (with Josh Hooten {check the link for some of Josh’s photos from the event! DO IT!!!} and others)

7. How To: Researching Animal Abuse (with Peter Young and others)

Phew! Long day huh?

Sunday was shorter for me because I had brunch with a friend and also met Hannah of My Sweet Vegan! Yeah! She is so kind! I sampled a few of the treats she brought along (whoopie pies and wee muffins). They were the perfect dessert after brunch at Sweetpea!

Next, I headed back to the conference to see Isa speak about Culinary Activism. Fun, and definitely worth the 3-mile walk in the 90+ degree weather I took to get there! Everybody loves talking about food, especially vegan food, so this was a great way to end the conference. Go bake a treat for some friends, it’s a great form of activism.

Lastly, was the conference closing with Lauren Ornelas. If you click on the link for Josh Hooten above, you can view a photo of a bunch of the attendees smiling for the camera. The photos will be sent to the SHAC 7 folks.

Overall, I am so very happy that I was able to be a part of such an awesome event. I cannot wait for next year!