Ah, Portland. Vegan Food Mecca. What will you come up with next? There's restaurants, food cart pods, and pop-up restaurants!
I love pop-ups for several reasons. Mostly because they are usually a result of a labor of love. Which means the food is delicious.
And secondly, because they are rarer and less permanent than your average brick and morter, it gives the chefs more freedom to create and innovate, and that extra luxury gives way to an ingenuity that definitely makes the culinary creations extra special.
So, let me introduce you to a quite unexpected new pop-up in Portland called Of Roots and Blooms that I was personally very excited to discover.
It's no surprise to my readers that I'm a huge fan of vegan comfort food. Tasty, non-gooey, perfectly executed vegan cheese is my unicorn. And I heart me some cashew cheese.
food cart to pop-up
So, on previous visits to Portland, I had always made a point to visit one specific food cart located on Alberta, called Cheese Plate PDX. They had the best cashew cheese spreads I could ever remember tasting. And, c'mon, like you're not going to go to a cheese-centered food cart.
Fast forward a bit, and the lovely folks that owned the cart have transitioned into a completely 100% vegan pop-up restaurant!
vegan comfort foods galore
And they are doing it right. They are creating some amazingly inventive meal plans that I am very jealous of and very in love with.
Here's a small sampling of the goodies: grilled cheese, stroganoff, tacos, mac and cheese, fish sandwiches, ravioli, cheesesteak sliders, quesadillas, jackfruit sliders, poppers, chowder, gnocchi, meatloaf, gumbo, paninis, linguini, chicken salad, risotto, nachos, subs, kale chips, bread pudding, and an entire range of salad combinations. Wow!
That's pretty much all the yummy comfort food in the world... veganised... and delicious. Rockstars.
pesto pepperoni mac and cheese
On my visit, I was lucky enough to try a zesty pesto and pepperoni mac and cheese dish, with cashew cheese sauce, basil pesto, pepperoni, peppers, and olives, on a bed of fresh arugula, and sprinkled with breadcrumbs on top for that extra crunchy kick. Perfect combo of cheesy, creamy, spicy, chewy and savory. Amazingly good.
fishless filet sandwich
And because good traditional British food is a unicorn itself, good vegan British food simply must be sampled. So I had to try the Fishless Filet Sandwich, which was a Gardein fish filet with tarter sauce, capers, lettuce and a layer of mushy peas all on a chewy pub roll.
I could've closed my eyes and imagined I was right back in one of my beloved British pubs and eating tasty eats in Brighton. Adding the capers and the mushy peas threw in a genius one-two punch of sweet and salty flavors into the mix.
Big ups to Of Roots and Blooms for aiming for zero waste by using eco-friendly sustainable disposables. I love to see people give a darn about our planet. I eat out a lot (all the time) and earth-friendly products make me pleasantly surprised to see.
This pop-up has since closed but they left their recipes to Capitol at 1440 NE Broadway.