So my wife and I went on a little mini vacation this weekend to Portland. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown, aka the historic Multnomah Hotel. We saw Marie Antoinette (which was beautifully filmed and a bit slow, but well done, especially the non-period but perfectly acceptable 80s soundtrack; Sheldon Brown found this horribly inappropriate, but I must agree with him, that I, too, saw a pair of sneakers in that shoe scene!) at Pioneer Place after shopping around, among other places, the Apple Store.

But mostly we relaxed and ate good. Portland’s a good place to be a vegan. We indulged in some authentic Chinatown food at the Vegetarian House, doughnuts at Voodoo Donut, and the breakfast buffet at Veganopolis. There are plenty more options in Portland, but all of these were within walking distance. Oh! I did forget the most memorable place, though– and the most relevant to Bike Friday. This again proves the idea that it’s a small world on small wheels.

Here’s the story: for Christmas a few years back, I bought my wife this cookbook of vegan world cuisines prepared by a resturaunt called Blossoming Lotus in Kauai, Hawai’i. It’s got a little bent towards raw food, too, which is really nice. Christina discovered shortly before we left that they had opened a branch in Portland. That was definately first on our Friday itinerary.

We ate mostly raw there. To drink we had Kauai Chai which was more like a chai-flavored soy latte than anything, but very good. Our appetizers consisted of exquisitely delicious raw pizza (which was to DIE FOR!), a raw spinach tomato soup which was sort of a creamy gazpacho that came with these wonderful flax crackers that they sell there in the bag, and a small salad with crumbled almonds on it. Our entrees were raw veggie pasta and a raw version of the plum sauced-Chinese version of the wrap, mushu. Both were incredible and the latter was so good it was almost too rich, but I’m not complaining. Desert consisted of a breakfast parfait which was fruit, nut cream and sprouted granola, a piece of raw fudge and a bit of carrot cake. Probably one of the most satisfactory meals ever. Highly recommended. Can’t wait to go there again.

The Bike Friday content? Well, there’s a growing raw food contigent among Bike Friday owners. For example, there is Chef Ito (search for his name here for a great review of the resturaunt.. and him) who now owns my old messenger bike along with a superlight Pocket Crusoe. Ito also coerced one of his staff to get a Bike Friday, too! Then there’s lecturer and author Paul Nison who is actually in between Bike Fridays.. but only because he got married and decided to sell his single and get a tandem. And though Nic Mamula, whose fixed Friday will be next month’s BFFFFFG, isn’t raw as far as I know, he’s at least got leanings in that direction to work at Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco.

Now here’s the punchline: our waitress recently went to Cafe Gratitude and was served by Nic. Furthermore, she used to religiously visit Ito’s resturaunt when she lived in the LA area. Oddly, she never heard of a Bike Friday. But now she has. 🙂

So I have to wonder: any other raw foodists out there?

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