Oregonian Eats [Bend, Eugene, Portland]
Pleased to be finally eating a healthy breakfast, my day of Oregon eats began in Bend at Mother’s Juice Cafe. This place fit right in with Bend, a progressive mix of aging hippies and idealistic youngins.
I had their Mothers Bowl: a vibrant chia pudding (made with hemp milk, kale, lemon, ginger and mango) topped with apple, strawberry and almonds. Though I expected the city to be much more vegan-friendly, I was glad that this was the only real breakfast option of substance… I would have likely swung for something decadent if it was available.
The next few hours were spent basking in the sun and admiring, once again, the lay of the land. Here is a shot of the blue sky before I was subjected to heavy downpours for the remainder of the drive. I love that the peaks of the Cascade range were always in the background.
Crater Lake National Park still had winter closures and at the time of my visit and localized clouds hung heavy on the park. Scaling the high packed snow that surrounded the view gave me a bit of altitude… but the lake was covered in a dreamy, white gauze.
I didn’t stay at the lake for long. My only source of warmth still smelt of cow breath and it was not cutting the wind.
Though the view was gorgeous, I was filled with worry about running out of gas. The mountainous incline to Crater Lake ate a significant amount of my quarter of a tank. The helpful rangers steered me toward the closest gas station… that was closed, as many had been on my drive south on 97. Old, abandoned gas stations. I noticed everyone because I had wanted to stop and photograph each one. But if I stopped every time I saw something I wanted to take pictures of, I’d get nowhere!
Now here is something I definitely needed to stop and photograph: Cornbread Cafe in Eugene. This all-vegan comfort food spot if just what I needed, especially after a chia seed pudding breakfast. I could barely contain my excitement.
I built my own meal, choosing their chicken-fried tempeh (local from Eugene), mac uncheese, and mashed potatoes–all swimming in their cashew-based gravy–with a tremendous biscuit with a ton of Earth Balance on it. It was quite the meal! Cornbread is another cart to storefront success story. They are mostly organic and their offerings are mostly fresh made. I wish I could have been able to come for their weekend breakfast menu, more specifically their Chik’n and waffles.
This chicken-fried tempeh was dreamy. Not a frozen patty of processed textured soy protein, thank goodness.
Ok, this is when you’ll realize I am an absolute glutton. A root beer float was my beverage of choice for this fantastic meal. Amazing. Thanks for the deliciously satisfying pit stop, Eugene!
And I am still eating! But now I am in Portland. The place overwhelms me. For dinner, a crepe… because I don’t eat crepes often. Suzette Creperie has a gluten-free and vegan option that I was very excited about: a savory Marsala Soaked Fig crepe, roasted garlic-chickpea spread (hummus, right?), caramelized onions, and spinach, folded neatly and drizzled with soy crema. This was tasty but a bit overstuffed, which made the texture heavy and wet.
And I had to get a quick dessert. After all, I was in Portland. My vegan desires can be easily met. And I wanted soft serve. I stopped into Back to Eden Bakery for a sweet treat.
Remember when I called myself a glutton? I got the deluxe banana split with all vanilla soft serve, chocolate sauce, homemade caramel and berry sauces, a sprinkling of mini Dandies and cherries on top. It was worth sitting next the annoying hipster family of ice cream slurpers. Ok, that’s enough for now, Portland.
And because I am a tourist, the White Stag sign. Time to head back to my room and not drive or eat. Goodnight, Portland!