It has been well established that I am a loud and proud carnivore: But it’s also been established that I am an open minded, equal opportunity foodie. Fortunately, living in Portland, I can have my meat, and eat my tofu too.
Vegan food has come a long way in the last ten years. Gone are the days of barely flavored bricks and pungent peanut butters. No, vegan food can now stand proud as a true culinary delight. Portland has many vegan restaurants, but, one of the best is Bye and Bye.
My wife, the more vegetarian of the two us, approaches our upcoming Happy Hour dinner date with glee and excitement. While she eats her primarily pescatarian diet with variety and aplomb, like me, she is always looking for something different. I sense she will not be disappointed.
Outside, even as the weather begins to feel like fall, dark picnic style tables line the outer walls of the sidewalk outside Bye and Bye. A few bicycles are chained and young folks speak in hushed tones between bites of strange looking and delicious smelling food.
Located in the heart of the ultra-hip Alberta Arts District in Northeast Portland, the venue oozes urban charm. Housed in a building occupied primarily by late twenty sometimes, but with a few seasoned foodies added in, the dark wooden walls display bicycle art work, there is a well-stocked wooden bar, and a long, dark lacquered table supplement the visual ambiance. A staff of bearded men and tattooed women cater to your every culinary (and vegan) whim, and share staff suggestions for the best vegan eats in Portland.
I settle on the Weeping Tiger Sandwich: cutlets of Tofu, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, onion, avocado, and miso mayo on local, Grand Central Bread. My wife, craving the barbecue her vegetarianism denies her, opts for the Barbecue platter: barbecue tofu, collard greens, black eyed peas, and a toasted baguette. We both get a nice microbrew to wash it down with.
And, yes, the flavor and the texture are divine. A true foodie’s paradise, a true taste of Portland and a true culinary experience. Ardent carnivore or not, the flavor combinations found at the Bye and Bye will please all palettes no matter how selective. As we finish our plates and down our beers, we look around and find ourselves, once again, in awe of this amazing city and the delicious opportunities it offers us.
Portland is full of hidden gems, and the Bye and Bye is just the tip of the iceberg.
Bye and Bye is located in Portland in the Alberta Arts District at 1011 NE Alberta. Minors are allowed daily until 8 PM.