Headwaters Brunch

I’m going to share one of my brunch secrets – Headwaters PDX, a place that is never too crowded for brunch so I’ve easily walked in (they serve brunch both in their main restaurant area and their lounge area by their bar so have large capacity). PLUS they take reservations! It’s only been almost exactly a year since they opened and I’m not sure if not everyone knows they offer brunch. Whatever, this all adds up so it’s perfect when you have out of town guests and want to stick to a schedule and not have to wait around so you can get going on your way to other weekend adventures. The atmosphere is classy and the service has always been impeccable for anytime I stop in. Weekend brunch is available Saturday and Sunday 8 AM – 3 PM and they also serve breakfast on weekdays.

Start with a brunch cocktail – of course I always recommend a bloody mary. The Headwaters Mary version offers lemongrass green chili vodka and housemade bloody mary mix, horseradish, and Steigl Radler
Headwaters Brunch - Headwaters Mary, lemongrass green chili vodka and housemade bloody mary mix, horseradish, and Steigl Radler

But, my other favorite and highly recommended cocktail for your consideration is the Never Too Early brunch cocktail with aged rum old fashioned, averna, coffee syrup
Headwaters Brunch - Never Too Early brunch cocktail with aged rum old fashioned, averna, coffee syrup

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Nodoguro Twin Peaks Dinner 2

I still go to Nodoguro every couple months, but I don’t always post recaps anymore since I know it is difficult to get into some of the dinners if you don’t follow Nodoguro’s mailing list and social media so you know the exact night tickets for the next month get released (most ticket/reservations sell out within 24 hours). One tip is if you are lucky and are able to be flexible, look for Cancellation Tickets from those who purchased that month by checking their website daily – they will put them back up for sale. I’ve written about Nodoguro so many times it almost felt a little unfair to other dining establishments, but I decided to make an exception for this recent theme for July up to August 4 – which is a return to Twin Peaks!
Nodoguro Twin Peaks Dinner 2 Nodoguro Twin Peaks Dinner 2

This Twin Peaks dinner is a revisit to the cult favorite show that made TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Shows of All Time list. Nodoguro previously did a Twin Peaks theme in 2015 which I also recapped. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the new third season on Showtime yet: neither have I (I don’t have Showtime) and this dinner still seemed more based on the initial two seasons.
Nodoguro Twin Peaks Dinner 2 place settings Nodoguro Twin Peaks Dinner 2 place setting

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Brunch at Proud Mary

They have only been open since May this year, but the secret was quickly out about Brunch at Proud Mary Coffee. This Melbourne based coffee roaster local chain (well, local in Australia) has selected Portland for its first location outside Australia. At first you may not think that a cafe that so proudly extolls the virtue of coffee and working directly with farmers for 8 years and counting, would put so much effort into the food accompanying its star beverage. But, they have – working with local NW farmers for ingredients just like they work with local farmers for their beans, to offer an impressive food menu in addition to their fine coffee.
Brunch at Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, at 2012 NE Alberta St Brunch at Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, at 2012 NE Alberta St
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Of Roots and Blooms Vegan Food

Of Roots and Blooms recently made an announcement that they are working on two cookbooks and unspecified future projects TBD so if you haven’t been before, it’s only a few weeks before they are changing their schedule. Up until end of September they will pop up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont, and up to end of August they will finish popping up Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. After that, who knows what will happen: apparently not even owners Nick and Carina, who only share that they don’t have anything solid except knowing “this while operation is about to morph into a new incarnation and life phase”

So hurry in now to try some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had! Here’s a look at some example greatness Of Roots and Blooms vegan food I’ve been able to enjoy to entice you to try it, and that vegan food isn’t all raw or dry food – it can be luxuriously rich too in the right hands.

This grilled cheese with cashew fromage fort, cheddar, spinach, toasted levain and side of chips reminds me when I first fell in love with them as a Cheese Plate cart.
Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This grilled cheese with cashew fromage fort, cheddar, spinach, toasted levain and side of chips reminds me when I first fell in love with them as a Cheese Plate cart. Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their grilled cheese with cashew fromage fort, cheddar, spinach, toasted levain and side of chips reminds me when I first fell in love with them as a Cheese Plate cart.

I’m also a fan of their Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese with butternut squash butter, sage aioli, and melty cheddar
Of Roots and Blooms Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese with butternut squash butter, sage aioli, and melty cheddar - completely vegan

And just as you would expect, this mac and cheese is so rich and creamy that you can barely tell it’s not real cheese but vegan cheese. This is their IPA Mac and Cheese, made with Culmination’s Phaedrus IPA and topped with rushed pretzels and chives.
Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their IPA Mac and Cheese, made with Culmination's Phaedrus IPA and topped with rushed pretzels and chives Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their IPA Mac and Cheese, made with Culmination's Phaedrus IPA and topped with rushed pretzels and chives

Here’s a closeup of their vegan Lobster Mac and Cheese with sharp cheese sauce with seaweed “lobster” stock, chopped vegan lobster meat, chives buttered Old Bay breadcrumbs baby spinach.
This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Lobster Mac and Cheese with sharp cheese sauce with seaweed

One of the things that really impresses me though beyond that is how incredible and inventive they are at creating vegan adoptions of East Coast seafood, like New England clam chowder, shrimp scampi, clammy linguine, meatball or cheesesteak sandwiches. This is their surprisingly evocative of the sea but vegan and so velvety Vegan Oyster Stew with cashew potato cream and oyster mushrooms, served with oyster crackers
Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Oyster Stew with cashew potato cream and oyster mushrooms, served with oyster crackers Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Oyster Stew with cashew potato cream and oyster mushrooms, served with oyster crackers

Or how about when they made Vegan Lobster Ravioli with vegan lobster meat, chives and almond ricotta stuffed into red bell pepper pasta with tomato saffron cream sauce with Calabrian chilies and almond ricotta topped with arugula and peas.
Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Lobster Ravioli with vegan lobster meat, chives and almond ricotta stuffed into red bell pepper pasta with tomato saffron cream sauce with Calabrian chilies and almond ricotta topped with arugula and peas Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Lobster Ravioli with vegan lobster meat, chives and almond ricotta stuffed into red bell pepper pasta with tomato saffron cream sauce with Calabrian chilies and almond ricotta topped with arugula and peas

Don’t miss out on desserts either – which can vary to mousse to cheesecake and more. This is the Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake with rhubarb sauce, and their vegan Pecan Bar.
Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake with rhubarb sauce Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake with rhubarb sauce Of Roots and Blooms pops up every Wednesday at Bottles on Fremont and Sundays at Culmination Brewing offering rotating vegan delights. This Of Roots and Blooms vegan food example is their Vegan Pecan Bar

You can follow OfRootsandBlooms on Instagram to see what will be their menu of the week – they change every week. As mentioned, they are at noon to 8 pm at Culmination Brewery (2117 NE Oregon) until end of August and Wednesday at 3-10 PM at Bottles (5015 NE Fremont) until end of September and after that it’s unclear.

Have you heard of Of Roots and Blooms vegan food before, what do you think of some of the dishes they offer, what would you try?

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Best dishes at Afuri

Afuri Ramen opened to great fanfare towards the end of 2016 after articles about how this famous Japanese chain picked Portland as their first location outside Japan because of the water here. They still don’t take reservations, although the location is pretty big that if you don’t hit a busy weekend evening prime time you will probably find a table often without a wait (I recommend grabbing a beer at Commons Brewery next door). Now with the wonderful weather they also roll open their garage door walls so it almost feels like a patio. I’ve visited several times – here are my recommendations for the best dishes at Afuri.
Afuri door to the location in Portland, the first location outside Japan for this famous Japanese ramen chain Afuri place setting  [Read more…]

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