Tuesday, February 06, 2007

To those who think vegans are deprived...

Giant food post coming at ya, so I'm just going to plunge in!

Last weekend Jim and I went with Chris and Kate to the lovely city of Eugene, about 2 hours south of Portland, for a day of exploration and, in reality, excessive food consumption.

Besides being home to Soy Delicious and a vegan chocolatier, Eugene is a very vegan friendly place to eat. They not only have options, they have options that make Eugene a very desirable place to visit and heck, maybe retire one day!

Our first stop was Sweet Life Patissarie. Between the 4 of us, the table was quickly covered with 5 pieces of cake/pie and 3 pizzettas. Being a grown-up is great if for nothing else than the fact that you can eat dessert for lunch if you want to.


Raspberry Cheesecake. Heavenly. My personal favorite. Light and tofu based, but the best one I've ever had. Not bean-y tasting at all. Each couple indulged in a piece of this beauty.


A rich chocolate silk cake with a chocolate cookie crust and a whipped strawberry topping. This one was also incredible, the silk was rich and deeply cocoa-flavored and the strawberry whip was light and fruity.


Majorly rich chocolate cake, with a chocolate cream center. It was very good, but may have just been bit much chocolate (can you believe I said anything is a bit much chocolate?!)


Coconut Cream Pie. Very creamy and delicious without being too rich. I wonder if the whipped cream is that Rich's whip that Crystal blogged about recently.


Mushroom and pesto pizzettas. Last time Jim and I were there we had roasted pepper and hummus ones that were better, but it was good to get a little something substantial in our tummies.

Sweet Life really knows how to bake, nothing is overly sweet or sugary, they are truly baking artists.


After spending the afternoon walking off our sugar-induced comas, we went to the famed Pizza Research Institute. It's not really a research institute, but they are known for creative and sometimes questionable pizza combinations.

The 4 of us split 3 small pizzas so we could try more options. Here were our rankings (me and Jim, although I'm pretty sure Chris and Kate would agree).


Delicious, but just not quite able to compete with its friends, this pizza had red sauce, spinach, roasted garlic, red onion, tofu ricotta and asparagus on it.


This one was the chef's special. It was loaded with goodies and one of those questionable toppings they are known for: red sauce, spinach, tofu ricotta, snow peas, green beans, green bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, eggplant and, the kicker, nectarines. It was very, very good and the nectarines added a subtle touch of sweetness.


The winner, oddly enough, was the one I had the most doubts about. Red sauce, spinach and tofu ricotta for the base again, but dressed up with a delightfully chunky walnut pesto, potatoes and poached pears. Pears! Most unlikely thing ever on pizza, at least for me in my little pizza bubble. Anyway, it was incredible, more perfumed and fragrant than sweet and the mixture with the crisp crust and chunky pesto, I could have eaten a whole pie myself! Now it has my mind churning with new pizza ideas...

We also had chocolate mousse with shredded coconut on top, but my pics didn't turn out. It was good, not great, but a nice creamy way to cap off an otherwise incredible dinner. The PRI isn't just vegan friendly, it's a vegan must if you're ever near Eugene. They do keep funky hours, though, so be sure to check if you're passing through.


Dinner last night was paella, inspired by Susan. I've been wanting to try this for awhile now and her recent post gave me a boost to finally do it. I really enjoyed it, although I think I used a bit much garlic (dragon breath!) but it's very good and I'm looking forward to leftovers.

I will respond to previous comments in the next day or two, so please hang in there and be patient with me! Thanks for reading!

22 comments:

bazu said...

Oh my gosh- just those first 2 pictures alone, and I'm squeeing like a teenager! Squeee!

Vivacious Vegan said...

DO you think it would be utterly ridiculous to fly to Eugene just to eat? Hmmmm.... Maybe I could make it a romantic getaway. That food looks so incredible.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
It was so nice getting to know you are your honey (rice, of course) better. Let's all go out again soon!
Kisses!
Sandy

karenanne said...

I am so living in the wrong place.

I think I got a pear pizza at Trader Joe's in Menlo Park, CA once, just before I moved to New England.

Anonymous said...

tiny typo,
www.sweetlifedesserts.com not
www.sweetlifedessert.com

Johanna3 said...

im drooling like a baby! LOl

wow such amazing food!

Vanessa said...

stop! you had me at raspberry cheesecake!

Laura Faye said...

I'm so jealous that ya'll can actually go out for yummy vegan food!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you - for taking us on this journey to Eugene. I gotta get me some wheels! Or not. I really just want that coconut creme pie.

aTxVegn said...

Wow! A pie and pizza outing has to be the best trip ever!

Caty said...

Wow! That all looks so delicious, especially the chocolate silk cake.

laura jesser said...

Unbelievable... I'm on the wrong coast!

Mikaela said...

I think I got a cavity from just looking at this post!

erica said...

I just gained five pounds looking at the pictures :P

Darnit Kris!

Megan the Vegan said...

OMG....OMG...I don't know what to say but OMG....

Ruthie said...

Lordy. Remind me of this post if I ever post a "Russell and I are planning on visiting the west coast this weekend" post LOL :)

karla said...

while i was at home in sarasota i went with my mother to one of our many mennonite/amish style restuarants to pick up a coconut cream pie for that evening with a few relatives. i looked at it lustfully. i freakin' love some cream pie! i served it that night and was a good vegan(that night) because i didn't eat any. you proud? now get some of that vegan cream pie!

Urban Vegan said...

Being vegan means having your cake *DROOL* and eating it too--with no cholesterol [or trans fats, I presume...]

Harmonia said...

Oh my! How fab! wanna come to a veggie potluck...lol

Veg-a-Nut said...

coconut cream pie! I need some now! Yum-O! MY DH would want the chocolate! Awesome. I was in Portland in June. Darn! Wish I would have known about these places. Drool........

Carrie™ said...

Pizza Research Institute! What a clever name. I could probably just live there - I'm such a fan of the mighty pizza!
You really started this post off with a bang. Every single one of those desserts looks so amazingly delicious!

hampers said...

Going vegan will longer our lives. The more we can serve our fellowmen, the more we can help the environment - to generate more veggies-of course. And wait, your food-featured is very pretty to be placed in a vegetable hampers.