Vita Cafe – 5/26/13

4stars

Vita Cafe
503.335.8233
3023 NE Alberta
Portland, 97211

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Vegan with a hint of carnivore…

This weekend our friend Megan was in town visiting from Phoenix and participating in a gathering of Vegans that were holding a conference in downtown Portland. As we drove around town during her brief visit we kept making suggestions for Sunday brunch before Megan helpfully picked Vita Cafe. I was a bit wary at first knowing that it was billed as a “Vegan destination” and assumed it would be just buckets of sprouts with fair trade seasoning but after she emailed me the menu I was put at ease. We would be dropping her off at Portland International afterwards so we planned to brunch a few hours before hand and then walk around Alberta street for a bit before heading out. The wait was a little longer than I would have expected considering there were open seats but there was enough activity and interesting things to look at to make the time fly by. We were seated in a massive booth/bench in the corner that was well lit and let us take in the entire restaurant scene. The girls ordered carrot-apple juice while I got a cup of coffee and a raspberry-apple cider to sip on as we looked the menu over. I had seen mention of their huevos rancheros and “corn cakes” as being must trys but I elected to get the carnivore version of the Country Comfort which came with all my favorites of potatoes, sausage, eggs and biscuits n’ gravy while Megan chose the Vegan version of the same and Carly went with the breakfast sandwich, I also requested two of their corn cakes for us to share. The interior of the restaurant was much larger than the outside would lead you to believe and as filled as it was with patrons it never really got all the loud making conversation easy. Our meals arrived after about 13 or 14 minutes and the waiter apologized as he set down the plate of corn cakes that one of them was too small and he would bring a couple more to make up for it, but I hardly noticed as the massive amount of food on our plates made me feel like half a corn cake would never be missed. My first bite of the biscuit and gravy was sweeter than expected which was followed by a flavorful surprise of the potatoes that were super crispy and highly seasoned if not a bit salty. The chicken sausage I also got with the eggs was sweeter than expected but went well with the poached yolk of the two eggs. Carly and Megan both mentioned that their meals seemed a bit salty but overall were satisfied with their selections. We each took a few more bites before tearing into the corn cakes that were studded with nuts and came with a few ounces of syrup. They weren’t really pancakes in flavor and not quite cornbread except perhaps in texture but they were incredibly tasty and we easily gobbled up the 1 1/2 rather large cakes between the 3 of us just in time for the waiter to bring out two more that were almost larger than the plate they sat on. It was an easy decision to get a box to take them home since I had pretty much cleared every morsel from the big oval plate I was presented with. We left very full and satisfied with the meal and I would love to try the huevos rancheros if we find ourselves there again.

GALLERY

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SERVICE
Decent and helpful in making a selection but I can always use more coffee.
3.5 stars

AMBIANCE / DESIGN
Nice cafe style setup with huge booths & tables as well as a breakfast bar in front of the kitchen.
3.5 stars

MEAL
Large Vegan/vegetarian selection and a few meat eater classics as well.
4 stars

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