Thursday, September 25, 2008

More on Veganopolis

The Portland Mercury website has an interesting article on the restaurant's final hours, full of interesting tidbits like this -- in their 3+ years of operation, they served 7,790 reubens! I'm sorry I never sampled their blue Sheese salad or had more chances to partake of the brunch bar. I will say that though Portland has so far lost a vegan pirate-themed restaurant, a vegan strip club (well, a later incarnation of the same place actually), and now a vegan cafeteria, I trust our restaurant scene will continue to see new permutations of the 100% vegan dining establishment. I'm holding out for vegan Korean (seriously, aside from maybe a vegan Southern food restaurant, what else are we lacking?).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Veganopolis closes!?!

Sorry to report, Portland is slightly less of a vegan mecca than it once was. The owners of Veganopolis have closed up shop and are moving back to Chicago. They seem to cite issues with crime at their downtown location and weird politics as their reasons for leaving. I don't really know enough about the owners themselves or the situation to comment on it (other than yeah, that part of downtown does seem to have more than its share of methheads), but I will say their food will certainly be missed. On the upside, they seem to have a plan to post recipes on their website, and to eventually release a cookbook, so maybe someday you'll be able to make their trueben at home.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vegan Reubens are not dead!

In fact, they are still taking the nation by storm!

Though I have yet to encounter a vegan reuben here in the Triangle region of North Carolina, handy Google alerts have been keeping me appraised of vegan reuben-related activity in other parts of the country.

So far, I've learned of a vegetarian, mushroom and spinach reuben that could be easily veganized. The recipe comes from the Penny Cluse Cafe in Vermont, via the Food Network (which I've been watching way too much of lately, by the way --- my new roommate insisted on cable, and I seem to alternate between news, Comedy Central, and the Food Network, when I have a free moment from studying, that is).

In the blog world, Nikki of My New Vegetarian life posted last month about "Fauxstrami Reubens," made with Smart Bacon and certainly worthy of Paula Deen. Literally. She actually sautes the fake bacon in olive oil and Smart Balance (margarine) and seasons it with a spice mix invented by the lady herself. It sounds delectable and decadent.

I've been seeing a lot of seitan reuben recipes lately (Did I ever tell you about Vegan Dad's?), which seems like a natural progression from tempeh, especially with all the super-easy steamed seitan variations rocking the blogs. While I wait for someone to come up with a jack-fruit corned beef recipe, check out this seitan reuben from Uabashedly Vegan. That's certainly a mouthwatering photo, I'll say.

Moving on to the restaurant scene, there's been a bit of buzz surrounding a new joint in Los Angeles, that serves many a delicious-sounding vegan dish, and seems to specialize in diner-style, vegan comfort food -- with a reuben on the menu, of course. Keeping with the theme of Los Angeles and restaurant reviews, an L.A. vegan gives her perspective on the vegan Reuben at Portland's Veganopolis (which we reviewed on this blog as well). Check it out. Her photos are definitely better than mine.