i love you, alberta

8 Oct

No, Alberta is not a person (although I work with someone by that name, so that could be weird). Alberta is a street in NE Portland and it’s quickly becoming one of the tastiest streets in town.

Homegrown Smoker is the vegan BBQ foodcart that opened a couple of months ago. They used to be 4 blocks down the street from their new location at 27th and Alberta. The new location seems better equipped for Portland weather and even has a heated eating tent. Excellent.

smoker1

There is food that is good and then there is food laced with addictive flavors and textures and plain old comforting goodness. This falls into the latter category. There are four different protein choices including chorizo, tofu steaks, tempeh ribs and soy curls. In this platter most people pick two small portions of two different proteins, but I went with all soy curls. If we all have a predestined fate in life, being smoked and slathered with BBQ sauce is the destiny of a soy curl. In this form it is truly at it’s full potential. Oh momma, these things are amazing! On the side, maple BBQ beans and mac no cheese. The beans are good, reliably tasty beans. The mac no cheese isn’t like gourmet mac ‘n cheese, but there’s just something good and noochy about it. Must. Eat. More.

smoker2

You’d think I haven’t been food blogging for 4 years. I didn’t turn the cornbread around so you could see the inside of it! Darn, now I’ll have to go back. The sacrifices I make for this blog… Seriously, though, this is a gluten-free cornbread that has pretty flecks of flax in it. That’s fun to say, flex of flax. Now, I haven’t had much Southern cooking in my life and am very much naive to the art of cornbread, but this cornbread rocks. The texture, moisture, flavor, it’s all there. I never even thought I cared much about cornbread, until I started craving theirs. Add the sweet mint tea on the side… serious food heaven.

After you’ve stuffed yourself with smoked goodness, a mere four blocks away is Back to Eden, the new vegan bakery in town. A four block walk is exercise, right? That means it’s time for dessert.

Back to Eden is about as pretty a place as it gets. Decorated in 1930s farm house chic, the colors are warm and inviting, the decor is sharp with attention to detail and aside from the bakery items, they have all sorts of goodies to buy. Locally made jams, aprons, cards, a section of vegan cookbooks, and fun baking supplies, like fancy sprinkles fill the shelves. Plus they have, you know, the baked goods. They also have soft serve in TWO different flavors, which means… wait for it…. TWIST ice cream!

shown here with caramel sauce

shown here with caramel sauce

They carry Temptation soft serve, which you can get with a variety of topping/sauce combos or as a milkshake! And there are a variety of baked goods available each day, from breakfasty scones to decadent cakes and tarts. They have lots of gluten-free options, too.

eden2

A strawberry filled chocolate cupcake. When I read the sign for it, I thought it said “strawberry fields cupcake” and I got all sorts of Beatles-excited… I was wrong, but I still needed the cupcake to calm me down. Even the frosting had a pronounced strawberry flavor that was amazing.

eden1

A pumpkin whoopie pie. Soft, moist cookie outer and spiced creamy inner filling… Devilishly good. So devilish, in fact, that an evil kitteh couldn’t keep her mouth off of the pumpkin cookie part.

100_4638

Who knew bad kittehs liked pumpkin?

So this is my ode to Alberta Street, with new attractions motivating me to leave the SE bubble for things other than concerts.

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12 Responses to “i love you, alberta”

  1. Whitney @ Lettuce Love October 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Ooohhh all of that looked so good! I would gobble all of that up in a second. And you kitty is pretty darn cute!

  2. Back to Eden October 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome review, and great pictures!

    –Janessa

  3. jennidy October 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    I am totally stoked that I am moving to Alberta in like three weeks. woohoo!

  4. Anna October 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m adding both of those to my list of places to visit when I get to Portland next year! Thanks!

    • Kris October 8, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

      Seriously, come very, very hungry. The Portland vegan eating tour requires much stomach space.

  5. Mo October 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    There is so much goodness going on that my head might just explode!

  6. Nora October 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    oh that pumpkin cream pie looks lovely and fluffy!
    i’ve heard so much good stuff about homegrown smoker and that cornbread! look forward to the inside shot in a future post! haha

  7. jessy October 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    that all looks so awesome i could cry! richmond has some vegan options – but i can’t find a vegan gluten-free cuppy to save my life. i guess i could get unlazy & make my own. **sigh** all vegan bbq – oh my goodness – so. awesome. yay!

  8. Josiane October 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    That all sounds dreamy! Just imagine: the vegan restaurant closest to my place is about 100 miles away…

    • Kris October 8, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

      Wow. Well, I wasn’t always this lucky, when we went vegan we lived in Phoenix. Crusty old white people and stucco strip malls filled with chain stores isn’t very vegan friendly. I even had to make our own bread, there was nothing we could buy.

  9. Vegetation October 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    Oh wow! I want to go!!!! I haven’t even found a restaurant locally that sells anything vegan (tofu stir fry aside, but I’m not counting it :P)

  10. Ricki October 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Now I must seriously go to Portland! For that strawberry cupcake if no other reason (well, the whoopie pie, too. And the cornbread. And the ice cream.). 😉

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