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Raw Talent- Blossoming Lotus

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  • Mike Snyder
    Hello friends, The article below is about Portlands vegan and raw cafe, Blossoming Lotus. I will see you this Monday at the Potluck! Mike
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2006
      Hello friends,
      The article below is about Portlands vegan and raw cafe, Blossoming Lotus.
      I will see you this Monday at the Potluck!
      Raw Talent
      Chef Stuart Reiter's Newest Vegan Enterprise
      By Alison Hallett
      Recently, The New York Times described the raw food
      movement as the newest trend in resort cuisine—lucky
      for Portlanders, we don't have to head to San Benito
      to get raw. Blossoming Lotus, a tiny vegan cafe
      located in the lobby of Yoga in the Pearl, offers
      uncooked food options to cleanse the spirit and the colon.
      The operation is presided over by Head Chef Stuart
      Reiter, a veteran of now-defunct vegan restaurants
      both famous and infamous: Northeast Portland's much-
      missed Counter Culture, and the controversy-riddled
      According to Reiter, both of those upscale restaurants
      bombed because "most of the people who'll spend money
      on fine dining want continental-style dining," as
      opposed to faux meatloaf with nutritional yeast gravy.
      Despite those setbacks, Reiter remains "passionate about
      raw food," and has tried new tactics with Blossoming
      Lotus, maintaining an entirely vegan/raw menu, but this
      time striking a reasonable balance between affordability
      and quality.
      My first foray into Reiter's raw cuisine was the live
      parsnip pasta: noodles made from grated parsnip and
      tossed with tomatoes in a walnut-olive tapenade.
      The slightly spicy, aggressively flavorful sauce
      distracted me from the fact that I was eating raw
      parsnip, although I did feel compelled to chew every
      bite 40 times to ensure proper digestion.
      The next time around, I started with the vegan escarole
      salad. The wilted greens are served warm, with baked
      tofu, onions, and walnuts, then dressed in balsamic
      vinegar. I couldn't slurp this salad down fast enough,
      the savory tofu serving as an addictive counterpoint to
      the soggy, salty greens.
      Following that excellent starter, the raw soft taco was
      striking in that it bore no resemblance to any taco I've
      ever met. It was more like a conceptual taco, consisting
      of chunks of cucumber, tomato, and avocado, then mixed
      with the pepitas pâte (a blend of pumpkin seeds, cilantro,
      and tomato) and wrapped in lettuce.
      Topping off the extremely green concoction was "sour
      creme," a house-made sour cream substitute. Though the
      dish didn't satisfy any of my usual taco requirements,
      being neither greasy, filling, nor three for a dollar,
      the freshness of the ingredients made for an entrée that
      was light, crunchy, and refreshing; a perfect post-yoga
      I just wish they'd called it a "lettuce wrap" or
      something, so as to prevent thoughts of real tacos
      from interrupting the eating experience.
      I was still hungry after my "taco," so for dessert I
      tried an almond cookie and a brownie from the small
      selection of vegan pastries in the dessert tray. The
      cookie was so dry it was almost inedible.
      I brought it home for my cat to play with, and he spent
      an hour batting it across my kitchen floor like the
      flavorless hockey puck it was. The brownie, however,
      defied all preconceived notions about vegan-baked goods
      (sorry guys, but they usually suck).
      Its moist, chocolaty decadence provided a delicious and
      much-needed dose of fat and sugar.
      Sitting in Blossoming Lotus' sunny cafe, surrounded by
      pretty people with naturally glowing skin, is like
      stepping into an alternate reality, one in which I
      exercise three times a day, think deeply about every
      bite of food before I eat it, and have regularly
      scheduled bowel movements. Like the man said: I
      wouldn't want to live there, but it sure is a nice
      place to visit.
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