Mike thank you for the article! I find Alison too funny! She wouldn t want to have regular bowel movements. HOWL! I guess constipation can be fun!!!! Too
Message 1 of 1
, Apr 23, 2006
Mike thank you for the article!
I find Alison too funny! She wouldn't want to have regular bowel movements. HOWL! I guess constipation can be fun!!!! Too much.
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
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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