Vegan anyone???? For some it is imperative. For others, simply a trend. For “meat and potatoes” types (like my father), this means almost certain death. For me, however, vegan makes my wander to the delicious treats served at Blossoming Lotus. Now, to be clear, I am not a die-hard anything. In fact, the only label I am comfortable with is “food-obsessed”. I do not discriminate; whether it’s vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, or the ever-popular “locavore”, I am a fan of all. Although I will say that vegetarian and vegan dishes are becoming more and more appealing and accessible (in tasty forms) to me.
This small, yet classy “zen-like” café has wonderful dishes, most popular perhaps being the Live Nachos. The first time I ordered these, I surely had my doubts. I mean, how can nachos taste good without any cooking/heat involved? But Blossoming Lotus calmly proved me wrong. These bad boys were more than just eye candy with their Zuchini-tahini nacho cheese and walnut chorizo (so good), pico de gallo, cashew sour cream and avocado ranch atop spiced tomato and walnut chips. I kid you not, this dish delivers flaaaaavor like nobody’s business.
If that sounds too healthy for your kind of meal? Then give the Artichoke Fritters a shot, for they will not disappoint. I know I am already a “Blossoming Lotus” when it comes to this vegan fare but the real test was seeing if my father could be swayed into vegan waters. The hardest part I believe was getting him in the front door. He was more willing to eat at the very sad and unpopular Mexican restaurant across the street! It doesn’t take an expert to see that if there is a Mexican restaurant with great happy hour deals in Portland and not a single soul is to be found on the premise, there is a problem indeed. So after much begging and pleading, he caved. The local draft beer list immediately lifted his spirits, now he was game for anything! When the food came out, his brow furrowed and intense concentration took place as he attempted to identify these “curious” ingredients without any such luck. After much assurance, he took his first live nacho and BAM! His brows shot up and higher-than-average “mmm” escaped. He didn’t hate it! He proceeded to enjoy the fritters as well as another special we ordered of Sweet Potato Fritters with a spicy/nutty masala sauce.
Overall, it was a success. For an anti-vegan, he gave the meal a 6.5 out of 10, whereas we all gave 9 and 10’s for this healthy experience. Blossoming Lotus is definitely doing their part in showcasing vegan in an elegant light, while still maintaining great flavor profiles with raw, live, and gluten free delights. My new happy hour go-to on the way to the Portland airport.