Blossoming Lotus for Brunch - Vegan, Gluten Free, Portland Restaurant Review

Behold, I am finally posting about my hands-down, all-time, very favorite restaurant in Portland!

Blossoming Lotus is a vegan restaurant located in NE Portland that also offers a variety of raw and gluten free options on their various brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour menus. I have loved them since their original location in the Pearl and even more now - with their extended offerings. Their fresh, creative and beautifully presented food is so amazingly good, that we frequent this place more than our checking account should know! It's embarrassing that I have never blogged about it, but I am finally getting with the program and starting out with a brunch review, since Andrew and I enjoyed it this past Sunday.

As we were driving over to BL, I was already busy looking over their brunch menu on Andrew's iPhone. I anticipated a long wait, but surprisingly it only took about five or ten minutes. That is the nice thing about their brunch; it can have a fairly short wait compared to other restaurants. I decided I would order a hot coconut chai and was highly anticipating it. Their chai is my absolute favorite. Ever. It is made with coconut milk and sweetened with agave and for me it has just the right balance between the sweetness and spiciness of a chai. I declare it perfect. I often daydream about driving there mid-day, mid-week, just to treat myself. Anyway... Andrew got a cup of their organic Caffe Vita coffee with soy creamer, which is also a special treat for him. I am not a coffee drinker, but he says that it's pretty good.

Coconut Milk Chai

Originally I was going to order the breakfast parfait since I hadn't tried it yet, but then I saw someone get my favorite brunch dish (loaded home fries) and my whole plan changed. I was done for - I had to have them! The loaded home fries (vegan + gf) were even better than the previous time I had ordered them. They changed the potatoes, which used to be your run-of-the-mill cubed potatoes, but are now round potato slices. I am totally one of those people that think the shape can affect the taste, and the new little potato discs or slices were a nice change. Nobody else does that and the thinner, the better. They really held the flavor of the seasonings on them and also seemed to work better in the dish as a whole.

The potatoes were laying on a bed of steamed kale, which is a nice BL touch to many dishes (and they give you a lot!). The dish was topped with smokey maple tempeh bits, scallions and cashew and avocado sour cream. The loaded home fries are one of the cheapest things on the brunch menu and a really hefty portion (two things that make me love it even more)! With the new potato slices, I thought it tasted at its best and was so happy I got it.

Loaded Home Fries:

I also enjoy their savory pancakes (gf), which are made from quinoa and sweet potato and topped with a cashew cream cheese and come with soy butter and pure maple syrup. You can choose one side: kale, grits or applesauce. I wish it automatically came with kale, but since it does not, my pick is the applesauce (it's homemade!).

Andrew ordered a vegan (not gf) benedict with seitan on a spelt biscuit, covered with hollandaise sauce and tomato. It came with a side of steamed kale and plain home fries. He enjoyed it thoroughly, but compared it to a similar dish at Vita Cafe on Alberta (another review for another day). He said BL had the fresher, healthier tasting dish and he liked how it came with sides. However, he can't get over Vita's vegan hollandaise sauce, which he declares the best. All in all, he really liked it but doesn't think it's his favorite brunch item at BL (he really loves their scrambles and breakfast burrito).

Andrew's Benedict:

So, there you have it! A lovely brunch at my favorite restaurant, Blossoming Lotus!


P.S - Congrats to Chef Wes who has been voted the Hottest Chef in Portland and is now competing at the national level! Although I heard, they now call him "one vote Wes"- and that one vote could be mine!

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