Friday, May 24, 2013

Back to Eden Bakery

I'm in Portland this week for the Vida Vegan Con, but I had two days before the festivities begin to explore the city solo.  The first morning was spent wandering around the Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden, and Arboretum at Washington Park.  Even in the incessant cold rain, it was sublime.

Afternoon hunger pangs lead me to consult my list of vegan restaurants I had compiled prior to leaving for my trip.  The one that drew me in was buckwheat crepes... with vegan nutella.  It seemed like it would be the perfect light lunch that was almost breakfast since I hadn't had my morning sweet fix, aside from an apple.

So I headed to NE Alberta for Suzette Creperie, one of many French themed restaurants in the city, but this one had a vegan section on their menu and came highly recommended on Happy Cow.  I drove through pouring rain and bumper to bumper traffic, then pulled up in front with a sense of victory, only to find that the spot was no longer a creperie, but instead a Middle Eastern cafe.  UG!!  (Note to Happy Cow: please update your site!  Note to self:  Always call ahead!).

Fortunately for me, this section of the city had 2 other vegan options:  a food cart and a gluten-free vegan bakery.  I chose the latter because I needed to sit inside somewhere warm.

And I was glad for the rain.  And the mixup in plans.  Because Back to Eden Bakery was an oasis of sweet and savory treats that were welcome to this weary traveler.

It was difficult to decide what to start with when I searched the array of wraps, tarts, salads, and mini quiches in the display, and there was also soup and biscuits & gravy (yikes!!).  I chose the mini cashew asparagus tart, which was perfectly satisfying.  The filling of creamy cashew had a cheesy, bacony undertone and it sat nicely in a light and flaky crust.  This was a lovely lunch.

Then came the desserts.... I wanted to take the whole case to go, but I restrained myself to just the Rocky Road Mini Cake and the Almond Strawberry Whoopie Pie.  Both were outstanding.

The cake had a moist, dense, yet tender crumb.  It was enrobed in a bittersweet chocolate ganache that was the ideal accompaniment to the super sweet cake. Inside there was a filling of creamy marshmallowy goodness.

For breakfast the next morning, I enjoyed the Whoopie Pie.  This was like two soft almond macaroons filled with a sweet and fruity frosting.  It was quite a sugar shock to the tastebuds first thing in the morning... but I'm not complaining.  It was fabulous.

Back to Eden was a happy accident that I stumbled upon.  And I'm definitely going to plan a return visit for some goodies to take back on the plane home.


Jehnee Rains said...

Hi there, so sad you were mis-guided! Suzette is now at 3342 SE Belmont in Portland, still with lots of vegan crepes! Hope you can make it!

Mary Lawrence said...

I wish I had time left in my trip to get to Suzette, Jehnee - I would've loved to have eaten a vegan crepe! It's great you have vegan items on your menu. :-)