Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vida Vegan Con: Day Two

The conference didn't officially begin until 6 p.m. on Friday, so we had all day to explore the nooch-covered streets of Portland. Can you guess where that day began? Voodoo Donuts, of course!

I knew Voodoo was a magical place since they sell vegan yeasted donuts, but I was completely convinced the shop was run by unicorns when I saw the GLITTER BRICK! God, I wish I could coat my whole house in glitter.

Voodoo carries non-vegan donuts too, so you have to make sure to order from this shelf:

I ordered the Oreo Donut, the first yeasted donut I've had in years! My life was complete after the first bite. Seriously, I could have died with this donut in my mouth, and that would have been just fine:

I also grabbed a Chick-O-Stick Cake Donut because, um duh, it's a freakin' Chick-O-Stick Donut! I ate both of these for breakfast:

Paul wasn't full after his donut, and he had a craving for Thai food, so he suggested hitting up the row of food carts near our hotel. Now mind you, I had just eaten two massive donuts. But I wasn't about to turn down lunch. When you're in Portland, it's okay to eat breakfast and lunch in the same hour. The legendary Homegrown Smoker, a vegan BBQ cart, was in the row of carts, and you know this Memphis girl was in (rescued-and-living-at-a-sanctuary) hog heaven!

With one glance at the menu, there was no question about what I would order: the Macnocheeto, a flour tortilla wrap stuffed with vegan mac & cheese, BBQ soy curls, baked beans, peppers, and BBQ sauce. Holy yum!!

As conference attendees, we got a 15% discount at vegan tattoo shop, Skeleton Key. I'd been dreaming about my next tattoo for ages, and that sounded like the perfect Portland souvenir. After lunch, we met Maki at Skeleton Key, and he got straight to work on my new ink:

Check it out! It's the "animal liberation/human liberation" symbol. I was already pretty badass, but now I'm, like, super way badass!

We had some time to kill before registration, so we hit up the Vegan Mini-Mall, home to Food Fight Grocery, Herbivore Clothing Company, Sweetpea Bakery, and Scapegoat Tattoo. All vegan, all the time. I bought a shirt and hoodie at Herbivore and some hard-to-find vegan treats at Food Fight! 

At 6 p.m., there was a Vida Vegan Con welcome reception in the hotel ballroom. Sweetpea Bakery provided these yummy cupcakes. I had the Lemon Chiffon ones:

We also sampled a selection of the all-new Heidi Ho Organics Vegan Cheese! It's a Portland-based company that makes hazelnut cheeses in Chipotle Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, and Monterey Jack. It's not available anywhere outside of Portland yet, but I hope they'll eventually be able to ship around the country. So delicious!

After the reception, some of the posse headed to Tube, a cool vegan-friendly dive bar in a tube-shaped building. Erin from Vegan Homemade and I enjoyed $2 Hamm's (like a PBR, but tastier) and Jen from That Pain in the Ass Vegan sipped on a club soda with lime:

I was still pretty full from all the donuts, BBQ, and cupcakes, so I ordered a tiny snack — the Vegan Ham and Cheese Muffin:

After Tube, we headed to Suki's where the party-animal Vida Vegan Con bloggers were doing some late-night karaoke. Even the event organizers — Jess, Janessa, and Michele — were there! My boyfriend Paul sang some old Verve Pipe from the 90s. He ALWAYS sings that song, "Freshman," every time he karaokes:

Dawn from Vegan Moxie and Brit on Twit sang a duet, but I can't remember what they sang!!

Amber's (of Almost Vegan) man Matt did a hilarious rendition of Billy Idol's "Flesh for Fantasy" complete with crazy dance moves!

And Erin of Vegan Homemade rounded out the night her signature song, "Toxic" by Britney Spears:

Well, that's it for Day Two! Check back tomorrow for pictures from the first official day of the conference.

And in the meantime, check out the latest issue of VegNews Magazine. I was asked to create a recipe using pumpkin for the blogger recipe challenge, so I came up with Pumpkin Cheddar Biscuits. The recipe and pictures are in the issue!


Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

sounds like the biggest slumber party ever. i think i would cry when i would have to leave. it's like you were all hanging out in the states, but in some altered universe where even the junk food was vegan and they had oreo cookie donuts. is portland really connected to the states? i think i want to move there and start a movement to secede from the rest of those oh so behind states! thanks for all the updates! AND LOVE the tattoo and the photo of you actually going for it is great!

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

in addition, you look absolutely adorable in every single photo!

JL goes Vegan said...

That macnocheeto was off the hook!

My VegNews was waiting in my mailbox when I got home-- was excited to see you in it!

kerenmk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Yay- my comments are finally coming thru! :) what a fab first day!! Looks crazy fun. Love seeing all the food and can't wait to hear about the seminars.

bitt said...

love that you got that tattoo! you are ever ore badass now. thanks for the recap, felt like I was there.

Anonymous said...

Sweet! I feel like I was there, after reading all the bloggers' impressions and seeing all the pics. Looking forward to reading my new VegNews issue. And great tattoo!

Chef Amber Shea said...

Oh my gawd, that is the best photo of Matt ever. I'm LOLing, and I hardly ever LOL.

That hazelnut cheese was fantasmic! So were the cupcakes. And doughnuts. And everything.

Lauren (PB&G) said...

That tattoo is pretty awesome! I have been wanting to get a tattoo myself but just recently found out what's actually in tattoo ink! Grody! I wonder if there's an awesome vegan tattoo place near Chicago!!

Allysia said...

I`m choked about missing the karaoke! And I think pretty much everyone I talked to who when to Homegrown Smokers got the Macnocheeto thing - what a tasty, tasty abomination.

Just Us said...

You should have brought some of those donuts home with you. I could eat a box full of those oreo donuts...they look so good!

Love the new tat/tats! :o)

Looks like you guys had a fun time and some awesome food. I think I would've had to hit the food truck that you did. That Macnocheeto looks/sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

Oh that VooDoo that VooDoo Do. Love their donuts. Sounds like you guys are having an awesome time.

Miss Lynzie said...

Sounds like such an awesome day! Your new tattoo is fantastic! So fun meeting you at the Bye and Bye!! I've really enjoyed checking out your blog. Cheers!

Erin said...

"When you're in Portland, it's okay to eat breakfast and lunch in the same hour." - true statement. All sensible eating rules are off in Portland. I'm so glad you took karaoke pictures, because I was kicking myself for not taking any. I'm stealing the one of me :) Oh, and I sang my signature Britney Spears.

Unknown said...

A bunch of amazing looking food. Think I am most intrigued by the carrot donut.

VeggieLow said...

i saw the vegnews recipe/shout out! congrats! the biscuits look deelish! also saw the blurb about Memphis in the front - lots of buzz!

Babette said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us. It's a lot of fun reading. You tattoo is really cool =)

Dawn said...

1) I've been to that Voodoo location a bunch of times yet had never noticed the Glitter Brick. I think I'm doing it wrong.
2) Everyone's Homegrown Smoker pics are making me realize I missed out and need to try them out already. It's happening during PDX VegFest!
3) You don't know how happy I was when I saw Paul was singing "Freshman." I love that song, and love when people nail it at karaoke.
4) Thank you for catching all the karaoke madness on film.
5) I'm so glad I met you! You're just as wonderful as I imagined from your posts. Come back to the PNW soon, okay? Okay.

BlissfuLife said...

Holy hell that mac-n-cheese thing sounds like heaven. Always wanted to go to Voodoo too...might have book a trip to Portland soon!

Sherri - PDX Yogini said...

You mention two faves of mine, the Macnocheeto and the Nanoteer (the ham & cheeze sammie on an English muffin)!

One of the things I miss the most about my great new job is that I'm no longer downtown! Most of the carts aren't open on Saturdays, so I go to them whenever I can. When Jeff decided to open HGS for Saturdays I was just delighted. I rarely order anything other than the Macnocheeto. Christie pretty much always orders the SloSmoMoFo with Soy Curls and a side of the mac.

About once I year we indulge with a night of cheap drinks and vegan junk food at the Tube. I always order the Nanoteer sammies and Christie gets hot dogs. I put these in about the same category as the corn dog basket at Hungry Tiger Too -- a once in a year indulgence ;)