written by Julie Lee | featured photo courtesy of A Broken Angel
Waving the white flag against holiday indulgence like I am? Spiced eggnog lattes, tender prime rib sandwiches and buttery sugar cookies all tasted so good going down, but now the workout tights are a little . . . tighter. If you’re ready to kick the pendulum the other way, here are some favorite spots with healthy options around the state to help unwind the excess and start 2017 out right.
Sweet Basil’s Cafe
Looking to go natural, organic, a bit wild? Sweet Basil’s Cafe in Cannon Beach is your siren’s song for divine vegetarian dishes, kind to both palate and pocket book. Chef and owner John Sowa opened Sweet Basil’s with a mission to showcase flavor profiles in healthy dishes, making a case for vegetable forward eating year round. Cajun and Creole choices on the menu are vegetarian friendly, using vegetable instead of chicken stock. For lunch, there are various salads, vegan and vegetarian wraps chock full of veggies and a vegetarian Reuben, each under $10. For dinner, healthy starters include a wild tiger prawn martini with banana chili salsa and gluten free clams Mateo. Seafood stocked mains like Creole and étouffée are specialties and can be made vegetarian friendly with tofu and portobellos upon request.
271 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach | cafesweetbasils.com
A Broken Angel
Nothing screams healthy eating like vegan street food, and no one does vegan street food better than A Broken Angel in Bend. The food cart offers equal parts charm and culinary prowess, offering enticing entrees you’ll want to check off one visit at a time: grilled burritos with tofu, chickpea or smoked turtle bean scrambles, tostadas brimming with grilled artichokes and kalamatas and balsamic grilled vegetable sandwiches. If you’re looking to impress guests at your next gathering, catering is a specialty.
643 NW Colorado, Bend | abrokenangel.com
Morning Glory Café
Eugene has long been ahead of the trend in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Morning Glory Café is a pioneer, holding high a carrot crown as the oldest vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the city. There isn’t anything served in this bohemian hot spot that you won’t feel good about eating; everything is made from scratch, with an abundance of gluten free options. Veggie and tofu infused breakfast dishes are served all day, and lunch specialties like rice noodles with a plethora of veggies and the vegan tempeh Caesar will help reverse that eggnog-inflicted guilt.
450 Willamette St., Eugene | morninggloryeugene.com
It’s tough to break through the restaurant noise in Portland; a weekly turnstile of openings and closings can be frustrating to keep up with. So when a new restaurant launches and promptly captures the hearts and wallets of foodies, instantly turning locals into loyalists, it’s worth rapt attention. Tusk did just that, opening in the spot vacated by Levant, one of many surprising shutters in the past year. Tusk nails every detail, from light and bright ambience to culinary finesse. Vegetables are mastered, from pears with sunchokes, peanuts and wild rice to chicories with fennel, yogurt and candied walnuts.
2448 E. Burnside St., Portland | tuskpdx.com
Nearly Normal’s Gonzo Cuisine is a standout veggie palace in Corvallis, serving tofu dishes that will make anyone a convert and layering fun twists on classic favorites like Tijuana Tempehnada Enchiladas. If you crave burgers on this quest back to healthy eating like I do, Nearly Normal’s offers a sun burger comprised of sunflower seeds, veggies and spices that is a worthy substitute, in a vegan kind of way. Add some fried provolone or sautéed mushrooms for a nice exclamation point.
109 NW 15th St., Corvallis | nearlynormals.com