The Noochy Noodle

a world beyond the blue box

Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 1 Vita Cafe

I have finally returned from Portland, where I got to spend 5 glorious days pretending to be an average American, eating the standard American diet of carbs, protein, 3 vegetables, and a whole lot of mac and cheeze!

The first evening in town we had a late dinner at Vita Cafe, which was deliciously close to where we were staying. I had heard that there was ‘Mac and Cheese’ on the menu, but apparently you can also add broccoli, chili, sauteed tempeh, or fried tempeh! Since I planned to spend the weekend undoing all the good results of every bit of healthy eating and physical activity I had done over the past 2 months, I went ahead and ordered the fried tempeh on top.

I’m just going to get this part out of the way so that we can all move on with our lives; while this was a really lovely pasta dish, I’m hard pressed to call it mac and cheeze. The sauce was really more of a mildly cheesy-flavored margarine, and while I agree, that does sound delicious, you could have told me it was vegan alfredo sauce and I totally would have believed you.  The cheezy sauce to noodle ratio was a little low, I even came across a hand full of sad, naked noodles hovering around the edge of my bowl. And hey, I’m just going to nit pick and say that the pasta was rotelle and not macaroni.

Now the fried tempeh deserves it’s own paragraph, because WOW(!!!!), it was amazing! Being from the south I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in all things fried, and I do declare this to be spectacular breading. I would eat it with a fork covered in gravy if you let me. Actually, I think they will let you, and even throw in a side of mashed potatoes.

There was also crispy minced garlic sprinkled on top of the pasta which added 1 delicious point, but also gave the feeling that I could be eating it in a fancy-fancy candlelit bistro with table cloths and everything. The significant other even declared that the crispy garlic bits to be his favorite part of the dish.

So there you have it. Go here, order this, it’s really good even if it’s not really mac and cheeze! Be sure and order other stuff too because it’s all really good, I’m a big fan of anything with “buffalo” in the name.

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