Posted: April 6
Updated: Today at 1:03 AM \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
\t\t\t\t\tNatural Foodie: Vegan food goes mainstream in Portland
\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t By Avery Yale Kamila [email protected]
\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tWhen the swanky Grace Restaurant opened almost two years ago in Portland, its menu was populated by meat and seafood-based entrees. But six months ago, the popular eatery did something unusual in Portland's top-tier restaurant scene: It added a vegan entree to its regular menu.
\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tclick image to enlarge
\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tResponding to customer requests for plant-based foods, Whole Foods Market in Portland added this salad bar featuring vegan and macrobiotic dishes. Numerous eateries in Portland are puting vegan dishes on their menus as demand for this style of food grows. \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
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\t \t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t"Why we have the dish started with demand," general manager Kate Tozier said. "We saw more and more people requesting vegan."
Right now, the $18 vegan entree is mushroom mac and peas featuring cauliflower puree, wild mushrooms, black truffles and snow peas.
Tozier said the 120-seat restaurant sells about a dozen of the vegan entrees each night.
Grace is not alone in fielding a growing number of requests for plant-based meals.
"The trend is there to be vegan," said Mary Paine, who owns the Pepperclub in Portland with Eddie Fitzpatrick. "A lot of young people who come in are newly vegan, and then we get older customers who've always been vegan."
During its 22-year history, the Pepperclub has been a go-to spot for vegetarians. But in recent years, the restaurant has taken the dairy and eggs out of many of the dishes on the vegetarian side of its menu to accommodate the growing number of vegan diners.
"Our menu has evolved so much," Paine said. "We've become more vegan. It really does come from our customers."