Date: October 10, 2007
Times Visited: 2
Bye and Bye is the new vegan bar on NE 10th and Alberta. You walk in and find yourself in a spacious, clean space with seating inside and out. Even bustling on a Friday night, it was open enough to not feel crowded. Adding to that is the fact that the bar itself is non-smoking, although there is a nice patio where smoking is allowed. The patio has a nice secluded feel to it with glowing lights and bamboo. The decor is brightly painted but dimly lit. Beautiful paintings hang from the walls – and combined with the open space, make it seem like it’s an art gallery. There’s a jukebox and lots bike parking, too.
The food is southern style and for bar food it tastes clean, a little pricey for us, but tasty, not too heavy but filling. We’ve tried the BBQ “chicken” platter which came with seasonal greens and black eyed peas; and the meatball sandwich which came with a choice of sides.
Although it’s listed as ‘BBQ Chicken’ on the menu, the kitchen is currently using tofu in replace of faux chicken. Word is that they use light life strips, which we’re not fans of, so the tofu was welcome. The tofu was cut into strips and liberally covered in a thin, spicy BBQ sauce. It was sweet and smooth and if you’re not a fan of heat, stay clear.
Pairing with the meal are seasonal greens, cooked well and lightly seasoned. The greens tasted just right after a bite of the spicy tofu. They are served in a bowl with some broth. One might think, are you supposed to drink this or what? We didn’t, but a dining companion did indulge. Also included is a side of black eyed peas, which were simple and perfectly tender. They held together as individual beans but had a nice mix of broken beans to make them stick together just enough not to fall off one’s spoon.
The Meatball Sandwich was a good amount of food for $8. Some seemingly pre-made meatballs came tightly packed into a crusty baguette with a fairly flavorful marinara sauce. The bread was quite crusty but once sandwiched in a bite with the sauce and meatball combo it was all good. However, it was awkward to eat, and your best either tearing pieces off and trying to get a bit of each aspect (sauce, meatball, bread) or maneuvering it. This meals comes with a choice of side, and we’ve tried both the rice and chips and salsa. Both sides are good, but the rice gives you too many grains for one meal.
Other menu options include:
Georgia Bowl – Marinated southern-style tofu served over brown rice with a side of seasonal greens; Old Timer – Veggie hot dog with soy cheese and the works. Choice of one side; Weeping Tiger Sandwich – Braised tofu cutlets, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos, rooster sauce. Choice of one side;Veggie Plate;Spaghetti; Spaghetti with marinara and veggie meatballs. Served with garlic baguette; Eastern Bowl – Spicy Asian tofu served over rice with peanut sauce and a side of broccoli; Sides: tortilla chips and fresh salsa; black-eyed peas; seasonal greens; brown rice; broccoli; tofu
Meals range from $6-8 and sides are $3-4.
As for drinks, Bye and Bye has a fully stocked bar, and first off, is visually impressive. One Stumptown Vegan consumed one and a half “Bye and Bye’s” herself. Being the signature cocktail, this saccharine, cranberry and peach punched, enormous drink was served in a large mason jar – much to her initial delight. At $7, you can rest assure that it’s at least not as expensive as your meal. There is apparently also a non-alcoholic version of this drink. Well drinks were quite smaller, and priced around $4. There are also beers on tap, including Hamm’s for $2, and many bottled varieties. We don’t recall seeing any of our preferred microbrews on tap, but hopefully the taps will rotate. The bar staff is friendly and even with a crowded bar, wasn’t difficult to order from.
When it comes down to it, Bye and Bye isn’t a restaurant, it’s a bar that serves vegan bar food. If you’re not opting for a drink as well, it may not be worth your trip coming from another neighborhood. Although the food was arguably pricey for bar food at $8 a plate, think about sharing. Go with a friend and try two items. Plus, after a signature “Bye and Bye” cocktail, what room do you have for more than a plate of food?
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Address: 1011 NE Alberta
Hours: Food is served from 4-9pm daily, with a limited menu afterwards.