Gravy

Gravy Brief Review
Overall Service Food Quality Atmosphere Vegan Options
4.25 6 4 4 3
Location: 3957 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Hours: Tue-Fri 7:30am-2:30pm
Sat 8am-3pm
Times Visited: 2

Gravy is another popular weekend brunch spot where there is always a waiting list. The Stumptown Vegans have visited twice, the first wait was 20 minutes, delaying our second visit many months, but the second visit proved to be worse – exceeding 30 minutes. Thirty minutes for a tofu scramble! With a name like Gravy it’s hard not to have cravings for biscuits and gravy. Then, when you realize there are no vegan biscuits, or even gravy, and you’re left eating another tofu scramble – it’s a bit disappointing, though they do have a vegetarian gravy. To their credit, there are many scramble options for a vegan that include vegan cheese and vegan faux meat.

The atmosphere is loud with few fabrics or room dividers to break up the sounds of a packed dining room with happy, chatty diners. The tables are pushed close together to lessen the wait time. There is limited counter seating at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. We spotted one possible cozy table nestled in a corner, but other than that, it’s very open. It’s a restaurant where you just have to find yourself eaves dropping the meal away, or talking loudly to your company.

It’s comforting that at $9.25 per tofu scramble it is the largest in town. A vegan’s easiest ordering option is the make-your-own, where you choose three elements to be included. These range from simple vegetables such as mushrooms and tomatoes to vegan bacon, sausage, and non-dairy cheese. On our first visit, the scrambles simply overwhelming. There were huge piles of steaming, yellow tofu with vegetables mixed in. You can picture a huge container of crumbled tofu mixed with some herbs sitting in the back waiting for it’s time to shine, or be heated with some veggies. The tofu itself is often dry and chewy. How it is cooked seems to vary with the cook of the day, not surprising in this town of tofu scrambles. If you are a big potato fan, skip the tofu all together and get a breakfast skillet of tossed potatoes and your choice of three additions, just like the scamble.

A scramble with vegan cheese, black olives, garlic, and mushrooms broke down to a pound, or more, of tofu, ¼ cup of black olives, multiple mushrooms, and assumedly Galaxy mozzarella. The scramble with vegan sausage could have been one-third of a container of chopped up Gimme Lean. One partygoer ordered the ‘fakin bacon’, which is by Lightlife, but what was served not tempeh at all, it was similar to a ‘Smartbacon’. Adding all these ingredients up makes the price tag even more digestible, as well as the ample scramble leftovers you’ll take home. Reviewing our omni-neighbors plates, we noticed the tofu scambles proved to be twice the size of the egg-filled scramble. The flavor of the scramble itself is a bit lacking, but there are assorted hot sauces available. While Galaxy isn’t the most popular vegan cheese on the market, the fact the restaurant goes the distant to have vegan cheeses and faux meats is admirable.

Each scramble comes with a choice of three sides: fruit, hashbrowns, or home fries. The hashbrowns are a point of contension between the Stumptown Vegans. One sees the giant fried greatness of hasbrowns as an over cooked alien-brain with barely cooked and bland guts, while the other sees the side as a crunchy birds nest with soft insides, perfect for adorning with Gravy’s raspberry jam and salt (maybe that reviewer is the one with the alien brain!) If faced with this potato situation, the best one can do is pick apart the nest and toss it into your scramble, reach for the condiments and give it another try. This also gives the tofu scramble time to cool. The home fries appear to be roasted with onions and both proved overcooked. If we had to visit again we might ask for toast.

If you find yourself at Gravy for lunch or dinner, the ‘Cheesesteak’ may be an option. but you better be a fan of Galaxy, the cheese we assume they use. If not, breakfast is served all day.

In the end, two vegans traveled across town, not once, but twice, and waited over an hour (30 minutes to be seated and 30 minutes from ordering) for brunch at Gravy, minus any hip omnivorous or vegetarian dining company. What were we thinking? This is one restaurant where our first impressions were correct and didn’t require a second visit. To Gravy’s credit, we were served massive amounts of food that provided two extra meals, the server was friendly, though he mocked the jam and potatoes. Local breakfast neighbors Muddies, Equinox, and Flavourspot beckoned us during our wait and now we know where to go next time we’re in the neighborhood.

Tofu Scrambles and sides galore:

april 12 014

Gravy Brief Review
Overall Service Food Quality Atmosphere Vegan Options
4.25 6 4 4 3
Location: 3957 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Hours: Tue-Fri 7:30am-2:30pm
Sat 8am-3pm
Times Visited: 2
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13 responses to “Gravy

  1. My girlfriend and I ate a Gravy a couple months ago and waited over an hour to be seated. When our food came the tofu scramble and the gravy were so salty we had to send it back and leave. It burnt our mouths.

  2. hey there.
    i was So Stoked when gravy opened and had “vegan cheese”.
    HOWEVER, the last time i was there (admittedly at least a year ago), the waitress informed me that the “vegan cheese” i’d been eating wasn’t vegan at all, just veggie cheese w/ casein. so then i had to get the scramble without and it was really sucky and i haven’t been back.
    has something changed?

  3. Pingback: The Ruby Dragon « Stumptown Vegans·

  4. Pingback: The Great Portland Tofu Scramble Census « Get Sconed!·

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