Winter 2010 Update:
Blue Moose is closed
|Blue Moose Brief Review|
|Overall||Service||Food Quality||Atmosphere||Vegan Options|
|Location: 4936 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213 (503) 548-4475|
|Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 9am-9pm||Times Visited: 4|
Oh Blue Moose – How I wish I didn’t have to travel across town to visit you. I wish your cute little vegetarian restaurant was in my neighborhood. I’d spend much more time with you, munching on nutritional yeast covered popcorn and enjoying all your homemade soups. But alas, you’re two bus rides away and I am more attracted to your appearance than your menu.
The Blue Moose is an adorable, blue restaurant on NE 49th and Fremont in the developing Beaumont neighborhood. The cafe provides an outdoor seating area and a medium sized, bright interior dining room with tables, no booths, but an enjoyable environment. Moose lamps sit on every table to provide moose-lighting. Make sure to check out the posters on the walls; they will make you smile, if you’re vegetarian.
When you arrive a server will provide samples of the daily soups to try, I’ve never been offered one that wasn’t vegan. This small gesture is one of reasons I’ve come to love The Blue Moose Cafe. Other small things include: Daylight illuminates the dining room (when available), they have popcorn and no eggs on the menu, breakfast is served all day, and the vegan items are clearly noted.
The Blue Moose makes food I would, and can, easily make at home, making it difficult to want to travel across town for the grub. The food is good, but not spectacular – something you could make at home if you cook. Tofu sandwiches, salads, chips and salsa, soups, wraps, breakfast items, all vegetarian and served without garnish. Not presented in any special way – just food. When I dine out, specically traveling a distance, I want a bit more than just food. I enjoy the presentation as well.
The variety of soups and sandwiches have been consistently good in my visits. Avocado is subbed for cheese for vegans with no extra charge. Seeing the peanut butter and banana sandwich on the menu made me happy because it’s comfort food. The pancakes aren’t the huge fluffy pancakes I’ve been searching for (like those at The Laurelthirst) they are at medium fluff with whole grains, and include flax seeds. The pancakes gain points for being served with real maple syrup. The burrito may not be what you’d expect. It’s filled with potatoes, corn, peas, and peppers. You can add tofu for a small additional charge.
The Blue Moose makes many of their own desserts, including “Moose Bark” which is a brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and chocolate rice crispy treat. They have many other house-made vegan sweet options on rotation.
Overall the menu and atmosphere reminds me places like Proper Eats and Chaos Cafe. The service has been known know to drag, I assume, because it’s not a busy spot. The slow nature and always friendly servers adds to the charm of the cafe. But when you’re hungry- it’s not so cute. The food is fresh and seems to be cooked to order, so you should have some good company to enjoy the wait. This happens to be a great thing on the weekends – when every other breakfast spot is busting at the seams to seat the Portland brunch crowd, head over to the Blue Moose and relax, enjoy their soups, hang out, you won’t be pushed out of your seat for the next diners.