Hungry Tiger Too

Updated 3/25/2010 Breaking News: Vegan Corn Dogs are now $1.25/each on Wednesday nights.

Hungry Tiger Too Brief Review (updated)
Overall Service Food Quality Atmosphere Vegan Options
9 9 8 9 10
Location: 207 SE 12th Ave PortlandOR 97214
Hours: M-F 11am-2am, weekends 9am-12am  Times Visited: So many!

Updated 12/11/2009 – New Daily Specials Menu –
specials

I have experienced Tofufuffalo and thrown down my 40 cents a tofu wing.

And it is great. They have Spicy (Frank’s Red Hot style) and BBQ. At first I was digging the Spicy, but then BBQ won out.  It seemed to be the overall favorite among my friends, but mingling the two was also quite popular.  They’re basically strips of chewy, defrosted tofu, fried and smothered in sauce.  Can’t go wrong there.  Vegan ranch available for dipping! The new sensation has arrived.

UPDATED 8/24/09 – Menu Additions!

Years ago it was Paradox, but in the past year, Hungry Tiger Too has become my default “vegan diner” spot. I’m still sore over Paradox’s booth removal and expansion anyway, sorry!

Obviously, there’s a large separate vegan menu – the blue one.  They’ve recently added home fries, a BBQ tempeh sandwich, a Portabello mushroom scramble, Rosemary tofu skewers and a couple other items.

I never consider the multiple boca burger options, but it’s cool to choose from sizable scrambles, greasy sides, sandwiches, salads and appetizers like nachos and the dear squash filled wontons, a full bar, $4 Mimosas, vegan friendly bloody Marys, and huge vegan pancakes for $3.  It took me until this past weekend, appropriately after the Vegan Prom, to try one, and I’ve seen the light.  They come as a side option to scrambles or $3 individually.

I know you can find corn cakes to drown in maple syrup in this town, and I like the wheat free Chai Blueberry pancake at Jam well enough, but I’m usually wary to order vegan pancakes.  When I want pancakes, I want the eggy, fluffy pancakes from diners in New York that I grew up eating, not grainy corn cakes.

But here I am, recommending HT2′s fantastically giant vegan pancake, taking up an entire plate just like they do at real diners, with a lop of vegan margarine and a mini pitcher of maple syrup.  I don’t know if it’s the real stuff, or even 50% real stuff, but it does its job.  Can I please have a late night and then eat a pancake?  Sure!

I’m not forgetting the whole fried corndog thing with $1 (all vegan!) corndog and Pabst night; I just don’t want to eat them. I do go for the fun of it every few weeks, squeezing into the bar or showing up early to grab a table on the restaurant side.  One day a friend of mine will go for the glory to entertain me…


UPDATED 1/20/2009 – Quick Notes

The Hungry Tiger Too now has a regular menu, and a 2 page vegan menu.  Wednesdays are $1 vegan corn dog nights!  Fridays are $1 off vegan entree (excluding breakfasts).  Happy hour offers cheap vegan and side dish selections, like $4 vegan nachos smothered in cheezy sauce.

Sandwiches now come with housemade chips or slaw, and fries or tots are extra.  Sad, but true – and we hear good things about the chips.

The mac and cheeze is now $9.50 or so – and it hasn’t looked as cheezy as it used to.  On the other hand, the nacho cheeze went from being an oily, not so flavorful sauce to being a more than decent cheezy sauce I’m willing to pay for.

Times Visited: Too Many to Count!

The Hungry Tiger Too is more evidence to the fact that SE Portland and Veganism are BFFs. It’s gaining notice for keys reasons – local ads mention “VEGAN OPTIONS”, it’s within a couple blocks of everyone’s favorite vegan mini mall, and it’s the new existence of the now defunct but popular Hungry Tiger dive bar on East Burnside.

One half of the establishment is a closed-off bar with smoking, while the other half is a restaurant. The restaurant is smoke free and minors are welcome until 7pm. The building itself is a large house, and there is additional seating on the back porch and out front. The restaurant has tables of varying size and booths. The walls of the restaurant are colorful murals of wildlife that prominently feature many appropriate tigers. Vibe wise, I get the feeling that if you dimmed the lights come evening at Cup & Saucer and added more liquor and vegan food, you’d get something similar.

The vegan friendliness is evident on the menu in appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Many items are available vegan, sandwiches like the Ruben, (see Portland Vegan Reubens for more love!) and others are vegan by default, like the butternut squash wontons. Vegan friendly options are marked with a character on the menu, and it’s all over it. There is no fun cocktail list in the restaurant, but there are decently priced microbrews and hard cider. You can order from the full bar as well. Standard vegan-friendly appetizers of greasy tator tots, french fries, and crinkle cut fries are available anytime. During happy hour, they are all a dollar-off. Selected drinks are also discounted on designated days.

As for the food itself, let’s talk about the Mac & Cheeze.

Extra points: Bread crumbs, and the serving dish.

I realized with taking my first bite that it wasn’t cheezy, but I kept trying it and kept liking the meal. Non-nooch crazy vegans should check this out! At $8 (now $9.75) it was enough for two meals, and several bites for others to sample. Raves were heard all around. The only downside is the helping of bland, pre-mixed grilled veggies on the side, but like you have room for them anyway. Take them to go and feel a bit healthier with your leftovers.

Breakfast is served all day, and for us it breaks down to biscuits, gravy and tofu scramble. The tofu scramble comes with toast and potatoes. Word is out that it tastes like more than plain tofu, but that can’t be said for the tofu on the salads. The butternut squash wontons ($5) are a pleasing diversion from standard appetizers and potatoes. The filling is mild and sweet, the fried shell is crispy enough and the creamy coconut sauce is complemented nicely by the sporadic sprinkles of sweet chili sauce and spice on the wonton itself.

Sandwiches are offered with vegan mayo, tempeh, and fake bacon. On my most recent visit, the server recommended the vegan Club sandwich ($9). This packed sandwich of three slices of bread, peppered Tofurkey deli meat, store-bought tempeh bacon, tomato, green leaf lettuce, and vegan mayo was not on the menu yet, but should be soon. Served with a pile of deliciously hot tator tots and a pickle, a split sandwich and appetizer is enough to feed two decent appetites. If I had known the price before ordering I would have held off, but I’m glad I tried it. I’d order it again and take half home.

There’s such a comfortable atmosphere and friendly menu at the Hungry Tiger Too, that I was shocked to be one of two people in the restaurant recently. Meet your friends for dinner ASAP, because word will spread….

Mac and Cheeze with grilled veggies
march 2008 latter half 011

Butternut Squash Wontons
april 1st 040

Club Sandwich with Tots
april 1st 041

Portland Scramble with hash browns and toast
Portland Scramble

Vegan BLT with Tots
april 1st 054

Nachos

Ceasar Salad

Mandarin Salad

Biscuits and Gravy

Grilled Cheese

Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Address: 207 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat & Sun 7am-2am

Hungry Tiger Too on Urbanspoon

http://tryveganpdx.com/restaurants/hungry-tiger-too/

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45 responses to “Hungry Tiger Too

  1. It wasn’t busy when I was there,too,at noon on a weekday. The food was greasier than I expected,and I found it much too dark. I prefer Jam.

  2. I had a great experience at Hunger Tiger Too! Biscuits and Gravy are my weakness so I need to go back soon. It is so refreshing to stumble across places like HTT, I had never heard of it before until my bf’s sister told me about it!

  3. I was drooling over the mac n cheese, but the wontons and club sammy look even better! You guys are so lucky to have so many vegan restaurants, grr! :)

  4. it’s definitely a greasy diner place. it reminds me of Beulahland and i wouldn’t expect healthy stuff from there.
    notes:
    1. stay away from the nasty ass tofu that comes on salads. seriously! maybe we just got it on a bad day, but i don’t think eating raw tofu isn’t terrible, but this was raw-like but in an untasty way.
    2. $4 for a huge plate of biscuits and gravy! it wasn’t the best ever but i was so psyched to finally find a restaurant that served southern type gravy that had sausage bits in it! i had leftovers.

  5. I read some reviews on the Mercury’s website that were pretty negative…One said that their vegan fries were fried in oil that had just been used for bacon, and another person said that it’s a toss up as to whether your chef will actually know what ‘vegan’ means. Someone else said those sounded like rants from ex-employees trying to hurt the business.
    Any ideas? Did you think they seemed knowledgeable?

  6. Christine- I haven’t been to HTT yet, but I’ve noticed that on the Mercury reviews and Portland Citysearch especially, there’s a tendency for ex-employees to write unfounded negative things as well as for owners to post glowing reviews. If the rest of the reviews are positive, I would ignore the outliers.

  7. whoops, my hungry tiger too comment went on sweetpea brunch somehow. Suffice to say, checked it out last night – (hungry tiger too) – and it was the bomb. :)

  8. hey guys, it certainly has greasy spoon appeal, but there are large salads at least. we really enjoy jam but I think they are definitely two different experiences. I prefer hungry tiger too for an evening experience.

    Christine – I’ve only been to hungry tiger too twice so far, and hadn’t heard anything about the staff that you have.

    I found my most recent waitress extremely helpful and knowledgeable about vegan food – I wouldn’t be surprised if she was vegan.

    I have heard that (one of?) the new owners is vegan and made a point to create a delicious vegan mac and cheeze to rival the original. Kudos on that!

  9. I’ve been there quite a few times. Service is sometimes slow, but everyone that works there is very friendly. One of the gals (I think she is the bar manager) is Vegan. She even tried out a new recipe and brought it to our table to try out the last time I was there.

    It is awesome for greasy bar food. I think there area few vegans working there and everyone seemed knowledgeable. I would recommend this place to anyone. I’m excited for the outdoor seating this summer.

  10. Thanks for this review! We went maybe a year ago and had one of the worst experiences at a “cool” restaurant in Portland. We had to order from the bar because there was absolutely no table service (well, I think the waitress was sitting at a table with her friends but we never were sure it was the waitress or a patron). At the bar, we were basically told there was only some sort of a dry burger or something and that the fries were fried in animal fat so whatever we got was essentially bland and horrible. We vowed never to go back but may give it another shot since it’s right in the neighborhood and your good review. Anyway, thanks again.

  11. I’ve gone there, like, 5 times. I love their “cream of” vegan soups (different every day) and my favorite thing to get is the vegan caesar with tempeh bacon added to it. I also love love love the scramble and the biscuits and gravy. I wasn’t crazy about the mac and cheese, but whatevs. Service has been awesome and friendly every time.

  12. I read your review and went on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago. It took 15 minutes to get a menu (there were other tables occupied , but it wasn’t like there was a line to get one), and seriously it almost an hour before we got our food, which was okay but not worth waiting an hour. The portobello burger sounded good, but they were out of portobellos. The mac and cheese wasn’t very flavorful though the croutons were a nice touch. I would have been content if the service was fast, but the service was very slow…. not going back again.

  13. Sorry to hear about it Beth!

    The mac and cheeze is certainly not cheezey, but I enjoy how creamy it is. Mac and cheeze is such a fickle thing to order out as it is.

    The service notes are rough – even when it’s been really busy and there was one server on – he was courteous and food was served timely, so again, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Hopefully they’re on top of things now and that was an OFF night.

    I will say that if I had only gone once, I would have been truly dissapointed as well. Yikes.

    We have a policy at Stumptown Vegans to try realistically try every place twice, which we hopes breaks through some of the off dining experiences.

  14. I’ve been twice in the past week, to try both the breakfast and lunch options. I must say I was very pleased both times, with a few slight apprehensions.

    The first time I went was for breakfast. The place was pretty empty, which was not surprising considering it was at around 2pm on a weekday (breakfast time, duh!). The service was excellent, as it should’ve been considering the lack of customers, although the food was very slow. It looked like they had only one cook, so I guess it is understandable, since the few other tables had ordered right before us. However, my roommate was already running a little late for work, so it was slightly problematic…but that’s always a risk when dining out when you have somewhere to be.

    I ordered the tofu scramble with biscuits and gravy, as that is always the first thing to order when trying a new restaurant. It was kind of nice having to wait, because it made me hungry enough to tackle the whole plate of food. The scramble was good, standard mix of firm, well-cooked and seasoned tofu, and a standard, if not somewhat bland, mix of vegetables (onions, zuch, etc.). There were two good sized biscuits, smothered in a delicious gravy. Also, following your suggestion, I tried the wontons, which were totally delicious. Something about that sweet/coconuty sauce stuff…yum. So, overall, very good experience. A little pricey, but a lot of food so it kind of works out. Definitley enough for two meals, if I didn’t love to eat until I feel sick.

    Two days later my roommate and I went back for lunch. We decided to split a Reuben, a plate of nachos, and had to get another order of the wontons. Also, bloody marys.

    The Reuben was delicious, and I wished I had the whole thing to myself, rather than just half. But so it goes. I would say it was better than the Reuben down the street at Red and Black, but not as cheap. We chose the side of coleslaw, which was delicious, although overly-sweet and too small of a portion. The wontons were, of course, great, and the Bloody Mary’s were very good as well (although no Bloody Mary is ever spicy or peppery enough for me). The real bummer of the afternoon was the nachos…It was a diminutive plate of round tortilla chips, smothered in a slimy, bland, fake cheese. It had almost no flavor..and my roommate kept exclaiming that it must be unflavored gravy base. If it weren’t for the few jalapeno slices, and the small side of salsa, the nachos would have been inedible (and it’s gotta be real bad if I’m not willing to eat it). Why not just go down to Food Fight and fill up a tub with some of their nacho cheese? In a town full of great vegan nachos (Los Gorditos, Paradox, FoodFight), HTT needs to either totally reinvent that dish, or remove it from the menu.

    Nachos aside, it was a great experience. The server was wonderful, the food came fast this time, and it was an all around great experience. Next up is the club sandwich, $4.00 biscuit and gravy, and I still need to try the infamous Day Sippers. Another cool thing: the beer menu says which beers are not vegan. Turns out Stella Artois isn’t…which I didn’t know, and is now officially stricken from the rotation. Also, Arrested Development was playing on the T.V. in the bar…I could definitely see myself wasting a day away with a club sandwich, a day sipper, and some Bluthe family antics.

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  17. Hey everybody. I popped onto the sight to see how we are doing. I am glad to see good reviews and also thankful for the critical ones. I have not seen poor reviews on the slow service before and I am glad to have the honesty so I can fix it.

    Also I was sad to see that someone started a roomer that we fry meat and potatoes in the same fryer and that it is an animal based oil. These are not true! We have a vegan fryer and flat top as well as a non animal veggie oil in our fryers. I have had a lot of mixed reviews about our nachos and particularly our cheese sauce. It seems people love or hate it? I would love to hear from more people about it!

    We are not all vegan here at the Hungry tiger but nether is all our food. We have a good mix of people just like Portland and some in depth vegan questions will be new to some of us but isn’t that part of the fun to bring up ideas people haven’t considered and to help educate about veganism? Rest assured the fellas in the kitchen know the menu and the differences between our vegan and non vegan food.

    Thanks all
    Sawithia “Sharky” Bowman
    Hungry Tiger Manager

  18. Hi Sharky,

    Thanks for the extensive update and care! It’s wonderful to see how many options you have on your menu, and the not-vegan marked beer is a fun plus.

    I recently had the nachos for the first time, and must admit that I preferred the cheezy sauce on them as opposed to in the mac and cheeze – however I’m someone who can always go for more ‘cheezy’ness and wonder if you’re using nutritional yeast or fake cheeze or whatnot in it? Vegans are so picky about fake cheeze as it is, flavor and consistency wise, so it’s cool to see a housemade cheezy sauce on any menu.

    Looking forward to checking out more!

  19. Ate there again today. I love this place, even tho I decided to try the biscuits n gravy this morning and I did not like the gravy at all. It had this taste that reminded me of canned cream of celery soup. It was odd. The biscuit was great tho, nice and soft and frickin’ huge. Very cool about the manager posting here! Wasn’t there a rumor about a new menu with even more vegan options?

  20. Went there for the first time. Deeeee-licious and good fast service! The wontons were my favorite part. The tator tots were also amazing, crispy in my mouth and ear. We also shared some nachos and enjoyed the cheez. Thank you to stumptown vegans for taking the time to research and review all these places! I moved to Portland almost a year ago, found this website about 6 months ago, and it is one of my favorite websites ever! I use it as my main vegan PDX guide! Thanks again.

  21. Mindy – Yes, word on the vegan street is that they are working on more vegan options.

    Christy – You’re welcome – thank you for reading our site! Thanks everyone!

    The nachos are calling me…

    j

  22. Hey,

    So apparently they have the all vegan menu now. Any updated review in store?

    I’m particularly curious if they’ve changed their weird, tofurkey-slice vegan reuben at all. We gave it a pretty bad review (though apparently a guy who posted above loved it—maybe it was just an off night…where the cook practically burnt the sandwich fillings).

    Anyway, an employee, maybe the manager, commented on portlandveganreubens long ago thanking us for the feedback so I’m wondering if the sandwich has changed at all, concurrent with the menu release….Though I won’t be in Portland again ’til Christmas…

    T

  23. Intriguing! I haven’t heard about that, and never noticed the “new vegan options” on the menu in the past few months we’d heard about. Last time I was there, Tofurkey was still in action.

    According to their myspace – they are working on a revised vegan menu with separate and new vegan options – http://www.myspace.com/hungrytigertoo

    We’ll check it out ASAP.

  24. i went there about a month or so ago and had the BLT… i was glad it was tempeh, but it was so un-bacony there is no way it could pass for fakin’ bacon. it was just… a tempeh sandwich, which is fine, but i would have liked it much better if it had not been billed as a BLT, because i wouldn’t have been expecting a BLT. HTT didn’t tempt me to return whatsoever… even that nasty Vegetarian House buffet made a better first impression :(

  25. Maybe I’ll give them another try. For a while I was up on their vegan pseudo-biscuits and gravy, but the last couple times I went the biscuits were undercooked, sour and inedible–plus the “new vegan menu” mostly just seemed to mean everything got more expensive. I think the last few times we went, there were problems with my girlfriend’s orders every time–things as basic as forgotten tomatoes on the tempeh-BLT. If I lived in the neighborhood maybe I’d still go, but it’s just not worth a bus ride anymore, even as one of the few vegan-friendly late-night options in town.

  26. our family shared a meal with another at HTT for the first time last night. service was tops and the food was delicious. when i was done i wanted to order another meal. too full.

  27. i love Hungry Tiger Too! they definitely have days where the service sucks, but normally it’s on Wednesday evenings when it’s busy as hell. Today me and a friend were there and we were well served by Jeff, a new guy, i believe since i’ve never seen him before. Arwen is a great friendly server.

    i love the Portland Scramble (though i think in the future i’ll ask for the cheese sauce on the side since it can be a little overwhelming), BLTeaser, Stuffes Wonton’s, corn dogs, PANCAKE!!, biscuits & gravy (i prefer a southern white gravy with sausage, but since i still haven’t found that, this is the best in town. it’s only weird b/c sometimes it’s foccacia bread or something and sometimes it’s biscuits)…everything i have there is good. i’m still confused of why tots cost $2 more and fries only a $1 more…and why they cost extra in the first place.

    i live close by and that’s also a reason i like them so much….

  28. best. scramble. ever.

    slowest service ever. for real. food was AMAZING. maybe someone should just tell the server to speed up?

  29. Maybe we’ll give it one more shot during the day, but Hungry Tiger is done for us nocturnally. As I think I mentioned above, not one of the more than half a dozen times we’ve gone has something not been wrong with our order (besides the indifferent-to-hipper-than-thou service), from missing ingredients in a three-ingredient sandwich named after its ingredients, to uncooked biscuits (that could’ve really given me trouble if they’d not been vegan and had raw egg in them).

    Last night we tried once more. After arriving around 11:40pm, we waited twenty minutes before we could get the attention of the bar tender–with roughly five other people in the bar, non ordering food. When then waited another 35 minutes for two *very* simple food orders–before getting so fed up and hungry we left never having been served, and walked down 12th to the Hawthorne carts. The ironic mustache quotient was still uncomfortably high there, too, but everyone was friendly (no ice-queens) and we literally had service with a smile.

    We’re not jerky people with restaurants and wait staff and cooks who like to complain and tip 10% like our grandmothers. We’re high tippers despite being poor, and empathise with and appreciate the hard work of those in the food service world. But this type of callous indifference that almost feels like contempt is just not acceptable.

  30. Hungry Tiger Too has sort of become my local favorite watering hole. Okay it is close to my house so I can walk to it, so that definitely is a plus for me.

    Wednesday Vegan Corn Dog and dollar PBR night is probably one of the busiest nights of the week. Definitely worth going and any place that serves ‘Tater Tots’ is right at the top in my book.
    The bartenders are also very nice and the big 10 dollar drink list on the wall of Froo Froo drinks is guaranteed to make you tip heavy and stumble home.

    They have also add gluten free bread options that are not on the menu yet….so make sure and ask.

    I like this place and although it’s gotten some bad reviews in the past I think they have gotten their act together and if your not a vegan…..yes I know I shouldn’t mention this….but the Fire burger (which can be made meatless) is one outrageously good meal, make sure to add the tater tots though.
    :)

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