Blossoming Lotus

**UPDATE December 2009**

It is with sad news that we have to inform you that this downtown location is now closed, after five years.

However, you can still enjoy some of the wonderful menu items you’ve come to love at their new NE location. The new Blossoming Lotus cafe is classy, beautiful, and delicious. You can expect a full review of the new location in a few months time. In the meantime, check out this brief review:

Blossoming Lotus Cafe, Brief Review
Overall Service Food Quality Atmosphere Vegan Options
9.25 9 9 9 10
Location: 1713 NE 15th Ave. Portland, OR 503.228.0048
Hours: M-F, 11am-4pm; Sun-Thurs 5pm-9pm
F-Sat 5pm-10pm
Times Visited: 2

April 26, 2007
Times Visited: Countless

Blossoming Lotus is not the place to go if you want a lot of food for cheap. Blossoming Lotus is the place to go when you want some great vegan food that makes you feel great and you have a few extra bucks to spend.

Some of the food seems so simple that I could make it at home, like the Monk Bowl ($7) which is just a bowl of rice with a daily grain and lots of great organic veggies and a spicy sauce. Then there are other options like the like live/raw pizza! ($7) Check out their menu for all their delecious options. But no matter how simple or complicated your meal, you’ll always be getting food that’s organic, mostly local, and as silly as it sounds, tastes like it was made with love. It’s that extra ingredient or way it’s prepared, that makes everything taste better.

I usually go for the tempeh salad wrap. It’s similar to a fake chicken salad with crumbled tempeh, a fake mayo mixture with some crunchy vegetables like celery or pickles and some spices, including cumin, all rolled into a tortilla with lettuce and carrots. For an extra $3 a side salad or soup can be added. I rarely take that option because I know that the wrap will leave me pleasantly full, but I could always eat more of their healthy food.

Vegans find it impossible to talk about Blossoming Lotus without mentioning the soft serve soy cream! The flavors change frequently but it’s always great like chocolate-cherry, chai, peanut butter. I love that you can get a small, couple ounce serving that is just enough to finish off a wonderful meal there for only $1. Other dessert options include their moist cookies and bars, juice, raw fudge, cakes and much more.

Seems like there’s always a wait here, it is not fast food. It suits the mood of the location being situated inside a yoga center.

The raw options are plentiful, even in the dessert choices – raw pecan pie. The full juice bar is something to note though I haven’t tried their juices, but they sure do look beautiful and how can you go wrong with organic fruits and veggies?

Blossoming Lotus also provides vegan catering for events! These guys are making being vegan in Portland too easy! We’re spoiled.

If you can’t make it to their Portland location, or their Hawaii location, you can always check out their cookbook. They even offer up a few recipes online. Jess and I cooked up some macnut tofu from this book and it was fantastic with so much flavor.

There are so many things to note about this small cafe! Check out the breakfast and chef special dinners in the evening. My only complaint is that I wish the dishes came with a small side dish because of the price, also that there was more seating.

Sample Platter
Blossoming Lotus - Sample Platter

Garden of Eden Salad:
Blossoming Lotus - Garden of Eden Salad

Tempeh Salad Wrap
Tempeh Salad Sandwich

BBQ Tempeh Sandwich
BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

Flax Crackers
Flax Crackers

Salad with Ginger Dressing
Blossoming Lotus - Salad

Nightly Special – Blackened Tempeh
Blossoming Lotus - Special

Chai Soft Serve
april 2007 017

Live Fudge
Blossoming Lotus - Live Fudge

Raw Nachos:
Blossoming Lotus - Raw Nachos

Raw Pasta:
Blossoming Lotus - Raw Pasta

Cashew Hummus with Flax Crackers:
Blossoming Lotus - Cashew Hummus

Incan bowl with Sweet Ginger and Peanut Sauce

end of august 07 013

Chef’s Special: Herb Crusted Tempeh with Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes and Sage Gravy

chef's special @ bl

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Address: 925 NW Davis
Hours: Everyday 7:30am-9pm


29 responses to “Blossoming Lotus

  1. We had breakfast here when we were in Portland, I had the breakfast burrito and my husband had the oatmeal, we tried 2 different types of tea with it but I can’t remember what they were now. We loved the food and really enjoyed our meal and were upset we didn’t have time to fit in eating there again during our trip!

  2. I might try BL out as a celebratory dinner – because I just got a big raise – and they have more raw options than anyone else in town. But I’m nervous because I heard a lot of people got sick from their food at the Vegan Festival last fall/winter. The nut loaf sounds good, though.

  3. Congrats, erica! I hope their soft serve machine is working when you go..
    I did get sick after the vegan fair, however I went today for lunch and so far so good. Plus, the soft serve is quite possibly worth it, even if that did get me sick (which I don’t think it was).

  4. Chai softserve?? As if I needed another reason for Portland envy! The tempeh looks fantastic, and the ice cream is the cherry on top.

  5. We are lucky to have soft serve. Everyone was disappointed when the other place that serves vegan soft serve closed shop and we were only left with one option – Blossoming Lotus!
    We love being vegan in Portland.

  6. 5 out of 5? I love Blossoming Lotus, but I do think they fall short of a perfect score. First off let me say I adore Blossoming Lotus, I eat there often and enjoy eating there. But it’s not perfect. The wait can sometimes be downright painful (although some times it can be speedy), the menu could use some simple options (like soup and salad combo or the ability to get HALF a sandwich and soup).

    The vegan soft serve is divine, but it’s often ‘out’.

    Another issue with BL is that it’s not uncommon to find that several things on the menu aren’t available.

    Dinner’s often feel like Lunch dressed up and you seem to pay a premium for the same food after the sun goes down.

    Why do I seem down on BL when I really do adore it? Because it could be a place worthy of a 5 out of 5. With a few adjustments it could be the place veg people come to Portland to eat at!

  7. Geoff, You’re right. I have heard complaints about them being out of ingredients and the soft serve machine being broken, but I’ve yet to experience it, luckily. I could see giving the place a 4 or 4.5, but I always leave feeling so great that I gave it a 5.

  8. chai softserve??? yum…they still don’t list the soft serve flavors of the day online, right? i think that would be so great. last couple times i’ve been there they’ve either been out or the flavors were fruity. i want the nonfruity flavors! if i wanted fruity i could go to any gelato place and get their vegan selection.
    p.s. i had their Southwest bowl last time and it was delicious!
    p.s.s. i would love if it was in their own building with more seating instead of their small yoga space.

  9. I am taking a trip to Portland in a few weeks and was eyeing BL for maybe a breakfast or lunch visit. Having a hard time deciding, there are so many choices (coming from texas especially)! What would be your recommendation for a nice romantic dinner? It’s my bf’s birthday (he’s not vegan, but eats it gladly) and I wanted something kind of special…. We’re also looking for hiking suggestions if you have any of those. Awesome blog!

  10. Amanda – Romantic…hmm. Maybe that should be a tag in our reviews. I can only think of a few places that I have heard of, but not eaten at: The Farm, Wildwood or Higgins. The Farm has one vegan dish that is really great. Higgins and Wildwood are very accommodating. Just call them and let them know a vegan is coming.
    Vita can sometimes be intimate if you get a large booth to yourself and it’s not too busy of a night. I am going to have to think about this a little bit more.
    Hiking – Check out Silver Falls, of course Forrest Park and Multnomah Falls are awesome for hiking as well.

  11. Amanda – I find Nicholas Restaurant (Middle Eastern) romantic in a small, authentic, sharing food type of way.

    The Farm has an amazing vegan entree option of herb crusted tofu over mashed potatoes and a mushroom marsala sauce – I look forward to my next excuse to eat there! We were very fortunate to have a corner table, as many others are right next to each other. There is also a full bar with fancy drinks, and vegan friendly appetizer and salad options. Many other vegetarian and omnivore seasonal items as well.

    Of course, I also think Italian is perhaps the most romantic way to go – but you won’t find anywhere in town that Italian-specific that has more than standard pasta + olive oil/veggies/garlic or tomato sauce options. Of course, check on egs in the noodles.

    Three more places to check out are the atmospheric and vegetarian/vegan, though a bit pricey Kalga Kafe on SE 42nd and Division, and the supposedly (I have not been there) vegan-friendly Kuhn Pic’s Bahn Thai on SE Belmont, as well as Kinta across the street.

  12. After being spoiled on superb vegan food as a native Angeleno, I have to say this is by far the best vegan fare in town.

  13. Tried it. Loved it!

    My sister Marlene Mae who has been a raw foodist for about 6 months now (and lost about 50 lbs) was very excited when I showed her this wonderful web site with all the great food reviews and pictures. She lives in southern Oregon (in the boondocks, no plumbing or electricity) and does not have much of a choice in vegetarian restaurants in her area.

    Her daughter, Marlene, and I decided to eat raw with her.

    We started with the Live Nachos which we all loved. The nachos chips were made of a very tasty cracker and the “cheese sauce” had a very spicy flavor that even Marlene’s daughter enjoyed though she does not like anything spicy. We all agreed this was the best part of our meal. We highly recommend the Live Nachos.

    Next we had the Live Nut Loaf with raw catsup. We broke off strips of the Live Nut Loaf and dunked it into the raw catsup. We all agreed this is the best catsup we’ve ever had. We all loved the Live Nut Loaf as well.

    We then had the Live Wraps. These were very tasty and we all considered this the second best part of our large meal. The Live Nut Load finished third.

    At the same time we dug into the Live Pizza but non of us were happy with the taste. This unfortunately finished last in our rankings.

    Next we had the special of the night Alfredo Pasta. I enjoyed it but my sister and her daughter were not too impressed with it.

    Finally we got to dessert, we had some live fudge which we all loved and a Live Buckwheat Apricot Bar which was purchased just for me which I loved, loved, loved.

    And to top it all off we each tried the organic vegan soft serve, the only non raw item of the evening. It was a berry mix and to my taste buds the tastiest soft serve I’ve ever had. Both the women folk enjoyed this treat immensely.

    We tried so many dishes that we took home about half the meal.

    Overall for raw crusine we would rate Blossoming Lotus a 5.3 out of 5. Yummee. We’ll be back.

    We’ve eaten at BL many times. We always enjoy their food. But no longer eat there because the place is not family friendly. We were asked to be quiet and move to a different section of the cafe as we were deciding what to order for take out (yes, we do realize that toddlers are not very quiet, hence the reason we were trying to get some take out) and then told by someone who works there that if we would just feed our daughter she would be quiet. So we left.

  15. Oh good — I am glad to hear they don’t tolerate loud children. It makes me want to go there even more.

    I love this blog. Thank you so much for providing excellent reviews.

  16. Sarah is right about them not being family friendly. I would take it a step further and say it’s not even customer friendly. Who wants to eat somewhere with ‘please be quiet’ signs on the tables? Yoga studios and cafes don’t mix. I felt like everyone working and eating there was really pretentious. It’s a shame because the food we had was really good, but I’ll never go back. Does anyone else find Dean’s comment rude and uncalled for? For Dean: one day you’ll grow up and realize what a wonderful joy children are. When you have your own, I hope they’re just as bratty as you.

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  22. There are signs that say please be quiet? Uh.. how are you supposed to order, in sign language? A cafe and yoga studio don’t mix.. they should have thought that out better. YUCK.

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  24. I’ve been wanting to try this place for a while. I recently decided to become a “Raw Foodie” and last night we finally went. My boyfriend had the Live Wrap, I had the Live Pasta and live Grapefruit Salad. Oh, and we shared the Live Nachos. It was awesome!!!

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