Date: April 25, 2007
Times Visited: 6
Vegetarian House bestows Portland with a vegan Chinese lunchtime buffet. Recently the restaurant announced they were ridding themselves of the whey faux chicken and going all-vegan (except for the dairy crab rangoons) so I thought I’d give the buffet another try. I have only been a small handful of times, and found it so-so, but I was hoping there would now be new options.
There weren’t any, but the buffet was tastier than I’d recalled. I can’t say that it’s the type of Chinese food that I crave or enjoyed while growing up, or that it filled my cravings like Grasshopper in Boston or New Harmony in Philly, but it still hits a certain vegan greasy goodness spot with its extensive menu and lunch buffet.
The buffet featured ‘beef’ and green beans, spring rolls, fried won tons, sweet and sour dipping sauce, steamed vegetables, lomein , fried rice, tempura broccoli & yam, a spicy tofu dish and a house soup. This was the first time I’d gone that the soup was not hot and sour, but a simple, body-warming soup with a clear broth and veggies. If only I had more room for it.. My favorite dish was the ‘beef’ with green beans, though the green beans didn”t have any crisp left in them, the savory dish works, especially when eaten with the fairly plain fried rice to balance it. I wouldn’t order it as an entree, so it was a nice addition for me.
I actually liked the spring rolls, though hanging out on a buffet and again, lacking ‘crisp’, I enjoyed them for what they were -vegan springrolls sitting on a buffet waiting for me. Being a fan of heat in my Chinese food, I was okay with the flavor of the tofu dish, but not the texture. I would have preferred fried tofu, and this was soft.
Note that the regular menu, home of assorted faux chicken and faux shrimp dishes that Vegetarian House is known for, is also available during the buffet.
I would recommend giving the buffet a try, you could find something you really like – but I would also recommend going for a nice dinner.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Address: 22 NW 4th Avenue Portland, OR
Buffet Hours: 11am-2:30pm M-F