Date: August 18, 2007
Times Visited: Too Many To Count
The taste of wonderful, garlic-packed gazpacho is still in my tongue from the first Red & Black café vegan family style dinner benefit. The updates on the upcoming move and potential new space can be found on their website, here. The dinner was held after a warm day and the soup was cool and refreshing while still offering a full bite. I felt bad for any attendees who weren’t garlic fans, because they were missing out on a stimulating fix. This gazpacho was the first course of that evening’s dinner, once again prepared by talented and season-embracing local chef Aaron Adams.
The salad came next, with fresh field greens and moist, sweet and tart berries, consisting of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. It was a natural follow up to the gazpacho. It helped cleanse my palate from the garlic and I was ready for the mashed potatoes. This dish was perhaps the creamiest I’ve ever had, and contained subtle bites of green onions and roasted corn. Hands down, it was the most raved dish at my table.
The main course featured marinated and grilled tempeh and vegetables kabobs, with an Italian vibe to them. The tempeh was quite pleasant, the squash was cooked just enough and the tomatoes and mushrooms were by far my favorite components. The petite tomato burst warmly and full of savory and sweet flavor in a single bite. The mushroom I ate was skillfully seasoned and oh, so, tender. I noticed one dining companion eying mine after she finished hers! Halfway through the kabobs, we were brought the garlicky green and yellow beans. The dish was honestly lighter on the garlic then you’d expect from the name, and also included walnuts. I prefer my green beans with a decent amount of crisp in them, and these delivered. With an extra spoonful of the potatoes, the beans had a match.
After the tables were cleared and we were refilled on the complimentary herbal tea and coffee, the peach pies were delivered. Our small table of 4 even had its own pie for a while. Being peach season, I was stoked and although the pie itself was served more as a awkward scoop than a piece, I relished every bite despite the mushy crust and general wetness of the fresh peaches. It was warm and the topping, although a surprise for a peach pie, was nicely spiced. This was a dessert that was made to marry soy ice cream.
Overall, the meal was a splendid time with friends for an even grander cause, and an opportunity to enjoy high quality and locally sourced summery fare.
The next dinner will be held on September 22, 2007.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Address: 2138 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97202
Next Dinner: September 22, 2007