Stumptown Vegans Travel, and return.
Date: October 4, 2007
Revisited March 2009
Times Visited: 2
Although it was generally the restaurant I was advised NOT to visit in San Francisco, I hit up Herbivore.: The Earthly Grill for breakfast one morning. Those who did recommend it did so with a grain of salt, and I was forewarned of the prices. I decided to go with the Basil pesto tofu scramble plate ($8.75), since I had spent the past few days eating fruit and tea for breakfast at a convention. My wary grew when ordering; I inquired as to what was actually in the scramble, and was told “some spice mix, I think it’s called Earth Balance“. Personally I don’t know anything about a spice mix of that name, just the golden margarine. I was there to give it a try, so I sipped on my teeny, tiny, but fresh, mimosa, enjoying the people watching outside on Mission St.
When my tofu scramble plate, and side of tempeh bacon ($3.25) came to the table, I was overwhelmed. The scramble plate included a heap of greenish porridge (the tofu), potatoes, toast and a container of jam. Upon looking at the scramble, I knew I had to take a leap of faith, or hunger – and I was positively surprised. While I had never had a scramble quite like it, the herby pesto flavor was tasty as heck, and the consistency issue was quickly overcome. I scooped up a couple bites on the thick toast, though I didn’t dig the pesto/jam combination, I could already picture myself ordering this again. The jam wasn’t memorable, and I couldn’t discern the fruit origin. The second best part of the plate was the potatoes – There was a very decent amount of the perfectly salted potatoes: nice and crispy on the outside, and well cooked on the inside – how often does that happen? The tempeh bacon was at room temperature, and though the flavor was sweet and salty – it wasn’t something I’d opt for again. I like mine warm and crispy.
Bottom line, I would return to Herbivore. It was conveniently located in the Mission St. area nearby Ritual Coffee, where I also stopped. I would also probably order the same thing, minus the tempeh bacon. Portland does breakfast so well that I did have to focus at first on keeping warm thoughts of Vita, Junior’s, Jam, and Beaterville out of my mind, and remembering I was out of town. The experience didn’t knock my socks off, but it did satisfy, and didn’t disappoint.
The other Stumptown Vegan found herself at Herbivore while searching for pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning. (People in San Francisco are not as serious about breakfast as us Portlanders are – the place was empty until 10am!)
The doughnuts were great cake doughnuts. It was odd they were served with blemished, poorly sliced pears. The breakfast burrito was a bit borning with beans, salsa, tempeh. The two blueberry pancakes were thick, and not cooked fully, leaving the center a bit gooey. Also, they were not sweet. This pancake fanatic will not be ordering these again.
Next time I’m in SanFrancisco I will check-out Weird Fish for some rumored great pancakes.
Blueberry and Banana Pancakes
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
San Francisco, CA 94110
Sun-Thurs. 9am-10pm, Fri & Sat. 9am-11pm