Monday, April 27, 2015

Crossing the Bridge to Harlow

Rick and I were looking for a new place to have breakfast, and stumbled across Harlow in the latest issue of Portland Monthly Magazine. Most of the time we stay in our own walkable neighborhood, but the trek to Harlow would require us to cross the bridge to the east side of town. Oh dear... We rarely cross the bridge because it means taking the car out, but we were hungry for something new, so away we went, and it was so worth it.

Photo borrowed from Harlow's Facebook page.
Harlow is a pretty, open, airy, slightly funky spot on the very hip Hawthorne Blvd. To give you an idea (since I had a cold and spaced out taking interior photos), it would actually look very nice with some of my crocheted garden jars here and there, to go with the rustic furnishings and sparkling chandeliers. Maybe I'll bring them a little gift next time I go.

Garden Jars available on
Also borrowed from Facebook...
There are many things to love about Harlow, including the relaxed and friendly feel of the place, the very helpful staff, and of course the food, once you decide what you want to eat. But one thing that made me positively giddy was the fact that while Harlow does offer eggs, honey, and some dairy, the only way to get something non-vegan is to specifically order it that way. What a nice change of pace for those of us who are used to deconstructing menus everywhere we go. Sigh... so happy.

We started with a couple of Wellness Shots, made with fresh ginger juice, lemon, cayenne, and echinacea, and served up with a slice of apple. That was some powerful stuff! My cold-fogged head cleared considerably, which was just what I was hoping for.

A few minutes later our meals arrived, beautifully prepared and served, and every bit as delicious as they looked. Rick had the Huevos Rancheros, made with smoky tempeh. It was the best I've tried anywhere, even in New Mexico, because it had such a nice blending and layering of flavors and textures. I kept stealing bites from Rick's plate.

Vegan Huevos Rancheros
I went with the special, who's name I've forgotten, but the dish itself was quite delightfully memorable. It was a hash, but not all hashed together, with potatoes, tempeh, asparagus, kale, and a creamy, wonderful sauce. Rick stole bites of mine too, although I was stingy with the potatoes. I'd ordered it specifically for the potatoes, and only really wanted to share the other parts. Next time I might ask them to sort of combine these two dishes. Something along the lines of the Huevos Rancheros with potatoes too. My Irish ancestry often shows up at breakfast.

Special Hash - Heavenly

Harlow is the sister restaurant to Prasad, which I've written about over at Eating Vegan in Portland. While the food is fresh and creative and lively and excellent at both places, and while Prasad is in walking distance from our apartment, I'm more smitten with Harlow's vibe. In fact, not only is it worth crossing the bridge for - often, I hope - we found ourselves toying with the idea of not just driving, but moving across the river, to the Hawthorne neighborhood, just to be closer to our new favorite restaurant.

Find Harlow at:
3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214