Although Portland is famous for its abundance of vegan eateries (which Rick and I support at every opportunity), I get especially giddy over finding intentionally vegan options in non-veg restaurants.
Take, for instance, the popular pizza chain, Pieology. I first tried them in California on a recent trip, and was pleased as punch to learn that we have a location here in Portland, right downtown, in easy walking distance from us!
Pieology offers totally customized, built-to-order pizzas at a fixed price, no matter how you top them. Their house-made 11.5 inch crusts are available in white or whole wheat, and they also offer a gluten free crust. Choose from their inventive combinations, or just walk down the line and tell your friendly pieologist what you want as you go. Add a little more of this or that or all of it. And when you're finished co-creating the perfect pizza, it goes into a big open oven and comes out in just a few quick minutes.
They offer salads too. As with the pizzas, choose from their signature creations, or have one built to perfection, just the way you like it.
Best of all, they offer vegan Daiya cheese! Our pie guy happened to be knowledgeable about what what would be vegan or not as far as sauces and toppings, so we didn't have to ask too many questions. The red sauce is a little spicy and a lot delicious. We topped it with spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, Daiya (of course!), and a sprinkle of sunflowers seeds and oregano.
Our pizza was great! Remember, we used to own a pizza shop in Seattle, and we know what's good! We sat by the window, watched the early summer rain fall on the busy city street, and sipped beer and wine while totally enjoying our "snack", which turned out to be generous and filling enough that we called it dinner.
Whether you want a quick lunch on the run, or prefer to take your time and enjoy a more leisurely, casual dinner, keep Pieology on your list of possibilities. It's one of those places you can enjoy with your non-veg friends, and still have exactly what you want. Everybody wins, and I'll bet your friends will want to try what you're having. Make 'em get their own!