Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mount St. Where-is-it? and plates of what-is-it?

The Restoration House crew took an incredibly long van ride to Johnston's Ridge at Mount St. Helens on Sunday after visiting the Foursquare church in Portland. This photo captures the essence of that trip. The fog was so dense we couldn't see more than a few yards in front of us, let alone the infamous volcano that vaporized a University of Illinois geologist, David Johnston, in the 1980 blast.
I did however get a nice shot of this scruffy rodent :-) Thanks to Emaly B. for spotting him.

After five hours of driving, and about 1 hour of exploring, our final challenge was to find dinner. We returned to Portland, determined to stop at the first Italian restaurant we found. The first restaurant, unfortunately, was a little too foo-foo. SO we started to look for the second Italian restaurant... We spotted a pizza place, next door to a place called Vita, with fettuccine and meatballs as the daily special.

The prices at Vita seemed right, so we slid into a U-shaped booth.

"What's seitan?" "Or tempeh?"

Vita was a vegan restaurant... Something I was giddy about... but others were scared about. Half our crew politely slid out of the U-shaped booth and down the street to the pizza place. Joe, Brad, Jeremy and I stayed put. Joe and I often ate at the Red Herring in Urbana... so we were used to animal-free food. I was very proud of Brad and Jeremy for sticking it out. :-)
Enjoying some of Joe's Tomato Basil soup.
The basil flavor really came through. This wasn't Campbell's!
Brad and I both ordered the vegan lasagna with pesto sauce. It was packed with veggies and flavor (probably salt too). Joe had the fettuccine with "meat"balls. They reminded me a little of Taiwan-style fried shrimp balls... kind of crunchy on the outside and light and springy on the inside. Very tasty.
The four of us also shared a slice of vegan carrot cake with killer frosting and a nice dense crumb.

Sara, Shirley, Blake and Emaly enjoyed their pizza.

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