Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Plum Bistro

Every time I make a declaration or life pledge, the universe sweeps in to test me.  “What are you going to do now?  How are you going to fix this problem?” taunting me while flicking out the power in my entire neighborhood.  My friend was expecting a dinner of saffron and apricot quinoa, cheese with crackers, mint water and a strawberry dessert in an hour at my place.  Hmmmm.

I decided that my food culture needed to hit the road, as in walk up Broadway to Pike and find Plum Bistro, an organic and vegan oasis.  I had been wanting to try Plum for months, but it takes an open-minded foodie friend to dive into organic vegan food with as much enthusiasm as me.  Kristen is that person.  Embracing a raw food diet, CSA produce boxes and homemade coconut ice cream, I knew Kristen would be game.
Immediately I knew I would not be disappointed.  My eyes lingered over the long wood communal table, exposed concrete walls, thick wood beams and pink carnations in small ceramic vases. The tall ceilings and open garage style window created an airy, lofty feel.  This gorgeous environment plus a glass of crisp water (no ice) with lemon, orange and cucumber left me feeling pampered and content within minutes.  The menu detailed grilled seasonal pizzas, traditional raw plates and many dishes with a southern, Cajun or Jamaican influence.  These people share my food culture. 
Happy hour allowed us to try several small plates for affordable prices, another reason to love this place.  We shared everything and started with their famous spicy, chili mac and yease.  I didn’t even get a chance to ask how they made it because I was savoring every creamy bite.  It reminded me of El Gaucho’s burnt mac ‘n cheese with the crunchy top layer.  I loved the spicy kick.
Next we had quinoa nachos.  Eating decadent, rich foods has never felt so good because they were made with whole grains, veggies and sauces made from nuts.  What guilt?  More nachos, please!
Our third dish was a beet and citrus salad.  It was simple and clean.  However, I prefer my beets with a little goat or feta cheese and some greens.  This dish wasn’t my favorite, but I appreciate the creative combination of beets with oranges.
Finally we had the Breaded Portobello Steaks.  This felt like man-food.  The filling and hearty mushrooms had a crunchy and savory outer layer that felt meaty and substantial.  It came with roasted capers, grape sauce, fennel and smashed purple potatoes.  The effect was a colorful and satisfying entrée. 
The entire experience left me feeling satisfied and energized.  Amazing conversation, slow courses, the gentle hum of other patrons at our community table and great service turned my plan B into an A+.   Vegan cheesy, I know ;)


  1. Love this...you are such a great writer Nic, you really captured the experience! Already told people about this place, now both Jess & Danielle want to go too! Thanks for the shout out ;)

  2. Thanks Kristen! I would love to go again and try one of the seitan dishes. :)