Vida Vegan Con

Extra, Extra! Read All About It! (Five last minute, super special #VVC2013 updates)

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The week of Vida Vegan Con II has finally begun! If you’re attending, you should have received a super important email about all the super fun and vital arrival and conference details – so check your inbox! Here are five more new, great aspects for the return of the Con we’d like to share:
ONE!

Let’s get together! Thursday’s Unofficial Official Meet & Greet at the White Owl Social Club (21+, folks) from 330-530 and the Intrepid Herbivores’ Episode 1 Screening starting at 6 pm at People’s Co-op. See you there – Details on the links! Meet your new friends! Old friends! Mac & Cheese burgers! Pickle chips! Microbrews! Jones soda on tap! Vegan TV show! Vegans!!!

TWO!

Galarama.orgSaturday night: The Galarama & Silent Auction is on! Remember – it’s offsite at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland. It’s open to the public and for a great cause, Chimp Sanctuary NW, so tell your local friends to come along! Tickets are right here (& cheaper in advance).

So much great stuff is going on: Emcee The Sexy Vegan, DJs Harry Skelter & MelisserAGoGo, fancy Artisan Vegan Cheeses by Miyoko Schninner, specialty So Delicious coconut cocktails & mocktails, BridgePort Summer Squeeze (exclusive new bottle variety!), wine, Spindrift and Hot Lips sodas, complimentary snacks, and even special menus from two legitimate bike food carts: Tandem Treats & Taco Pedaler. There will be tons of gluten-free options all over the place. Dressing up is encouraged, but hoodies are totally fine, too.

And hey, bring some cash. There’s no ATM on the premises.

The charming Tandem Treats mobile
The fun Tandem Treats mobile, an all vegan bike cart at the PSU Park Blocks
THREE!

In case you haven’t heard, to add even more awesome into the VVC weekend, there’s the Vegan Pop-Up, Gorditas & S’mores Social (Post VVC Day-1) Hangout at the Vegan Mini Mall.

Details: Friday, May 24th, 6 pm till the wheels fall off. More info on the Facebook event.

The Gist: After Vida Vegan Con’s opening day, come on over to the Vegan Mini-Mall (SE 12th & Stark) and hang out, socialize, and eat seitan tacos lovingly made by Upton’s Naturals and Food For Lovers Vegan Queso (at Food Fight!) Then hit Herbivore for S’mores served up by our friends from Chicago Vegan Foods (Dandies!). Then, hit Sweetpea for ice cream sandwiches and say hi to Panda with Cookie!

 

FOUR!

Local videoteam Brytcast will be filming bits all weekend long for a lil’ Vida Vegan video- feel free to say hi and let them know if you’d like to interview!


FIVE!

You know where you’re going, right? Right! Here’s everything you need to know about actually getting to the Portland Art Museum. We start out in the Kridel Ballroom, which is the central happenings of the conference, and located on the 3rd floor of the Mark Building (take the elevator or walk up the stairs).

The Mark Building – start here! Image source: portlanddailyphotos.blogspot.com

Remember, keep your name badge on at all times!

#VVC2013

Portland Picks with Natalie Norcross, @VeganKitten

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And we’re back with yet another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. In one of our very last editions, we get the scoop on the latest and greatest Portland eats & wanderings, courtesy of epic vegan Insagrammer, Natalie Norcross, aka the @vegankitten.

Her friend, @Albert_Weskie
Natalie’s dear friend, @Albert_Weskie

Your Name: Natalie Norcross

Your Business & Internet Moniker: HALO Branded Solutions, Inc.@vegankitten 

What the Vegan Kitten thinks you should totally visit in Portland…

1) Hike at the Audubon Society of Portland - See cute rescued birds and hike in the gorgeous Forest Park!

The historic St. John’s bridge. Image source: columbiariverimages.com

2) Take a picture of the St. John’s Bridge – It’s featured in Colin Meloy’s (of The Decemberists fame) book Wildwood and is the most gorgeous bridge in the world (IMO, of course). While you’re at it, stop by Occidental Brewery under the bridge for some vegan German beers, then have lunch at Proper Eats up the street!

3) See a show at the Doug Fir Lounge - It doesn’t get more Portland than this. Catch some awesome live music in a venue that looks like the interior of a log cabin!

What you’re no doubt wondering – where are Natalie’s favorite vegan eats?!?

1) The vegan menu at Departure Restaurant + Lounge – Chef Gregory Gourdet has created a one-of-a-kind modern Asian menu and it’s NOT TO BE MISSED! This swanky restaurant is on the rooftop of the Nines Hotel in the heart of downtown with panoramic views of the city. Make reservations, get dressed up and enjoy the best dining experience of your life.

2) After a long night of tasting all the amazing beer Portland has to offer, stop by Robo Taco and get’cha some vegan grub! They are open until 3:30 am Thursday-Saturday and the vegan al pastor or vegan chorizo burritos will help you avoid a hangover.

Greens & Seeds roll, topped with nutritional yeast at Departure.

3) Other cities have vegan bakeries, vegan pizza and vegan pho – but where else can you find a food cart dedicated to smoked vegan meats? Homegrown Smoker is a MUST for any out-of-town visitor. I recommend the Tempeh Fakon Sammich with a side of Mac-nocheese.

Where to go for coffee, cocktails & great beer…

Coffee - The Fresh Pot makes the best soy latte I’ve ever had. Plus they have three locations and one is right down the street from Homegrown Smoker – just sayin’.

Cocktails - The Bye & Bye and Sweet Hereafter are owned by the same folks and both make great cocktails. Plus the menus at both locations are entirely vegan!

Beer - There are more breweries than convenience stores in Portland! Not really, but almost. One of my favorites is Base Camp Brewing Co. They have tons of delicious beer, it’s blocks from the Vegan Mini Mall and has multiple food carts with vegan options right outside who deliver inside the brewery. My favorite is Gonzo which makes the best falafel I’ve ever had in my life – no joke.

Super-vegan shopping?

The Vegan Mini Mall, of course! That’s why we all moved here, right?

For those wanting tattoos, haircuts & a badass workout? 

1) Scapegoat Tattoo in the Vegan Mini Mall!

2) Akemi Salon for hair!

3) PlantFit Training Studio for a good workout!

Only Portland….has the world’s best strip clubs, including a vegan strip club. You probably don’t want to include that since folks tend to get offended. But seriously, we all know it’s true!

Soy latte, Fresh Pot on SE Hawthorne
Do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map See you all so soon! 

A Very Veggie Grill Reception: Friday Night at Vida Vegan Con II

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Gosh, we sure do love us some Veggie Grill at Vida Vegan Headquarters, and often have our meetings over Peach Iced Teas, Bayou Chickin’ sandwiches, Sweetheart fries and giant B Wing salads. And really, between the three of us, and all the Veggie Grill locations we’ve visited on the West Coast, we’ve easily tried every single menu item to date! Or we will—take our word on that.


(Not So) Spoiler Alert!
As always, we wanted to do something different for our Opening Night Reception this year, and being überhostesses, we wanted to feed people, so we knew just who to invite. It was obvious.

Veggie Grill, which just happens to be one of the closest nearby vegan hot spots from the Museum with its recent downtown Portland location, is offering some very special small bites and refreshments to welcome you to the first of three days of conference-going.

As the motto goes, “Taste and Believe,” folks.

VG Feastin’
Here’s what’s in store for the Very Veggie Grill Reception:

All Hail Kale Salad (gluten-free)

VG Rollers—think mini blackened chickin’ flautas

Chill Out wings with Buffalo, Chipotle Ranch & BBQ sauces

Strawberry Lemonade

It should be just enough to hold you over until the Vegan Pop-Up happenings at the Mini Mall, right?

Who are they? Veggie Grill is a growing fast-casual, 100% vegan chain, and we’re stoked to have them involved and sharing their food on Friday night. We love them, and they love bloggers—so it’s a perfect fit! You can check out their current restaurant menus right here.

Details: The Very Veggie Grill Reception immediately follows our opening talk by Nicole J. Georges at 5:00pm on Friday in the Kridel Ballroom. See you all there!

VG Rollers, on the right

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Veggie Grill boldly reppin’ at SW 5th & Salmon. Image Source: veggienextdoor.com
 For the full Vida Vegan Con II agenda, check it.

Portland Picks with Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite

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The next round of personalized Portland Picks comes from a former Portlander (and naturally, passionate vegan blogger) who’ll be back in town in a few days to speak at the ‘Con, Sayward Rebhal. As always, our recommendations come from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Let’s find out more of Sayward’s “Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous!”Portland musts below…

Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite
A Portland Farmers Market devotee

Your Name: Sayward Rebhal

Where must one go in Portland?
1. Vintage/secondhand shopping on Hawthorne (especially House Of Vintage, IF you have the time to commit, it is WORTH IT!)
2. Last Thursday/Alberta Arts Walk – those who are in Portland by Thursday, this will be happening! It is soooo good, quintessentially Portland.
3. Powell’s City Of Books. I know everyone will say that, but because obviously!
So…Best vegan eats? 
2. Los Gorditos is the best sloppy street-style vegan Mexican food EVER.
3. Pad Thai Kitchen is so good and sooo generous with portions. So good. Cute neighborhood, too.
4. Nicholos for Lebanese. It is mind-blowingly amazing, don’t overlook it.
5. Canteen. Because you just don’t understand how good a greens/beans/grain bowls can really taste (get the Portland Bowl!)

Nicholas Restaurant. Image Source: One Armed Dino blog
Where to for lovely juice and cocktails?
1. Green smoothie or juice at Sip (a cart out front of People’s Co Op)
2. Drinks at Sweet Hereafter (or the Bye and Bye, if you’re up that way)
3. Vegan Boba Cocktails at The Tea Zone downtown (it’s off-menu, you have to ask)
 
Some very special shopping…
1. FUBONN! An entire supermarket-sized Asian foods store. Amazing.
2. Stock up on bulk soy curls vegan chap stick at Food Fight!
 
Anything else you’d like to add?
Look, it’s all so good! You really can’t go wrong.
For real. With mere days to go, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

Portland Picks with The Spicy Vegan

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It’s now time for another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Next up, the mysterious ‘Spicy Vegan’. Let’s find out her Portland musts below…

 

The spicy bunny.
The spicy bunny.

Your Name: The Spicy Vegan

Your Website & Business: TheSpicyVegan.com &  MuyCalienteHotSauces.com

Where must folks visit for some natural Portland beauty?

Japanese Gardens (paid admission), Council Crest Park (free), International Rose Garden (free).

Most importantly, where to eat?!

Favorite restaurant: Veggie Grill  (vegan)

Show the love: B Wing Salad, Veggie Grill

Favorite Sandwiches: DC Veg  (vegetarian)

Favorite Pizza: Sizzle Pie  (omnivore, lots of vegan options)

Favorite Pho: Got Pho? (omnivore, vegan pho)

Favorite Thai: Vege Thai, Thai Food Cafe (tie)  (vegetarian, omnimore (respectively), lots of vegan options)

Favorite Breakfast: Junior’s Cafe  (omnivore, lots of vegan options)

Favorite Bar: The Bye and Bye (vegan)

What to drink?

Smoothies and Juice: Sip

Tea and Chai: Townshend’s Tea

Happy Hour: The Bye and Bye

What about shopping?

Books: Powell’s Books

Grocery: Food Fight!

Specialty Foods: The Meadow

Vegan Everything: Herbivore Clothing

Bulk Heaven: Bob’s Red Mill

Socks Galore: Sock Dreams (in Sellwood, just a tad south of SE)

WELLNESS/BEAUTY…

Vegan Salon: The Parlour-St. John’s

Herbs: Essential Elements Apothercary

One-of-a-kind experiences?  Kennedy School Soak & Laurelhurst Theater

Slice & Salad, Sizzle Pie East
For even more of The Spicy Vegan’s top-notch Portland recs, check out her Vegan Havens  and Tourist’s Guide lists over on Yelp. With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

VVC 2013 Expert Corner

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expert

By now you’ve all seen the agenda, but we figured we might as well pack as much as possible into this weekend. To that end, in addition to all the classes and workshops and discussions, we netted some really fantastic talent together for an Expert Corner. They’ll be in the Kridel Ballroom, our home base for the conference. Stuff your brains with all their know-how!

Photography • Marika Collins & Kate Lewis
Two of the most exciting vegan photographers out there, Kate and Marika can school you on composition, lighting, editing, and even what all those buttons on your camera actually do.
Friday, 1:45-3:45 • Saturday, 3:15-5:00 • Sunday, 9:45-11:00

Nutrition • Ginny Messina
Ginny Messina’s been studying and writing about nutrition since you were in short pants. You can’t get more thorough, reliable advice.
Friday, 4:00-4:45

Marketing & Social Media • Helen Pitlick & Dawn Quinn
Dawn and Helen live and work in social media. These savvy ladies will get your online peripherals (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, whatever else was invented last night) in order.
Saturday, 9:30-10:45

Business • Nicole Sopko
As Vice President of Upton’s Naturals, Nicole Sopko is pivotal in its growth. She knows how a vegan company can succeed ethically. It’s possible!
Saturday, 11:00-12:00

Tech • Jason Das
Got a question about your blog or website? Ask web developer and designer Jason Das, founder and publisher of Super Vegan.
Saturday, 2:15-3:00

Business & Culinary Arts • Julie Hasson
Julie Hasson has decades in the food industry and has run her own food cart, written more than a handful of books, and is starting a line of baking mixes—pick her brain!
Sunday, 11:15-12:15

Vegan Pregnancy & Raising Vegan Kids • Sayward Rebhal
Having a kid? Thinking of maybe having a kid? Don’t miss this chance to sit down and chat with Sayward Reghal, an intelligent, open woman who’s been there and studied that.
Sunday, 1:45-2:30