You know that giddy feeling of knowing you can have anything you want on the menu? Anything at all, go ahead.
You eat both plant based and gluten free? Yep, go ahead – anything you want.
Walking into the bright and cheerful shop of Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, you are welcomed – you are lured – by the delightful counter stocked with delectable cakes, pies, and sweets of dizzying proportions. The entire menu is both vegan and gluten free, and if you are anything like me, it takes you a while to choose your treats.
If you are anything like me, you enjoy one in the shop (or two, split with a friend!), and you take a couple home for later. No? Just me, then?
Located in downtown Portland on 12th Avenue, Petunia’s offers scrumptious small-batch sweets, a savory lunchtime menu, and inventive cocktails. With a good balance of signature standards and seasonal rotations, you are guaranteed to find your beloved stand by, or you can try a fresh new favorite.
I have been a fan of owner Lisa Clark and her sweets for years – first discovering her at the farmers market, then finding her at local stores and indulging in her creative confections at the first Summer’s End Vegan Dinner – a favorite annual event for us. Making the move to opening a storefront bakery downtown was a natural progression – each visit for me brings happy anticipation.
On a recent visit with a friend, we began with cocktails.
In the back, a Sage Fizz – a fresh blend of sage leaves, gin, fresh pressed lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. This was my choice, and it was perfect (I have reordered it since). Front and center is the Widow’s Kiss – apple brandy, green Chartreuse, Benedictine, and bitters – a flavorful herby starter.
How can you not order the Macaroni and Cheese, on any menu? I often do – and in this case, was happy I did. Not usually one for a crunchy topping, I first dove in to find the cheesy goodness underneath – simply divine. I did bring some of the topping into a bite, and enjoyed the crunch. Then another… then another…
A good mac and cheese – flavorful and creamy – ultimate comfort food.
The Blue Corn Tacos were our next choice, and I really enjoyed these. Packed with roasted veggies (broccoli in a taco? I win!) and savory beans, these were perfectly flavored and portioned. Paired with a mild salsa and chips – I would absolutely order these again!
Petunia’s take on Biscuits and Gravy – an incredibly flavored dish! The biscuits are plentiful, but the mushroom gravy is where this dish shines – I can imagine topping all sorts of things with this savory goodness – pasta, quinoa, a spoon…
One of my favorites from the savory menu, the Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto Grilled Sandwich. Served with chips and apple slices, any of Petunia’s grilled sandwich choices make a great lunch. Ultimate comfort food, indeed.
By far my favorite thing I have ever had from Petunia’s – the Coconut Berry Passionfruit Cake. Bright and vibrant, this is dessert nirvana in my opinion. The cake reminds me of the classic coconut cake doughnut from my childhood – fluffy and delicious. The passionfruit paired with just the right amount of sweet in the frosting makes this my first choice every time.
…and possibly a wedding cake.
You cannot go wrong with chocolate. Especially when that chocolate brings along its friend, caramel. The Chocolate Caramel Pistachio Torte is rich and salty sweet perfection. Isn’t that a gorgeous slice of cake?
We finished off this mouthwatering meal with another cocktail – my choice was once again the Safe Fizz. My friend ordered the Water Lily – gin, Cointreau, Crème deViolette, and fresh pressed lemon. A beautiful lavender shade, this creative concoction was a perfect finish.
Always true to my word, I brought home some treats to share later – the Black Velvet Whoopie Pie (oh so soft and tasty), and the Salted Caramel Cookie Bar (um, just look at that caramel…)
Petunia’s Pies and Pastries is located at 610 Southwest 12th Avenue downtown Portland, and opens at 9:am each day.
Kristina is better known online as spabettie, where she shares vibrant plant based recipes, stories of her two dachshunds – Basil and Rosemary – and life in culinary mecca Portland Oregon.
Find her on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as spabettie.com.