Eating to Live on the Outside: Bay Leaf

Surprise! It time for another Eating to Live on the Outside and this week we’re heading to Bay Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. So, via the internet, let’s check out the menu. Okay, here’s what looks good to me:

Bay Leaf
  • Steamed Chinese leeks, mashed broad beans and minced tofu; hard to argue with this!

Fresh Lettuce Wraps

  • Fresh lettuce filled with vegetables and mushrooms; looking good here too.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

  • Cabbage, carrots, cucumber and sauce; I’d ask about the sauce first, could be salty.

Seasoned Spinach

  • Blanched spinach, citrus soy sauce and sesame; soy sauce might turn you off, I’m okay with it.

Edamame Beans

  • Edamame; very cool, plain and simple!

Pumpkin Bisque

  • Soup with pumpkin and carrots; talk to the waiter, salt MIGHT be an issue.

Asparagus Bisque

  • Asparagus soup and coconut milk; same deal with the salt.

Bay Leaf Salad

  • Spinach salad, tofu, tomato, raisins, nuts, and dressing made with olive oil, honey and pepper; I’d order the dressing on the side.

Papaya Salad

  • Green papaya, peanuts and spicy dressing; this is one of my FAVORITE foods!

Pad Thai

  • Rice noodles, bean sprouts, tofu and peanuts; the noodles are iffy, but I’m okay with it.

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

  • Eggplant, sautéed in tangy garlic sauce, served on bean sprout greens; the sautéing is dicey, this wouldn’t be my first choice.

Wild Yam Delight

  • Wild yams sautéed with baby corn and snow peas; same problem with the sautéing.

Lotus Root Delux

  • Sliced lotus root, bamboo shoots, snow peas, carrots and brown sauce; I’d ask about the sauce before ordering.

I don’t have any SERIOUS gripes with Bay Leaf. They do cook with A LOT of tofu and I prefer nutrient-dense veggies over bean curd, but it’s still pretty cool. Overall, the Papaya Salad and Bay Leaf Salad are my two favorites.

Now it’s your turn. Scope out Bay Leaf’s menu and let me know how YOU handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Just make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat wisely! Peace.

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Stretch Mark Mama - October 17, 2008 12:06 PM

Haven't eaten at the Bay Leaf yet, but wanted to say "hello" to other Portland Oregonians!

Jennifer McCann - February 9, 2009 1:28 PM

Hey, thanks for this review! I did a search here for Portland before I went on vacation there last week, and went to Bay Leaf on this recommendation. Everything was *fabulous*. My husband and I had the Seasoned Spinach, Edamame, Spring Rolls, Asparagus Bisque, brown rice, Wild Yam Delight, and a fresh okra dish on their specials list. It was all delicious. The vegetables were fresh and cooked perfectly, and the restaurant was beautiful.

The only complaint an ETLer would have would be the salt, but that's true anytime you go out. :-)

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