Restaurant Review: Canteen in Portland, Oregon
Juice bars can easily feel pretentious with its usual after-workout crowd or health-conscious Instagram clientele. But stigmas can easily be wiped away with just one little change. In this case, the owners of Canteen simplified it and focused on the ingredients. The menu is concise with three to four options per category and what they do, they do really well.
The location on Stark St. in SE Portland successfully draws in the young, artsy crowd that thrives in Portland as they are celebrating five years in business this summer. Visitors can enjoy a quiet sitting inside their venue or on their outdoor heated patio.
On their breakfast menu, the oatmeal is as nutritious and tasty as it gets. Oats are topped with currants, goji berries, hazelnuts, walnuts, cacao nibs, and fruit, and are mixed in with coconut milk and maple syrup. While it appears to have a lot of sweet ingredients, the savory addition of the nuts and the basic flavor profile of the oats keep it from being too sweet and shouldn’t deter those who prefer savory breakfasts.
For lunch, the Portland Bowl is not to miss. The base of quinoa and black beans is topped with a baked maple tempeh for extra protein and tossed with kale, hazelnuts, and carrots, all in a NW sauce — a blend of nutritional yeast, cashews, peppers, and garlic. The spice of the sauce perfectly balances out the sweetness of the maple tempeh. When all combined and topped with avocado, it’s a beautiful bowl of healthy fats, vitamins, and protein that would fulfill cravings all year round.
Many locals know that Canteen started as a mobile juice bar, called Sip, nine years ago. As they were one of the first food trucks in Portland, their craft was mastered long before they opened up their Stark St location and it shows in every smoothie and juice. For a lighter drink, look no further than the Summer Breeze juice — apple, cilantro, pineapple, cucumber, and lime. While it’s green to the eyes, its use of fruits with higher water content create a subtle blend of tart and sweet that’s effortlessly delicious and does not taste like a typical “green juice”.
At Canteen, everything is vegan and almost 100% organic and gluten-free. Besides juice, smoothies, and great food, they also serve coffee, beer, and wine. No matter the preference of your family or entourage, you’re bound to please everyone at Canteen.