Cook a walnut pate in #ABiteToEat with Portia's Cafe in Columbus, Ohio.
How did you get started?
It all started 30 years ago when I became vegetarian and where my options in restaurants were slim--baked potatoes, salad and pasta. I grew up on a farm where we ate fresh, whole-food, home-made meals every day. I also realized that others with dietary restrictions and health issues were not being catered to either so I made it my life's goal to have a restaurant that focused on health and taste with the heartiness that I was used to, always researching to create an ideal menu that could fit as many people as possible. I started vending foods at festivals, and grab-and-go foods at a farmer's market and natural foods co-op, then after a couple years was ready to open a cafe that could fit the demand of everyone who wanted healthy, tasty, vegan, gluten-free foods.
Where are you located?
I'm in Clintonville on 4428 Indianola Ave. Columbus, Ohio.
What are your specialities?
We specialize in raw foods and offer a variety of other foods to attract a variety of customers. Our most popular items are the Super Power Wrap made with raw falafel, guacamole, vegetables and raw creamy cashew dressing; our Burrito with all fresh and home-made ingredients on our made-to-order gf tortilla; Raw Pad Thai made with young coconuts and served with kelp noodles and vegetables, hearty Vegetable Curry Soup, and all of our raw desserts with raw Cheezecakes and raw Chocolate Mousse in the lead. We also have several seasonal specials everyone looks forward to, where we use produce from local farmers. Harvest Chili Meal and Green Bean Curry, Butternut-Sweet Potato Soup and Pesto Quesadillas to name a few.
What's your personal favorite thing on the menu?
My personal favorite changes, but goes between the raw Notuna Wrap, which has it's own huge fan club, and the raw Breakfast Patty Wrap. Both are topped with tomatoes, raw pickles, onions, mustard, and a choice of creamy cashew dressing or Veganaise, and served either in our gluten-free wrap or lettuce as the wrap. I like them all ways. And my favorite dessert is the raw Citrus Parfait, made with avocados, and raw Lemon Cheezecake. Ooh! I also LOVE the Green Bean Curry, and mmm the raw Chocolate Cheezecake is also divine! :)
What's on the stereo?
It changes with the mood, but lately it has been World Music.
Where else should we visit in your area?
The Short North, which is the artsy part of Columbus with lots of galleries and shops that are all unique with cool restaurants and coffee shops; and Clintonville which is just a cool kinda hippie part of town with second-hand stores and cool, earthy and metaphysical shops. Also in Clintonville there is a nice public flower garden called Park of Roses which is right next to our bike path by the river.
Do you host any special events?
Occasionally I host reservation-only Theme Nights where we make foods from a particular region and serve it buffet- or family-style, and where everyone has to share food and/or their table with others. This is my way of gathering the community together, which always turns out to be a wonderful experience! We also have health talks by local and regional doctors ranging from homeopathy, vaccinations, cancer and plant-based diets. We host vegan/gluten-free kid events-- Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, and Christmas party with food, crafts and activities--and other small get-togethers or meet-up events that are community, animal or health oriented.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Yeah, I think the coolest thing is the amazing energy. The cafe seems to be always buzzing with happiness and good vibes. It's super cozy and all that mixed with the food, makes for a great experience. I think it's a combination of the grateful and wonderful customers, caring and uplifting staff and food made with love that brings everyone to a different level.
Do you have a favorite cafe, restaurant or bar in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!