‘Wild Thing’ hopes to please vegans and committed carnivores alike


Even if veggies tend to scare you away, the people at Wild Thing think they can tempt you

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Plant-based eating isn’t a new thing, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, but one spot in Northeast Portland is taking a bite out of the healthy food scene.

Portland has plenty of restaurants with vegan or vegetarian plates, but the newest offering from Kelsey Glasser — who owns Arden in the Pearl District — along with Executive Chef Sam Smith, aims to serve these dishes in a way that’ll please the everyday vegan and attract even the most committed carnivore.

Even if veggies tend to scare you away, the people at Wild Thing in Northeast Portland think they can tempt you to check out your wild, plant-based side.

Chris Mallory, Wild Thing’s director of operations, says to come on in if you want to feel healthy.

“We want to make everyone feel welcome here,” Mallery said. “We try to make it all very approachable. Every vegetable and every topping is seasoned simply and focused so that you can taste it distinctively throughout every bowl.”

Along with their own line of canned wines, hearty bowls are all the rage at Wild Thing.

“The ‘Wild One,’ [is what] I would consider our flagship, signature bowl,” Mallery said. “We do a base of mixed salad greens and then toppings of lemony Brussels sprouts.”

From three pre-selected options to creating your own bowl, the goal is to make these kinds of meals pleasing to all palates — whether you’re a vegan, meat-lover or somewhere in between.

“We want to be wild in our seasoning,” Mallery said.

The flavor isn’t sacrificed — but gluten and peanuts are — because you won’t find them on the menu. Mallory says this is because they’re seeing a rise in people experiencing allergies, so instead, they ensure the flavor of each ingredient they do use is brought forth.

“For us, really we want everyone to be able to taste every ingredient every topping separately, and have it be a focus, our bases for our bowls, our salads, organic quinoa and koda brown rice, locally and all the things we do,” Mallery explained. “Our coffee project, our vegetables, all sourced from really high quality, local vegetables and spices.”

With so many plant-based restaurant choices here in the northwest, the people at Wild Thing say it’s not all about competition with others. Instead, they hope places like theirs will open you up to trying new things — especially healthier options.

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