Location: N Vancouver and Fremont
Hours: Tue, Thu-Fri 11:30 am – 9:00 pm, Wed 11:30 am – 7 pm, Sat 1 pm – 9 pm, Sun 1 pm – 7 pm
The Story: For seafood lovers, there’s a saying, “If it’s from the sea, then it’s for me!” Mussels, Tilapia, Catfish, Shrimp and Oysters make up the foundation for Sea Verdes’ menu, with a healthy dose of entree type salads, smoothies, and specials such as grilled cheese sandwiches, pastas and other delights.
Sea Verdes reminds me of those little beach side food shacks found in coastal communities such as New England, Florida, or Hawaii. They serve locals as much as visitors, and are usually a come-as-you-are affair for those picking up a nutritious dinner for their families, or hungry beachcombers who need some substance between hitting the waves (or the beach blanket).
Crispy seafood (choice of comes dredged in cornmeal and unbleached flour and is flash fried – crispy, not at all greasy and the fresh seafood shines through. We tried the Oysters on our first visit: Plump and fresh, they were magically crispy on the outside and tender within – it’s all the richness and mineral brininess oyster fans crave. For those looking for something not fried, there’s mussels and shrimp in a white wine broth, an Italianate inspired shrimp pasta, and a Tilapia with vegetables and rice. They’ve also recently added gumbo (in this case crab, shrimp, beef sausage, chicken and mussels to the menu specials mix, something that might not be a traditional gumbo recipe, but has what my New Orleans friends call, “Da Flavor!”. Yeah, you rite, Sea Verdes.
Salads can make for a whole meal in generous portions – a textbook classic Caesar, or a Thai Beef blow anything from the local salad bar out of the water (pun intended). Yet for those in a salad bar kind of mood, there’s a mix and match choice of toppers such as Shrimp, salmon.
Smoothies round out the offerings. Located on the popular N Williams/Vancouver bike corridor – a smoothie would be a perfect pick-me-up on the way home from when you’ve just spent 1000 calories battling traffic and hills from work. I felt downright healthy AND decadent at the same time after finishing Sea Verdes’ Mixed Berry Smoothie – made with almond milk, dark cherries, bananas and mixed berries.
Owned and operated by lifetime Portlander Elsya Watkins, this talented chef, Portland State Alumni (Go Vikings!), and mother’s positive energy and commitment to nutrition is infectious. In Ms. Watkin’s own words:
I opened Sea Verdes because of North and North-East Portland’s food dessert. The lack of healthy and affordable places to go eat-out is a prevailing inconvenience for Portlanders. I serve fresh seafood, crisp salad greens an I make healthy and tasty protein green smoothies. My food serves vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and offers selections for the paleo diet.
Oh, yes. A little bit of soul, a bunch of health, and a whole lotta love: Sea Verdes. Another great addition to Portland’s mighty food cart sea.
- Fried seafood (served with rice). Choice of Oysters, Tilapia, Catfish in small or large platters - $5.50 – $13.00
- Talapia (broiled -2 pieces), served with rice and made with basil, tomatoes, garlic and lemon- $9.50
- Thai Beef Salad with lettuce and kale, tomato, red onion, yellow onion, cucumber, basil - $8.50
- Salad Plain or with Salad toppers (shrimp, salmon, Tilapia) or choice of dressing - $2.50 – $6.50
- Tropical Sunrise Smoothie – Almond milk, pineapple, banana, oranges, grapefruit juice – $4.75
- Kya’s House Cherry Lemonade – $2.50