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Sweet Tooth: Veg Cake, Real Flavor

One Columbus woman may have achieved the unthinkable:

The desserts at Portia’s Café could convince your non-vegan friends that sweets can be done without dairy.

“You can have your cake and eat it too,” owner Portia Yiamouyiannis said.

“You can enjoy your sweet treat and be good to your body at the same time.”

She isn’t bluffing. The flavor of her chocolate mousse is surprising in that it is not surprising at all. Despite being vegan, raw and made with – get this! – avocados, it tastes exactly how you would expect chocolate mousse to taste.

Portia’s use of the creamy super fruit is a nod to other culinary cultures that use it for much more than guacamole. The avocado gives the mousse its smooth texture, and its mild flavor is all but masked by the cacao. Dates, maple syrup, and vanilla complete the experience.

Perhaps because of the avocados, this treat was deceptively rich. Served in a tiny ceramic coffee cup, the portion is tad smaller than what one might expect for $6. But a few bites in, you might consider getting a to-go box for the precious remaining spoonfuls.

As popular as the mousse is at Portia’s Café, the raw “cheezecake” is the masterpiece.

The servers touted the Berry-Berry Mango as the most popular (followed by the chocolate mousse), but Portia has been experimenting with other flavors to stellar results. Whether pineapple or lemon, each cheezecake is made with a pound of fruit, delivering a powerful punch of flavor in every nibble.

The crust is perfection, made of raw almonds, pecans and dates. The filler is a blend of cashews soaked in oil, agave, lemon juice, vanilla, salva seed, and, of course, the respective fruit. The texture is a little grainer than a non-vegan cheesecake, but it is hardly worth mentioning considering the execution in flavor.

Portia’s clearly takes pride in offering a menu that is as nutrient-packed as it is saliva-inducing. All the meals are organic and vegan, and half are raw. She passes on the gluten ingredients, opts for local produce whenever possible, and ensures all water served is filtered.

Her message is that natural food tastes great, naturally. The proof is in the pudding chocolate mousse.

Portia’s Café
4428 Indianola Ave.
(614) 928-3252
www.portiascafe.com

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