The cannoli at Pixie Retreat are absolutely heavenly. So good, in fact, that co-owners Theresa Keane and Willow O’Brien persuaded Portobello to let Pixie Retreat operate out of their kitchen for a year, paying rent not in dollars, but in dessert. Had those cannoli proved less scrumptious, the business may never have been able to survive. These days, Pixie Retreat has its own kitchen—they call it a “Laboratorie & Makery”—in the Central Eastside. The space features rolling garage doors, ample space and natural light, and an array of gleaming appliances. An enormous tumbler mixes kale salad. A massive “blixer” blends and mixes rich nut-based pudding. There’s a dehydrator the size of a walk-in refrigerator. The need for such exotic equipment is explained by Pixie Retreat’s slogan: “Mostly Raw, Totally Raw’r.” In a city where every corner food cart is now expected to have gluten-free vegan options, Pixe Raw proved proudly ahead of the curve, purveying “raw vegan organic gluten-free soy-free daiy-free refined-sugar-free plant-based whole foods” from scratch since 2007. But don’t be thrown by the conspicuous lack of allergens or animal products—this is serious comfort food.
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