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Boycott Calendula (it's a giant rip-off)

New Hawthorne restaurant Calendula is such a rip-off it almost gives vegan cuisine a bad name
My wife and I decided to eat at Calendula tonight, a new gourmet vegan restaurant that recently opened on Hawthorne. It was an obscene rip-off. For example, they charged $15 for a dish of barbequed tempe, greens and garlic grits that was less than half the size of a Paradox portion, of no better quality, and three times as expensive. Learn from our expensive mistake. Stay away. Far away.
you act surprised 24.Jan.2004 10:06

hungry jack

You seem surprised that a bourgeois eatery charges too much for too little mediocre chow. No one ever accused the proprietor of Calendula of populism. He wants to get paid. Why hold Calendula to a higher standard than any of the other hipster restaurants in town.

Politically motivated 24.Jan.2004 10:58


This is such an obviously politically motivated post it's silly. C'mon, every time you have a bad experience at a restaurant you post about it to Indymedia, or is this more about you not liking Craig Rosebraugh's politics? If you feel his restaurant and his politics don't mix, say so, but calling for a boycott because you had a bad meal is as stupid as it is disingenuous.

Yeah, uh...I went to the Baghdad theater once, and 24.Jan.2004 12:16


the drunk people in front of me were talking and laughing too loudly (and the theater sold them the beer!), and the film was all scratchy. I paid a dollar for that movie, and it turned out not to be a good one. Boycott the Baghdad. Um, also I went to Wild Oats and bought a "Grinning Chicken" tofu sandwhich, and it tasted really old. Boycott them too. And if I think of more, I'll post again, because it's such an important use of this space to write about boycotting places that haven't done a damn thing wrong. Hey, if you didn't want to pay $15 for a dish (I wouldn't)--don't order it, numbskull. I don't think they promote themselves as the kind of place where you pay a little and get a lot of food, but it's as much about presentation and atmosphere etc.

Gentrification 24.Jan.2004 12:19

red suspenders

Gentrification has a way of turning around and biting you in the ass.

I lived in an old house the Richmond neighborhood for the past four years now. Most of the change actually happened before I was here. It's a great place to live as I can walk to Fred Meyers or Division Hardware, Belmont Library, Laurelhurst park, etc. Downtown is an easy bike ride or if the weather is bad you never wait more than 10 minutes for the bus. And the Bagdad theatre is right there.

Now for the bad part. Realtors and speculators have turned it into a half abandoned wasteland. These are crummy old working class houses, but still well suited to raising a family or at least living in. Selfish realtors overprice them, they sit empty for a year. Then they get bought by yuppies and speculators from california and left abandoned as tax writeoffs becuase the price is twice the amount where a rental would pencil out.

As far as all the small commercial property, There's still a few "real" businesses around. JaCivas, and Carbide Saw are two that come to mind. These are real businesses employing real people and serving the whole city with thier fine products and services. One of the best things about this area is that you can get almost anything you could imagine within walking distance.

Unfortunately as rents go up and small business owners retire the shops sit empty for years, or are replaced by short-lived, overpriced "boutiques" which don't serve or employ anyone. As far as restaurants, it's always been a very tough business. I really miss the Lanai Cafe, where you could get a good healthy meal, especially a bowl of Pho for under five bucks, Or that Pizza/ sandwich place famous for huge pastrami sandwiches. On the bright side that space has been taken by a place which comes very close to the size and price on thier large bowl of excellent Pho as Lanai Cafe.

I watched with fascination as money was poured into the renovation of the old house which "Calendula" is occupying. Wondering when they would run out of money and leave a fenced off property for three years- Thankfully they didn't and completed the project. Granted I wouldn't go there in a million years and from what I hear the owner is a nutcase from a social/ politcal point of view, but I don't think it's really fair to slam someone who is taking the risk and trying to start and run a profitable business to meet a demand.
I do believe the Daily Grind is a fine option for those wanting healthy food at a reasonable price. If you go to someplace like "Calendula" you ought to know that you're going to pay more for the white tablecloths and candles than whatever plate of bean-sprouts you order.

I would really hate to go back to twenty years ago when Hawthorne Blvd was full of nothing but scummy bars.

It's the realtors and california speculators that have priced this area out of healthy existance. Don't be so quick to lay the blame on business people.

And another thing--I wouldn't have even 24.Jan.2004 13:18


KNOWN about Calendula if all you Craig hater's hadn't been promoting the hell out of it. Thanks for letting people know about the new vegan restaurant! Keep spreading the word!

Cry Babies call for Boycotts 24.Jan.2004 13:27


I think Craig Rosebraugh is an awful person for penning a disgusting book but I think the market should decide the sucess or failure of a business - not politics.

Terrorist Rosbraugh's Calendula is subject to the same rules as every other business. He's made his bed by writing (With help) that hateful book.

Let's let the fate Caledula, good or bad, play out naturally without political noise.

bow down before The Market 24.Jan.2004 13:40

sad sackler

yeah, let the Almighty Market decide everything, it is after all an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God!

give me a break, dude. if people don't go to Calendula because of mr. rosebraugh's politics, uhh, that is the market. i happen to think that people should find out which businesses support bu$h, then stand in front of them all day to let potential customers know that the proprietor supports the white house campaign of global terrorism, with your money. is that the market, or politics? who gives a shit?

P.S. 24.Jan.2004 13:44

sad sackler

craig rosebraugh is a spoiled, rich trust-fund kid, who owns a $400,000 house and now an overpriced, bourgeois-liberal restaurant. he probably feels so comfy taking on The Man because his rich daddy will pay all his lawyers' fees.

How would you know how someone 24.Jan.2004 14:08


gets their money? Anyway, I have yet to hear a legitimate critique of Craig's writing on this site...go through a chapter of his book and say what is incorrect about the history he presents. It seems to me to be true that nonviolence movements always have violence to back them up. Big deal. That's reality. All I hear is accusations of trust fund, faker, etc.

Had no idea Craig Rosebraugh was the owner 24.Jan.2004 16:39


I had no idea who owned the restaurant or what their politics might be. I was just warning people that this place is a giant rip-off...way beyond the norm for upscale restaurants, in fact. I was trying to provide a heads up, seeing as how many Indymedia readers are vegetarians. Take it as you will.

Balancing Act 24.Jan.2004 17:36


I understand that "hip" or gentrified neighborhoods come with a price, but so do wasteland neighborhoods, as Hawthorne was a number of years ago. Your choice is to come over anywhere east of 102nd Avenue. It's not hip or gentrified, but all you have are slime bars, fast food, crappy restaurants and lost youth. It's unfortunate, because the city of Portland who annexed this part of town has never invested in it. We are dying for something decent.

passive boycott 24.Jan.2004 18:16

won't be hard

because I can't afford to eat there.

Trust fun? Shut the hell up. 24.Jan.2004 18:18


You know what amazes me? If Craig spends his money on publishing books, he gets decried as being a lucky white kid. When he was spending it on organizing protests and barely getting by in a small apartment- he got decried as a spoiled rich kid. When he was getting his house raided and his arm broken and facing more repression than you tough talking internet nerds, he was decried a priveleged yuppie kid. If he said fuck off to all of you and bought a lexus and joined the ranks of every other rich bastard on the planet, you'd all say, "I told you so." My point is, none of you are going to be happy whatever he does, and you won't shut up about him as a way to mask your own lack of action.

Craig and I don't always get along and I don't always agree with his politics, but it's bullshit to attack someone from the safety of your mom's basement and the anonymity of a computer. Craig has endured shit most of us will never even imagine. If he lives in a nice house or owns a restaurant, well, I guess we can forgive him seeing as how he has faced down the FBI, JTTF, Congress and the local police in an effort to make a change in this world. You should all be ashamed of youself.


I ate there today 24.Jan.2004 19:13

Michael b

I went with some friends today and ate brunch. I am glad that theres a vegan fine dining establishment. I'm glad that Craig Rosebraugh pays his dishwashers better than the paradox. That he gives the staff benefits. I have traveled this country a few times. Every time I go to a new city I search out thier vegan restraunts. I'm not alone. Practicly every vegan I know that lives on more than a food not bombs income does this. Hell its one of the first things we talk about when we meet. I'm glad that the calendula has taken up the financially risky proposition of bieng an organic reastruant. To my knowledge there is NO other reastruant in town that has a higher comitment to the quality of thier ingredients. Just as thier is NO other VEGAN restruant in town. That Craig Rosebraugh has risked his ass financially to revitalize a historic building in this neighborhood should be commended. I have recently moved from a below poverty income to a down right middle class career as a carpenter. I work hard. I like to go out. I get tired of going to a greasy punk dive to get some inconsistant food. I want a place I'd feel proud to take my family to. I'm glad there's a restraunt i can take my friends to that says this is what a vegan can do. If Craig can do it. So can I.

Now the walnut burger I had was a tasty treat. It seamed almost like a bulgar burger mix but it was home made and the consistancy wasn't crumbly at all. I wonder how they do it.
Thier chef used to work at millenium cafe a famous ( to vegans at least) bay erea restraunt that serves to an up scale croud. That he was willing to move here and cook food I can afford tickles me pink. My sandwich came with sweet potato french fries that seemed a bit soft but had a flavor worth traveling for. My friend had some kind of tempe scramle was so good that I think I'll get it instead, next time. I don't remember what victory had but her son raven wasnt digin it. She liked it though. Victory had a (vegan!) milk shake that was better than I could make at home. It was so yummy that I got one too. Then I got a pizele wich is like a soft waffle cone filled with dark chocolate mouse and topped with organic strawberry sauce yummyn'ece and coco sprincle. The mint chocolate milkshake musta had pepermint oil in it cause I'm still feelin it now, like 4 hours later. I've taken my medicine, and I like it.

A couple of days ago the FBI posted an alternative review of Craigs book on political violence. It called for arson against his reastraunt. It was removed from the indy wire for legal reasons. The next day a website had been constructed with the previous post. It was posted to the INDY wire as "ELF COMMUNIQE". Craig often receaves death threats for his politics. Many posters to this site jump on the craig bashing bandwagon with out realizing that his detractors find thier numbers among federal agents, right wing wackos, and the odd sexual preditor. People in the scene need to check thier heads.

VEGAN food prices high 24.Jan.2004 20:33

because of fast food monopoly

There are reasons that vegan and organic food is high priced. The results of the GE/meat industry complex flooding the market with their massive monoculture GE/meat/dairy garbage make the price of VEGAN/organic food higher. This is what led to Korean farmer K.H. Lee sacrificing his life on the fence at the Cancun WTO protest. The small time organic rice farmers in Korea were driven out of business by large scale GE monoculture agribusiness rice that floods the market with cheap rice, driving small-time organic farmers out of business..

The VEGAN/organic food store/restaurant are more expensive than McDonalds/Burger king for a similar reason. The chain fast food places have access to large amounts of cheap agribusiness fed/rain-forest slashed beef and can sell their cheeseslimeburgers at low prices. Look into the low income neighborhoods and note the prevalence of artery cloggin heart-stoppin fast food. The man from Brooklyn or Bronx who sued the 4 fast food places in his neighborhood had good reason for this lawsuit. It is difficult for low income people to get access to healthy vegan organic food because the agribusiness GE/meat industry is constantly flooding the market with cheap GE schwag food. People in low income neighborhoods suffer with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc because of the fast food industry economic tyranny over food availability..

This is not the fault of the VEGAN/organic food salespeople, they are only struggling to keep their doors open and provide quality food to people. If the prices were any lower, they could not maintain their business. Most VEGAN/organic store owners would prefer to have lower prices to attract a greater customer base. Having a low price in the beginning is not feasable since there is no guaranteed VEGAN/organic market yet since media propaganda still encourages GE/meat consumption..

Of course there are the geovernment tax subsidies given 2 non-organic agribusiness;

(from website below)

"At first glance, you might expect organic food to cost less to produce than foods with added extras. However, it's a lot more complex than that. The main reason that intensively farmed foods are cheaper to buy in the shops is that you are paying for them in your taxes. Agro-chemical agriculture is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer through the government, whereas organic farming receives no subsidies at all. This ludicrous situation dates back to the aftermath of World War II. The governments of the day needed to ensure that the severe food shortages of the war never happened again. Starvation and famine in Europe urgently needed to be protected against, and the new chemical technologies of the 1950's seemed like a gift. One of the first things that the united European governments did was to encourage an abundance of foods by subsidising the use of chemicals in farming."

Money where my mouth is 24.Jan.2004 21:04


I recently had the dis-pleasure of seeing Craig speak at laughing horse books. I went with an open mind, curious about his beliefs. He seemed more like a politician than an activist. I did not buy what he was saying, wich was mostly "buy my book" and ELF blah blah ELF. He offered no answers to the questions presented by the audience, instead he just side stepped around the issues and went back to "but my book". I think that it is fair that I not visit his establishment becuase I do not agree with him politically. I don't feel comfortable giving that man my money.

spare me the tears !!! 25.Jan.2004 00:08

someone who knows the score in pdx

i can't believe the absurdity of attacking rosebraugh's place on imc. have you people lost your minds?

say whatever you want about craig. his politics are dumb, his call for violence is insane, but he largely walks the talk which is more than any of you little whiners could ever manage. you see how you like having the fbi follow you around 24/7, and getting shaken down by congress and grand juries. craig has never backed down from his beliefs despite the intimidation. that's honorable and--if i dare say so in such a gelded, whispy evironment--quite manly. many of you ought to at least catch a lesson in chatracter and fortitude from rosebraugh.

oh yeah: his legal fees were largely paid for with the settlement he got from the city of portland for lt. winnegar breaking his arm.

shut up, babies, unless you've got some compelling evidence vs. craig.

Class act 25.Jan.2004 01:02

Robert Frost

I've been to Calendulas recently too. The food was excellent, the atmosphere very pleasant, though quite upscale compared to what I'm used to. This place is definitely an upscale eating establishment, though not outrageously overpriced as such places go. And yes, the portions were quite small relative to my appetite. I'm a big eater. However, it's all organic, locally grown, fair trade, etc, etc, which often tends to cost more anyway. The place is committed to paying a living wage and benefits to ALL employees, even the busboys. It's a class act. So what if Calendula's shakes down bourgeois Portland vegetarians for a few bucks? If it helps fund Craig's revolutionary activities, it's going to a good cause in my book. This fucking country needs a revolution, and you don't have to agree in detail with all of Craig's positions to agree on that.

To Red Suspenders 25.Jan.2004 09:18

not important

Daily Grind is very anti Union....

No place of business is ideal or perfect....

Dumpsters on the other hand, wonderful in every way!

Yuppies wear black too 25.Jan.2004 09:33


I understand the the foot-in-mouth casserole, although a bit pretentious and ostentatious, is to die for!

i wonder... 26.Jan.2004 05:05


i wonder where that (alleged) 400k house is... maybe i could crash in a corner of the basement or something...

tears of fears 27.Jan.2004 19:55


Well, one thing that I have been hearing consistently is that the food is great! I have yet to tantilize my taste buds there, but I hope to save enough pennies one day! I would say that I appreciate that this restaruant has opened. It is few and far between that we have something of this caliber to enjoy. If you decide to deny yourself because you don't agree with the owner's politics-thats your choice or maybe a loss!

what? 28.Jan.2004 03:28


how are "Dumpsters on the other hand, wonderful in every way"?? dumpsters are full of garbage- food and clothes and furniture and other things that could/should be salvaged but will be sent instead to landfills. just because they provide a few odd society dropouts with free stuff doesnt mean that they are wonderful in every way.

Ate at Calendula 30.Mar.2004 23:30

MaryLou Noble marylou_noble@yahoo.com

I ate at Cadendula this evening with my granddaughter and daughter-in-law. I found the food and ambience to be excellent and the waitress to be outstanding. I was able to meet and talk with with Craig Rosebraugh who was most cordial. I do not believe the prices are above other gourmet restaurants, and it's wonderful to find an establishment that serves foods that in no way support the meat and dairy industries. While I am personally opposed to violence in any form, I am also adamently opposed to the extreme violence inflicted upon animals by the aforementioned establishments from which the vast majority of our population obtain their food products. It is astonishing to me that so few of my environmentally concerned friends and acquaintances are even mildly interested in eliminating meat and dairy products from their diets. As every informed person must be aware, becoming a vegetarian or vegan would be the most effective step they could take to toward eliminating hunger in the world and turning humanity away from destruction of the environment. I commend Craig on the opening of his restaurant and wish him well!


Best Restaurant in Town 11.Apr.2004 10:40

evey nezihi@hotmail.com

This restaurant is awesome. Me and my fiance loved it, and I am not vegan. Excellent food. We should support such restaurants.

fake-fishy things 16.Sep.2004 03:13


Not sure what a good portion really is nowdays, but I am an omivore and and went to calenulas recently and had the vegan fish things and they were breath-taking. Everything there made for a great experience even down to 100% biodegradable cornstarch doggy bag container.