one green planet
one green planet

Daddy’s Vegan Wangz and Rangz is Portland’s new 90s-themed vegan smash burger and wings pop-up that is gaining popularity among vegans and non-vegans alike. The pop-up is not just a food stop but an experience that takes you back to the summer of 1990, featuring glittery pink streamers, a pink Barbie Corvette, and an oversized Britney Spears poster. The pop-up is the brainchild of Wes Lambeaux and Elliott McDaniel, who aim to create a “Barbie Hooters for queer people.” The experience features Power Ranger-themed lemonades and Y2GAY playlist of 90s R&B and pop hits.

But the food at Daddy’s is just as amazing as the experience. The pop-up features $5 vegan smash burgers with a well-seasoned Beyond Meat patty, crispy edges, and Daiya cheddar slice on a Franz bun, slathered with a sweet-and-tangy Thousand Island-style Daddy sauce that Lambeaux has been perfecting for years. The menu also includes tangy barbecue wings, thick-cut onion rings with glitter ketchup, gluten-free gator bites with garlic-mustard aioli, and other over-the-top specials, like Buffy garlic buffalo parmesan drumsticks, drizzled with black truffle oil and dusted with edible glitter.

The Daddy’s Vegan Wangz and Rangz menu is a testament to the versatility of vegan food, and the pop-up aims to prove that vegan food doesn’t have to be expensive. The pop-up’s chefs say they were inspired by the $5 promise at MidCity Smash Burger and disappointed that the vegan burger was almost twice the price, which motivated them to create an affordable and tasty vegan smash burger that is nostalgic, warm, and gooey.

The pop-up uses soy protein as a base for their vegan “wangz,” wrapped around a sugarcane bone, but it’s Lambeaux’s sauces that really set Daddy’s wings apart from others. Daddy’s wings are coated in sweet-and-savory ginger teriyaki, smoky Southern hickory barbecue, raspberry bourbon chipotle, lemon pepper, and extra spicy mango habanero sauces. The drumsticks arrive thoroughly coated in sauce or as dipping sauces for Daddy’s Naked Flight, and the sauces are made thick, like what one might find in Texas and Tennessee, where Lambeaux and McDaniel are from, respectively.

The success of Daddy’s Vegan Wangz and Rangz so far is attributed to the Support of Portland’s vegan community. The couple behind the pop-up has been posting photos of their food on Instagram, hoping to make connections within the food community. Mama Đút owner Thuy Pham offered the chefs her Vietnamese cafe as a venue, which led to Daddy’s first pop-up in April 2022. Over the next year, Daddy’s made appearances around town at other vegan standbys, including Mis Tacones, Cultured Kindness, and Epif.

The Daddies are grateful to the restaurants who have hosted their pop-up and customers who have dropped by for burgers and wings. They’re also excited about what the future holds. They started Daddy’s on Instagram with no real plan or idea of what it will become, but the pop-up has taken off and gained a dedicated following. It’s “inspiring, humbling, and awesome to be able to live this dream,” says McDaniel.

If you’re in Portland, don’t miss Daddy’s Vegan Wangz and Rangz next pop-up on March 20 at Epif, and be sure to follow them on Instagram for updates.

Meatless meat has been rapidly expanding throughout the United States and across Europe. Companies like Dunkin Donuts and Burger King are offering meatless options to consumers. Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are continuing to grow as they can be found in nearly every grocery store and many restaurants around the country.

Let’s not forget it’s a lot healthier to make burgers at home, here are some amazing resources for you:

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