Friday, April 9, 2010

Adventures in Portland

Since I was heading to the West Coast for my final campus course at Fuller anyway, I thought I would swing through Portland the week before to visit my friend Shelby who moved there from Nashville last summer. What a delightful week we shared together in between my work and homework and her home remodeling....

Places we went....mostly centered around food and/or drink:


Shelby, Russ and I shared a pitcher of beer and chips & salsa after I arrived in town.


I had the most dreamy meal here: Tofu Heaven. It was heavenly. A moment that I loved being vegetarian.


By the time we ventured out for food on Monday, I was so hungry I could have eaten my fist. Fortunately, I didn't have to. The Florentine omelette at Genies Cafe was delicious. And the potatoes on the side were the best potatoes that I've had in some time.


Shelby and Russ are in the middle of remodeling their home. We made a couple trips to the local and slightly eccentric Hippo Hardware. Shelby and I sorted through drawers of silver drawer pulls to find the best 16. They also talked to the "lighting" lady about possible light fixtures for the house. We returned the next day to get two more matching drawer pulls....just can't get enough.

Shelby said that Hippo Hardware was featured in Jackass the Movie. How she knows that is a story for another day....


Anyone who knows Shelby knows that she loves ice cream, and even that might be an understatement. I think she would marry it if she could.

Well, she and Russ took me to Via Delizia for gelato. And it lived up to their hype. This was our afternoon treat and I had a scoop of Coffee Cake gelato and Turkish Coffee gelato. I was wishing I could have a repeat for breakfast the next day because that might have been one of the best ways to enjoy the morning treat of coffee cake and coffee. Delicious!


From gelato we ventured to Laurel Hurst Theater for "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" for $3. The beauty of Laurel Hurst is that it's a theater and a pub. So, we got a pitcher of Lucky Lab Porter to enjoy with our movie. The movie was brilliant (Love Wes Anderson!) and the drinks were delicious as well.

Shelby connected some dots for me. The Lucky Lab Porter that we had is from the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company, which has a porch (with heaters for the cold days) for beer lovers to bring their dogs. Cool.


After the movie, we went to Bamboo Sushi for dinner. This place was absolutely fantastic! I had the Green Machine veggie sushi roll. Russ has the 180 veggie sushi roll and Shelby had spicy scallop roll. It was all amazing - some of the best sushi I've ever had, and vegetarian!

Not only does Bamboo do the sushi right, but it is a certified, sustainable sushi restaurant - and it is the first one in the world. You really need to read more about it on the website here.


WARNING: They close at 3 p.m. We tried to go the day before at 3:15. No good. But we ended up at Genies and that was a win!

Back to Broder. It was like being at a classy IKEA.

What a treat for brunch. I actually had a latte. I'm normally just a black coffee drinker but I felt something special happening here so I went with the latte. And it was good.

The food was beautifully plated. And it was delicious. The potato pancake was less than crisp than other potato pancakes I've had - but it was perfect. And the egg scramble was HOT, right out of the oven. To top it off, the walnut toast was delicious with the Danish berry jelly.

Broder is a must visit.


On Wednesday we drove down to Salem to meet Russ' mom for dinner. We went to Boon's Treasury which is part of the McMenamins family of pubs. I finally got my craving for tater tots satisfied. And can I recommend you try their tater tots cajunized? Goodness, delicious.


Russ left for a job in Denver in Thursday so Shelby and I were left to our devious devices. Which included a visit to the famous Voodoo Doughnut. Now typically on the pass on the doughnut in favor of cookies, brownies, cake, ice cream, candy bar, just about any other sweet.

I had the Vegan Portland Cream. Shelby had the regular Portland Cream. It was a pretty dang delicious doughnut.


And then to Powells! Prowling for a couple hours through books sounds grand to me.


We didn't mean to visit Whiskey Soda Lounge. We started across the street at its mother restaurant Pok Pok, a Thai restaurant. But part of their service is, when you are waiting for a table (our wait was 30 minutes), they send you across the street to Whiskey Soda Lounge for drinks and/appetizers.

You check in with the host at Whiskey Soda and they let you know when your table is ready at Pok Pok. Genius! We tried the papaya fritters and I enjoyed a minty drink called Southside.


Once the host let us know that our table was ready across the street, we settled up at Whiskey Soda and walked across the street to Pok Pok. Shelby heard that this place had been featured on the Travel Channel. They had a nice selection of Thai food but I dare say these are not the standard Thai dishes you'll find in most Thai places.

I tried the Yam Samun Phrai (made vegetarian), which is a special Northern Thai herbal salad with ginger, carrot, parsnip, betel leaf, basil, lime leaf, sawtooth, fried shallots, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, and Thai chilies in a coconut milk dressing. Delicious! Light and just the right amount of food.

***Insights on my final three days forthcoming....

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