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06 September 2011

Salt and Straw: ice cream like you've never had it...

So this place just opened up a couple, few weeks ago up on NE Alberta St. I heard that they had some rather interesting ice cream choices - my hearsay coming from people who had ordered flavors such as Pear and Bleu Cheese, and Three Berry Barbecue (baked beans, to be exact).

So, on a September day such as this, it seemed like a perfect idea to pick up my lovely cousin Kate (also featured here), and her two and a half month-old baby, Xavier, and take them out for ice cream. Isn't he darling?

It's a cute little shop, very rustic, with all sorts of old ice cream cans and wooden crates and churns and such.

Indeed, there was Pear and Bleu Cheese, and Three Berry Barbecue. I sampled some of their Lemon Basil Sorbet (which I will get an entire scoop of, upon my return) and ordered a scoop of their Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper. Dad ordered the Pomegranate Vinegar milkshake (they also offer "drinking vinegars," which I shall also have to try). Kate had a dish of Banana Walnut with Spicy Monkey Caramel.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you check this place out, probably several times, as you'll most likely want to try everything!

01 September 2011

Staccato Gelato : espresso

Dad and I stopped by for a latte or two at this little ice cream shop in Sellwood, while we were waiting around for Dad's CSA veggies.

I didn't get a chance to try any of their gelato this time, but I will be back! They had the most beautiful, richly colored gelatos I've ever seen!

31 August 2011

Itty Bitty Blackberry Cobbler

On my way home from work, I often pass a patch of blackberries that no one but the birds ever seem to eat. Occasionally, if there is a significant handful ready for the plucking, I take advantage. Usually I wolf them down before my feet have scarce reached the next block.

Today, I managed to get all these beauties home:

Not nearly as impressive as my mom's blackberry-picking pursuits down in S. Oregon -- 6 full pies worth -- but my cobbler is cuter. :)

30 August 2011


I spent my day off rambling around downtown with my mom today! She suggested that we go to the restaurant "with the big brass fish sticking out of the building." Why not? So we found Southpark seafood grill (which, coincidentally, is on SW Salmon St. downtown) and settled ourselves at a lovely patio table with a striped umbrella.

Since I read about cold soups and gazpacho in the Oregonian Food Day last week, I have been thinking I should set about trying some! Crazy random happenstance: Southpark had a delicious Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho on their menu. Here you see my mom modeling it:

Otherwise, I had an Oregon bay shrimp and avocado pita wrap. The balance of the two turned out really well, actually. The wrap was creamy, and the soup was tangy. Good stuff!

28 August 2011

Ramen w/ Lemon Herb Cream Sauce

So, there is this phenomenon that occurs, in which college students tend to be poor. Amazing, isn't it? Quite a common ailment.

In such cases as these, it behooves one ("one" being the college student, and in this particular case: me) to eat Top Ramen from time to time. As most of you who have eaten Top Ramen know, it is not a particularly delicious or healthful food.

BUT! I am here to bring you glad tidings, and tell you that, with a little creativity, and some help from yummy food staples, ramen can be quite good.

This is the first step: take out the little packet of MSG that comes with your Top Ramen.

Step two: put it where it belongs. Yes, I know there is paper in my trash can. It's art, people! 'Twill be remedied in good time.

The rest is pretty simple. Instead of water for the ramen, use milk, and use like a third cup less liquid than the ramen "recipe" always calls for. Add a little pat of butter - this helps the sauce congeal. My friends tell me I should not use that word when discussing food, but it so perfectly describes what I want my pasta sauce to do! "Coagulate" is my only acceptable alternative, and I have a feeling they wouldn't like that one, either.

In any case. I put some thyme and rosemary from my garden into the sauce, and squeezed about a third of a lemon in as well. (I really made this up as I went).

And here is the end result! The salad is spinach, and snap peas, with tomatoes from my little garden! Usually I don't condone my food touching, but for the sake of aesthetics...

22 August 2011

Home life: Mango salad, rosemary cod

So, I am poor. You know how college students are.

In lieu of going out this week, I have decided to provide you, dear gluttonous readers, with something of my own design: this mango and red pepper and spinach salad which I made up, well, today.

It contains Trader Joe's mangoes (thank you guys for the spark for the idea!), red pepper slices, and spinach leaves. I also made a mango vinaigrette (more of a chutney, really) with finely diced mango slices, lime juice, white wine, and a dash of olive oil.

The fish is Alaskan cod, which I pan-seared with rosemary and thyme from my garden, and dill and pepper and such! Turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

10 August 2011

Hawthorne Cafe

While shopping for a gig bag for my octave mandolin, I stopped by the Hawthorne Cafe. It's a very cute, quaint little place, rather like a cottage by the sea. There is an outdoor patio seating area, and their indoor seating area has tons of windows and lots of light. Perfect for a morning coffee.

Raspberry mocha: I would recommend this for everyone, even people who don't normally like flavored mochas. This one was incredibly raspberry-ful. :)

01 August 2011


So, my dad and I thought it would be interesting, based on today's experience, to see what studies have been done, or to do a study on what makes a restaurants tick.

After checking out bikes at Sellwood Cycle & Repair, we asked the girl who worked there which food places were the best, in the area. She directed us to Jade Teahouse and Patisserie, just down the street. It was absolutely packed. We decided it would take too long to order, so we meandered back down toward the shop to see what else there was to be found.

We found Mekong, which is a great little Vietnamese restaurant right across from the bike shop. It was almost empty; there were two people eating inside. The food was pretty good -- I had the grilled garlic shrimp skewers, and Dad ordered some appetizer rolls, and chicken skewers.

The interesting thing is that, even though it was right across the street, and had pretty decent food, and was in basically the same location as Jade, Mekong was empty at lunchtime, and Jade was overcrowded, and the first recommendation to come from the bike girl's mouth.

Any thoughts? Ideas? Answers? Have you noticed this elsewhere?

26 July 2011

Skamania Lodge

All right, so it's not exactly Portland. Heck, it's not even Oregon. But these pancakes were too gorgeous (no pun intended) and too delicious not to blog.

So I went to a bluegrass festival this last weekend in Stevenson, WA. I love this festival, I've been going to it since I was eight years old. Friday morning my camp mates and I decided to take a little walk, and eat at Skamania Lodge. I ordered these raspberry granola pancakes that came with cinnamon butter.

There's nothing quite like waking up after a night of jamming, taking a little jaunt, and eating fresh raspberry pancakes with a view of the Columbia Gorge on a sunny summer day. I think I may just do this again next year!

15 July 2011

Bagdad Pub: take II

Hawthorne is one of my favorite places in Portland thus far, so I tend to go there often. The Bagdad is such a great place, too. I love the open seating area, which is perfect for people watching, and catching an evening breeze.

Walnut pomegranate dip was the deciding factor on tonight's menu. Three Faces of Eve comes with fresh-grilled flatbread, the aforementioned dip, feta-yogurt dip, and hummus, along with olives and pickled veggies. The feta-yogurt was absolutely scrumptious.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture - I only had my phone camera on me!

06 July 2011

Mickey Finn's

Impromptu after work dining!

I've never been to Mickey Finn's, even though it's so close. Today was one of those days where you just need... a grilled cheese sandwich. And that is exactly what I had.

It was pretty tasty.

23 June 2011

Cafe Yumm!

For the sake of the uniqueness of Portland I tend to steer clear of chain restaurants, but it would be untrue to say that I NEVER visit them. It would also be untrue to say that they serve bad food just because they are a chain.

Cafe Yumm! sits in the heart of Portland State University, and serves a variation of foods based around rice and beans.

I got the chicken bento bowl. A little background on Bento: traditionally a Japanese cuisine, Bento is a meal consisting of rice, some sort of meat, and vegetables. Fancy word for "this is what I make for dinner every night, man." But Cafe Yumm! serves up a nice little bowl of Bento, for sure.

My dad got a smoky bean soup, which was also quite delicious. All in all: affordable, pretty quick, and and interesting array of meals. Check it out!

20 June 2011

Bridgeport Ale House

"Ha ha, what were we thinking?"

My friend Michelle and I get bored sometimes, and dress up and go pretend we are trendy Portlanders instead of transplant retail clerks. We really are trendy Portlanders.

I am really impressed (so far) with the microbreweries that populate this fair city. Thus, whenever I am presented with the "op
pourtunity," I try to patronize them. In the non-school marm definition of the word.

Hawthorne St. is a difficult place to navigate when you're both hungry and indecisive. Eventually hunger wins and you point and click and end up insanely happy. Luckily, I pointed and clicked on Bridgeport. They are the lovely masterminds of such things as Cafe Negro, Hop Czar, and Blue Heron.

I want to lay out a disclaimer for the photo below: yes, there were only two of us. No, we're not actually alcoholics. It's the indecisive thing again.

Bridgeport offers this sample of all their house ales as one menu item, which is really a cool thing. However, the cups are not, like, shot glasses. So bring more people, or you'll end up wasting a lot of it, which is a sad thing. Our sampling came with Cafe Negro, Hop Czar, Stumptown Tart, Blue Heron, and a few others.

They also have an amazing hummus platter. The olives are to die for.

11 June 2011


Another frequent flier. I love this place. They make great coffee, they make awesome breakfast sandwiches, they have a cereal bar, they have a fireplace, they have crossword puzzle books, an open air human observatory (also known as outdoor seating), a ladies knitting group, local art, aaand, they are one of the sponsors of the Woodstock Farmer's Market.

So, whether you're looking for some (fairly) quick, delicious food, a good cup of coffee, or a chair to fall asleep in on your lunch break and miss your clock-in time, Papaccino's is the place to go!

The lovely sandwich you see gracing the top of this entry is a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel. Hot off the grill. Mm.

07 June 2011

Pizza Roma: frequent flier

Since it's so close to home and my workplace, I go to Pizza Roma frequently. Between that and Papaccino's, I decided to start up a "frequent flier" line of blogs for the places that I go to the most.

I love Pizza Roma because there is always something different. Always something with vegetables, always something tart - artichokes, for example, and something garlicky, something for ravenous carnivores, and of course: tons of cheese for lactose tolerant folks.

This, for example, is something delicious with chicken and mushrooms and garlic and such. Probably cleverly named Garlic Chicken. :)

31 May 2011

Moonstruck, Yet Again

After sushi, right there on NW 23rd, you've gotta get Moonstruck (again).

This time I got a milk chocolate cow (he was so adorable, how could I resist?) and a Conquistador Hazelnut praline.

The cow was all right. Get it for the cute factor, but the Clear Creek Pear Brandy Truffle is still the very best by Moonstruck!

30 May 2011


We were in the mood for sushi. Which was a good thing, because we got sushi. More sushi than I've ever had in my life. I think there was a little mixup with our order: somehow two soups turned into two of each other thing that we ordered.

The miso soup is a visual delight, as well as being interestingly salty. When it was brought to us, it was just a cloud of yellowish soup, but as our conversation waned and our attentions went back to our soup, it had settled down into a miniature contoured sea bed:

As for the rest, we sampled avocado rolls, California rolls, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, tai, tako, and the Sake Bomb: spicy tuna with avocado, topped with salmon.

17 May 2011

The Hutch

Let me just start out by saying that The Hutch is a great place to go when you have arrived home from a long, mind-numbing day of retail to find that, once again, you have locked yourself out of your house and your roommate is not home to save you from your inevitable fate of not being able to check Facebook for a few hours yet.

Not that I myself have ever done that. I mean, I have a smartphone.

But in any such event, mosey on down to The Hutch on SE 42nd and Holgate. They'll set you up with some gorgeous lemonade, perhaps:

And a few stuffed and fried mushroom appetizers:

And, of course, a delightfully grilled chicken sandwich, out in the evening shade of SE Portland.

07 May 2011

Bread and Ink Cafe

Just popped over to Hawthorne for a bit of brunch and catch up with my cousin. I haven't done much breakfasting on this blog (not much of an early riser, I'm afraid) but I probably should!

The Bread and Ink Cafe is a hopping place on a Saturday morning! If you don't have a large party, you should be fine, though.

Contrary to what you might think, they serve much more than just bread and ink. (That was a joke). They serve a variety of breakfast and brunch
items, sweet and savory, local and delicious!

We ordered blueberry pancakes, and Belgian waffles (served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream today), with a side of Carlton Farms sausage patty. They were so pretty, it was hard to actually eat them! I'm most glad I did, however. Drizzled with some of their house syrup, mmmm. The sausage patty was nice and "homey;" round and lumpy and freshly sizzled. Delicious.

02 May 2011

Arleta Library Cafe

On the hunt for brunch today, I stumbled upon this little place.

With a name like Library Cafe, I figured it oughta be good. Also, the promise of Stumptown coffee lured me right in.

The cafe is a cute little thing on SE 72nd and Harold, near Mt. Scott park. The walls are decorated with local art and library books, and there's a pleasant little nook at the front of the store, with a window bench.

They were out of Pane Dolce, so I went with their Portlander breakfast - scramble with mushrooms, Tillamook cheese, and bacon crumbles. The bacon was most excellent, guys. Also, the waitress brought me their homemade strawberry jam for my toast, and also their house ketchup for my fries. Let me just say, that was the best damn ketchup I have ever had. It was pasty thick, and sweeter than your usual out of a bottle -- really well done, you guys!

24 April 2011

Chez Machin

Machin, sm. (P). Anything whose name has slipped the memory. Same as: true.

Time for something on the Hawthorne scene! Chez Machin is a crêperie on SE 35th and Hawthorne. It's a cozy little crêperie, with a back room that is mercifully ventilated by a veiled passageway (presumably to a patio) and a half wall. I sipped my espresso and gobbled my crêpe with the first signs of evening spring air wafting in.

There are crêpes for everyone! Sweet, savory, large, small, vegetarian, organic, gluten-free, cage-free...

They also have a bistro menu, with a soup du jour, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cordon Bleu, Steak au Poivre, and many, many other things I'm glad I don't have to try to pronounce at you all in real life.

I finally decided that the animal magnetism of Nutella was stronger than that of ... anything else on the menu. Though the La Pacifique crêpe, with NW smoked salmon, brie, tomatoes, spinach, scallions, and dijon crème fraîche was very tempting. As was La Fermière crêpe (mozzarella, mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes & pesto crème fraîche).

Mine (called
La Dèlice - you don't need to know French to guess that one!) came with vanilla custard, raspberry jam, and Nutella, and was dusted with powdered sugar.

Pronounced "shay masheen."

23 April 2011

Happy Hour: Jake's

Jake's Crawfish has one hell of a happy hour, folks! It takes place after 11pm, so it's more of a night owl hang out, but I'm pretty sure it's worth losing some sleep for what may be the best cheap food in town!

I always love it when I go out with a bunch of people because I get to try more than one thing - I had a Hazelnut Martini, which had coffee AND alcohol in it! Dream drink. I also tried my friend's blueberry Lemon Drop. Those things are deadly. They're like candy - remember Warheads? That's what that is, liquid Warheads.

They were out of California Roll, so I ordered their Tuna Ahi sushi roll, which was deep fried, and absolutely delicious. I blame it for my current re-obsession with sushi. The Hazelnut martini probably wasn't the best match with the sushi, but that's my fault for ordering them together. Individually, though, they were great. I'm still working on this "pairing" thing.

Jake's Happy hour menu changes around, so don't expect to order a certain thing - just be ready for excellent food! And drinkage.

Our bartenders were also very friendly, and helpful with suggestions.

My sushi was $3.95 (four good-sized rolls) and my martini was about $7. $6-7, somewhere in there.

21 April 2011

Coffee Poll

Hello, everyone!

I have come up with another idea for audience participation. This time it comes in the form of coffee shops.

Now, judging by the plethora of coffee shops in my neighborhood that I count to be among my personal favorites, I can guess that there is no way I could fit anything less than insulting in a "favorite coffee shops PDX" poll. So I won't even try.

Instead, I shall have you, the readers, vote for your favorite coffee shop(s) by way of leaving a comment just below, there, or sending a message to!

Here's a sample:

Favorite coffee establishment: Stumptown

Favorite drink from said establishment: Cappuccino

Favorite pastry from said establishment: Marionberry Brioche

Favorite thing (besides the brew) about said establishment: The way the windows are always steamed up, without fail. And if ever the sun comes out, it streams through the steamy windows. Also, the ever-changing chalk drawings on the Stumptown signboard outside. They're cool.

20 April 2011

Deschutes Brewery: II

Location(s): 210 NW 11th Avenue


Phone: 503.296.4906

Again to the Deschutes Brewery and Public House!

A great thing about this public house is that you can pretty much find something for everyone. That's always a tough one when my family is involved: My dad and I have what my mom and sister might describe as "weird" taste in food. And they have boring traditional taste. :)

Sorry Deschutes, I don't mean you're boring. But it is hard to find a place that serves interesting original dishes, as well as something more suited to a traditional palate. Well done, you guys.

So, on the menu:
Winter Squash Ravioli
Chicken Curry
Chicken Salad

I'll let you in on a secret food blogger perk: If you tell people in your party that you're writing a blog, they will give you bites of their food! Cool trick, huh?

Not to sound immodest, but I did like my food choice the best, as usual: the winter squash ravioli, which is a seasonal Deschutes speciality. Made with "roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and Gorgonzola cheese tossed in a wort butter sauce [editor's note: this... wort sauce, whatever it is, is to die for.] with rainbow chard [not my favorite, but all right] roasted shallots," and the brewery's own root-beer braised bacon from Carlton Farms.

The chicken curry salad and the chicken salads were pretty good, too. I am not usually a fan of falafel, but I have also taken it upon myself to be fearless in the face of food, and took a liberal bite of my sister's. It was... well, falafel! Tossed in a pita wrap with some salad and white sauce, it wasn't bad!

Washed it all down with some good ol' Black Butte Porter, and finished our palates with some "Black and Tan Creme Du Pot" dessert: chocolate pudding with a caramel finish and whip cream. Super sweet stuff! Really. Get milk.