Thelonious Wines

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lisa from This Beautiful Day invited our Portland blogger group on Facebook to attend a potluck at this fairly new boutique wine shop in the Pearl District, an area flocked by Portland’s finest.


While the event is further away this month, I found myself curious about Thelonious Wines. They have some very creative videos on their Instagram, and one of them in particular made me decide that Kelsey sounded like one hell of a sommelier.

Then I came across an article from Eater that said she had been named one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 U.S. sommeliers. I was instantly intrigued. I thought to myself, “I deserve something new today.”

So I drove on over to the Pearl District, stopped by Whole Foods, then made my way to the cute wine shop nearby. Thea, the cat warmed up to me instantly, and I was worried I would have an allergic reaction. But she is hypoallergenic!

I had only planned to stay for one tasting, and one purchase. But soon I was laughing about Chris Hemsworth and his cat in Ghostbusters as well as The Californians and Suicide Squad. Kelsey was like a therapist asking me questions about myself and my blogs, allowing me to ramble on about myself aimlessly until I realized that I had a little bit of writer’s block. On this blog, I’m writing every random thought in my head, while on Red Kitchen Recipes I’m losing viewers with my lack of posting. It was time to get organized. I don’t have a real job, after all.

Day drinking on an empty stomach produces such clarity.

With that in mind, I decided that it was time to get my stats back up to what they used to be. I will never be on Food Network, but I sure like the emails from casting directors inviting me.

I was really glad I visited Thelonious Wines. I loved that they had half glass options so that you could try a variety of spectacular selections. The atmosphere is very relaxing, and the owners are super nice. Portland is a better city having this therapist, um, sommelier back.


The wine that I chose to leave with was the 2015

L’Abrunet de Frisach Blanc.

Two Years

It’s been 2 years since I’ve been sharing my eats around Portland, and it seems like Instagram is almost enough for that purpose. So I’m starting to feel like this blog is becoming more of an extended “About me” and significant happenings of my life. I love to share my love of food, but you might be surprised by some of the things that have encompassed my life.


September 29th marked the two year anniversary of the day that my feet hit the famous PDX airport carpet for the first time. I arrived with my little shih tzu, while my husband and daughters drove across the country in his truck with my car behind it. And what a whirlwind of food it’s been! As you can see above.

My husband is super spontaneous, so we made the decision to leave Little Rock in a split second. Before he could change his mind, I started packing and looking up the best public schools in the Portland area in warp speed. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone that I was moving to the city with some of the best eateries in the country.

I was ready to leave, so I could make a new beginning. The last two years in Little Rock had been a little rocky, and the thought of walking away from it all sounded really good. It was sad, though, the thought of leaving behind so many friends that meant so much to me.

My best friend had just informed me that she was getting a divorce, and I felt bad that I would not be around to support her through it. Earlier that year, 45 FBI agents with AR 15’s let themselves into her house to interrogate her husband John about his sports memorabilia business. That morning, I was sitting in my office at the Arkansas Times, finishing up my makeup. Our staff photographer Brian came in and said, “The FBI is at the Rogers’ house. David and I are about to head over there.”

I called Angelica immediately. “Are you okay?” I asked.

“The news is out?” she asked. Later on, there were pictures of the agents in their blue and yellow jackets outside the house. Really, 45 agents.

I never asked what he did, or if he did it. I was firmly committed that he was innocent. Until the news started to unfold from other news outlets. I always thought that because the senior editor knew of my close relationship with the Rogers, our publication rarely dug deeply about the situation. I had a lot of respect for him for that.


In 2008, John & Angelica came over to our house for a cookout. John had informed us earlier that he was going to bid on the Honus Wagner baseball card. He was on the phone with the auction house ready to spend a million dollars on a baseball card, and I was preparing sides in the kitchen. John’s best friend Earl came too, and I think if he hadn’t been there, John would not have made the second bid to win it for 1.6 million. Earl was also a pharmaceutical sales rep, he had played for the Razorbacks and the Cowboys, and just as competitive as me. We had fun debating the benefits of each others’ drugs, and he’s very persistent. He calls me sis. We had all been together since we were nineteen.

Later on in Oregon, Sasha’s teacher asked in class if anyone knew who Honus Wagner was. She raised her hand and said that her godfather had owned his card once.

When John made his first million at the age of 28, people started to speculate about how he made his money. Rumors circulated throughout the town. It was no secret that he was talked about often. Once, he told his new neighbors that he was an astronaut. He’s the kind of person that you don’t know if he’s being serious or joking. I usually just played along until he gave in. But if you didn’t know him well, he could fool you. So of course people believed he was an astronaut. His notoriety became a joke that we laughed about.

It really didn’t hit me until I was sitting on Earl’s couch at his house. “It’s no joke anymore,” he said, shaking his head. When it finally hit me, I broke into tears. I didn’t want to know more than what the media reported, so I never asked anyone for details. No matter what he did, we would all stand by him because we were the kind of tight knit group that locked secrets away and swallowed the key. Earl said that it could take up to two years for them to indict John. They really wished they would get it over with, rather than drag it out. But they did drag it out, and they took the entire two years.

It wasn’t a heinous crime. The man had just lost his way.

Angelica was going to stand by John’s side as well, but there were other circumstances that they couldn’t agree on. She wanted the fairy tale, like Julia Roberts. It wasn’t the 11,000 square foot, four story house or the apartment overlooking Columbus Circle in New York that she needed. She walked away from all that in the end. But it was what she had when we were all 22, when she and John lived in a small two bedroom house that they bought for $60,000.

Two years later, I’m so super proud of how she has picked herself back up. Seeing her without her Tag, her five carat diamond, and her Louboutins was shocking at first. But seeing her happy is what makes my heart full.

Are you on Twitter? If so, follow along for more fun with me and my friends!

My First Feast

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to make my husband a turkey sandwich for his lunch, so this post may either be a bit tired, or it may gain momentum based on all the thoughts I’ve had all day long coming together. I read a lot of William Faulkner growing up, and Stream of Consciousness really became my favorite style.

Why are kids these days not reading American classic literature by the way?


FEAST Portland is HUGE. It’s my second year in town, so I’m new to the party. I’m friends with many foodies in town, and I noticed they were all attending. I missed out on the blogger pass application, so I bought a ticket to one of the last open events. I rarely can buy tickets in advance for events because I don’t know if my husband will be in town or in the country, so I miss out often.

I decided to just go alone if needed. When he surprised me and came home early (abruptly) from his last work project, I tried to buy him a ticket. They were sold out.


But I did get to take him to lunch at Hat Yai, which he and my friend Jenna absolutely loved. They both profusely thanked me for the great recommendation. Who do I look like, an amateur eater? Later on, scrolling through Instagram, under #feastpdx, I saw that Adam Rapoport, the editor of Bon Appétit, had been there the same time that we were. Because in this picture, that’s my friend Jenna on the right. My husband’s hat is showing a bit, and I’m in the middle.


Back to Feast now. The event was chef spotting galore. Ugh, I swear I tried to fix my hair that day. But anyway…here’s my selfie with Chris Cosentino. He was super nice. I was standing there wondering how to eat Gregory Gourdet’s wonderful serving on a micro serving dish on my right hand with a wine glass on my left hand. Then I looked over, and I had to ask, “Are you Chris Cosentino?” Yes, he said. I told him I was a big fan. (I loved him and Aarón Sanchéz in that show where they had to eat a do a bunch of challenges, then race to the finish line.)

I’m also excited that he will be opening a restaurant in Portland!

Continue reading My First Feast

I Took a Taxi from Seattle

“How much did that cost?” I asked. It was’t the craziest thing Jereme (pronounced just like Jeremy) has done. I’ve been with him since he was 22 years old.

“It was four hundred dollars.”

“Oh, that’s not bad.” I paid that much for a speeding ticket in Joplin once. I think I was going double the speed limit in a construction zone. It was a Friday morning, and I’d needed to see eight cardiologists by noon before the office closed. Then get back to Little Rock, four hours away.

I have Restaurant Attention Deficit Disorder. I see food pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, try to remember to go. Then I’m easily distracted by other bloggers’ pictures, and try to remember who always posts the good food that I want to eat. And I worked in marketing. I know that as individuals we are served so many impressions per day by so many different sources that if there’s no frequency from a single source, those impressions probably did not make an impact.

A recruiter from Twitter found me on Linkedin. He asked if I would be interested in moving to San Francisco for a sales position with them. My kids are the boss of me, and there’s no way they’d let me take them out of their school away from their friends. If Instagram called, however, they would be packing up for wherever Instagram is headquartered. Or Snapchat, if Snapchat delivers ads. But I love Twitter the most. It was as if Clive Owen called me for a date, and I had to tell him I was happily married.

When my husband returns from work trips, there are moments when I see him walk into the room, and I get that feeling like I just finished a frozen margarita from Honky Tonk Taco on SE Division. The way he holds out his hand for me when we’re walking, the way he lies down in bed and rests his hand in mine early in the morning. He’s always been the one.

This is why I have thought all month long while he was in the Philippines, where we should eat when he gets back. So here is my note, before I get R.A.D.D, and forget. I’ll start with these 5!

1. Clyde Common

2. Han Oak

3. Revelry

4. Hat Yai

5. Kim Jong Smokehouse

Philippines to Portland: 15 Hours

My last year in college, my research professor made us write and revise and revise and revise. So now I write, throw out, revise. I started college with a high school gpa of 4.0 and a four year scholarship. My first semester at the University of Arkansas I came out with a 1.9 and landed on academic probation. I came from a small town where there was nothing to do, I was sheltered, and I was attending a college once deemed by Playboy as a #1 party school. I had to leave, and I ended up at another college in Little Rock , finishing with a 3.6 gpa.  Continue reading Philippines to Portland: 15 Hours

Pre – Cascadia Musts

Before the Cascadia Subduction Zone wreaks havoc on the Oregon coast and the city of Portland with all of its vulnerable bridges and potential ground deformations, I want to post 5 places that I want to visit before I let fear seep in so badly that I never Happy Hour anywhere but East of the Willamette River.

When I started college, I was 17 years old. My ACT score gave me permission to skip Freshman English, with the option of taking Honors English just for the hell of it. I loved English classes, so I took the Honors option. My professor required us to read The New Yorker on a regular basis. After decades of following The New Yorker, I have to say that this article has made the biggest impact on my life and well being.  Also, this article won a Pulitzer prize. It’s about what could happen when The Big One hits Oregon. I love you so much Portland, please prevail. These are the places I’ll visit in the very near future.

Ataula – if you click on the link, you’ll see their Instagram photo of Jamon Iberico de bellota. That is the kind of luxury on your tastebuds that pull at my heartstrings. I’ve had enough tastings to know that I want that as often as possible. Besides that, the menu really appeals to me. And I like their social media presence. They post enough, meaningfully, that I don’t forget them. I also like that they open at 4:30. I’m a 4 – 4:30 Happy Hour kinda gal.

Chesa – they’re owned by the same people as above, so of course! Check out their Instagram too.

Produce Row Cafe – Because frozé… ( frozen rose) sounds so good!!

Chicken and Guns – because I love Chris Tucker and The Fifth Element. Also, their food pics look awesome!!

La Moule – just look at the picture. That’s the kind of thing that makes my mouth water. I’m also a big fan of their other restaurant, St. Jack.

Now follow along on my Instagram to keep up with my progress!

Northwest 23rd


There’s so much to love about Northwest 23rd in Portland, Oregon, that I had to come back with another post on it. Above you see the Clams Nantua, with caramelized fennel, tomato, garlic, shallot, capers, shellfish nage, cognac, and cream. You can find this unforgettable dish on the bar menu of St. Jack. They have an excellent happy hour 7 days a week 4-6 pm and 10 pm to close.


The Fireside is another fun restaurant right on the same street. They have a really cool sign outside that is quite photogenic if you want to take a picture beneath it. They have great happy hour specials Monday – Friday 3-5:30.

20140929_141957  Above is a picture from Salt and Straw. There is a location on NW23rd, although my picture came from SE Division, which is closer to me.


The scratch made waffle cones smell so good when you walk in! But I’m not aware if they have a happy hour?

Three more places that I really enjoy that are located on NW 23rd are Blue Star DonutsGrassa, & Jo Bar & Rotisserie.

Jo Bar
Risotto from Jo Bar & Rotisserie

Seek and Explore PDX

Northwest 23rd is one of my favorite streets in Portland. There are so many great finds in this area. After brunch at our Sunday usual, The Waiting Room, we walked from NW Kearney over to nearby NW 23rd. We weren’t the only ones. The street was super busy and full of others out enjoying the perfect 68 degree weather.


No, this is not a smoothie bar. It’s Lush, and the girls are obsessed. Sasha found a blemish on her face this morning, so she wanted to find a mask from the makers of all natural, fresh skin products. I think of Lush as farm to face fresh. Doesn’t this bar of goodies for the face look like a delightful display?

Golden Curry

Just a few doors down, Gianna insisted I sample the golden curry popcorn from Poplandia. One taste, and I had to buy a bag. I love to support local vendors.

Moberi_Fotor Then we had a magnificent acai bowl from Moberi. A complete day. Yes, this is a bicycle blending smoothie operation. Only in Portland?

Experience Portland

A couple of my friends back home in Little Rock recently reached out to let me know that they’re coming to Portland to visit soon. They were wondering what dining recommendations I might have for them. While I haven’t had a chance to make it out to every restaurant that I want to visit in Portland, I can at least share the dishes and places I love here so far. I was chatting with my friend Donnie back home a few weeks ago, telling him that Little Rock is so underestimated in the national dining scene. He said I was pretty lucky to have access to the resources that I have in the Pacific Northwest. True, we eat sockeye salmon at least 3 nights a week, and I have local oysters on a regular basis too. I miss my regular places back home, but now I LOVE my new places here. (In no particular order)

Pine Street Market This market place at 2nd and Pine has some delicious offerings from many already established fooderies. Just check out the link, and you’ll get my drift. These tenants are popular among foodies because they all have other locations in town under different names and concepts, where they aim to please, and pleased Portland has proven to be. For example, below you’ll see a black raspberry dipped ice cream cone from Wiz Bang Bar, a venture at Pine Street Market from Salt and Straw.

My first visit to the market, I had lamb chops from Shalom Y’all, dashi with seared foie gras from Common Law, and a mimosa from the bar.


Le Pigeon I have been trying really hard to get out to sample this renowned restaurant. I pass it ALL the time on Burnside, mostly during the day when it is not open! While I haven’t had a chance to visit myself, many trustworthy friends have assured me it will win me over.

503 Burger Co. When you go out of town, you can’t just do foie gras and profiteroles every night, right? (Or can you?) Well, the burger lover in you probably will need one despite where you are in a week’s time.


Above you see my own burger from 503 Burger Co. and here you can see my favorite Portland food photographer’s shot: from Kari. Esquire also reposted the shot on their own Instagram.

Three Degrees In my past I’ve always enjoyed restaurants inside hotels. This restaurant is inside a Kimpton hotel. My friends back home know that One Eleven is inside The Capitol Hotel. This location sits near the beautiful waterfront area of Portland, a favorite place of mine. When my husband’s brother and wife came to visit, this was the first place we took them.


Carpaccio originated at Harry’s Bar in Venice. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there to try it, but I can eat carpaccio from Three Degrees over and over again.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Ginger BBQ Shrimp from Three Degrees, Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Por Que No Back home in Arkansas, I was addicted to Local Lime tacos. I found my match in Portland here.


Stay tuned, and I’ll be back with more places I love!

The Waiting Room


A great Sunday in Portland means some great eats during brunch! There are so many options that have already been written, Tweeted, and Instagrammed about. Some of those places require a long wait time. Which I am not usually up for.

Now you have my opinion of a really good way to spend a Sunday. So far, no wait. But they haven’t been open very long. So if the wait starts to get long on Sundays, I’ll be making Mondays my regular day. Because I know I want to be a regular here.


Sitting with a mimosa and seersucker napkin wrapped in twine feels like home to me. Anyone else? What a great way to prepare for some of the best fried chicken ever, perfectly crisp on the outside and super tender on the inside! And flavorful. Home run chicken.


I started my meal with one of each oyster on the brunch menu. The big grilled one in the middle, I think I almost licked clean. Like something Vince Vaughn would do in Wedding Crashers Part 2. Or maybe Isla Fisher.


My daughter had the chicken biscuit. Yeah, it’s beautiful. She loved it. Shrimp.jpgThe Ginger BBQ Shrimp had a great depth of flavor. The beauty of that sauce gloss really had me too. I can’t wait to get back in to The Waiting Room to have more of their food!