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?

gourdet

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.

hat-yai

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.

cosentino

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

Clams

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.

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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.

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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.

Lush

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.

WBB

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.

Burger

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

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.

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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

Chicken

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.

Mimosa

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.

Oysters

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.

Biscuit.jpg

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!

How Ramen Reigns in Portland

Noraneko

Noraneko is an outstanding choice for ramen in the city of Portland, Oregon. I love that it’s under the Hawthorne Bridge. I’m constantly singing the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge Downtown” as I think of it. The broth and noodles are delicious, and you get to choose from several add ons. The service was impeccable, even though we ordered at the counter.

Hapa

I’m most personally swayed by the shio ramen from Hapa at The Gantry. I had the chance to chat with one of the owners on my first visit. This is so easy to do at food carts and trucks. Brick and mortars so rarely have owners and chefs present to do table greets. But when they do, it’s a treat! In the Hapa window, I loved hearing about the process of how the dashi is made, the noodles they use, and the training they received to make the best! Their noodles are my favorite, and I crave them all the time! They’re perfectly al dente and a bit curly. Once on a visit to the Kim Jong Grillin truck on Division, I was asking about places that Han likes to eat, and I asked if he’d been to Hapa down the road at Tidbit. He said, “Richie’s my boy!” So yea.

Marukin

The ramen shop that has received the most hype lately has been Marukin Ramen. Many of the foodies that I follow on Instagram have posted several pics of their bowls, so I had to try one for myself. Very delicious!

Portland Monthly says this place is unbeatable.

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I like that you can have a seafood broth version of ramen with shrimp at Boke Bowl. They also have fantastic steamed buns.

Mizu

Those noodles are the star, the shio broth is the moon, and everything else you see in the bowl make a perfectly aligned universe. I recently found Mizu Ramen at Cartlandia, which is near my home. I will probably be a regular there. I really like the bowl and spoon that you get for your ramen at this place too.

All of the places I’ve tried are delicious. I’m partial to noodles and proximity, but my new job will have me closer to the downtown area more often. So I feel lucky to have so many great ramen options in Portland!

Blog Connect: Up Close With Madi

Empiric

The Portland food and blogging community has been so welcoming! I say this constantly about my move from Arkansas. People ask constantly about how I like it. My answer is always that I wish I’d moved up ten years earlier! This place was practically made for me.

One of my few worries about leaving Little Rock was that I had been with the same hair stylist for about 20 years. Michael was my friend first, and we got to know each other at our friend Norman’s place. I tried others here and there, but Michael knew just what my hair needed. Always. How would I find a replacement?

Through Instagram, I did. I’m not sure how we found each other, but I connected with Madeline of Up Close With Madi, and I’m so glad I did! I love the atmosphere at Empiric Salon just off of Hawthorne in Portland. After a cut and color, I know that this is my salon.  Check them out, and ask for Madi!