the portland effect

 

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Pine State Biscuits (top left), Cascade Brewing (middle left), breakfast at Pine State (bottom left), Salt & Straw (right)

…medic…medic!!!…postpone cholesterol test…check belly to see if it has morphed into a biscuit…

I just came back from attending a wedding in Portland, OR. Have you ever been? If you have, then you know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by the amount and variety of food and drink in the city. It borders on ridiculous. It was the first time I wished I had kept the baggy overalls I used to wear in the ’80s. What? Text you photos of myself in overalls and poodle perm mullet? How dare you!! You are very lucky my belly biscuit prevents me from coming after you.

Fortunately, I was with a group of friends. I tend to eat less when eating family style or doing tasters of beer. That being said, no one helped me eat my biscuit sandwich with fried chicken and gravy. My fangs – which I try to keep on the down low – would have definitely sprung out if anyone tried coming near my plate.

I was super impressed with the creative and artisanal energy of the city. We would be driving in areas where I would think to myself, “Doesn’t seem like there’s much out here…” and then !kapow! a little pocket of interesting restaurants and businesses would suddenly appear.

While my belly was definitely in charge of this trip, my heart was being pulled all the while, knowing how much natural beauty the rest of the state had to offer.

Wait for me, Oregon, I’ll be back for you.

For those who are interested, this is where I went:

Blue Star Donuts
Voodoo Donut (I preferred these over Blue Star, but am willing to do another tasting comparison)
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Pine State Biscuits (twice)
Life of Pie (best mushroom pizza I’ve had in a looong time)
Pok Pok (delicious chicken wings & refreshing drinking vinegars)
Nong’s Khao Man Gai (keepin’ it simple with great chicken & rice)
Rev. Nat’s Cidery & Taproom
Bailey’s Taproom
Hopworks BikeBar
Cascade Brewing Barrel House (twice) (excellent sour beers)
Breakside Brewery
Upright Brewing
Ruby Jewel Ice Cream
Salt & Straw Ice Cream (super friendly & unique flavor combos)
Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery
Food carts (dizzying amount of choices)

happiness is a warm taco

My friend Mae took this photo during a moment of our champagne tastes and caviar dreams (I didn't have a picture of me eating a taco).

My friend Mae took this photo during a champagne tastes and caviar dreams moment (I didn’t have a picture of me eating tacos).

The alternative title to this post was “happiness is hugging a warm taco”, but doing so is decidedly messy. Don’t believe me? Try it, then get back to me.

The other day a friend and I went to get tacos at a local Mexican market. It’s no frills and the tacos are soooo good. You walk in, pass the glass case filled with ready-to-go carnitas, salsas, cheese, chicharron, and crema, and head towards the back where you can order your deliciously warm tacos. Did I mention that they are $1.50/each??

When they call out your order for pick up, you can sit down at one of the few tables or hoist yourself up on a bar stool and sit at one of the counters.

I hoisted.

I hugged my taco.

I spoke with my mouth full: “Thi foo make me happy.”

If you’ve made it this far into the post, first of all, thank you from the bottom of my taco-loving heart. Second of all, you might be thinking, “Poor girl, she thinks she’s posting a review on Yelp. tsk tsk.”

Yes, sometimes I get confused and think I’m on Yelp, Match.com or even forget where I am in general, but today, talking about tacos reminds me how something so simple can bring such joy. When everything is so clearly simple and solid and in-the-moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a taco, a stunning view, or breaking out in uncontrollable laughter with a friend. I’m grateful for any fleeting moment that causes you to connect to yourself and something even beyond that. Something bigger than yourself…that intangible feeling of…love?

I don’t know why my lesson was sent in a taco, but hey, I’ll take it. There’s a reason why I’m always proposing to food. Mr. T and I pity the poor fool I fall in love with: “Marry me or else I’m going to make a taco a very happy husband!!”

Hey, that’s a good title for a Match.com profile…

 

A Day in the Life

It’s my birthday today, and I am super thankful.  Instead of writing a novel, I’ll let the photos do most of the talking:

Birthday Breakfast

Started out my morning at a local coffee shop to have my power breakfast and do a little job hunting.

Jewels

Next stop, the beach.  I took a moment to admire all the jewelry out there.

Gifts From the Sea

More jewels.

The View

I went home, suited up, and went for a run along the beach.  See the egret?  Cool, huh?  BTW, all this running seems to be shrinking my badonkadonk,
but at the same time, it’s making my thighs meatier.  What’s up with that?  No, I didn’t take a photo of either.  That’s sick!  Yes, I’m talking to you…you know who you are!!

Que Bueno!!

Next stop, this place called Costco.  My mom and I dined on the amuse bouche that they had to offer.  It was quite delightful.
Then I contemplated buying these poor, dented containers of Que Bueno.  I felt sorry for them.

Birthday dinner

From amuse bouche to dinner!  I know, not the greatest photo, but believe me now and believe me later – it was #*!#%!* delicious.
I had (cover your eyes, veg heads) duck leg and duck ravioli.  Sooo good!

Hey, a present from my friends in L.A.!!  It was so sweet of them to send me something!

The Present

The Contents of Pandora's Box

This is only about 1/8 of what was in that box.  My friends are special.  Oh, so special.
And I miss them very much.