Out and About in December (OR: Things I Ate & Drank This Month)

 

Hey guys. Me again. Twice in one week? It’s like I’m a real live blogger or something. But with my family stuck in Southern Oregon* due to a huge blizzard, and time off work, I find myself with more free time than usual. So what are we waiting for? Let’s do this!

Some December eats and drinks:

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This is the ‘Merican Waffle from Portobello. I ate this. Well, half of this. I am going to show all 32 years of my life and proudly refrain from making any boob comments. But if you feel the need in the comments, by all means go ahead.

 

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This is a cider sampler from Bushwhackers, an all-cider all-the-time bar in Southeast Portland. Love the concept, but three of these ciders just tasted like homebrews to me. Which, come to think of it, maybe they were. The other two were pleasant—a little sweeter and more filtered. After spilling one of these little guys all over my lap (Just call me graceful), I tried a bottle from Corvallis that tasted like apple cider—there were notes of nutmeg and spice. Super yummy.

 

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One of my favorite things about pho is the big plate of fresh greens that comes out before the broth bowl. Jalapeños, cilantro and lime: these are a few of my favorite things. This was at Pho Dalat on 39th (I mean Caesar Chavez Blvd?) and Hawthorne.

 

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A new-ish Tiki bar in my neighborhood opened recently. This drink was full of crushed ice, booze and fruit juice. Hello, sailor. I don’t usually like ‘Tiki-style” drinks—dark rums and tropical  citrus juices– so most of the drink menu here doesn’t appeal to me, but there were a handful of cocktails with light rum and juices like passion fruit and mango.

 

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The requisite Veggie Grill meal. If it looks like I eat here all the time, it’s because I do. I’ve finally figured out how to order without spending one million dollars and feeling like I want to throw up from eating so much after each visit: Order a small salad (not on the menu, but they’ll do it) and share an entrée (I like to turn their Santa Fe Chicken sandwich into a wrap, because as you know, everything is better in a tortilla. Everything.). Upgrading your side to mac and cheese (with a side of chipotle ranch) isn’t required, but man oh man, it makes every meal even better.

 

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I found a new favorite restaurant!!! It’s called Shandong and it’s in the Hollywood District. They will happily veganize almost the whole menu for you (the appetizers are already pre-made little meat pockets like wontons and stuff and can’t be veganized) (yes, I just said meat pockets). There’s a complimentary pot of hot tea on the table, a remarkably well-cultivated wine and cocktail list, and…HOUSEMADE NOODLES. That your server BRINGS SCISSORS TO CUT THE NOODLES AT YOUR TABLE. And then LEAVES THE SCISSORS with you at your table. Most fun ever. I love interactive meals.

The dry-sautéed green beans were wicked good (there’s a lot, though. Two of us couldn’t finish them.) and my bowl—Judy’s Bowl—came with housemade noodles, spinach, fresh jalapeños, shitake mushrooms, garlic and white wine broth, and I added fried tofu to my bowl. It was huge and delicious, just the way I like my noodle bowls.

 

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I made shape cookies. I do this every year, but this time I used a new recipe. I didn’t like it as much as my original recipe (the cookies weren’t as soft) but they still turned out okay. I mean, when you put frosting on something, it makes even mediocre cookies taste great. I would eat frosting off the floor and then declare it the best floor I ever ate.

 

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Kale Salad. Because what’s better than kale salad? It’s a short list: popcorn, champagne and tacos. Top Four favorites, right there. This Kale Salad was at the Cheese Bar up on SE Belmont, and is naturally vegan: no modifications needed. It was real tasty.

 

And from my Instagram feed:

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Champagne at home with the roomie during our gift exchange date

 

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Vegan sausage and cheese filled mini croissants with potato and kale scramble, at home

 

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Kale Salad at work

 

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Butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and sage sauce and toasted hazelnuts, at home

 

….And, I just heard from my mom; she and my little brother are on their way up! They made it through the snow and I will get to celebrate Christmas with my family after all. Yay! Watoosie! Happy Holidays!!

The Slide Inn

 

Hi guys! Have you heard of The Slide Inn? It recently opened in Portland (right next door to the Jade Lounge, on 23 and Ankeny). It’s got a German-theme going, so I wasn’t sure about it at first. (Vegan German Food? What would that entail?)

My friend and I had plans to get together yesterday for happy hour, and all the spots we wanted to check out happen to be closed Mondays. Of all the rotten luck. So when she suggested The Slide Inn, I hopped online, saw they were open Mondays (thank God), and their Happy Hour is from 530-7. PERFECT.

 

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The menu had quite a few vegan options. We weren’t terribly starving, but we decided to share a few things.

 

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The warm spinach salad with tofu, carrots and red bell peppers was good. It was sweet and slightly spicy. It was slightly over-dressed, but the flavors were spot-on. I would totally order it again.

 

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The salad rolls were a favorite of both of ours. The wraps were light on the rice noodles, heavy on the non-romaine lettuce, and served with a thick peanut dipping sauce. I will totally be back for these.

 

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The Yam Fries with horseradish ketchup were so good. I mean, how can you go wrong with horseradish ketchup? You can’t. I like that the fries are hand-cut. I LOVE that they’re served with horseradish ketchup. There’s also whole grain mustard available that goes splendidly with these little guys. I preferred the skinnier crunchier fries, but the thicker big ones sure got eaten too.

 

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The whole spread

 

The Slide Inn is the perfect spot for summer people watching. (All the single ladies: my friend and I conducted a scientific study and that corner sees A LOT of cute boys.)

It’s a quiet street, with families and friends walking around, bicyclists going by, and the occasional car whizzing past. For ever car that drove by, there were 5 bikes. (<—This one was not a scientific count.)

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I already have plans to  go back next Monday. White wine, boy-watching and vegan food on a sunny sidewalk? Color me perfectly pleased.

Early Summer Shenanigans {Photo Essay}

 

Even though June 21st is the Summer Solstice and marks the longest day of the year, summer doesn’t really arrive in Portland until July/August. Which sort of stinks, but just means that when we get the random days of sun once a week, we Portlanders really know how to take advantage.

So even though it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet here in Portland, I’ve been intentionally enjoying the long days of sunlight and the brief opportunities for summer dresses and sangria.

 

The following photos were taken with my Instagram camera. I discovered gramfeed through Jess’s recent blog post. It’s rad to know there’s an Instagram app for the web. I’m so confused by technology.

 

Cinnamon Soft Serve from Blossoming Lotus

cinnamon soft serve

 

Hendricks and St Germain Martini from the bar at my house

Hendricks Martini

 

Out and About at PNCA graduation after-party with coworkers

instagram fun

 

Pearl District

Pearl District

 

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square

 

Roses.

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Nickel Arcade on Belmont

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Summer Dress and blue shoes

summer dress

 

 

The following photos were taken with my plebeian point-and-shoot camera.

 

Sunset on a bike ride home from work

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Fun at the Nickel Arcade:

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The Farmer’s Market that’s 2 blocks from my house just opened last week. I know what I’m doing every single Sunday morning all summer long.

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And that’s my early summer so far. Coming up next: a short visit home to visit my mom and little brother (my friend Millie is taking the Greyhound down with me and hanging out with my family for the weekend—it’s going to be a blast.) and other than that, I don’t have many plans  yetfor the summer. Working a lot (at the BrewPub and Vida Vegan Con—fall AND summer events), and hopefully getting in a couple camping, hiking and swimming trips. I really want to make a visit to Hood River, and would love to get up to Washington to do a wine tasting tour.

What are your plans for the summer?

Portobello’s Tapas and Cocktail Party

 

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Have you ever had a tequila cocktail with LEMON flaked sea salt? I don’t usually like salt on my margaritas, or anywhere near my cocktails, thankyouverymuch, but the Corsair I tried at Portobello’s Tapas and Cocktail party last week was exquisite.

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123 Organic Tequila Blanco, Luxardo Maraschino, Grand Marnier, Lemon, Lime & Orange Juices, Lemon Flake Salt

 

This dinner, officially called “A Tapas Party, featuring Novo Fogo Organic Cachaca, 123 Organic Tequila, and Piscologia Pisco” served small bites made by Chef Aaron Adams and cocktails concocted and served by Iron Bartender 2011 winner Lauren Fitsgerald.

I didn’t get pictures of each the food items, but I did get about 8 pictures of the flowers on the tables.

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The above cocktail on the right is the Bienvenidos with Piscologia Pisco, Peychaud’s Bitters, Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Palo Negro Blanc de Blancs.

It was a little too sweet for me, but let’s get real: anything served in a champagne flute is still a winner in my book.

 

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The appetizer. We weren’t provided with a menu, so I can’t begin to tell you all that this incorporated. I do remember there was a rhubarb glaze, a mushroom involved, and cashew cream somewhere.

 

The  next drink was one of my favorites. The Leo Rising with Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça, Navarro Vineyards Chardonnay Verjus, Ginger & Mint.

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Ginger and Mint, yes please!

 

Oh, here comes my other favorite cocktail, the Hibisco Punch with Piscologia Pisco, Pineapple Gomme Syrup, Hibiscus & Lime.

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It was served with a piece of caramelized pineapple, to boot. This is me swooning.

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These sturdy little empanadas were served as the main course. I don’t remember what was in them, but I do remember enjoying the heck out of mine.

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Last drink of the night. There was a contest to see what the winning name was. I think the winner was the Lady Maramalade, though I personally liked the entry Nuevo Fashioned.

Novo Fogo Gold Cachaca, Orange Marmalade, Rooibos Tea & Xocolatl Mole Bitters.

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This one was good, though when pared with the rich chocolate zucchini mini cupcake for dessert, tasted sort of watered down. I love the idea of using marmalade in a drink though—Ms Fitsgerald certainly contains multitudes of genius in her cocktail concocting brain..

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This is the unblurriest photo I got of the mini cupcake. It was so good, I helped myself to seconds. And thirds.

 

If I’m not mistaken, this is first in a series of events that Portobello plans to put on. At about $27 a pop (not including gratuity), it was a lovely way to spend an evening and try new-to-me snacks and cocktails.

 

And I want to include these two pictures below because they were taken the same day as the Portobello event, and I kept scrolling past them to find the best cocktail photos while writing this post.

I visited House of Vintage, and tried on some pretty snazzy sunglasses.

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I ended up with another, smaller and less orange (unfortunately) pair. Which, in conjunction with my other two purchases, made me realize I had bought a perfect day-at-the-beach.

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