Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating our way across Portland

The Wedding to end all weddings falls on Labor Day weekend this year. Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party took place over the weekend. Our friends Ms. H & Mr. G came into town on Wednesday because he would be going up to Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party with Mr. W and she was going to keep me company in town.
As I've mentioned before Ms. H and I love food; we nearly minored in it in college. Although I went pesca-vegan for Lent, I knew God would want me to be a good hostess to my little atheist friend, in spit of the liturgical season. The vegan diet would just have to be put on hold for the duration of her visit.
Another of Mr. W's friends, Mr. K arrived in town before the H&Gs. After dropping the littlest W off at his great grandparents' house for a sleep over we went to Pok Pok for dinner. Shamefully we haven't been there yet for dinner in spite of it being within walking distance. I was so excited about seeing Ms. H that I actually don't remember too much about Pok Pok, but I was very surprised to discover that although we arrived after nine on a winter Wednesday, that there was a half hour wait for a table. No matter, we headed across the street to Whiskey Sour Bar until our tiny table became available. Let's just say the corner was tight. Mr. W and Mr. K were in their element here, out man-ing each other with the spicy foods. After we'd had our fill we left Mr. K at Whiskey Sour with some of the other brothers and we retrieved the H&Gs from the airport. The last time we visited the H&Gs in Tucson they took us to the Kon Tiki because they have become tiki devotees. I knew instantly where I had to take them the next time they were in Portland.
The Alibi is really a perfect match when you think about it, combining both the love of tiki and love of karaoke. Fruity drinks with umbrellas were drunk. Kenny Rogers, The Rolling Stones, and Showtunes were sung. Although we arrived to a full room, we closed the place down.
On the way home, and four drinks to the wind, we stopped by the late night food carts at SE Hawthorne and 12th Ave. We've always wanted to go, but since it doesn't open until 8 pm and that is past someone's bedtime, we've not been able to do it. I finally could try the Belgian frites. From what I remember, they were tasty. I do think I need to return under more sober circumstances though to confirm.
Miraculously Mr. W made it to work the next morning while we were barely able to drag ourselves out of bed. I managed to get my baby back and we walked to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast, although it was lunchtime for the rest of the city. I really wanted to show off the glory of The Reggie, but none of us were adventuresome. We opted instead for beverage and biscuits with honey, apple butter and marion berry jam. It took us most of the day to recover from the night out so all we could manage for dinner was to order in pizza from Rovente before the menfolk headed up to the mountain.
By Friday we were back on our game and we drove to Alberta Street and the Grilled Cheese Grill. A month ago I had another sorority sister, Ms. G in town and I took her here for lunch. I knew right away that a school bus converted into a dining room for cheesey sandwiches was exactly what Ms. H would need.
She was in heaven considering they have both savory and sweet sandwiches. She had the special of the day and followed it up with a nuttela, grilled banana on cinnamon raisin bread sandwich to go. I had the Jalapenos Popper which has roasted jalapenos, cheddar, cream cheese and corn chips. They offer optional grilled ham on it and why wouldn't you?
While the Littlest W loves grilled cheese sandwiches, on both visits thus far he starts out his meal stealing and devouring everyone's pickle spears. Friday evening did not turn out the way I'd planned (more on that later perhaps) so we satisfied ourselves with a take out dinner from Laughing Planet.
Saturday we finally had an opportunity to meet up with Mrs. F and her son, who joined us for breakfast at the Waffle Window off Hawthorne. It was such a beautiful day and a pleasure to be eating outside. Mr. W and I have been wanting to try it out since it opened, but I think we somehow always get sidetracked by Pine State Biscuits. We positively have to go back; the waffles are so pretty!
Another child free night was in order so this time he went to his Grammy's. We did a little shopping in the Pearl and then went home to change. One of our sorority sisters, Ms. Mc lives within walking distance so we met up with her and bussed back to the Pearl for Ladies' Night. Our first stop was Vault Martini Lounge. Their martini menu is extensive, but we never made it past the first page: The Deadly Sins! We all picked our personal favorite sin which gave us Sloth, Gluttony, and Greed.
We would have liked more, but we had dinner reservations at Blue Hour. We'd read reviews online touting the bacon wrapped scallops, and for good reason! That bacon is sliced so thin it literally melts in your mouth without giving you any fatty bacon texture. Mr. W has been making sure I acquire a taste for scallops. I think it is safe to say that he has been successful in that endeavor. I did not care for my carrot soup at all; it tasted of the root cellar, but not of carrots. On the other hand it is such a bland, boring broth that it makes for a perfect Lenten food! And then there were the truffles! I had the truffle gnocchi, Ms. Mc the risotto and Ms H the fried risotto cakes with truffle salad. We were pleased.
We weren't at all prepared for dessert, instead we walked down to the Gilt Club, which online alluded to the old-timey, speak-easy feel. I can't say that I agree considering the place is floor to ceiling windows so everyone can see what is going on inside, but it is very beautiful and not at all what I would expect based on my days bus riding down Broadway on my way to high school. Ms. H promised that she'd order a drink with egg whites in true speak-easy style if they had one on the menu. They have two such drinks.
Ms. H has heard of VooDoo Donuts, but we've never had the opportunity to take her there before. Since we were in walking distance we headed over. On our walk down Burnside some 20- something, skater punks declared us MILFs. I didn't hear it, but considered it flattering. Since neither of my friends are mothers they were not pleased. At all. The line for VooDoo Donuts was outrageous so we grabbed a cab and headed home, pleased with our old ass selves for staying our so late.
After Mass the next day I took Ms. H to one last place. A tea party was in order. Since Ms. H isn't as frilly and old fashioned as I am I thought she'd be a perfect candidate for the tea room at Tao of Tea. It is very Asian inspired and has a large selection of custom blended teas and Indian and Asian snacks and sweets. It was an excellent way for me to wean myself back onto a vegan diet since my dear friend's trip was drawing to a close. I hope to visit them in a few short weeks during her spring break.

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