Tag Archives: portland

KNOWN PLEASURES

The first week I returned to Portland from Singapore, all I wanted to eat was small, simple meals prepared in as little time as possible. Whole wheat penne strewn with basil confetti, boiled French green lentils, toasted walnuts, shaved Pecorino, a little starchy pasta water. Fluffy baguettes cleaved in half and smeared with local salted butter. Medallions of golden beets dressed with vinegar and cilantro. Bowls of juicy cherries for breakfast with tea. It took me an unusually long time to get over my jetlag — I was going to bed at 9pm and waking at 6am for at least a week — and it was a nice culinary respite from the excesses and decadence of Singapore.

COOL MY DESIRE

I know, I know. Another beet-related post. But! A heart-shaped beet! Heartbeats. Heartbeet. Beet still, my heart.

Another easy lunch, minimal time in kitchen so as to maximize time spent lolling in grass outside: seared asparagus bullets doused in lemon and black pepper, piled on top of a warmed baguette half smeared with creamy chevre. The other half, the same but different: leftover lentils (from the random spinach salad I have pictured up there) heaped high, served alongside spicy baby arugula lightly dressed in vinegar and oil. I tried pressing both sides together for a sandwich: sandwich fail. Open-faced only, this one is.

I have dear friends from New York are visiting tomorrow! I’ve been keeping a running a list of vegetarian dishes I liked for my veggie pals. The top picks: the pickled asparagus and mushrooms at Saraveza (super crazy bottled beer selection too); the tiny red radishes smeared with French butter and sprinkled with salt at Navarre (thanks, Jennifer — you were right, the place is outrageously good); cardamom-scented French pressed Extracto coffee at the Wolf & Bear’s cart outside of my house; roasted cauliflower and green onion sandwich at Bunk (slowly eating my way through the entire menu there); sweet peppers and onion pizza at Apizza Scholls (recommended by just about everyone on the planet, but first by my dear pizza-loving pals at Flipped Out Records); the beet salad at Sub Rosa; the baked grapefruit at Broder (MMM); smoked trout and capers at Savoy (okay, not vegetarian). And that’s just the vegetarian stuff that I absolutely, bottom-line loved.

Would be remiss not to mention the one non-veggie thing I indulged in this past week: a medium-rare hamburger with sharp cheddar and pickled onions on brioche at Clyde Common, located in the Ace Hotel downtown.

ONE MILE FROM HEAVEN

Beautiful afternoon yesterday spent exploring the Laurelhurst area of Portland. A late lunch at Laurelhurst Market, which had a really alluring meat counter on the butcher side that I will be investigating in the near future. Two sandwiches to share: roasted turkey/cheddar/arugula/mustard/red onion/bacon on sourdough and pork shoulder/pickled vegetables/mustard/onion on a kaiser roll. We agreed that the turkey was far superior. The soup was outrageous: leek/carrot/sunchoke, with bits of fatty pork belly like confetti, suspended in gaffa. I plan on recreating it in the next week.

Also finally went to Rad Summer for seriously high-waisted forest green cutoff shorts, a floral romper, and a used Bobb Trimble record, whom I adore. They have hundreds of perfect thrifted summer dresses. I’ll be going there regularly.

THEN, Una. I want to own all of Una. What a beautifully curated and thoughtful shop. I tried on so much stuff but I was definitely in love with this silk-rasta Mociun dress, even though I forgot to clasp the waist fastening, oops. The Khadi & Co. handwoven indigo dyed tops are the epitome of understated luxury. My photo doesn’t do it justice — the indigo color is very saturated and organic. The cut and fit of the dress was quite easygoing…definitely a piece to wear every day in the summer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iYE2BKZPfY]

GETTIN’ HIGH IN THE MORNING

Anyone will tell you that I’m not a big breakfast person. I also secretly hate brunch, which is tantamount to sacrilege in Portland, which seems to be the biggest brunch-oriented city I’ve ever been to. I just don’t understand what the fuss is all about. Eggs, cheese, scrambles, whatever.

So the other morning I made “brunch” for some friends which consists of what you see above: Stumptown coffee with soy milk, hunks of French bread and warm salted butter, potatoes roasted in bacon fat with chives and smoked paprika and cayenne, and a huge farmer’s market spinach salad with roasted golden beets cut into tiny cubes, crispy bacon (the meat addition is in honor of my best friend Katie), red onion, melted goat cheese and green lentils stewed in white wine. Not breakfast, but better. I think so anyway.

QUEEN SEATING

I haven’t had Ethiopian food since the last time I was in Portland almost a year ago, so I was long overdue.

Went with my friend Amnon — who was in town playing with Pepi Ginsberg, opening for Dr. Dog, which was weird — to the Queen of Sheba in Northeast Portland. It was outrageously delicious. We ordered the (very spicy) vegan platter, and miraculously ate most of it. Their extra-fermented injera was some of the best I’ve ever had. Tried to pummel the remains by constructing poorly assembled Ethiopian burrito. The injera was not up to the task. Leftover fail.

Sorry for hazy photo below — backstage at the Wonder Ballroom was a smoky mess. Catching up with cross-continental friends is the best!

IN LIVING COLOR

Spring is in full force here, and all I think about it seems are fruits, vegetables and flowers. Yesterday I made my first trip to Uncle Paul’s Produce Market and spent less than 15 dollars on a gigantic bag of groceries: ‘jazz’ apples, golden pears, mushrooms, golden beets, crimson carrots, rainbow chard, spanish onions, fingerling potatoes. Everything except the apples and pears made it into a huge pot of vegetable soup, the contents of which I’m still enjoying.

While I was there, I had my eye on the fava beans, which are on sale and in season. Going to go back tomorrow to stock up and spend the afternoon shucking. Also saw some gorgeous plums – just in time for my famous free-form galettes – and huge glass mason jars of in-house jam and honey.

Anyway this is all to say that post-produce shopping, I feel super vulnerable to the charms of this shirt. I’m not really a ‘tshirt girl’ but I’ve found that they can be quite persuasive…

[Image via Built by Wendy]

PERFECTION

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3GwsQvIggY]

You know how sometimes Firefox fails you and they bring up a tab that says “Well, this is embarrassing?” instead of your recovered windows? So anyway, I can’t seem to find my USB device that connects my crappy camera to my crappy laptop so even though I cooked so many delicious things in the last week that I want to tell you about, I can’t. I mean I guess I could but I won’t. I’ll say this, though, if you live in Portland get the brisket here and the infused whiskeys here and cheap wine here and bulk spices and handmade lamb sausages here and coffee beans here but the drip coffee here.

Also how did it take me 5 years to discover the perfect transitional springtime jammer?