Thursday, March 30, 2006

Really, today is 3.30.06. Sitting in the coolness of the Savoy gastropub/bistro on Clinton St., eating friend chicken dumplings and fresh cut fries, with a Stella. They have wi-fi in here, so i'm not alone! well really, i am. Since I can't put this on the side of the page, I'll just keep throwing some of my portland favorites at ya--a few already....

Best pancakes (I've only had two, so I'm sure there will be an adendum to this claim): Fuller's Coffee Shop in the Pearl. It's an oldy with a grill in back and low curvy counter in front that the waitresses (i'm sure they're still called that here) walk inside of to freshen your coffee cup. it's kind of new york-esque with a customer base mixed of downtown artists and car-hart wearing workers. Best deal is 'the special,' for $4.50.

Best donuts--either a tie or a break into sub-categories. All around? Voodoo donut. Hot, fresh, mini donuts? A little shack in the back of the Portland Coffee House (Belmont and 28th?) on sundays.

Burgers, there are so many, so many, I need to stop with the burgers already. Oddly, the Twilight Room on the North end of Lombard has lip smackingly delicious burgers. It's a dive, and they're cheap. So good, with homemade fries. Those McMenamins do it right too, in a meat-loafy kinda way. And you can get a 6-pack of mini burgers there. mmmmm....
Actually 3.29.06

There’s something very soothing about this “Honeycup” tea that you can get at Ramekin’s coffee shop. It’s got bits of beepollen or something in it. You can also order deviled eggs there individually, and mini macaroons. Anyway, today I got hired! Well, for occassional work with an organic produce home delivery company. Recruiting new customers. Very nice people, great Northwest company, great food. And they paid me that day for my time training, though it was only an hour and a half. They’re a Seattle company...hmmm. More money up there?

So, I didn’t mention, but sitting around with the magazine people yesterday, we got on the subject of street food. I mentioned the block in downtown portland, on 5th ave between Oak and Stark, where there are carts and stalls of all sorts of tasty treats—Indian, tacos, soup, Vietnamese, crepes, everything. All for under 5 bucks. None of them had eaten there! This little mecca of international goodness, just down the hill from a foodie magazine. I was shocked. There are all kinds of these little stands around town, up the street from my apartment is a little Thai food trailer. One of the writers goes, “that sounds like a story,” (which reinforced my blog idea) but, too late, today the Willamette Week’s Cheap Eats issue came out, and they did the story. Good for them man. And in the blurb about a falafel stand, one of the WW writers compared it to the Halal food you can find in le Marais in Paris, which I thought was tres savvy. We walked back to our apartment many nights past those crowded shops.

You know what would make a good street food stand? A toastery. A little airstream “toaster” trailer, that served toast on whole grain, super fresh bread, with everything from butter to (i hear australians like a little canned spaghetti on their toast) tuna. My favorite would be what comprised my dinner tonight, avocado with Spike! Kauai comfort food baby.
Actually 3.28.06
Here it is peeps, Lila's food blog. Portland, Eat This!!

Today I spent 5 hours in a ‘working interview’* to be an office girl at a local foodie magazine. during this process i was asked to prepare a pasta in their test kitchen, without a recipe. luckily, the publisher took me to City Market (on NW 21st, the sibling of Pastaworks on Hawthorne), one of Portland’s most colorful and quality boutique grocers, to gather ingredients. the staff seemed to really like the results, though i thought the finished product a bit bland. A good light spring lunch, i suppose, which was what it was. Sautee shallots in butter, splash with white wine (i used chardonnay, pretty clueless when it comes to cooking with wine, but there were dozens of open bottles of wine everywhere in that kitchen), reduce, add asparagus, stir for a bit, then sliced yellow squash, stir, then snap peas. Keep splashin’ with the wine when it gets too hot, and i bet you could add some lemon, though i didn’t have any. Definitely lots of fresh thyme, and other herbs if you’ve got ‘em, softer ones at the end. I crushed a ton of black pepper over it, and a killer parmesano blend from the market, and threw it all over their fresh red pepper pasta, tagliatele I think (the market makes and cuts pasta to order, you just tell them how many sheets you want, and what size of noodle, so cool).

*A working interview is, apparently, fairly common practice in portland’s tight-ass job market. this usually comes following a number of other interviews and resume reviews. i found myself, in this instance, washing dishes in a foreign kitchen after cooking lunch for four strangers, who weren’t even famous. to be fair, at the end of the day it was offered to me to ‘invoice them’ for my time, which, of course, i won’t. denied for yet another $9/hr job.