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Spring + Wafu Ramen + Arrietty = Weekly Love

04.18.12

Spring is in full bloom around here — bring on the sunshine! Here’s what I’ve been loving this week.

This week:

-neighborhood breweriesMigration Brewing is quite possibly my favorite brewery in Portland because it’s super relaxed and a great place to take in a bit of sunshine out on the picnic tables. I also tried a new brewery this week — Coalition Brewing over by Crema and Grilled Cheese Grill on 28th and Ankeny.
-Wafu ramen – I finally made it over to Wafu Restaurant to try their ramen, which was amazing, and now I need to go back to Boke Bowl to compare. This could take a while. ;)
-Creative Mornings – I stumbled across the Creative Mornings series via swissmiss a while back and thought “that would be cool if there was one in Portland”, and then I discovered last month that they are indeed in Portland now. It was a fun way to mix things up on a Friday morning, with thoughts on curation and user experience from Namita Wiggers (curator for Museum of Contemporary Craft here in Portland). Check to see if there’s one in your area, if you haven’t been!
-Nong’s Khao Man Gai on the East side – Nong’s kitchen on Ankeny and SE 10th is now open for to-go orders. Yes, please!
-English vs Japanese animated films – I saw the Japanese version of The Secret World of Arrietty while in Hawaii, so when I saw the Disney/American version on the board outside Laurelhurst Theater, I thought it would be fun to compare the English and Japanese version. Of course the Japanese one was my favorite, but that’s probably a given.
-spring biking – there was glorious sunshine again this weekend, so we ended up riding to Ristretto and up to Skidmore Bluffs/Mocks Crest property, back down to the Saturday Market, and over to Bunk Bar. Followed by an evening ride up to St Johns. All that riding has me wanting a 2nd [speedy/light] bike. Unnecessary? Probably. But technically I could buy a new bike every year and it would still be cheaper than having a car for my annual transportation expense. That’s what I’ve been telling myself anyway.
-Prasad – I love the Dragon Bowl at Prasad. While it’s a bit more than I like to pay for lunch, it’s so tasty, and leaves you feeling like you make fantastic food choices — always.

What are you up to this week?

60 New Winter Eats: Portland to NYC

Ramen. Macarons. Cheese. French 75. Paneer Roll. Cheese. Thai. IPAs. Cheese. It’s been a lovely winter of eating. It’s also been a few months since I did a ’52 new restaurants’ post. Thanks to our Cook at Home challenge, new restaurant-ing was at a minimum in January, but throw in a few new cities and finally here are all the new lovely places I’ve ventured to eat since Thanksgiving.

60 New Restaurants:

  1. The Mermaid Tavern, Tampa Florida – very Portlandly. Nice beer selection, and apparently it had just opened that week.
  2. Agave, St Pete Beach, Florida
  3. Ricky T’s, Treasure Island, Florida – cougar patrol
  4. Super Scoop, Treasure Island, Florida – adorable little ice cream shop in Treasure Island
  5. Pinky’s, Tampa, Florida – Tasty, tasty, I had the stuffed French toast
  6. Taverna Opa, Orlando, Florida – this was a big restaurant in one of those mall-ish areas, which Orlando seems to just be one big shopping area. Anyway, the food was decent regardless. And I ordered ouzo. :)
  7. Goofy’s Candy Company, Lake Buena Vista, Florida – I went to Disney World. Like, I went to Downtown Disney. And all I got was this handful of jelly beans?
  8. House of Blues, Downtown Disney, Florida – 30 minutes in the land of Disney and I needed a drink. Joking. Kind of.
  9. Datz, Tampa, Florida – some reviews on Yelp said it was Portlandy. It wasn’t. But it was still a tasty breakfast. (Maybe because there’s a bearded man that works there?)
  10. La Creperia Cafe, Tampa, Florida – mmm crepes in Ybor City
  11. Pho Quyen Vietnamese, Tampa, Florida – this place had really good diy fresh rolls (and they let me order tofu)
  12. La Teresita, Tampa, Florida – Cuban food? Check! And tasty cafe con leche
  13. Nitally’s, St Petersburg, Florida – Thai & Mexican? It’s actually an amazing combo. Someone please open a cart here in Portland with Thai + Mexican!
  14. Urban Taco, DFW Airport, Texas – Airport food that isn’t downright foul? I’ll take it.
  15. Portobello Vegan Trattoria – Finally got around to trying this place. Apparently it was new menu night. The burger was good, the gnocchi was alright. Honestly, I was a little disappointed for the price and taste, as I’ve heard so many amazing things about this place.
  16. Old Town Pizza
  17. Black Cat Cafe
  18. The Buzz Cafe & Espresso Bar, Vancouver, BC – cozy little place to get some work done.
  19. Raw Canvas, Vancouver, BC – a bar with art (that you create). Cool idea. Portland should have one.
  20. Granville Island Brewing, Vancouver, BC – winter ale. nom.
  21. Roaming Dragon food truck, Vancouver, BC – tasty
  22. Robo Taco
  23. Greek Islands, Kennewick, WA
  24. Boke Bowl – my new favorite ramen place in PDX
  25. Interurban – cool new bar old-timey bar on Mississippi
  26. Mother’s Bistro & Bar – yep, first time. Finally.
  27. Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, Oregon – one of my new favorite destinations on the Oregon coast.
  28. The Schooner, Netarts, Oregon
  29. Cha’ba Thai
  30. Townshend’s Tea House – I survived no coffee month!
  31. Tea Zone
  32. EastEnd
  33. Mi Mero Mole
  34. Hop Haven Beer Bar & Bottle Shop
  35. PaaDee – a new Thai place 28th aka “restaurant row”
  36. Amnesia Brewering – finally stopped in here.
  37. Lotus
  38. The Cheese Bar – glorious, glorious cheese. I got a little carried away.
  39. Tortas Frontera, Chicago O’Hare airport – airport foooood
  40. The Tippler, New York, NY – cool cocktail bar near the Meatpacking District
  41. Spice Market, New York, NY – I don’t even remember all the amazing food I ate here — crispy brussel sprouts, samosas, ginger margaritas, coconut sticky rice. And the building is like a work of art.
  42. The Otheroom, New York, NY – cool little wine/beer bar in the West Village
  43. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co, New York, NY – requisite NYC bagel. Check.
  44. some food cart, New York, NY – why yes, I did eat a hotdog.
  45. Kati Roll, New York, NY – cheap and tasty eats. I could have eaten about 10 of the Paneer roll.
  46. Schiller’s Liquor Bar, New York, NY – got in before the crowds for burgers and margaritas. American food, but really cool atmosphere on the Lower East Side.
  47. Back Room, New York, NY – a speakeasy (prohibition era apparently) on the LES. Fun vibe before it got too packed.
  48. The Summit Bar, New York, NY – cozy little cocktail bar in the East Village.
  49. Cornerstone Cafe, New York, NY – when Clinton Street Baking company has a crazy wait, this seemed to be the next best alternative. Tasty.
  50. The Whiskey Brooklyn, New York, NY – you would think by it’s name that it would be more… whiskey-ish and less… frat boy-ish. I was served IPA from a can. C’est la vie.
  51. Lulu’s, New York, NY – Free pizza with a pint? NYC you have been redeemed. Cool little dive bar in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn.
  52. Remedy Diner, New York, NY – pre-brunch breakfast.
  53. The Smith Restaurant, New York, NY – by the same people who own Schiller’s. Great brunch place, had a lovely Ranchero scramble.
  54. Drop Off Service, New York, NY – finally a NYC bar with a serious beer selection and great prices. Spent an afternoon here (don’t judge) catching up with friends. $3 happy hour pints, and a few Oregon beers representing :)
  55. Luzzo’s, New York, NY – Seriously good pizza in the East Village.
  56. Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop, New York, NY – on a quest for breakfast, we ended up with lunch on the Lower East Side.
  57. Almondine Bakery, New York, NY – stopped in for macarons and a coffee after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO.
  58. some random food cart, New York, NY – sampling NYC staple of a pretzel.
  59. Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY – by chance arrived exactly when they opened so were seated immediately. Everything was amazing, especially the lime/beet swirl soft-serve, and the beet salad with smoked ricotta, hazelnut and endive.
  60. Bua, New York, NY – After attempting to go to the PDT speakeasy across the street, and seeing that there was an hour wait, we opted for Bua across the street. Nice way to end our NYC trip.

How it all started: I had a goal to visit one new restaurant a week.
1-52: Go To 52 New Restaurants – 30 Before 30 List
53-103: 52 [More] New Restaurants
104-156: 156 New Portland Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops in 299 Days
157-208: 208 New Places in One Year
209-260: 52 More New Restaurants: Portland, San Juans & Vancouver, BC
261-312: New Restaurant Fatigue #312!
313-364: New Portland Favs: Rum Club & Via Tribunali + 50 more
What new restaurants have you been to lately?

Cheese, Carbs, and Macarons

We’re coming in to the home stretch of Cook at Home month with less than a week left! Week three was even easier than week two, as we’ve fallen into a routine {dare I say habit} of cooking at home.

Dinners have been a little cheese and carb heavy this week, and for the most part, equally delicious.

Week 3 Menu:

  • caramelized onions and blue cheese veggie burgers (2x, I can’t get enough of caramelized onions and blue cheese)
  • veggie lasagna (still eating leftovers of this one)
  • tomatoes Provencal
  • black bean burritos
  • brown rice bowl with shrimp, snow peas, and avocado (remind me I don’t like shrimp that much next time)
  • catfish with pineapple avocado salsa & arugula side (best meal of the week! The recipe was from Everyday Food, which called for halibut — which I was told at the store is not in season right now. So catfish it was. And it was delicious.)

Thankfully, no accidental mimosa mishaps this week, although I did take a Mastering Macarons cooking class at Sur la Table (more on that soon) last weekend, so the “less sugar” goal was kind of blown out of the water for Saturday, as I sampled my fair share of macarons.

Restaurant Pick this Week:
Mi Mero Mole. Thus far, we’ve been hitting our favorites on our once a week dining experience, so this week we checked out a new place that’s been on my list. I was left with mixed feelings about Mi Mero Mole. They’ve been open for a couple of months and specialize in guisados, which is Spanish for ‘stew’ and apparently popular particularly in Mexico City. The guisados plate (which was kind of like a build your own tacos plate) I ordered was burn-your-face-off hot. Yes, I’m kind of a wimp with spicy food, but it would have been nice to know that I needed to bring a box of tissues with me. :( So I wasn’t blown away, but I’ll give Mi Mero Mole another shot at some point.

The Accidental Mimosa

The second week of our cooking at home challenge was so much easier than the first. We weren’t really craving going out to dinner like the first week. Admittedly, it was a little tough going to Dig A Pony for my monthly travel meetup and not being able to get one of their tasty cocktails, but ordering a ginger beer was an excellent alternative. So by the time we were putting together our third week’s meal plan, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. And then…

Dear Internet, I have a confession to make. I had a mimosa! What!?! was I thinking? I wasn’t. I completely forgot, because it wasn’t at a restaurant/bar. I had a salon appointment on Saturday and when I arrived they asked if I wanted a mimosa, and they never ask that, so naturally, I said “Of course”, and then on the way home I almost got in an accident when I realized that I’d had a mimosa. Le sigh. So I messed up. I guess I’ll call this Sober January*.   *except for that one morning when I accidentally had a mimosa.

Week 2 Menu:
Breakfasts have been fairly similar to last week: fresh-squeezed juice, green drink, avocado egg chipotle breakfast sandwich, oatmeal, banana peanut butter smoothie, breakfast burritos, and fruit/nuts.

Dinners have been veggie stir-fry lettuce wraps, caramelized onion & goat cheese flatbread with Herbes de Provence, Tomatoes Provençal, and curried lentils with Paneer (a really quick and tasty recipe from the latest Sunset magazine. We ended up doubling the recipe so we could have leftovers for lunches.) I always love finding good recipes in the Sunset magazine. While it’s not the first magazine I think of when I’m recipe hunting, it’s one of the reasons Sunset is one of my favorite magazine — unexpected finds (and it’s always a nice pat on the back to be reminded of how awesome my Northwest is, even though I still think California gets too much attention).

Restaurant Pick this Week:
Bamboo Sushi. Knowing you only get to go out to eat at one restaurant a week, forces you to make excellent dining decisions. So Saturday, we headed to my favorite sushi place in Portland — Bamboo Sushi. For what it’s worth, they’re the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world (with fairly reasonable prices considering). After ordering their tart blackberry drink (sans alcohol), we gorged ourselves on sushi (the green machine, tataki carpaccio, and albacore carpaccio were our favs, if you ever get a chance to go).

Bike a Bee {Week 2}

01.14.12

bike-a-bee-290x290I stumbled (really wanted to say bumbled just now) across the Bike-a-Bee campaign on Kickstarter this week. I felt an instant connection with this project since my dad was a bee keeper, and from an early age, I’ve been fascinated by bees. It was equal parts magical and educational to watch the bees work, and have them as a little piece of our lives. And having an endless supply of honey was nice too. :)

So Week 2 of the Forkover Friday project is all about the bikes and bees.

I chose to work with urban farms and gardens over private backyards because these spaces offered the greatest benefit to the largest amount of plants and people. The hives will serve as educational tools while the bees act as the garden’s resident pollinators. Hive hosts will also benefit, as they’ll receive a share of the honey harvest to keep, give to friends, or add to their CSA shares. —Jana Kinsman

Bike-a-Bee

What they do: Working to build a bee community in urban spaces, farms, and gardens with a bike trailer system — promoting sustainability and urban agriculture.

How we can help:

Who it helps: urban agriculture
What non-profit or company: Bike-a-Bee
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Why: bees!

Want to participate in Forkover Friday?

Match my donation of $12 this week to Bike-a-Bee or pick your own cause and leave a comment below if you feel like sharing!

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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