Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oh the food

It is a good thing I decided a long time ago that my diet would be less important during vacations and travel.  I did have a couple days of lots of carbs, but for the most part, everything I ate was terrific and mostly fit into my eating plan.

The Phenom was terribly worried that if I went from 7am to 3:30pm (our time) without eating something proper, I'd be the werewolf by the time I landed.  This would not impress my friends.  I brought a few snacks along with me . . . baggies of almonds, protein bar, and water bottle.  I bought a fruit and cheese snack on the flight.  The grapes were sweet, but the apples had been frozen and thawed and were less than appetizing.  But, there were four generous portions of cheese.  The artsy crackers were really just hard card board and easy to not eat.

My first night, we went to a local place that is gathering quite a bit of attention on the national foodie scene, Olympic Provisions.  I actually received a gift box of their stuff for christmas and was excited to see the place for real.  It was a chilly, damp night, so I had some braised beef, mushrooms, and polenta.  There isn't much better for warming you, body and soul.

The next morning, we headed down the hill for breakfast at a little place my friend frequents.  I had a lovely breakfast of eggs fixed with prosciutto and spinach.  I was going to be "diet" good and not eat toast . . . but they brought it anyway.  It was this lovely multi-grain loaf and there were house-made marion berry preserves on the table.  It was a nice way to get some whole grain.

For lunch, we had tea and snacks at the Chinese Gardens tea house.  And then we wandered up to Voodoo donut.  I skipped the touristy donuts and had a mexican chocolate donut . . . chocolate cake donut dusted with cinnamon and red pepper.  DELISH!

For dinner, several of us gathered for a three person/monkey birthday meal at a farm-to-table restaurant called Clark Lewis.  As tempting as the pastas were, I went for a salad and sauteed steelhead.

The next morning, we popped down to the french bakery for breakfast.  I had a croissant with locally made chicken sausage, spinach, eggs, and cheese.  And, a nice salad on the side.  Salad for breakfast is a fresh way to wake up.  We tried another bakery in the down town area for lunch.  I had a greek sandwich with hummus, veggies, and a bit of salad on the side.  The sandwich had shaved fennel as one of the veggies.  I'll have to add that to my chopped greek salad later this summer.

For dinner, we went to the tapas place down the hill from my friends.  I'm now obsessed with romesco sauce and can foresee eating lots this summer.

On Saturday, I met other friends for lunch at The Imperial.  The owner/chef is a well known figure in the Portland food scene.  This place didn't disappoint.  We started with a dozen oysters.  Tony Bourdain has said that the epiphany moment in his life was eating oysters straight from the waters off the coast of France as a boy.  Tasting these oysters, I understood.  They were fresh and icy cold . . . the grilled meyer lemon and fresh grated horseradish set off their flavor without over powering them beautifully.  I think I could have had a couple dozen of those oysters on my own.

For dinner Saturday, we went to Pok Pok.  This is a restaurant I've wanted to visit for the longest time.  In fact, promise of a visit to this restaurant was part of what lured me to Portland.  We ordered about half the menu and ate as if we'd never eaten before and might never eat again.  Frankly, the thought of going again has me wondering when I should visit Portland again.  IT WAS THAT GOOD.

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