kimchee | Nov 17, 200305:45 PM    

All in all a grand time in Portland and I didn't get too drowned by the rain. Lots of drinking since I was catching up with old friends, but some eating too.

see previous thread response to Nick's post

infused (cucumber and basil-lime I think) vodka drinks and fried banana split sundae were yummy (after dinner at Lauro). I actually thought it was going to be more upscale there and that mural is an atrocity and not appetizing.

La Buca:
spinach, feta, olive, tomato salad + raosted squash sandwich with smoked mozzarella and grilled onions. The salad was good and simple. I ordered the sandwich with the thought it was butternut squash - my mistake. But it was still a good combo with the smoked cheese as a nice accent. The roll it was served on was butterylicious!

Cafe Utopia(?):
I think that's the name (over by Stumptown...just coffee and breakfast/lunch stuff). A great tomato soup! It's their house specialty. Very chunky with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, herbs and a great creamy base. Truly, a soup that eats like a meal. Had a bowl plus the salad and was stuffed. Not bad for $6.

Bijou Cafe:
Breakfast special of wild, troll-caught Alaskan halibut hash with yukon gold potatoes and "salsa." Very good and a unique has compared to my usual fave of salmon. The "salsa" of tomatoes + many herbs was almost overwhelming. Friendly, fast service and a nice spic-n-span atmosphere

Chinese Garden Teahouse (Tao of Tea):
I love this place! So serene and great snacks. Too bad I had already eaten, so I just sipped my oolong and drooled over the menu of spiced beans mooncakes, turnip cakes, etc... Definitely eating there next time. I love that comapny's tea but it is a little pricey for my budget.

the new hip loft-warehouse club at 10th and Morrison. Had to wait to get in because Nike was holding a private party during the early eve. A great place for drinks if you're young and into blaring dj beats and multi-media footage projected onto the wall. After realizing we had had many many drinks and not eaten, we decided to snack at midnight. Horrid! Roasted potatoes and root veggies were over-charred and served with what appeared to be applesace to dip in? Yuck. Even worse were the salmon cakes. Extra-dry and served with a lemon aioli so lemony it belonged in a pie. Even after wiping it off with my napkin, the pungent tang subsided. Oh well, always fun to check out new hot-spots.

Taqueria Nueve:
Probably my favorite meal. Like mexican food like that and the decor was nice (pink walls). I had the fish tacos which were divine! Also the nopalitos with tomatoes and radishes. What a colorful dish with crisp clean flavors. Shared roasted butternut squash with cojita. Fine but nothing fabulous. There were so many other things I wanted to try and regret not having the octopus cocktail. Passed on dessert to go to...

Staccato Gelato:
Mini scoops of pear and honey-lavender. Oh my goodness the honey lavender was to die for! Smooth sweetness with real lavender pieces. I'm drooling right now thing about it! They don't have that flavor at any of the gelato places here.

Breakfast of crab and pepper-jack omelette with roasted potatoes and toast. Decent, but could've used a green onion or chive accent I think. Was not impressed with service there. Slow and stoic and if I'm paying $20 for breakfast I'd like a little sunshine!

One slice of Pizzacato Margherita before heading to the airport left a garlic trail for the whole rest of the day.

p.s. Torrefazione Italia has the best Hot Chocolate! No sugar. Just warm chocolatey goodness. Add sugar to your own desire. Goes well on a rainy day with their fruit-custard tart.

Better come back soon to try more places. Always so many choices and so little time (Andina, Pho Van, Wildwood, the Farm). Plus your dollar really goes a lot longer way than in the SF Bay area or Boston. Too bad I like the California sunshine!

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