All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

Portlandia (Part 1)

So Portland has sort of become a fantasy land for me.  I'm not sure why, but I have this persistent fantasy about quitting my job and moving to Portland.  I'm not sure why, but it has some sort of draw on me.  And so when I had a chance to come out to Portland for a couple of days, I jumped on it.

So Portland.  I arrived on Friday to cloudy skies, but atleast it wasn't raining.  After checking into my hotel, I walked over to the Pearl District which according to Museum Man is the new hip area and where I should live if I moved to Portland.  And I can see why.  It is more industrial than my current neighborhood, but it is definitely quirky and kind of cool.   And the good news is that it has less crazies than downtown Portland.  Downtown Portland definitely had a high number of crazies.  I guess DC does too, but I just don't see them where I live.  I stopped at a local brewery for lunch.  The Rebel Hop was my favorite.

That evening I hooked up with S, a good friend of John's.  She and her BF took me out to dinner at a cool restaurant in the Pearl (I think) and then we went to this crazy dessert place that was just amazing.

The next day, S picked me up and took me on a tour of the city.  First we had brunch at a cool place just on the edge of Chinatown.  We went to the Chinese Gardens which were small, but very cool.  Oh, and it was raining now.  Not a lot, but enough to be a bit of a haze.  But the upshot was that there was no one there.  We also went over to the Saturday market area which was cool, but with the rain wasn't that impressive.  Apparently in the summer it's huge and there is live music, etc.  But it was still kind of cool.  After that, we walked back to downtown and hit the Nordstroms where I picked up a good rain slicker with a hood.  My jacket/umbrella combo really wasn't going to cut it here.

S also recommended a couple of foodie places to eat while I was here so I headed to one of them Saturday night.  But first I had 2 glasses of wine at the happy hour at my hotel.  Then I took a cab to Le Pigeon where I was told the wait was 45 minutes.  So S had told me of a wine bar called Kir around the corner.  So I went there and had a glass of bubbly.  Then I went back to Le Pigeon and had another glass of wine while I waited.  Have you counted the number of glasses?  This is all before I've eaten.  I get seated at the chef's table which is the bar that overlooks the very small kitchen.  Which was really fascinating.  John would have loved this place.  I did the tasting menu, with wine pairing.  Of course.

Now, let me be clear.  I'm not a foodie.  John was.  And I would always go along and I would always try whatever was on the menu.  I'm a trooper.  So when the waitress asked me if there was any food I didn't want to eat, I said yes, but it's not a big deal.  But she wanted to know what it was, so I said mushrooms and foie gras.  She wanted to know if I had an ethical issue with foie gras and I said no.  So she asked that I give their dessert, a foie gras profiterole a chance.  And I said sure.  Again, I'm a trooper.  So she smiled and I got ready for my tasting menu.

And the first course was steak tartare with some seasoning.  Now, I have this small issue with raw food.  If I'm at a restaurant, I sort of want them to cook my food if I'm paying for it.  Call me crazy.  But I ate it.  And as long as I didn't think about it too much, I sort of enjoyed it.  I would never order it again, but it was sort of tasty.  And I had a nice glass of wine to wash it down.  So that was the bad course.  It would have to get better after this, right?  Nope.  The second course was uni on a bed of roe.  So not only am I not a sushi fan (see above), I'm also not a caviar fan.  But it also came with a fried oyster.  So I managed to eat it and again, if I didn't think too much about it, it was pretty good.  With the wine of course.  The third course was a fish course that was very tasty.  And interestingly enough it was paired with a red wine because it had a very earthy sauce to it.  The fourth course was the best.  Beef cheek on a bed of gruyerre cheese infused mashed potatoes.  Hello yummy!  Really, really good.  And then we get to the dessert.  It was the foie gras profiterole (which was actually really good) plus a goat cheese cheesecake that was just devine.  And I had a lovely dessert wine to go with it.

Now at this point, I'm beyond full.  I'm more than a little tipsy and just stuffed.  So instead of hitting the town, I went back to the hotel and crashed.  And wow did I have some cra-cray dreams after all of that rich food.  But definitely a good time.