Category Archives: restaurant

A Portland Character Sketch

I thought y’all might like to see a bit more of Portland, my new home. I haven’t posted anything on it specifically since Tax Day, so here’s a bit more on its character, and why I’m still thinking it’s a great place…

William Carlos WIlliams

So Much Depends… a red wheelbarrow on NE Alberta St

Art. Is. Everywhere.

dutch baby

Lemon-anointed Dutch Baby at Helser’s on NE Alberta

So is good food. It’s pretty much a playground for foodies.

Ken's artisan pizza

THE famous Ken’s artisan pizza

After many months of wondering, I finally tried a Ken’s pizza (Pizza Night at the Bakery is every Monday night, and it gets a bit crazy). Delicious.

sandwich from Biloxi

A pulled-pork po-boy mash-up from new restaurant Biloxi on N. Mississippi Ave.

This fine sandwich was even served alongside the chance to view the entire crew of Portlandia chowing down on N. Mississippi Ave. Those are julienned fried pickles, folks. Someone takes themselves seriously…

peach panna cotta serratto

Peach panna cotta at Serratto in NW

This panna cotta at a local Italian restaurant almost made me weep, it was so good. I’m not usually a plain-cooked-milk person, but the vanilla, the peak-of-perfection local summer stone fruit- made me eat more than I should have.

bacon sandwich Radio Room

PT’s Breakfast Sandwich at Radio Room on NE Alberta St.

This one I discovered while meeting a friend at the Radio Room, a restaurant that has defied the trend and NOT become a McMenamin’s. Its style and personality do it credit, as you can see from their site. Also, this breakfast sandwich was amazing, and I did manage to have leftovers from that colossus.

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The spread at Olympic Provisions has to be my favorite by far. They specialize in salumeria–curing, spicing, and drying their own meats–but if you had given us only their vegetable dishes or their chilled roasted shrimp masterpiece, we would have been just as happy. Everything was done to the highest standard and with the most vivid imagination for flavor combinations, and they worked! Amazing place in inner SE Portland.

hush puppies and pulled pork at bite of oregon

This was a find at the Bite of Oregon festival: hush puppies that rivalled those found in the heart of Virginia, if you can believe it. Crisp and dark on the outside, moist and flavorful corniness on the inside, with peppers and red onion. Scrumptious.

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Another local NW Portland place that I’d heard about long before I actually got to go: Smokehouse. Definitely takes it smoking seriously. We were there mid-way through the evening and they were out of their smoked chicken, so I’ll have to wait on that (I’ve only had it once before in my life, but it was just about perfect), but in the meantime, their pulled pork made for 4 meals, and their sides–baked beans and braised greens–kept up for two leftover meals.

Lovejoy chocolate tart with lemon and raspberry

Finally, just to show I’m not completely biased toward Ken’s, here is something I came across at Lovejoy Bakers, another sandwich/ bakery place in NW. Their sandwiches left me a little cold, but this, a chocolate tart shell with lemon curd and raspberry coulis inside? Bliss.

 

 

 

And of course, there is also the bizarre, hipster side of Portland, as advertised… (Collage has awesome-sounding craft workshops for $5, 10, 25, which I’ve been meaning to try out…)

vintage german doll legs

Doll legs to be had, along with a lot of Dia de los Muertos-themed items, at Collage

Couldn’t resist this juxtapostion…

catholic church and pbr beer truck

PBR, Beer of Hipsters Everywhere

 

…so those have been some of my adventures! Largely spurred on by visits of lovely friends from around the country, but also by great recommendations from new-found Portland friends. (Thank you.)

Yep, Portland and me, we’re like two peas in a pod.IMAG5058

Disagree? Got any sizzling tips to add to this list? Jump in to comment, Portlandians!

Ta for Taos

Mind opened by the very long drives between Tennessee and Oklahoma, and Oklahoma to New Mexico (that’s 6 states in 2 days!), I arrived in Taos.

A Black Bird With Snow Covered Red Hills, by Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe lived the latter half of her life in New Mexico and painted its skies, clouds, skulls, and landscapes.

What do YOU know about Taos? I had some vague impressions of artists and writers, combined with images of the Southwest landscape that were stark and foreign. Something told me that it would be a good place, though.

I stayed at another AirBnB listing, the host of which really made the experience less about Taos and more about human connection. I enjoyed exploring the town at my leisure (which meant in fits and starts, as it was pretty cold, feathery snow still dusting the ground).

I found the Taos Pueblo closed for repairs (apparently a common thing), but the Plaza and many shops and galleries were open and showed the local style of historical pueblo architecture anyway. Kit Carson‘s home is here, a ridonkulously huge bridge is 10 miles west of here, and many homes-turned-museums pay tribute to the area’s pioneer past.

I got in after dark, but the next morning, after a spectacular sunrise, I stepped out to explore some small offshoots from the main drag, Route 64. This included a stop at The World Cup Cafe, which had scrumptious organic scones and delicious Mexican hot chocolate.

It was fascinating to stay in the cafe for some time, as I observed many local neighbors meet, greet, and even hold court. It’s a sunny spot, with bar seats only, and everybody really knows everybody.

I came from what I would call a small town, but this experience had me reconsidering the definition. What constitutes small town, what suburban, what metropolitan? It’s not just population or size of sprawl, it’s more of a feeling of how frequently you’re going to run into people you know.

In Taos, the answer seems to be all the time.

In San Luis Obispo, it was more like once every 3 outings.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains Winter Sunset

I had thought that a small town meant ordinary, confining, repetitive. But here I was seeing eyes light up, jokes being howled over, life-passion projects being shared and discussed. It made me feel a little Grinchy.

Maybe the small town is worthy of reconsideration.

Especially in such a setting.

 

Images via Wikipedia and Wikipaintings

Sister Blog in Spirit

Hey all! No one has hazarded on how many posts there will be in the When In Doubt series, sooo… no prize to send out. BUT!

I do have a different sort of prize for any who are waiting to hear more about a personal experience that has helped to make me the go-getter I am today (in progress, of course!). Drumroll, please…

I will have a GUEST POST over on Everyday An Adventure, a very-funny-while-being-deeply-honest blog written by Sarah, a friend from the Puttytribe. She focuses on how to pull adventure into our everyday lives, thereby propelling ourselves forward into the kind of life that we want to live. Sounds good to me! As you may have noticed, we like adventure here at Taste Life Twice, which is why I’ve anointed Everyday An Adventure a “Sister Blog in Spirit.” Hooray for finding your tribe!

I will be telling stories about my road trip to Nova Scotia, so if you’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear about that, here’s the debut!

Thanks for reading, and see you back here on Sunday