Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Recap

I spent Spring Break in the lovely, very distinct cities of Seattle and Portland, neither of which I'd visited before, and both of which I liked for different reasons. Seattle's downtown amazed me. Thriving industry, pedestrian friendly, mixed-use space, all completely bustling. Some good lessons for Memphis there. I hung out in the Fremont neighborhood on my last day and loved the funky vibe - it hardly felt like the same city as downtown. And Portland was too charming for words. I am so grateful to my friends, Zac and Kali, who let me stay on their couches and showed me around. They were so generous with their time, and it was wonderful to visit with them.

Now, onward to the food pictures!

First, Seattle. This is Pike Place Market, because I'm not too cool to go. It was huge and really fun to walk around, until I got...

hungry! Indian take-away brunch.

Went to the Battlestar Galactica exhibition at the Sci-Fi Museum (SIDE NOTE: there should be more sci-fi museums. I mean, I feel like I would maybe even get a membership to one of those. Think of the fundraisers, people!). This is Caprica Six's dress! And Gaius Baltar's lab coat. There were also other excellent things like full-size Cylon Raiders and Vipers.

Cougar Cheese. My friend Kira has actually served this cheese before (I think sent by her family in South Dakota). It's very salty. Which I am sure is just a quirk of cougar milk. The tin yields precious few clues about how many cougars one has to milk in order to make that much cheese, though.

Okay, Amtrak down to Portland! (A lovely ride, btw.) This glorious list was compiled by Kali, who has been making fantastic scavenger hunts since we were in high school. This list, as it happens, also represents a ripe-for-patenting Perfect Day in Portland.

Me and Kali, high above the city, while visiting the Pittock Mansion.

It's so trendy it's even been on the Travel Channel, but Voodoo Doughnut is not to be missed. Ask for a maple bacon doughnut (pictured above), a voodoo doughnut (person-shaped, pretzel-stick stakes, raspberry jelly filling), and a surprise doughnut (we ended up with a peanut-butter-oreo doughnut, and no I am not kidding), and don't even think about your thighs.

What goes better with doughnuts than beer? It's ok, everyone in the northwest walks a lot. Here be a beer tasting at the Rogue Distillery and Public House. From the left, a Juniper Pale, Mogul Madness (a winter seasonal), Brutal IPA, and a Charlie 1981. Kali and I made friends with the bartender -- it was either us or the guys behind us playing Connect Four -- who gave us a sample of the Double IPA, which was super citrusy and yummy. I brought home a Mogul Madness for the SO. Very hoppy on the front end and spicy as it warmed up. Kali gave top ratings to the Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

After a few days, I bade Portland adieu and headed back up to Seattle. The weather cooperated beautifully and mountains were beheld!

On my last day in Seattle, I explored Fremont and found this cute little pie shop. What a brilliant idea. I love pie, and I am a sucker for little handheld desserts. I immediately bought Key Lime and lemon custard pie-lettes.

And then, the suitcase beers. Thanks to FuzzyBrew's tutorial, I went prepared with a cardboard box and bubble wrap and had no problem getting these six beers home in my duffel bag. I ended up bringing home the Rogue Mogul Madness, Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA, Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout, MacTarnahan's Sling Shot Extra Pale Ale, Laurelwood Portland Roast Espresso Stout, and a Pike Kilt Lifter. I've only had the Kilt Lifter so far (pretty rich and strong), but those spring beers are looking mighty tasty.

One place where Kali and I ate, but where I didn't take pictures, was a restaurant in Portland called Serratto, and it was delicious. She had a wild boar tagliatelle and I had Dungeness crab cavatelli. We shared a charcuterie plate and a beet salad. Very good, simple, concentrated flavors--even the free bread and olive oil had us "mmm"ing. Am jealous of Portlanders' vast array of excellent restaurants.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Break!

Eating Local in Memphis (me, that is) is heading to Seattle and Portland for Spring Break! I can't wait to visit with friends and see a part of the country I've never seen before. Where should I go? What should I eat? What should I drink?