Friday, November 27, 2015

Host or Guest… it's a Merry little party! by:

I have hosted many parties for family and friend get togethers in my home over many years and one thing still rings true… I always get a little nervous before any gathering.  Whether I'm the host or a guest in someone's home, there are a few minutes of slight panic when I realize things are about to happen.  I think it all through, take a deep breath and then I'm fine.  Of course being prepared is a huge help if you happen to be the host. Making everything easy no matter what role you are playing and keeping stress out of the picture is the best advice I think I took away from this article from And, I have learned over time, easy means keeping things simple, delicious and memorable.  Take time either way to enjoy the moments and the people around you that make you happy and bring you laughter.  Enjoy this season and I hope you like this article as much as I did.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keeping Autumn here for as long as possible… yesterday on this walk through the Irvington neighborhood!

I'm leaving for Texas tomorrow to visit family and knowing that I'll be gone for four days is fine but I don't want to miss a thing here!  So, yesterday, after leaving the gym, I decided I'd walk home.  Stopping for a quick bite at Costello's Travel Cafe, I walked up to NE 24th and Broadway.  It wasn't long before all of Autumn hit me in the form of huge old gorgeous trees and those houses that seemed staged to fit the season and beckoned me to indulge even more in to this season.

It's not secret, I love Autumn!  I always have but here in Oregon and in Portland especially, my favorite season melds perfectly with another favorite of mine, historic homes!  In this Irvington neighborhood, nearby where I live, I find that every street offers a little something to anyone loving this combo mixing Autumn with old homes.  Street after street fills my desire see as much as possible so I tend to have a plan and see something else that makes me end up zig zagging more than walking a straight line but then I add more miles which isn't a bad thing at all.

I usually plan my walks with a quick drive near the area I want to go on foot.  Hubby feeds my sickness and takes a different route home now and then driving up a new to me street or drive so I can hang my head out the window and drool.  I don't really drool of course but I do covet and enjoy each and every moment.  The Irvington neighborhood is one of the most historic neighborhoods in Portland and is easily walkable with a myriad of homes and so many numbered streets and foliage that have been so greatly combined to create that perfect neighborhood look and feel.  So, it's fitting to say that I seek out this area for two reasons.  One… it's on the way home and I can easily walk the 2.7 miles from the gym where I go almost every morning.  And, I can get my obsession quenched day after day till all the leaves have fallen, the season is over and my feet and legs are exhausted.

I have one more neighborhood I'm going to try and see today but I'll have to drive over to it.  The SE area of Portland, Eastmoreland to be exact is another gorgeous place to see any time of year but especially now!  I've been waiting for these big trees to change color so I can step out among them to take in all those Autumn scents and feel the air and take a few photos of course.

I'll be happy to encourage you to walk a Portland neighborhood soon!  Besides Irvington and Eastmoreland, see Sellwood, Concordia, Alameda Ridge and the Nob Hill, NW 23rd area as well.  I was just there a few days ago and wow… the colors in that citified area are pretty gorgeous as well.

Trek safe and carry water, tissue and a snack.  Enjoy the rest of Autumn in Portland!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Choosing to live this life… a short memoir from a short story writer living in Portland, Oregon!

My garden in the Alberta Arts area of Portland, Oregon!

I've been blogging since 2009.  About one year after moving to Oregon after my husband's early retirement, I was asked to blog for our local BnB organization.  About that time, knowing I loved to write, I started my own blog.  Since then, I've had a place to tell my readers about my life here in Oregon and at times about my travels and experiences in other places around the world as well.  It's a great medium for me since I do love writing and photography and being an amateur at both, blogging is a good place to be.  I am not a professional at either but I do enjoy sharing my adventures in where I am and what I'm eating and doing at the time.  I hope you don't get bored, lose interest or think I'm droning too much but I do hope you get a bit out of reading about my life here and that it encourages you to come for a visit.  Those of us who get to hike as much as they want because the trail head isn't far away, get to eat gorgeous food every single day, get to experience being downtown in a city that's truly not that big, get to enjoy clean air and fresh water and wildlife, waterfalls and mountains just a few miles from our front door, have this amazing life, my real life and I choose to live here in Oregon, my home.

I hope you have enjoyed following me over the years and the stories will keep coming in bits and pieces. Come see what we have here, taste our food and hike our trails and see and do all the things that keep me here in Portland Oregon and then, tell me your story!

At home, where I can be me!

Autumn in Portland!

Five Points Coffee Roasters on Division!

The Ride… an exhibit at the Portland Art Museum!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Autumn in Portland… a bus ride, a trek, the Portland Art Museum, Laurelhurst Park, The Park Blocks, Downtown and a cemetery!

Park Blocks!
I really try and see something new every day.  Whether I'm on the 72 bus headed downtown or in my car or even on foot, I am watching for something new, something bright and colorful and something to remind me that we are right in the middle of all the gorgeous Autumn color right here in Portland!

This past week was pretty busy as I planned a few drives and walks around the seasonal color and I don't want to miss any of it!  I tied in a trip to the Portland Art Museum on Wednesday with a trek downtown and stumbled through the middle of the Park Blocks.  This area is always filled with color that changes all throughout the season.  That day was no exception.  Other people walking, taking photos and enjoying all the trees, art and the city were around me and I love overhearing what they say.  They all seem to be here for the same reason I am.  Trying to find as much Autumn as possible in the city and then ooh and ahh over it and then finding a way to fit it in to a photograph to include friends and their surroundings.

Olé Latté Coffee Roasters downtown coffee cart!
I took the 72 bus from my house in the Alberta Arts area of NE Portland.  It takes me right downtown and I got off at SW 5th and Columbia and trekked up a few blocks to the museum.  I did snap a few photos but made my way in to see the Fallen Fruit Exhibit which was absolutely gorgeous by the way.  I love the art but could totally see myself with that wallpaper they've used as a background somewhere in my house!  If you get a chance, go see this exhibit among others and perhaps buy someone you love a gift of museum membership.  I decided that as much as I love going, I did just that.  Looking forward to all my trips there.

From the museum, I was headed to lunch with my niece but took the long way and walked again through more of the Park Blocks and landed finally after taking a ton of photos.  From our lunch, I trekked up to Powell's and spent a hour or two grabbing a few gifts for the holidays and a book or two for myself.  Again… a place in Portland I don't ever want to leave.  A few more shops then opening my umbrella once outside, I decided to go inside shortly and sit and enjoy a cold drink for a bit before trekking once again to meet the boys for dinner.  If you have no time or no way to see Autumn color outside the city, it's ok… the trees downtown, in the Pearl and up at Nob Hill are filled with those vibrant oranges, reds, golds and yellows so they are easy to spot.

Japanese Maple at River View Cemetery!
I had heard of River View Cemetery a few days ago so Thursday, we had to drive out there.  I knew from some photos I'd seen, I'd need a photo of a Japanese Maple or two.  We found many trees and similar to the Lone Fir Cemetery, River View has so many trees I'm sure it's considered an arboretum as well.  Historic and lovely, this place is serene, walkable, hilly and filled with interesting head stones, foliage and deer!  Families of them in fact.  We saw four traveling together munching nearby on the grass and occasionally looking up at us wary of us just staring at them in awe.  As you can see by the photo above, we found at least one pretty gorgeous Japanese Maple but there were many around us but this just seemed to be most perfect.

Other trees filled with changing color were nearby as well and so we grabbed our pumpkin and set out to take a few more photos.  I think we hit the perfect time of day for lighting too.  As you can see here below, it almost looks like the sun has lit up the background forming perfect shadowing where needed and highlighting the oranges and yellows in those trees.  I was pretty excited!

Steven with a pumpkin we grew at River View Cemetery!
We had to check out Laurelhurst Park on our way home!  I had seen some photos around the pond and needed to see the color for myself.  A bit disappointed, the color is spent but on the way back to our car, we spotted many huge old trees as photographed below.  An open area dotted with trees with glistening yellow leaves that whipped in the breeze and I was happy.  Happy enough that is.  This turned out to be one of the best photos of the day in fact.

Laurelhurst Park!
You could spend a whole day and do the museum, the Park Blocks, have some lunch downtown, head over to River View, whip around and make it to Laurelhurst before the color is gone.  I know we have at least two more weeks if not more with this vibrancy but after that… it will slowly disappear and gather as mulch to the ground.  So, whether you are in the car, on the bus or trekking on foot downtown somewhere, you won't be disappointed in our Autumn in Portland!  Go find it and enjoy this itinerary!

More ideas and some links:

Coffee and pastry before the trek… Milk Glass Market  or SeeSee Motorcycle Coffee Shop

Lunch ideas downtown… Tasty and Alder  or Elephant Deli on 22rd 

Stop for cake or a snack of course at… Palace Cakes or Måurice Luncheonette  

A family of deer joined us at River View Cemetery!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A half-day trek in Portland… finding Autumn and good food!

A few times a month, you'll find me on a TriMet bus tootling my way through the city.  Yesterday was a perfect day for it with our mellow October weather and the beginning of Autumn color.  I walked a few blocks from my Alberta Arts home to catch the 70 bus south.  First stop was to be the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery.  This is one of my most favorite places in Portland.  I love it as much as the rose garden, the waterfront, Hoyt Arboretum and Forest Park!  And, this time of year, I knew it would be spectacular!

I spotted a few colorful trees immediately and walked toward them.  There were many big orange leaves on the ground and I smiled as they crunched under my sneakers.  I love this time of year but always feel a little trepidation because I know, it's not going to last long.  Soaking in the warm sun, the color bursts and those fallen leaves, I snapped a few photos, made a big circle and pledged to be back on Halloween, an annual trip to Lone Fir and a habit I wish to keep.

When I'm on one of my excursions, I tend to walk as much as I ride so off I was walking to find my next bus stop not too far away.  From there I sat back and watched the people, the scenery and searched out more Autumn color as the bus traced along side the new Orange Line in SE Portland.  In to the Sellwood area, I was off on foot again and chose Jade for my lunch.  I've been there before for macarons and had wanted to try lunch there sometime.  I ordered a Lemongrass Tofu Ciabatta sandwich and a Thai Iced Tea!  Sitting at a shared table enjoying again the sun on my back and the cool breeze, I ate and listened to what people were saying.  Many folks there had arrived by bicycle and it seemed the perfect day for it.  I finished my delicious and highly recommended sandwich and felt so stuffed, I left to walk a bit more through the neighborhood looking once again for more Fall color!

Sellwood and Westmoreland are two neighborhoods I would have chosen if we hadn't found a home we loved in the Alberta area.  The homes are similar in that they are mostly vernacular with some little noticeable specialness about them.  Not super huge in any way but sweet cottages for the most part.  The yards and gardens are kept and even though I saw a lot of trees changing color, I decided that although the sun was nice, these colors are better photographed with a dull gray sky background.  I'll give it a few days and when the rains hit, it'll be better;)!

Taking the bus again, I rode back to my neighborhood with a pitstop at Whole Foods on NE 15th and Fremont.  Picked up a bag of groceries and headed home from there.  I ended up walking the last mile so I could take in even more of my area and realized it was almost 5pm already.  I picked up the pace to get back.  Adding that extra mile at the end only gave me about 3miles total walking but enough to break up the week and give me a break from the dreaded gym the other four days this week.

I made this itinerary so simple by not really shopping or having a coffee or tea but you could totally make it more of a food and shopping day.  I might do that with a friend sometime soon.  Here's a few places I would add:

Vita Coffee on Alberta before catching the bus!  There's a new manager there and I've told her about Bakeshop Bakery so I'm hoping she'll add some of their baked goods soon!

Shopping on Belmont near the Lone Fir Cemetery where there are some cute little places to visit.

Tilde on SE 13th for local shopping where you'll find handmade items and most if not all the lovely things there are made in Portland!

Jade for lunch of course but there's a food cart pod nearby as well as Opa for calazones, Grand Central Bakery for lunch and a cookie and tea shops and coffee shops all nearby as well.  Even more than this short list to chose from so be bold and find one that sounds good to you!

On the ride back toward the Alberta area, check out Upper Left coffee shop where I had coffee just a week ago!  They are located on a corner on the edge of Ladds Addition.  If not there, check out Good Day coffee shop instead.  On the way in the bus, I ogled these stops and wished I had opted for a bit of a longer walk to spoil myself with an afternoon latte.  Next time.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Eating in Portland… my third quarter report on where and what I ate! July, August and September 2015!

We spent a lot of time eating ice cream!… Salt & Straw on Alberta St.

I have enjoyed releasing my dining reports on a quarterly basis this year as it gives me a chance to relive my dining enjoyment as well as it gets my readers out to experience the restaurants, etc. as soon as possible!  We had a pretty warm summer for Portland so we have enjoyed some outside patio time and a little more time at home for meals this third quarter.  But… that doesn't mean I haven't made my rounds big time, it just means I have been more thoughtful about where I choose to dine in hopes of keeping cool and selective.

I hope you enjoy this list and remember, these are my thoughts, my views and I am a vegetarian which never really stops me by any means, it just means I have to sometimes go off of what my "meat eaters" tell me now and then.  They are as picky as I am about good food and also, these places are mostly in Portland unless otherwise noted… so, lets get going:

Homemade biscuits and strawberries at home!
Cathedral Coffee Shop:  We enjoyed lavender toast and jam and of course we had coffee and Steven enjoyed a cinnamon roll.  This is a super cute place in east Portland and totally worth the trek from anywhere in the city!  Not fancy but cute and clean!

Breakside Brewery:  I am almost embarrassed to say that this was my first time here back in July.  I had the pretzels they serve from Fressen and doll up with seeds and salt and oh my gosh!  Great accompaniment to their pilsner in my opinion. All the food was consumed eagerly by all!  Great location on Dekum in NE Portland!

Laurelhurst Cafe:  We've been once before and have been told they have the best breakfast sandwich in town.  So, I don't eat ham or bacon so I'm taking the word of a real meat eater… they say it's pretty darn tasty!  I did like my egg sandwich a lot and it's perfect for a quick meal before a road trip!

Atticus Coffee:  Ok, I know this isn't in Portland but it's not too far away in Spokane!  We had banana bread and coffee on our road trip out to Glacier Nat'l Park in July and wow… what a cute place and a great stop for a quick little breakfast!

Clyde Common:  I was invited by Little Green Pickle to lunch and although I've been before, there's a new chef and the food was amazing!  The popcorn is spicy and delicious, the charcuterie is fresh and there's lots to choose from on the menu even for a vegetarian like me. Cheese's galore with fruit and nuts etc.  Dessert of Poppy Seed Ice Cream Cake and Chocolate mousse was devoured quickly as well.

Kim Jung Grillin:  Ok, so this is prob one of the highlights of my list this quarter.  I told them I was vegetarian so they improvised and I was amazed.  The flavors of my Bibimbox were spicy, filled with flavor and texture and yes, I've been back a few times.  In a food truck located next to Pollo Norte on NE 42nd and so delicious!

Pollo Norte:  Yes, they have lots of chicken but I had beans and rice and those sweet little corn tortillas that are to die for!  Everyone at my table ate everything!  Best chicken around they say and located on NE 42nd Ave.

Dapper & Wise:  On Division St.  Great location and great coffee!

Island Cafe:  Ok, so this isn't an outstanding place to eat in Portland but let me tell you, you won't have a better view!  On a shoot off the Columbia River, we kayaked and ate and drank beer here and it was quite a treat in the sunshine on a warm day… perfect!  Been back a few times this past summer.

Tin Shed:  Always, always a favorite!  Brunch anytime there and I'm happy the entire day! Always a wait on the weekends… a long one but don't go to Fuel thinking it's all the same. Stay put and wait… baby, it's worth it!  BTW… Fuel is not Tin Shed so please don't attempt it unless you are starving.

Palace Cakes:  Been before and I do love cake.  In fact, that's the main reason I attend weddings, funerals, baby showers etc. but I almost never have any when I go because the slices are huge and all I really want is just a bite or two.  So, if you go… share a slice with someone you love!  

Horse Brass Pub:  Went once before and this time was fine too.  Just a little dark and very British and pretty much hits the spot according our English friend.  I had a veggie pasty and a beer.  Could be a bit cleaner… sticky tables don't turn me on but it was ok and fun.

Swift and Union:  Located in darling Kenton, I love this place.  Been a few times since they opened and I loved the Beet Veggie Burger and cocktails!  We sat outside and enjoyed the summer evening.  Last time we went, we sat inside and I thought the chairs were awfully uncomfortable and so did a few others I noticed around the restaurant.  Nice to say, they must have listened to their customers and got newer and more comfy not so cute chairs but hey… it's nice to be comfy when you're dining out.  Awesome service and friendly staff!

Buoy Beer Co.:  This is located in Astoria and honestly… loved their beer but their food… not so much.  Not a fan of salmon jerky and it actually looked pretty gross to me but I hate fish so there ya go. My meal must have been ok but I don't recall what I had which usually means something.  Friends has smoked oyster deviled eggs and ate all of them.  Ok….

Street 14 Cafe:  My fav coffee place in Astoria.  Pretty cute and great location and nice muffins, breakfast and coffee.  Go check it out asap.  

Bill's Tavern and Brew House:  That's in Cannon Beach and it's our go-to place there.  Food is so-so but the beer is good and there's always a table for us.  Not sure how that works but we have always sat at the same table over the years.  I think I usually get the grilled cheese and fries.  Goes great with a big beer.

Coffee Girl:  Again, in Astoria!  Toast with peanut butter, bananas and honey and then sided with coffee on the Columbia River… yes, it was nice!  Simple breakfast and Ray had a muffin and a coke for godsake!  I'll never get that but hey, he needs his caffeine too I guess.

Taste Tickler:  Near where I work out and I always see it and heard it was so good but I hate it when I work myself in to a tizzy cause I've heard it was so good and only find it mediocre and I get upset but I still eat it.  I ate a foot long that was good enough but not the best sub I'd ever had.  Dang me!

Salt, Fire & Time/Broth Bar:  Another invite by a Portland marketing company so I went over to check it out.  Lucky me, they had mushroom broth which was fine but I'm weird about texture and just don't picture myself getting giddy about sipping mushroom broth but again, it was fine.  They do have lots of other things including real broth there if you wanna check it out. Lots of health benefits I hear.  The yogurt there comes in a little container is $11 and I've heard it's the best ever.  Still haven't tried it but I might mosey over and get some soon.

Barista:  My Alberta Street coffee spot on my way to meetings, etc.  They have nice coffee with a few options to choose from and Roman Candle goodies so I get a pop tart every time. Homemade that is and not too sweet and goes great with my house coffee.

Qui Presse:  My little love… where have you been all my life.. yes, I have been once before and I get a coffee or tea and this espresso coffee cake that's simple and not too sweet.  A nice afternoon pick me up.

Ville Velo Bakery:  Nearby and so sweet and teeny and they have scones which I can never eat later.  I have to eat them now, as I'm walking home and in a rush cause they are that good! Near Prescott and NE 15th Ave. by Grain & Gristle, you must go!  Ck their hours and days that they are open before going.  I think they are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday?  Great carrot cake too… oh my gosh!  What day is it…

Muddy Rudder:  Oh, only if I were a local, I'd always be here!  I love this place so much.  So nice and cozy and the Stromboli and beer are perfect together.  Eat inside when it's cold and sometimes there's live music and you feel like you are tucked in to an English pub somewhere in Fakenham with your best buds and all is right with the world.

The Peddler and Pen Tavern:  Where Huckleberry's used to be off NW 23rd and the first time I went, I was smitten.  So cute and good and I loved my veggie dog covered in goodness and sided with flat fries like chips almost.  Lending library and games and great cocktails too! Last time I went, not smitten so much.  The fries were fried too much and they didn't have a veggie dog any more so that really bummed me out a lot.  The bathroom was dirty, another pet peeve but the staff was super nice and there was plenty of room to hang out and play games and just be with friends and family.  So, hoping they bring their veggie dog back and hoping it was fluke on bathroom issue… I really want to keep loving this place.  P.S.  Bring a love note and take a love note!

Asparagus from our summer CSA box this year!

All-Way Burgers:  They are closed now but a few notes if they ever decide to pick up where they left off… most of the time I was there, my burger was awesome.  Yeah… a burger without the burger.  Toast that bun, add all the burger options but leave the burger out and it's pretty darn tasty.  But, please don't ever forget to toast that bun.  That makes a huge difference and once they forgot and I wasn't too happy but life goes on and I went back.  Not sure why they closed cause the place was always packed.  

Lovely's 50-50:  This place will always be on my quarterly lists because I do love it dearly. Hubby and I go and split a pizza, get their homemade ice cream with a beer and a soda and it's like $30 and we're done!  Full and happy and we had ice cream so that really made our day!  We keep going back over and over again.  Get the affogato… it's delicious!

Miss Zumstein's Cakes and Desserts:  Only been once when someone in our party was unhappy with their baked good but other than that… it's our fav go-to bakery not too far from home.  On NE 42nd attached to Old Salt Marketplace Supperhouse, my number one restaurant of the year 2014!!!  This little bakery is sweet and they have a little bit of everything!

Dar Salam:  Nearby and so good.  Hubby's not a huge fan but I love their vegetarian options. Been to the new location downtown and like their lunch too!  Will keep going for lunch or with out of town visitors that want to try something different.

Bushwacker:  A cider house on Dekum with great tastes and flights to check out.  Good food but dang… I can't recall what I had but it was good.  I think we cleared the whole table on a summery afternoon sipping all the cider they had;)!

Christopher David:  I stopped for tea and a pastry and it was fine.  I used to live across the street and would come over and have tea or coffee every now and then.  Only draw back… dogs!  I do love them but not their excrement.  Sorry, but some parts of the Pearl District just wreak of it!  Could smell it coming off the concrete nearby while trying to sip my tea then one cutie just cut lose at the next table and it was swiftly picked up by a good dog owner but that smell while trying to eat or drink just gets me every time. 

Atlas Scoops:  Cute ice cream truck in Sellwood and has a great story and good ice cream. Closed in the winter but go check it out next Spring and Summer.  

Fly Awake Tea Garden:  Behind Whole Foods off NE 15th and Fremont and I've been several times!  Very sweet area in some one's back yard garden and the garage is cute with the guy in there making teas and selling interesting smokes and snacks.  Love taking people here and they do Tarrot Card readings.  Never had mine done but I may someday just for fun!

Victoria Bar:  So, we did this little happy tour one evening and this place was on my list and we both are still talking about the mac n chz.  We need to go back!  They own a vegan restaurant or two as well as other places but this place is special.  Very cute bar, very open and they are super friendly.  Steven had the vegan po'boy and he's a meat eater and he loved it!  And any place that serves me a cocktail called "Captured by Pirates," is special!  FYI… don't photograph anything in the yard next to this place.  Got yelled out by the homeowner but dang… you should see his yard!  Lots of interesting things there.

The Hop & Vine:  On NE Killingsworth and so good!  We sat outside but it seemed the non-smokers had crappy seats and the smokers got all the good seats out there.  So, if they were to give us non-smokers new benches or something to sit on outside, I'd be so freaking happy! The best grilled cheese and tomato basil soup I ever had and that popcorn… everyone loved it!  Cocktails are tasty and this place is busy!  

Joanna and Steven at The Hop & Vine!
Bit House Saloon:  Ok, so you need to go check this place out!  Great cocktails, great pub food, friendly service and so cool, you'll love it!  Lots of seating and I am dying to go back. Wish it was closer to where I live!!  The only thing I didn't like was the ice cream sandwich dessert but I shouldn't have ordered dessert.  I wasn't hungry for it so that's what I get. Everything else was perfect!  If you are a regular and they recognize you, they ring a bell.  I want a bell rung for me when I walk in… someday!

Bird + Bear:  What a cute little place in a nondescript strip mall in SE Portland.  I had the best eggplant Parmesan sandwich!  My friend had the Eggplant Parmesan on Creamy Polenta.. I should have gotten that or better yet, I should go get it right now.  A cute place with really nice people working there.  Great bar too!

Handsome Pizza/Seastar Bakery:  Two of my most fav things food wise in the world in one special place on Killingsworth not too far from where I live!  Good or bad thing.. I don't care, it's just super cute and delicious, all of it!  Next to Podnah's fyi…

The Knock Back:  Quickly becoming an Alberta Street neighborhood favorite.  Go, get a cocktail and a tempeh slider why dontcha!  Hubby likes the dirty popcorn a lot!

Cheese and Crack: Oh my gosh… these guys and this summer!  I had a vanilla soft serve with a lemonade slushy together in one amazing cup!  It came with a spoon and a straw and it was so good and refreshing!

Tasty and Alder:  My first time was just a few weeks ago and it was ok.  I liked my cocktail and my little chocolate doughnut with cream.  They really don't have a vegetarian option at all but I can pick through a ploughman's platter and do just fine!  Great location downtown and they are open for lunch!  Been to Toro Bravo and Tasty and Son's and really loved those two locations!

Old Salt Marketplace and Supperhouse:  I have to admit that I have not had  a meal at the supperhouse in some time but they do have this great thing where you go in and you can take home a dinner.  Ten bucks gets you a dinner to take away and last time I went, I brought hubby home some steak, potatoes and corn on the cob I believe.  I love that this is nearby on NE 42nd Ave.

Knuckle Sandwich:  I've been a few times and I really love this place.  The burgers are to die for and they are messy and gooey and so freaking good!  I love their fries too!  Almost a garage like atmosphere with a clean bathroom where I have to scrub up and down once I'm done devouring my burger.  Super friendly staff and this is one of my favorite places in Portland to get a veggie burger.  It's not really a veggie burger, it's a cheese burger without the burger.  They pile in loads of veggies and that melty cheese and it's really a big hot mess but really really good! 

Tidbit Food Farm and Garden:  A favorite but this time at this pod, I enjoyed a waffle sandwich and a pumpkin spiced cider from Seattle.  Such a great combo with an egg and veggie sausage and cheese tucked inside two nice crispy mapley waffles.  Perfect for breakfast or lunch or whenever.  If you haven't been to Tidbit, you need to go soon and go hungry!

Bollywood Theater:  Been before but had lunch there a week or so ago and man, I love the flavors!  Spicy and flavorful and perfect for a vegetarian!  I've only been to the Alberta St. location.

American Dream Pizza:  So, my most fav pizza place where I used to live was American Dream but that was in Corvallis.  This is from what I've been told, the parent company or parent pizza joint to that one.  Any who… still delicious and I'm so glad I found the Portland version!

Upper Left Roasters:  Over by one of my favorite neighborhoods, Ladds Addition, this coffee house has lunch too!  A great open faced toasted cheese with avocado etc. and it was great with a coffee.  Can't wait to go back on a cold day and enjoy the people watching from the vast windows!

Nineteen 27 S'mores:  Great little cart near NW 23rd with toasted marshmallows no less!  I had a pumpkin s'more and wow… a nice crispy graham with that pumpkin marshmallow and caramel.. so good!  Hubby had one with chocolate something in it but I was too enthralled to care about his and the sticky was all over my face and in my hair but it's ok, it was a homemade s'more!

Fillmore Coffee:  In a weird location but I get it when places are branching out and plugging in to these little strange Portland pockets.  The coffee was nice and I took home a dark chocolate peanut butter cookie for hubby and I had a vanilla biscotti that I saved for my morning coffee the next day.  Cute place and they serve pizza and bagels too. 

So… a few notes:  Some regular places we enjoy and not mentioned above are Autentica for brunch and dinner, Gigi's in Hillsdale for breakfast, Baker and Spice for anything baked, Radio Room for monthly meetings, Tea Bar for my London Fog, Salt & Straw for ice cream of course, Opa always for calazones when we're dying for one.  There's more, lots more but I can't keep track.  My goal for the next quarter… check out as many food carts, food trucks and pods in Portland as I can!

I hope you enjoy this list and I am happy to check out a place for you if you're coming for a visit soon.  I can review and let you know what I think.  I will have to say that I have deleted my Yelp account recently as I have decided to not let others dictate my views on "new to me" places but here I am asking you to trust me.  But, those of you that know me know that I am super picky.  No sticky tables, no super loud annoying music, clean bathrooms are a must and the most delicious food is of course, a no brainer but the place and the people are the most important to me.  It must feel good to me to be there and then when the food is excellent and the cocktails are lovely… it all falls in to place so perfectly.  Then I know, it's all good!  Cheers and enjoy your food treks wherever you live!

The Victoria Bar on Albina!

Mac n Chz at the Victoria Bar on Albina!

Cherries from Oregon!

Homemade Chocolate Cake, caramel, the neighbors berries and ice cream!
Find my earlier quarterly lists here: 

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An attempt to escape the heat… Astoria!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Walking a Portland Neighborhood in Autumn!.. from Concordia to Irvington via Alameda!

I didn't sleep well last night which not a new thing for me but seems to occur most often when I've had a coffee too late in the afternoon.  Hubby is up this morning and out the door headed to the gym and I'm still laying there… you go ahead… I'll meet you at the gym after my walk today, later.  Finally awake and into to my morning cup of coffee which doesn't seem to bother me that time of day and soon, I am out the door.

When I'm in the car on other days and gawking out the windows, I think to myself wow… I need to walk down this street.  Trying recall which street I was on has been interesting but seriously I am pretty sure any street would do for seeking out all the Fall colors on foot at least in and around my neighborhood.  I trekked down NE 29th today and took a street that led to NE 26th for a bit and switching back and forth, up and down streets somehow I eventually made it to NE 16th about an hour and a half later.

I am a historic home freak and also a freak about Autumn!  Always have been so when these two of my favorite things are combined, I get pretty excited.  Today was cloudy and cool and this time year is so conducive to photographing all of the color that I was glad I slept in a bit and walked to enjoy all of it with bright eyes and rest.

I can't tell you which roads I took in all however, I went pretty far as I kept trekking from street to street zig zagging toward color and the historic homes I really love.  From where I live, the Concordia District, just a few blocks away to Alameda and then down to the Irvington area, is only about a half a mile.  I get down to Fremont via NE 24th usually in just a matter of minutes.  Garden Fever is on the corner of NE 24th and Fremont next to Lucca.  I try not to go in since I'm walking usually and cannot picture myself dragging home yet another tree for our garden however, there's a clean loo in there so it's a perfect spot to regroup for the rest of the walk toward Broadway.

If you make it to Broadway, there's Costello's Travel Cafe if you need a coffee or tea.  They've got breakfast and lunch as well however, it's nothing fancy but the atmosphere is pretty nice with travel photos decorating the walls and the staff is pretty nice too!  I haven't taken a lunch or snack with me but you could!  There's picnic type benches at Whole Foods on NE 15th and Fremont just in case you wanna sit and relax before heading out again.  As always… I suggest you take plenty of water, wear super comfy shoes and take your time!  These treks for me are my time to re-group, take lots of photos, enjoy the stroll and up and down hill treks along with lots to see while getting out and exercising at the same time!  Each and every time I'm out, I meet someone from the neighborhood for example today, a homeowner stopped me to show me what she had up in her tree.  There was a grey owl up there just staring at us and I have to say, that was the highlight of my day.  It's amazing what experiences you can have on foot compared to being in your car driving around.

Take your time and enjoy any time you can be out there on foot exploring Portland neighborhoods!