Mr. Chips and Trudy's Adventures in Roadfooding
With son Sam safely esconced at a friend's house. Trudy and I had a couple days of culinary and driving adventures. Our first stop was Broders, a new Porland hot spot in S.E. Portland. It is a Scandanavian restaurant and the breakfast there is one of the best in Portland. I had the Trout scramble, a wondrous mixture of eggs,smoked trout and assorted veggies.There were sides of a potato pancake(which passed muster from this Jewish boy) and great bread from the Pearl bakery. Trudy had aableskiver, a Danish treat which I had only read about and it was wonderful. The menu features Swedish pancakes, a smorgasbord breakfast and Swedish meatballs. We will be back to sample.
We then drove north to Vancouver, Washington and went to Moxie's on Main. This is a store that specializes in obscure soda. There are regional favorites like the Kemper sodas but you can also get Big Red, Manhattan special,Cheerwine, Green River and sodas from Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and other countries. It is a real find and I hope other roadfooders will go there.
Sunday Trudy and I drove to Eugene to see an art exhibit at the University of Oregon. Our first stop was Novak's in Albany, an essential stop for any I-5 roadooder.It is a Hungarian bakery and restaurany incongrously located in a mini-mall parking lot. The pastries are wonderful but we were there for breakfast. Good Hungarian ssausage with eggs and potao pancakes was my choice, a scramble with steak was Trudy's. We ordered a side of noodles (spaetzle) and gravy. It was rib-sticking , wonderful food.The owners came from Hungary in 1956 and still come around(and are a delight to talk to) but the best news is that their grandchildren now run the place and the food quality is just as high as ever. If you are traveling the I-5 corridor, stop here.
Our next stop was the Jordan Scnitzer Art Museum on the University of Oregon campus. There was a wonderful exhibit of some rarely displayed canvasses of Carl Morris, perhaps Oregon most celebrated painter. In 1959, he was commisioned to do 10 paintings for the Oregon centennial celebration on the contribution of religion to Oregon history. 129 religions were supposed to be represented in a ten sided buiding and he had six weeks to do the project. These paintings went into the basement after the fair and this summer was the first time all of them had been exhibited together since 1959.
Morris was a marvelous painter of light and color and that is what these paintings are about. Morris tried to paint the things all religions had in common and one was the bringing of light and these canvasses almost shimmer as light plays upon the surface. And a pair of paintings depict the clash between darkness and light in ways that are exceptionally moving. It was great work and it was great to see an important part of Oregon's artistic heritage on display.
I had never really walked aroung the U of O campus much so Trudy walked me around. Trudy was at the U of O and Eugene area from 1972=1985 and was there to watch the filming of ANIMAL HOUSE. She took me to the fishbowl dining room where the immortal food fight was filmed and told me of her conversations with Mr. Belushi, who took a shine to one of her pre-school kids and played with him during the breaks in filming. We also walked past Johnson Hall which most of you would know as the building where Dean Wormer's office was located. Trudy was there when the film crewloaded a live horse into the building. We also saw the frat house that was in the movie.Sadly it is no longer active and has gone to seed. When driving out of town, Trudy showed me the outside of the place where Donald Sutherland's character lived in the movie.
Trudy and I took a rather serendipitous route back to Portlaand and ended up in Amity, oregon. There was a sign for the Brigittine monastery and on a whim we decided to pay a visit. The monastery is the home to 10 monks and the order was founded by St. Brigetta of Sweden. The moanastery has been in Oregon since 1987. They support themselves by selling fudge. Not just any fudge but some of the sweetest and tasties fudge you will ever find. Brother Martin was insistent that we sample as many kind as possible(all of which were quite good) and we took home some pecan and chocolate hazlenut fudge.
We stopped in Forest Grove at the McMenamin's Grand Masonic lodge. The McMenamins are two brothers who helped kick off the microbrew revolution in Oregon and who have made a career of renovating historic buildings and turning them into entertainment spots with meeting rooms, restaurants and second run movie theaters where you can enjoy beer with your movies. The Forest Grove building is the former Masonic order rest home and it is quite a building. The burgers are good and I decided to order a Ruby Red Stout milkshake, a combination of stout, raspberry compote and ice cream. It was everything I hoped forand I highly recommend it.
It was quite a couple of days but we were delighted to pick up Sam and resume normal life.