The most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums EatingTours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider
Forum Themes:
Welcome !

 Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip

Change Page: 12345 > | Showing page 1 of 5, messages 1 to 30 of 124
Author Message
Ralph Melton

Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 11:41 AM (permalink)
We returned from our trip and immediately became busy with work and home, so I haven't had a chance to write about our trip. But I really do want to chronicle it, because it was a great trip. So I'm going to try to gloss over the uninteresting bits in hopes of saving writing time and energy for the good bits. (Also: we took almost 1600 pictures on this trip. I'm definitely striving to winnow these down to just the reasonably good ones, but do feel invited to poke around in the flickr stream and ask about anything that catches your eye.)

The flight to Seattle was uninteresting. I'd hoped that the time zone change would help us be more morning-oriented than usual, but we landed around midnight Seattle time and got to our hotel room about 1:30am, so our schedules were reset right away.

The highlight of Saturday was visiting our friends Eli and Katy. Eli and Katy have two young babies, just recently released from the hospital. So we brought them food. We brought fish and chips from Spud Fish and Chips because it was Roadfood-listed, and cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes because Katy had carefully sampled all the cupcake providers in Seattle (a city of many fine cupcakes), and selected Trophy Cupcakes as the only cupcakes to be served at her wedding.

We went to the Trophy Cupcakes in University Village.


Our lemon cupcake, though we ate it later:


These bins of umbrellas to borrow were definitely an "You know you're in Seattle..." thing.


Spud Fish and Chips turned out to be fairly close to Katy and Eli's house, so we could bring them food while it was still warm. The fish was crisp and greasy; the grease stains in the paper that wrapped it may be the best signs of what it was like.



We cooed over the babies, chatted with Katy and Eli, and took a tour of their house. They have strawberry plants in their garden. So we were able to pick strawberries at the point of perfect ripeness, bring them indoors and rinse them, and serve them five minutes after they were removed from the plant, still warm from the sun. This was a truly splendid way to eat strawberries, one of the great gustatory delights of our trip.

After bidding them farewell, we walked around Green Lake for a while. We got some lovely pictures, though I don't know that they're terribly dramatic. Here's a selection:
   

We didn't have a Roadfood-listed destination for dinner, so we turned to Urbanspoon. We discovered that Urbanspoon had a "Northwest" category, and narrowed our search to that, even though I couldn't say exactly what Northwest cuisine is. (Jane later told us, "a lot of seafood and blackberries".) Lori was entranced by the mention of crab mac and cheese in one restaurant review, so off we went to Jimmy's on Broadway in Capitol Hill. Once I realized it was a hotel restaurant, I was a bit wary - but, y'know, crab mac and cheese.


I had a local beer, Mac and Jack's African Amber. It was very good, with a complex, full flavor. And a fancy/wacky backlit photo:


Lori's crab mac and cheese was not everything we'd hoped it would be. It did have a clear flavor of mild, sweet, crab, but the crab mac and cheese of our fantasies had a much thicker, creamier sauce than the rather thin sauce we were served.


I ordered the fried oysters, described by the menu thus: "Local yearling oysters tossed in a cracker meal, deep fried to a golden brown..." (I assume that 'yearling' means the age of the oyster, though it might also be a variety.) The preparation of the oysters was extraordinary. They were very tender, crisp, and light; tender enough that you could bite through the oysters without fragmenting the breading, but sturdy enough that you could drag them through the tartar sauce without losing any breading. And they didn't taste greasy at all. It was really a phenomenal job of frying.
But - and it's a big but - the oysters themselves were not to my taste at all. They were briny and murky-flavored, and I kept thinking "this would do nothing to convince an oyster-hater that oysters were not the boogers of the sea." But the preparation was so good that it made me almost like the oysters. If you like your oysters so, ahem, full-flavored, then I think that you'd find the oysters at Jimmy's sublime.



 
#1
    kland01s

    • Total Posts: 2835
    • Joined: 3/14/2003
    • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
    Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 12:16 PM (permalink)
    Looks great so far!!
     
    #2
      Nancypalooza

      • Total Posts: 3778
      • Joined: 6/17/2004
      • Location: Columbia, SC
      Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 12:19 PM (permalink)
      I totally feel your pain about the abundance of pictures--but it's a nice problem to have after a trip like this.  Lovely lemon cupcake; you could practically reach out and touch it.  (And I'm with you on the oysters too.)  Can't wait for more!
       
      #3
        mar52

        • Total Posts: 7609
        • Joined: 4/17/2005
        • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
        Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 12:28 PM (permalink)
        Lovely report and pictures, Ralph.
         
        I like that you write about the good, the bad and the ugly.
         
        The crab mac and cheese looks meager.  Was that a huge plate?
         
        I would have had to have a big dessert if served something not satisfying.
         
        Did you like Capitol Hill?  I found it reminiscent of Berkeley in the seventies.  Fun place to walk.
         
        #4
          MiamiDon

          Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 12:45 PM (permalink)
          I had to go look:  "Yearling" oysters is a trade name for partially-grown oysters that are about 3-inches in length.
           
          #5
            Twinwillow

            • Total Posts: 4899
            • Joined: 4/15/2006
            • Location: "Big D"
            Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 12:53 PM (permalink)
            Delicious looking report. Thank you.
             
            #6
              Ralph Melton

              Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 1:39 PM (permalink)
              mar52

              Lovely report and pictures, Ralph.

              I like that you write about the good, the bad and the ugly.

              I hardly know which of those categories the oysters fall into. I didn't like them myself, but I felt very aware that they were very well done and could reasonably be considered superb. I think this was the most equivocal meal of our trip.
               


              The crab mac and cheese looks meager.  Was that a huge plate?

              I would have had to have a big dessert if served something not satisfying.

              Did you like Capitol Hill?  I found it reminiscent of Berkeley in the seventies.  Fun place to walk.

               
              The crab mac and cheese was served in the center of a huge plate. It was plenty; we didn't finish it, though we kept eating long after hunger was gone.
               
              Neither my notes nor my memory say anything about dessert that night. I think we tried to go to Top Pot Doughnuts, but we either found them closed or lost our enthusiasm before we arrived.
               
              We didn't spend much time in Capitol Hill this year, since we'd spent a lot of time there on previous visits. It certainly was a fun place to walk around. My clearest memory from this trip is the dance patterns inlaid into the sidewalks, though we weren't able to do dances that matched the patterns.
               
              #7
                Ralph Melton

                Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 1:40 PM (permalink)
                MiamiDon


                I had to go look:  "Yearling" oysters is a trade name for partially-grown oysters that are about 3-inches in length.

                 
                I'm now more informed. Thanks, MiamiDon!
                 
                #8
                  ScreamingChicken

                  • Total Posts: 4737
                  • Joined: 11/5/2004
                  • Location: Stoughton, WI
                  Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 3:12 PM (permalink)
                  I sense the beginnings of a great report, Ralph!
                   
                  I'm pretty sure Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings would not have won a Pulitzer Prize had The Yearling been a story about a boy who raises an orphaned oyster...
                   
                  Brad
                   
                  #9
                    buffetbuster

                    Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 3:14 PM (permalink)
                    Ralph, I am so glad you decided to do a trip report after the sneak preview we got a few weeks back.  Looking forward to much more!
                    <message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 08/11/11 3:21 PM>
                     
                    #10
                      ann peeples

                      • Total Posts: 8317
                      • Joined: 5/21/2006
                      • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                      Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Thu, 08/11/11 4:00 PM (permalink)
                      I like that you and Lori are adventurous eaters, and always enjoy your pics and descriptions. Green Lake is lovely-and that lemon cupcake looks divine!
                       
                      #11
                        Ralph Melton

                        Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/16/11 12:02 AM (permalink)
                        On Sunday, we met Sean and Jane and their kids for brunch at Mae's Phinney Ridge Cafe, at their suggestion. I was a little wary of expecting gastronomic delights, because the Sterns' review on Roadfood is unusually tepid; it begins with "We were not charmed with most of the food at Mae's Phinney Ridge Cafe, but the place itself is hard to resist."
                        We've had some so-so meals from places the Sterns recommended more enthusiastically, so this poor recommendation seemed to bode ill. But our experience did not match theirs: all our food was very good.

                        The Sterns were right about the exuberant cow theme, especially in the room where we were seated:


                        The blueberry coffee cake was moist and flavorful.


                        Sean ordered the green eggs and ham (tinted with pesto), though I didn't sample it:


                        I think the kids got the french toast. Again, I didn't taste it, but I'm impressed with how thick it is:


                        Lori's smoked salmon omelet was very good. The menu says the salmon was smoked on-site.


                        I chose the smoked salmon hash, and it was excellent (far better than my picture suggests--I think my better picture got eaten by a camera failure). The salmon had a clear, vivid smoke flavor, and the bright, tart flavor of the capers made it a really delightful entree. (The hash browns, though, were greasy and not at all crisp.)


                        After brunch, we went back to Green Lake, so that the adults could talk and the kids could run around. Another medley of Green Lake photos:


                        We went our separate ways for the afternoon. As we pulled away from Green Lake, we were captivated by this farm stand: 


                        We asked if they had a way to wash off the cherries, and the salesman showed us a faucet and a sieve he'd provided for the purpose. We bought half a pound of cherries and enjoyed them in the car; they were juicy and delectable.


                        We met with Sean and Jane for dinner (without the kids) at Charlie's on Broadway. (Occam's Razor argues against the conclusion that Jimmy and Charlie are brothers, and "'s on Broadway" is their surname.) The food was good, but memory hides the details--except that Jane's bacon-wrapped jalapeƱo poppers were hot enough that she had to disassemble them and remake them into a more pleasant form.


                        For dessert, we visited a favorite of Lori's from past visits: Dilettante Chocolates. Dilettante is a small chain in Seattle; this particular location added a level of fancy by including a mocha cafe and chocolate martini bar.


                        The four of us shared two desserts: the dark ephemere mousse and the coupe sundae with dark fudge and caramel. I hope Lori will chime in with a description of the desserts, because she loved the mousse.



                        After we split up, Lori expressed a desire to go to the top of the Space Needle, since we'd not done that in our previous visits. There was a brisk wind blowing that made it very cold. We got a nifty bonus view, though: some communities around had done their July 4 fireworks a day early, so we got to look down upon distant fireworks.




                        We also got a bonus once we had left the rooftop: a couple riding down in the elevator with us offered us their Citypasses (good for six Seattle attractions over the course of a week), since they were leaving town and had only visited the Space Needle. We cheerfully accepted.

                        [font="verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: normal"]

                         
                        #12
                          icecreamchick

                          • Total Posts: 99
                          • Joined: 9/26/2009
                          • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                          Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/16/11 12:58 AM (permalink)
                          I have to be honest. Ralph is waaaaaay more adventurous of an eater than I am! :-)
                           
                          Unless it's chocolate. I will try almost anything chocolate. 
                           
                          #13
                            icecreamchick

                            • Total Posts: 99
                            • Joined: 9/26/2009
                            • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                            Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/16/11 1:10 AM (permalink)
                            Dilettante Chocolates is an amazing place if you love good chocolate. The interior is lush and romantic...all dark woods and plush seating. 
                             
                            They make some of the best chocolates I've ever had. Everything is smooth and flavorful, especially their most excellent truffles. And a Seattle visit wouldn't be complete for me without some dried cherries covered in chocolate. 
                             
                            But what I really love there is their desserts. Dilettante's desserts are big enough to warrant sharing, and rich enough to merit a warning label from the American Heart Association. They are sublime!
                             
                            This visit, we had a dark, rich chocolate ephemere perfectly paired with a crown of whipped cream. The cream is only lightly sweetened, so it doesn't overpower the mousse. The chocolate mousse is thick and densely flavored with dark semi-sweet chocolate. It is one of my favorite desserts anywhere. 
                             
                            We also tried one of the coupe sundaes. It was perfectly done, with excellent ice cream, toppings and whipped cream. It is able to hold its own with other fabulous sundaes from around the country. But, honestly, I recommend getting one of the cakes or the mousse to really taste what Dilettante's desserts are all about. 
                             
                            Writing this makes me want to go to Seattle for more :-)
                             
                            #14
                              Nancypalooza

                              • Total Posts: 3778
                              • Joined: 6/17/2004
                              • Location: Columbia, SC
                              Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/23/11 9:20 PM (permalink)
                              The chocolate martini bar would entertain Julie for a bit.  :)  Lovely pictures y'all!
                               
                              #15
                                leethebard

                                • Total Posts: 6083
                                • Joined: 8/16/2007
                                • Location: brick, NJ
                                Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/23/11 9:37 PM (permalink)
                                I enjoyed your report...oh to have that mousse!!
                                 
                                #16
                                  Ralph Melton

                                  Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Mon, 08/29/11 4:28 PM (permalink)
                                  We would not consider a trip to Seattle complete without a visit to Pike Place Market. We had checked the Pike Place Market website and seen that it was open on July 4, so visiting then would work out well.


                                  We arrived in time for lunch and went to Lowell's ("almost classy since 1957"). Lowell's has a somewhat complicated layout: the first floor serves takeout seafood, the second floor offers table service, and the third floor providers seating for people bringing food up from the first floor. We were lazy; we chose the second floor.


                                  For an appetizer, we chose the salmon-potato croquettes, about which I remember little.


                                  I ordered the Dungeness crab roll. I found this a significant contrast to the lobster rolls I had in New England last year. The New England lobster rolls were very simple, with just melted butter or a film of mayonnaise. This was much more fancy, in a West Coast way: the menu description of the crab roll was "Field greens, tomato, avocado, grainy mustard-mayo on fresh Le Panier baguette". It was delicious; I really liked the sweetness of the crab.


                                  Lori ordered the rustic tuna melt ("White albacore tuna salad, mozzarella, tomato, red pepper aioli on grilled rosemary bread") and found it good but not outstanding.


                                  From Pike Place Market, we strolled across to the Seattle Aquarium, to use our Citypasses. The Seattle Aquarium is a nice aquarium, with a focus on the ecology of Puget Sound and the local waters. But most of the aquariums that I've visited over the last several years have a similar ecological focus, so I'm not sure that I recognize the Seattle Aquarium as a must-visit museum. 



                                  Outside the museum, we saw people carving a totem pole, with signs explaining that it was the first totem pole carved in Seattle in many years.


                                  The other use we made of our unexpected CityPasses was to take the boat tour of the bay. This was very pleasant, and would be something I'd recommend to other visitors. We had beautiful weather, and saw a lot of sights of Seattle's downtown, islands in the bay, and the Port of Seattle. 


                                  We were told that these giant globes were involved with missile defense, and that this globe's home was off the coast of Alaska.


                                  I was very impressed by the sheer size of the cranes used for loading container ships. The folks operating those cranes are looking down through glass beneath their feet - which means that they're looking several stories down as they work.



                                  For dinner, we got together with Sean, Jane, Rachel, and their kids at Hamburger Harry's, a burger joint in Edmonds. 


                                  The major thing I recall about my blue cheese burger was that it was extremely messy--it took a stack of napkins to handle the mess. But I was paying more attention to the company than to the food.


                                  We then went off to watch Edmonds' fireworks. Parking was a challenge, and we ended up needing to walk several blocks to join our friends - but that's the normal way of fireworks.
                                  I tried out the fireworks setting on our new camera, only to learn that shooting fireworks really wants a tripod. But the jiggly photos are kind of nifty in a nonrepresentational way.
                                     


                                   
                                  #17
                                    CajunKing

                                    • Total Posts: 6317
                                    • Joined: 7/6/2006
                                    • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                                    • Roadfood Insider
                                    Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Mon, 08/29/11 5:51 PM (permalink)
                                    Oh man hat hamburger at HH's looks awesome, I am starved right now and that burger and fries would fill the empty stomach i'm suffering
                                     
                                    Keep up the great report
                                     
                                    #18
                                      sk bob

                                      • Total Posts: 1801
                                      • Joined: 12/29/2005
                                      • Location: South Daytona, FL
                                      Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Mon, 08/29/11 8:23 PM (permalink)
                                      nice report & great pictures.
                                      getting that free citipass was a nice bonus.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Nancypalooza

                                        • Total Posts: 3778
                                        • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                        • Location: Columbia, SC
                                        Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 5:17 PM (permalink)
                                        Maybe a prominent Alaska resident is trying to build the machine from 'Contact'?  
                                         
                                        Ralph, did you guys not go to the Crumpet Shop in Pike Place Market?  Oh that's unfortunate.  ;)
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Ralph Melton

                                          Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 5:52 PM (permalink)
                                          We did not go to the Crumpet Shop on this trip. We did, however visit in 2010. My writeup of that visit:
                                           


                                          Pike's Place Market has three Roadfood-listed sites, but we only ate at one of them: The Crumpet Shop. I had an impression that crumpets were much like English muffins, but these crumpets were not much like English muffins except in shape; they were very eggy and solid, with much smaller holes. Both our almond-butter-and-apricot jam crumpets and our salmon-cream-cheese-and-cucumber crumpets were good, but not something I'd eagerly seek out again.


                                           
                                          #21
                                            Nancypalooza

                                            • Total Posts: 3778
                                            • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                            • Location: Columbia, SC
                                            Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 6:33 PM (permalink)
                                            Maybe it's the maple butter and walnut one that's so good.  When I started to tell Julie about the chocolate shop in this thread she cut me off and said 'did they go to the Crumpet Shop?'  She has a strong sense memory about that one.  ;)
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Nancypalooza

                                              • Total Posts: 3778
                                              • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                              • Location: Columbia, SC
                                              Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 6:35 PM (permalink)
                                              The one at the right: 
                                               

                                               
                                              #23
                                                wanderingjew

                                                • Total Posts: 7407
                                                • Joined: 1/18/2001
                                                • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
                                                • Roadfood Insider
                                                Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 6:52 PM (permalink)
                                                Ralph
                                                 
                                                Glad you all made it to Spud's
                                                 
                                                Mac and Jack's didn't exist when I lived out in Seattle, although then again, I'm sure there were ales I enjoyed there that don't exist now. I  did have the opportunity to try a Mac and Jack's when I was out there in 2007- and I agree- it's everything a beer should be.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  icecreamchick

                                                  • Total Posts: 99
                                                  • Joined: 9/26/2009
                                                  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                                  Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 08/30/11 11:04 PM (permalink)
                                                  For what it's worth, I quite liked the Crumpet Shop. I would've insisted, but so many places, so little time! :-)
                                                   
                                                  But for me, a trip to Seattle without a visit to Dilettante (the chocolate place) is like a pizza with no cheese. You can do it and it can work, but why bother? 
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Nancypalooza

                                                    • Total Posts: 3778
                                                    • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                                    • Location: Columbia, SC
                                                    Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Wed, 08/31/11 10:04 AM (permalink)
                                                    Well, we'll have to check out Dilettante the next time we're out there. ;)
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      zataar

                                                      • Total Posts: 1440
                                                      • Joined: 4/5/2004
                                                      • Location: kansas city, MO
                                                      Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Wed, 08/31/11 3:12 PM (permalink)
                                                      What a great report! Very nice photos, too. In a few weeks, we will be staying 2 blocks from the Capitol Hill Dilettante, so we will be going there for sure. And of course the Crumpet Shop.
                                                      Your report makes me even more happy to be going to the Emerald City. :-)
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Ralph Melton

                                                        Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 09/6/11 11:09 AM (permalink)
                                                        July 5 provided a whole lot to write about. I hope you enjoy it; it was a good day for us.

                                                        For brunch, we went to Tacoma to go to Knapp's Family Restaurant, which has been in business since 1933. I started to describe Knapp's as a coffee shop, but that only really applies to the section that we sat in. Knapp's is divided into several rooms, presumably because of expansion over the years, so the restaurant progresses from coffee shop at one end, to dining room in the middle, to bar at the other end.


                                                        The roadfood.com review mentioned the butterhorn from the breakfast menu, and I'd never heard of a butterhorn, so we ordered one. I'd expected something more or less horn-shaped, but what we got was a flat spiral pastry, like a soft cinnamon roll without much cinnamon.


                                                        I had the kielbasa scramble, and it was excellent. I really loved the vigorous flavor of the sausage.


                                                        Lori got upsold by the waitress's banter to the waffle with strawberries and cream.



                                                        From Tacoma, we had to hustle to Portland. We had purchased advance tickets for an Epicurean Excursion from http://www.portlandwalkingtours.com that started at 2pm. I had calculated that we could get there about 1:30... but we lingered a few minutes extra at Knapp's, we had to stop at a rest stop in Washington, we hit a touch of traffic somewhere - so the net result was that at 2pm, I was driving through Portland trying to find the recommended parking garage, and Lori was on the phone with the tour folks trying to figure out whether there was a way for us to catch up to the tour.

                                                        We dashed to Cacao, a fancy chocolate and hot chocolate place that was the first stop, and were excited to see that there was a tour group there. But when we accosted the guide, he told us that this tour group was not our tour group; ours had gone on to the next stop. So we hustled down to the next stop without taking time to peruse the lovely chocolates, which made Lori very sad.

                                                        Fortunately, we did catch up to our tour group at the next stop, Benessere. (And the tour guide had even brought us sample's of Cacao's hot chocolate.) Benessere ( http://www.oilgoodness.com/ ) is a tasting bar for olive oils and balsamic vinegars. This was interesting to me, because I generally do not notice much variation in taste among olive oils, and I was glad to have some guidance there. I did think I identified the cut-grass notes that were mentioned in one of the olive oils. I also remember that the guide mentioned "pepper" as one of the qualities of one of the oils, and described it as a little prickle in the back of the throat. I've felt that prickle before, though I didn't in that particular oil, but that prickle doesn't match my expectations of what "peppery" would mean at all. Part of me finds this very cheering - it means that I am not alone in my struggles to find expressive food vocabulary.
                                                        As usual for me, I liked sampling the vinegars much more than the olive oils. I sampled a black cherry balsamic vinegar that was really wonderful. We were strongly tempted to buy some, but (a) it was early in our trip, and I was resisting adding packing hassles, and (b) we have a bad record of not using our special hard-to-replace souvenir foodstuffs. (We may still have some of the peach champagne vinegar we bought on our honeymoon.)


                                                        A random shot of a large-scale chess game that we passed on the tour. I'm not good enough at photo editing to make this clear, but one of the white knights is being played by an understudy of a white laundry basket.

                                                        At Flying Elephant Deli, we sampled the tomato soup. The secret ingredient turned out to be orange. Lori really enjoyed this.


                                                        The guide asked if anyone in the group was a teacher, and when Lori said she was, he declared that Teacher's Fountain was for her.


                                                        Portland has a thriving food cart scene, and the tour stopped at one food cart among a parking lot full of carts. We enjoyed the chance to chat with Ziba of Ziba's Pitas. The burek we sampled was not really a pita as I'm familiar with pitas; it was a delicious spiral of seasoned meat wrapped in flaky, crunchy pastry. It was delicious, one of my favorite foods from the tour.



                                                        At the Spice and Tea Exchange, we sampled five different salts. The only one that tasted clearly different from the others to me was the smoked salt, which was good enough that we bought a little to bring home.


                                                        Hotlips Pizza is an anchor of the EcoTrust building, a former warehouse renovated to a high degree of eco-friendliness. We sampled their excellent housemade blackberry soda (made with local berries) and a good kale, red pepper, and onion pizza. I don't know that I would seek out kale on a pizza again, but it was pretty good. We were told that the owner of Hotlips Pizza has a number written in his office of the total mileage for every ingredient of his pizza to come to the restaurant, and he strives to reduce that number every year.




                                                        Though we sampled nothing at this bar, our guide told us that the tiled trough between bar and barstools had historical significance. The bar was built in the late 1800s, and at that time, women did not enter bars - so the male patrons used that trough as a place to, ahem, dispose of used beer without needing to step outside. I'm not sure whether this was true or not, but it was corroborated by a picture in a men's room I saw later on our trip.


                                                        I don't exactly remember the story behind this sculpture; perhaps one of my readers can clarify matters. As I recall the story, there was a Portland tradition of people riding down a hill on these teeny toy bikes, and this was erected both as a piece of public art and as a place to store the bikes so they wouldn't be scattered everywhere.


                                                        McMenamin's is a chain of microbreweries in the Portland area that is now up to 29 breweries serving 58 locations. All the locations are restored sites; this one was called the Crystal Ballroom, because it once hosted a taxi-dance hall on an upper floor.

                                                        We sampled their "ruby" beer made with raspberries, a lager, and the "Terminator Stout", none of which delighted me.


                                                        Our last stop on the Epicurean Excursion was Mio Gelato, where we sampled coconut gelato, chocolate hazelnut gelato (with local hazelnuts), and plum sorbetto, all very good.


                                                        That final stop left us very near Powell's Books. I didn't feel a great need for books; because we were flying, I was using the iPad to serve my reading needs for the trip. But I would have felt disloyal to my principles had we not gone in, and I bought a couple of books as a token gesture to thank them for being Powell's.
                                                         


                                                        That evening, we joined esteemed Roadfooder mr chips and his wife Trudy. For dinner, we accepted their recommendation to eat at a seafood joint named Pal's Shanty.
                                                        I recall mr chips pointing out that all the seafood was fresh-caught, and there was not even a freezer on the premises.


                                                        We shared an enormous sampler platter. If I was trying to make the best trip report I could, I would have taken better notes about what was on the platter; our notes just say "fried platter o' seafood". I remember halibut fritters (on the left) and calamari (in the upper right), but I can't recall the other items. I particularly remember the calamari because it was very different from other calamari of my experience: it was finger-size pieces of fried squid that were extremely tender and tasty, quite unlike the rubbery rings I usually get as calamari.


                                                        I had the Crab Louis. This was a very fancy version, with artichoke hearts and hard-boiled eggs and other such goodies. I enjoyed it a lot.


                                                        After dinner, mr chips led us to a suburban location of Voodoo Donuts. I can emphatically and euphemistically state that Voodoo Donuts has an atmosphere all its own.

                                                         

                                                        Also a flavor selection matched by few donut shops:


                                                        Voodoo Donuts offers wedding packages at a very reasonable price.


                                                        I was sufficiently intrigued by this young man and his bucket of donuts that I asked him whether he was a staff member. No, he was just a donut fan; we later saw him and a young woman sitting together cheerfully eating their way through the bucket.


                                                        We ordered the Mango Tango donut ("filled with mango jelly and topped with vanilla frosting and tang") and the Voodoo Doll; mr chips added the Bacon Maple Bar. Of these three, my favorite was the Voodoo Doll; it was a chocolate-covered donut filled with raspberry jelly, making it one of the tastier forms of symbolic cannibalism. The Mango Tango was too sweet for my taste, and I didn't feel that the flavors of the Bacon Maple Bar melded together into any whole, but just stayed as separate flavors.



                                                        From there, mr chips led us to Random Order Coffee for a second dessert of homemade pie.


                                                        Lori chose the chocolate cream pie; I got the Oregon cherry pie. Both were quite good.


                                                        We had a lovely evening with mr chips and Trudy, and really appreciate their hospitality. 

                                                         
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Nancypalooza

                                                          • Total Posts: 3778
                                                          • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                                          • Location: Columbia, SC
                                                          Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 09/6/11 11:16 AM (permalink)
                                                          Halibut and a maple bacon bar in the same meal!  Insanity!
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            mar52

                                                            • Total Posts: 7609
                                                            • Joined: 4/17/2005
                                                            • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                                                            Re:Ralph and Lori's West Coast Roadtrip Tue, 09/6/11 12:26 PM (permalink)
                                                            Portland (and the Oregon Coast) have wonderful food venues.  Dining with the Chips has to add to that pleasure.
                                                             
                                                            Looks like you hit all great places.
                                                             
                                                            Of all you went to I can only say that I've been to Powell's.
                                                             
                                                            I like the way you eat!
                                                             
                                                            #30
                                                              Online Bookmarks Sharing: Share/Bookmark
                                                              Change Page: 12345 > | Showing page 1 of 5, messages 1 to 30 of 124

                                                              Jump to:

                                                              Current active users

                                                              There are 0 members and 1 guests.

                                                              Icon Legend and Permission

                                                              • New Messages
                                                              • No New Messages
                                                              • Hot Topic w/ New Messages
                                                              • Hot Topic w/o New Messages
                                                              • Locked w/ New Messages
                                                              • Locked w/o New Messages
                                                              • Read Message
                                                              • Post New Thread
                                                              • Reply to message
                                                              • Post New Poll
                                                              • Submit Vote
                                                              • Post reward post
                                                              • Delete my own posts
                                                              • Delete my own threads
                                                              • Rate post

                                                              2000-2014 ASPPlayground.NET Forum Version 3.9
                                                              What is Roadfood?  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright 2011 - Roadfood.com