Thanks for dropping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Cathy has some free time and has written a short post on this beautiful day.
It was in February, just after Kirk and His missus returned from their most recent vacation. I was planning to meet clients in Ramona at 5 p.m. and was early, so stopped at Starbucks to get a refreshing beverage (and free wifi). Walking up to the counter, the glass display case of suggested 'snacks' looked different... Flatbreads, meatballs, chicken skewers...and then, after I had placed my order (for a tall bold coffee, no room), was asked if I'd like to try a chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped, balsamic drizzled date (not a piece of cookie or cake, the usual Starbucks samples). Where am I? I wondered.
I sat down.
This was on the table- That last page? A beer and wine list. Later, a nice Young Man was walking around offering samples of popcorn...seasoned with truffle salt and served warm. Again, so confused and I didn't take a photo, but it was good popcorn.
The Mister and I finally had time to return to Ramona. While waiting for my beverage, I noticed this signage: Well, it was Thursday, about 4:30. We had already ordered savory snacks... Truffle Mac & Cheese ($5.95)"Macaroni pasta in a creamy truffle fondue with herbed Parmesan breadcrumbs". Wow. This was tasty! My choice was the Spinach Artichoke Dip with pita chips ($5.95) "Creamy spinach and artichokes deglazed with white wine". Again, very nice. So different than my usual selection of Peanut butter and jam half sandwich, breakfast sandwich or protein box.
Right at 5 o'clock, a young man made an announcement 'anyone who is 21 years old or older may come out to the patio to sample our Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio and goat cheese artichoke flatbread'. I finished reading a chapter, then casually walked out; didn't want to be first in line.This vignette awaited. I asked for only one wine sample and only one piece of the flatbread.
(So sorry about this sideways photo, but still can't figure out my cameraphone sometimes; this was the clearest photo) (I wanted you to see that Starbucks apparently is making stemless wineglasses now). The goat cheese flatbread will be ordered next time; it was wonderful and a mix of Jack cheese with the goat cheese (mellowing out the flavor) as well as red peppers which compliment the marinated artichoke hearts. The Pinot Grigio, a usual summertime choice, was of extremely good quality. "Crispy with aromas of orange flowers and juicy tropical fruit" is the description. It is $9 for a glass.
We will be going to another Starbucks Evenings soon to try out some other menu items. I don't know if the other locations have a once a week tasting, but suspect they all do. I did see a glass of beer being brought out and the menu states to 'ask your barista about our current selection of curated craft beers', so that may happen on our next visit.
*** Not much food in this one. I wouldn't be the least bit offended if you just came back tomorrow.....
We didn't have to check out of the apartment until noon and our train didn't leave until 1300, so we decided to make the most of the rest of our time in Ronda. To be perfectly honest, we were a bit sad to leave as the charm of this amazing locale really made an impression on us.
As soon as the morning rains had passed, we decided to take a walk around and possibly grab a cup of coffee. It was hard getting the past the views.....
It seems that no matter how many times you stared off into the beautiful valley below; you'd notice something new, something you hadn't seen before.
We headed into the Mercadillo Quarter and found a location of the chain Granier on the main pedestrian shopping street of Carretera Espinal.
While having our morning coffee, the Missus and I discussed what we should do before check out time. I suggested finding the trail on the other side of Puente Nueva that led down to the area where all those classic photos of Puente Nueva and El Tajo are taken. Bolstered by our morning caffeine we headed off.
It really wasn't hard to find. We just basically took a right, where we took a left the day before and headed down the street. From Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora, to the right of the statue of San Juan Bosco, there's a set of steps that leads to the trail down into the valley.
The views from Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora ain't shabby either, very dramatic in its own way. Check the out view of the cliffs or Alameda del Tajo where we'd taken most of our photos of the valley the previous day!
The stairs give way to a cobblestone path.....it was just a tad slippery on this morning, which gave way to a dirt path.
And you get a photo, you'll never forget. We headed back up after taking a few more photos and took a round about way back to the apartment. Passing through the square with the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which we had walked through the night before.
We took our time getting back to the apartment, where we freshened up, sadly packed, and checked out. Picking up some jamon and bread for our travel days had become sort of a tradition in Spain, so we found a shop right across the street from the Apartmentos Rondacentro and got some Jamon Belotta.
Our train left on time and we had to change trains......
There wasn't much going on here........
Which made it a perfect time for a jamon bocadillo break.....
Even though we'd spent only a night in Ronda, we must have really taken to the place. Arriving in Seville was a jolt to us. The crowds, the narrow streets....the metropolitan area of Seville has a population of 1.5 million people. Making it the fourth largest city in Spain. Our AirBnB apartment was located down a tiny street in Barrio Santa Cruz, a maze of streets and alleyways. We got joyfully lost several times during our first day in the city.
The first thing we needed was a map so we headed down the street and found ourselves at the Giralda (the Bell Tower) and Plaza del Triunfo and the TI was right there.
The Cathedral is quite impressive; the third largest church in Europe.
We took our time and wandered around Barrio Santa Cruz ad ended up at this pleasant square; appropriately named Plaza de Santa Cruz.
As I mentioned earlier, Santa Cruz was once the Jewish Quarter, and a Synagogue once stood at this spot. A distinctive cross rests in the center of the plaza, known as "Cruz Cerrajería" (the Locksmith’s Cross) which dates back to the 17th Century.
Close is another square; Plaza de Refinadores, with one of Seville's most famous, though fictional, personas, Don Juan. So ladies....meet the original Don Juan!
It was starting to get dark and we needed a break, so we headed back to our apartment....
Which meant winding our way thru a maze of streets.....since wifi reception in the alleyways were sometimes problematic, even pocket wifi didn't help. We did eventually find our way back; the apartment was located in an 18th century "casa de palacio", a palace house, it was quite an interesting place to stay. Dinner was coming up. We would soon find the best food of this trip to Spain in Seville.
Thanks for dropping by to read mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) have been posting a lot lately and even though Cathy hasn't posted, she has been eating. Today's post is one of her eating adventures.
This year is slipping by; more than 1/3 is over and I'm still referring to '2015' on some documents. Work has been busy and visiting with friends and family has occurred. The other morning, after a quick stop at San Diego International Airport, The Mister and I stuck around the Balboa Park area and stopped at a place we each had passed many times. It was a time for us to enjoy some well deserved rest.
Extraordinary Desserts has been open at this location in the Bankers Hill area of San Diego (a block West of Balboa Park) since 2005 about 1994 and has had a storefront in Little Italy since 2006. Karen Krasne, a San Diego native and Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef, was honored with multiple awards for her skills long before her storefronts were in existence (1988).
Walking into the store, though the outdoor seating area, begins the visual stimulation. There are some condiments available for purchase, as well as whole cakes. Walking toward the cashier, there are three main areas to choose individual servings of pastries available that day. (The third area is on a shelf behind the open counter). There is also a small menu of coffee and other hot beverages to choose from.
You order, pay and have a seat and the preparation of beverages and plating occurs. Then your order is brought out.This wonderful slice of blood orange ricotta cake ($9.50) was quite filling and the plating included gold flecked orange slices, a mango-raspberry puree and edible rose petals. The ricotta cake is soaked in blood orange juice so is very moist and flavorful on its own. The whipped cream frosting is also made with blood orange juice. Cranberries and raspberries are part of the frosting that is between layers. This is so good.
This Blackberry and blueberry scone ($3.95) was warmed before the simple decorations of rose petals and powdered sugar topped it. It was a flaky layered, buttery rich pastry, not too sweet and complimented by the fresh berries. Quite large and an excellent scone.
Open late as well as early, this is great, locally owned place.
Extraordinary Desserts 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Website Open Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m.-11:00p.m. Fri 8:30 a.m.-midnight Sat 10 a.m.-midnight Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Here you are, back at mmm-yoso!!!, looking for someplace new, different or just to see if Kirk or Ed (from Yuma) or Cathy go to the same places as you. Today's post is written by Cathy.
In between rainy and windy days, there tend to be some really beautiful ones interspersed here in San Diego County. Driving East on El Cajon Boulevard one of those days, we noticed the signage above the building as well as a sandwich board on the sidewalk. You know we had to stop.Curious about the idea of having to go though the Winery door to get to the coffee shop area, we walked in and looked to the right, where the sunlight was streaming in through the open roll up wall door; because it is being constructed to be a pre-order and drive up spot.
Back inside, there is a walk up sort of grab and go case of pastries, pre-made sandwiches, salads and bottled/canned beverages. But there is also a small menu of foods as well as beverages (hot, cold, smoothies). The coffees are from both Lavazza and Bird Rock.We decided to try an iced coffee (the cold brew was not ready) which is kept cold with coffee ice cubes (you have no idea how much I appreciate non-diluting chilling methods). There are so many 'Specialty' drinks offered here, a few seen on this blog post by cc, from September. The Mister decided to try a 'Kale Superfood Salad' ($7.95) (add rotisserie chicken $3.50). The bowl it was served in was quite large and deep. We shared and this was great, quite enough food.The only person working that day was the owner and we overheard him talking to some 'regulars' about a Special for $6 and decided to order it. Thick slices of cucumber, toped with a thick layer of goat cheese, topped with a nicely sweet/spicy chutney (there was ginger in it) and drizzled with honey. Simple, yet a flavor combination I never considered. We have since purchased several chutneys at Trader Joe's and enjoyed a similar snack at home.
Grinds and Vine Coffee Bar 2419 El Cajon Blvd San Diego 92104 (Between Texas Street and Arizona Street) (619) 512-2423 Website Closed Mondays. Tue and Wed 6:30 am - 3:00 pm. Thur and Fri 6:30 am - 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Sat 7:30 am - 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Sun 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
We had a gameplan for our last morning in Portland. More on that later. First, we needed some coffee. Back in March, FOY (Friend of Yoso) "James" recommended Public Domain Coffee Never let it be said that I don't take recommendations seriously. Unlike many of the coffee shop in the downtown area which open later on weekend, Public Domain opens at 6am every day. Which made it an easy choice early on a Sunday morning.
They were doing some nice business at this early hour. Just a simple cup of coffee. Service was great and we enjoyed the place except for the two morons who blocked the condiment section....they kept adding cream, sugar, and whatever, then tasting their coffee, then adding more stuff...pouring off some coffee to compensate...wash...rinse...repeat....meanwhile a line was forming behind these two clueless, entitled knuckleheads...until we finally went, "excuse me, but can we get some sleeves...."
One other funny incident. There was an older gentleman, though perhaps life had made him look a bit older than he was, who was sitting on the sidewalk outside Public Domain. He seemed quite kind, asking for change, or a cup of coffee, addressing folks as "sir" and "ma'am". We got him some coffee and a croissant....and damn if he didn't give the Missus a bow and a flourish, finishing with what looked like a modified curtsy, which was pretty much worth the price of the cup of coffee and pastry.
Public Domain Coffee 603 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205
We went back to our room and packed. Breakfast was going to be at....well, where else; Tasty n Alder, the decision was not up for negotiating. We travel light. On this trip, a single carry-on for both the Missus and I, a Tom Binh Aeronaut 45. Tasty n Alder doesn't open until 9am and out flight was at noon. On our visit the previous morning, we asked our server, who had also been our server on the previous two visits if she thought we could actually have breakfast here; catch the light rail, and make our flight back to San Diego. She believed we could do this. We'd have to be in line 20 minutes before the restaurant opened and she was sure we'd make it.
And so we got to the front door; with our bag, 20 minutes before the place opened. It was good advice. Within minutes there was a line behind us.
We got in and wouldn't you know it......we got the same server....I got her name...but sadly can't remember it right now. You know how the Missus enjoys the food here. All I've got to add is, that young lady was just on top of things, she was just amazing.
Besides the usual suspects, we also ordered the Watermelon Salad, which the Missus loved. This is what made ordering the Watermelon Salad at Risibisi a few months later an easy sell.
Which she brought with the check, knowing we were in a hurry. Touches like this mean that we'll always come back here....... We're just visitors....who knows when, or if, we'd ever be back. And still there's such a nice gesture.
Tasty n Alder 580 SW 12th Ave Portland, OR 97205
And of course we made it to the airport with time to spare.
Finally, at the beginning of November they opened to the public, albeit with limited hours - 6am to noon, Monday to Fridays. I'm only able to visit when I'm running late for work or on holidays.
Still, my visits have been fruitful. On the morning of Christmas Eve, I dropped by and was shocked to see they had brewed a batch of the iconic Panama Geisha. We'd previously spent ten bucks for pour over at Bird Rock, and while this was just drip coffee, it was worth way more than the $2.15 price tag. Smooth, almost too smooth, aromatic....very nice.
I also noticed that the Kyoto Drip tower had been set-up. The really friendly guys here....they love to talk about the various aspects of coffee....heaven for a coffee nerd like the Missus, told me they were "dialing it in"...... I'm hoping they have some nice cold brew the next time I drop by.
I was also told they were considering the possibility of weekend hours......which I'd appreciate.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters 1270 Morena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110
Pho Paradise Closes:
Right before the deluge hit, I decided to see what was up with Pho Paradise. I was somewhat surprised to see Eviction Restoration Notice posted on the door. Too bad. I once thought that the pho here had some promise, but my last visit here in November was quite disappointing.
One consistent thing about Convoy. There's no good pho to be had.
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!! on this beautiful day. Kirk (and his Missus) still have a bit of jet lag and Ed (from Yuma) just wrote a really nice post, so it's Cathy's turn.
A San Diego institution, Twiggs has a long, zig-zagged history here, beginning in 1992. There are two locations and this one (on the North East corner of Adams at Idaho) is where The Mister and I have stopped for a few meals as well as baked goods.There is a food menu in the front window (as well as paper menus inside). It seems to be most crowded here for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday breakfast Specials menu.The beverage menus above the cash registers where you order and pay. Usually we stare at the menu and end up ordering a cup of coffee, because it is from Caffe Calabria, a local roaster we really like. Condiments are to the side of the ordering counter, as is more seating. Because the wifi is free, there are a lot of tables with only one person seated at certain times of the day. They all seem to be ordering something to drink and/or eat also, so that's cool. Asking what the quiche of the day choices were (A slice is $4.25; $7.50 with a salad), both mushroom and ham and cheese were available. This time I chose ham and cheese, an excellent choice. Because this location of Twiggs is also a bakery..well, the crust...it was heavenly. Flaky light, flavorful and a good crisp. The bottom stayed firm (sometimes quiche crusts are almost like raw dough) and the cheesy custard filling (a mix of cheeses) complimented the thick sliced chunks of a very flavorful, smoky ham. The mixed lettuce salad, with tomato, raw mushroom and green pepper comes with a side of raspberry vinaigrette, which I use sparingly...the salad veggies are flavorful on their own.The Mister has been curious about the tarragon chicken salad ($6.95) and this time it was his order. A large scoop (despite this photographic illusion) is served on top of the mixed salad (again, with raspberry vinaigrette on the side). Chopped almonds and tarragon complimented the chicken and mayonnaise; simplicity is all the flavoring needed. The lightly toasted (on a panini press) bread was just a perfect compliment for all the flavors. Never knowing if we will want a dessert, we waited until we were finished eating and walked over to the other side of the ordering counter, perusing the baked goods. (There is another refrigerated area with cakes and pies and their respective slices that I didn't photograph).Again, deciding simple would be best, we asked for one pecan sandy ($1) cookie to go and when we got home, were happy to see that there were two in the bag. There are bits of pecan in every bite of these lightly flaky buttery cookies.
Always a nice, neighborhood place to stop. You can pre-order some wonderful cakes, pies and cookies as well some very traditional Christmas items for the rest of the holidays coming up.
Twiggs Bakery & Coffee House 2804 Adams Avenue San Diego 92116 (619)296-4077 Website
I don't think a trip to Kyoto/Osaka would be complete without a short detour to Nara, once the capital of Japan.
It was a quick 45 minute train ride to JR Nara Station. From there, we decided to take a leisurely walk to Todai-ji.
It was a quiet and rather relaxing walk...... we passed an interesting looking "local-kine place" along the way.
We saw a branch of Ko Hi Kan Coffee along the way, so we decided to stop and get our caffeine fix for the morning. Pour-over of course.....per the Missus.
The women working here were very friendly.
It was a nice cup(s) of coffee, which energized our rather tired bones for the walk.
It was just a short walk to the Nara Park area.
We ended up spending the most of our time in a couple of areas; the first being Kofuku-ji, once the temple of the Fujiwara-shi, once one of the most powerful families in Japan.
The Pagoda here was undergoing repairs when we visited; but the grounds were really quite beautiful....in a stark and spartan way.
We soon entered the heart of Nara Park; famous for their temples...and of course the aggressive deer. Actually, I found the deer here to be much more mellow than the super aggressive deer in Miyajima. Though you might have a different opinion if you've ever read Lynnea's post on Nara. That last photo in that post is still a favorite of mine.
Just in case you hadn't been informed of the risks of screwing around with the rather cute four-legged friends....there are signs that explain the possible hazards of messing around with them.
I believed that the biggest draw to Nara would be Tōdai-ji.
Based on the crowds that lines the Main Gate, I'd say that my statement is pretty much correct.
The Daibutsu-den, which houses the world's largest bronze rendering of Buddha is quite impressive.
The bronze Buddha which is also quite impressive at 49 feet tall and 92 feet across at the shoulders! This is a image of Dainichi Buddha, the "Celestial Buddha", the source from which all other Buddha's emanate.
There's a lot to see here. There are other statues, like the rather mencing and imposing looking Komokuten; Buddha's Guard who is stepping upon a demon, yet brandishing a scroll and brush, symbolizing both the power and wisdom of the Sutras over ignorance.
To the right of the Buddha sits Nyoirin Kannon.
In contrast to the rather scary and imposing Komokuten, the Nyoirin Kannon represents compassion and boundless love for all.
And, for those who want enlightenment.....you can try to pass through a hole in one of the pillars deemed Buddha's Nostril. Passing through the hole means that you be granted enlightenment....though I believe it doesn't happen until your next life. Plus, I read that it's only about 20 inches wide....the size of Buddha's nostrils.......better leave this to the one of the school kids; many of whom still struggled to get through.
It was fun watching all the school kids trying to pass through the hole....each one had a photo taken...proof that enlightenment will be bestowed upon them. Personally, I did gain a bit of enlightenment....but it happened in the form of the restroom sign. I learned the power of a single space...where Gentleman....became "Gentle Man". Now that's powerful, right?
Kids of all ages came to visit Tōdai-ji. This group of really young ones seemed so cute and charming. They were so little, that a few of them needed help going down the stairs.
And of course, they sell "senbei".....crackers for the deer...which means every group of school kids became a feeding frenzy.
It was starting to get really crowded. Which meant it was time to "hele".
It definitely is a must see if you're in Kyoto or Osaka.
Initially, the plan was to have lunch in Nara, but we decided to head back to Osaka. Just a few blocks from the busy arcades of Dotonburi resides Kuromon Market.
Along with the numerous shops were countless food stalls, selling everything from live blowfish to Kobe Beef. And there was even a good sized supermarket in the middle of it all.
It was quite a variety. We then decided to just buy a couple of items and have lunch in the market.
It also wasn't easy deciding on what to get. We actually did a walkthrough of the entire market area before making our selections. It was hard resisting all the Kobe beef....especially since you could "burn your meat after ordering"....
In the end I chose some really nice toro from one of the market stalls. The woman sliced everything quite nicely and provided me with wasabi and shoyu.
The Missus chose a selection of nimono and ohitashi for a nice meal from the very friendly folks at another stand.
It made for a very nice lunch.
After finishing up, we headed to the market to grab some beverages and snacks for the evening. At first I was just going to grab 2-3 items, but ended up with quite a load. While walking the aisles I felt a tap on the shoulder. I turned to find a kind looking, elderly gentleman smiling at me. He had two shopping baskets in hand....and passed one of them to me. Such a thoughtful gesture. You gotta love Osaka.
mmm-yoso is primarily a food blog. Kirk posts the most here, and Cathy also posts often. But today Ed (from Yuma) posts about a new eatery (in Yuma).
The late summer and early fall are good times to launch new restaurants here in river city; it gives them some time to practice their craft before the influx of winter visitors and ag workers. One interesting new venue is The Press, featuring soup, salad, and pressed sandwiches.
Located on W 24th St. between Vista Moving and Mayflower Moving – the restaurant is kind of hard to find. The signage is at the eastern edge of the parking lot, so the cars in this photo are not on the property:
and the building itself is totally nondescript:
Inside, however, it’s unique. A lot of comfortable chairs and dark wood tables:
Empty coffee sacks (as well as acoustic ceiling tile) keep the noise level reasonable and make this a nice place for conversation:
There's usually some pleasant music (reggae or Beatles or such like) lightly playing in the background. They provide free Wi-Fi and two comfortable chairs and a couch for people who want to hang out, drink coffee, do homework or even grade papers:
Along with bottled water and some sodas, three kinds of coffee and real iced tea are available:
True to the name of the restaurant, one other beverage choice, the sweet and cacao flavored Mayan tea arrives at your table in a press:
Standard procedure is to grab the menu and look at the daily soup or fruit choice – and any specials on the blackboard behind the cash register. That's where you place your order:
The menu is both simple and clear:
You can choose from a number of different salads or pressed sandwiches for $7.95. The sandwiches come with your choice of chips, pasta salad, or fruit. On my first visit I had the Yuman sandwich with fruit:
On that day the fruit was a sliced half of a ripe pear, which was a real joy.
The sandwich itself was pretty good. A few slices of deli turkey, bacon, and avocado covered with a lot of goopy avocado dressing:
The herbed focaccia bread had a lot of flavor, but the texture of the bread itself was not outstanding. More like supermarket focaccia than Italian bakery focaccia.
For that reason, I like to pair half a sandwich with either soup or salad ($7.95). Here's a Telegraph sandwich with an excellent lemon chicken soup with orzo:
The sandwich had some sliced chicken, tasty roasted red peppers, cheese and guacamole:
Half an egg salad sandwich (the Bantam) with clam chowder:
This was a very tasty combination. The herbed egg salad has a nice rosemary flavor and the clam chowder was different from most chowders. I could detect no salt pork/bacon taste, nor any cream. There were abundant tender clams, but the spuds dominated, adding chunkiness and thickness and a true potato taste.
If you want half a sandwich with a salad, you can choose any of the sandwiches and any of the salads. I loved both the Cobb salad and the Italian sandwich on this plate:
The Cobb came with a blue cheese vinaigrette – here's what it looked like before I dug into it:
The sandwich was a good rendition of an old favorite – nicely flavored pepperoni and salami, a small slice of provolone cheese, a couple of tomato slices, and red onions and banana peppers. It also came with Italian dressing. The meats and spices worked together and made the whole sandwich very flavorful:
Also for $7.95, you can combine a cup of soup with half-size portion of any of the salads on the menu. I thoroughly enjoyed the garden salad balanced with cream of asparagus soup:
The soup was creamy and very savory, with long thin pieces of asparagus spear adding texture. The garden salad was also excellent. The mix of romaine and baby lettuces provided an excellent background to the chopped tomatoes, zucchini slices, shredded carrot, green pepper pieces, and rings of red onion. The Italian vinaigrette served on the side had just the right note of red wine vinegar to highlight the flavors of the greens and veggies.
Here is the krab bisque with a Blue Holler salad:
It's hard not to like apple chunks, blue cheese crumbles, Craisins, and toasted slivered almonds on a mix of greens accompanied by balsamic vinaigrette.
The bisque was mild, rich, and sweet flavored. It was also full of shreds of surimi:
While The Press may not be everybody's cup of coffee – I enjoy it a lot. My only gripe would be that it is sometimes a hassle for us older folks to have to get up to grab napkins or a pepper shaker, particularly when the place is busy. On the other hand this is one of those great little restaurants where the owners are personally involved with the operation, and their attention to detail shows up again and again in the food and ambience.
I'd planned on having one "walking" (aka death march) day in Portland and this Thursday was to be it. Little did I know just how much walking we'd do.....on this day and the next because of some unplanned detours.
Things started as planned. Just a block or so away from the hotel is Case Study Coffee Roasters. Very chill and mellow.
The Missus got a pour-over, which was nice, and She decided that I should get the Lavender Infused Cold Brew...which seemed kind of, well, feminine.....but was nice with a refreshing clean finish.
Case Study Coffee 802 SW 10th Ave Portland, OR 97205
The plan was as follows...the Missus wanted to walk, so I'd decided to head to Mount Tabor, via the Hawthorne Bridge and Hawthorne Boulevard. A decent 4 - 4 1/2 mile walk. We'd take our time and have lunch at Cheese Bar on SE Belmont Street, then catch the #15 Bus back to the hotel for a nice afternoon nap before walking another couple of miles to dinner. As we left case study, the Missus decided that we needed to try Tasty n Sons. We'd gone to Tasty n Alder twice during our last visit to Portland and She wanted to see how TnS lined up.... So let's just add another 4 miles total to things shall we? One does not argue with the Missus when She gets into "mission mode".....
So off we went. The Broadway Bridge was undergoing some work as we crossed so the bike lane and pedestrian walk area was a single thin path. Folks were biking to work so we'd stop and move under the scaffolding to let them pass. I'd forgotten how friendly and nice folks in PDX were. Every bike rider who passed us and there were many smiled and said "thank you"......
We crossed over the I-5 over to N Vancouver, then to N Williams Avenue. Man that part of North Williams near the Emanuel Medical Center is kind of depressing....but you soon get close to NE Fremont Street with the ton of bikes (3,000 bike commuters on this street daily is what I read), businesses, and gentrification. We'd arrived.....
The building Tasty n Sons is located in is quite interesting, it's named the Hub and contains almost every single type of new-agey business you can imagine, even a Naturopathic Vet!
Anyway, we were seated quickly upon entering the restaurant....we found the service here to not be quite as friendly or efficient as Tasty n Alder or even Toro Bravo (an upcoming post). Still, we sat at the counter facing the street and had a nice meal.
Seeing Shakshuka on the menu, we couldn't resist...and of course, there's the Missus's love of runny eggs...and my love of grilled bread.
The eggs were wonderfully runny, the bread nicely charred and smokey. The shakshuka could have had a bit more zip; both in terms of heat, sweet red pepper, and tangy tomato flavors. Of course, since we make our own at home quite often, we have a certain expectation in terms of flavor and prep. Still, this was good.
The real winner was the Moroccan Chicken Hash and of course, yet another egg for the Missus.
The spice-salt-earthy flavors was just what we were craving. The chicken was nicely seasoned and the creamy sauce brought everything together.
During the recent hot weather, I've been making a nice chilled heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad with aged balsamic and Arbequina Olive Oil, which is so delicious. So we were excited to try the Heirloom Tomatoes. Well, you can't claim false advertising as it is heirloom tomato slices.
To our tastes it was a little low on both the acid and sweetness scale and the kitchen had been a bit too liberal in the application of salt.
Overall a nice, hearty, but not too heavy breakfast. I had encouraged the Missus to order the Radicchio Salad here, but for some reason She decided not to. Something She'd regret later.
Tasty n Sons 3808 N Williams Ave Portland, OR 97212
And so with some cajoling I got my butt in gear and we headed east on NE Fremont, then down MLK Boulevard. On this day, the temps were supposed to hit the high 80's (the next day would go into the 90's) and it was getting pretty warm by the time we got NE Belmont. The walk was slightly uphill, but not too steep.
There are quite a few interesting places along the way.....
Over 5 miles later, we got to the place I'd originally planned as our lunch stop; Cheese Bar.
We've really been enjoying cheese over the last couple of years. Cheese Bar along with the new "Chizu" in downtown are retail/cheese-wine bars owned by Steve Jones former winner of the National Cheese Monger Invitational Contest.
I was pooped, hot, and rather sweaty. Strangely, I was also a bit hungryl. Cheese Bar serves up cheese boards, charcuterie boards featuring Olympia Provisions products, sandwiches, beer, wine, and salads. We just ordered two cheese boards and had some highly restorative mineral water.
The House Cheese Board featured three Spanish Cheeses, chutney, and crostini ($11).
Really nice aged Sheep's milk cheeses. From right to left, a Mahón Reserva, a Buenalba, and a very nutty Zamorano. The Mahón seemed a bit behind the other two in terms of assertive flavors. But after letting the flavors open up as it reached room temperature the sweetness of the cheese became apparent.
We also got the "Stinky" Board with Crostini ($8).
The Grayson (on the left) is slightly ripe, though quite mild in flavor. The Vulto Creamery Ouleout has a wonderful texture, a slightly ripe smell but was also a bit mild for our taste. I guess we've gotten used to Harbison.
This was a nice stop for a light lunch. If we'd been doing some self-catering, we'd surely have gotten a couple of cheeses and a baguette.
Cheese Bar 6031 SE Belmont Portland, OR 97215
I really looked like "Ji-chan" as I stood up....geez, I'm surely not getting any younger.....especially after taking a "nice" over 9 mile morning walk! The Missus was nice enough to allow us to return to downtown on the #15 bus. I crawled back to our hotel room, showered....and then it was time for a short nap. Which I hoped would be restorative since we'd be walking to dinner!