Friday, September 3, 2010

Back from the dead (or from vacation)

Well howdy. It's been a while! First there was that Portland vacation, then a week of jetlag combined with nonstop work in the grey box of wonder – that's the name of my cubicle – followed by the derby team camping trip/ kayak adventure.

Needless to say, I'm plum pooped, but full of great stories, and of course great food. I think I'll have to go with installments so as not to overwhelm you with gluttony. You may gain weight just from reading this.


Ahhhh, Portland. Unique Portland.

Performance art? Just married? Police run out of wheel boots?
Land of fabulous brunches, incredible coffees and food trucks galore.

...and crusty jugglers.

Seriously, for all of the variety NYC provides gastronomically, Portland has it all too, but on a more approachable level, and lots of it coming from food trucks. Screw concrete! Who needs a restaurant to make tasty creative food when you can do the same thing in a well-equipped (and sometimes totally over the top) vehicle for a fraction of the cost?

What's that you say? You want French food? For $5? AND have it taste good? Well hell. Creme de la Creme will do you good.

Korean food? Yeah, they got that.

In the mood for some Southwestern Pizza? Sure? Why not?

If you can dream it up, and it tastes good, you can sell it from a truck. To see what I mean, just take a look at this blog I love, Food Carts Portland. Make sure you scroll down the "categories" list on the side to get a taste of the variety.

Obviously, I made a beeline for this place as soon as I saw it:

It's like Furthur's more awesome cousin!

Hello! Grilled cheese! Cooked in an airstream trailer and then with a bus as seating. What's to hate?
Definitely not the sandwiches.

We went simple. Some kind of gooey cheese combo... cheddar, monterey, hmmm.... on white bread. Good. Yummy. Sherry tested, Jon approved.

Inside the dining bus.

"Hello? Scraps? Are those scraps? I see scraps in there!"

Just reemphasizing the goodness.

Also, I am a big fan of pods. Pods? Yes, pods. Pods are groupings of food trucks semi-permanently parked together in a lot. So you get options! It's way better than any food court you've ever been to, and after a night out at the bar or a derby bout or what have you, it becomes a good place to hang out, get some food and soak up the beer or replenish you bruised body, or both. I'm a big fan of Cartopia, a pod in SE Portland.

Choose your poison: Mexican food, Cajun food, French crepes, Wood-fired pizza, pomme frites, and fried pies.

And just when you though mobile food couldn't get any crazier, there's more. Portland has Good Humor Ice Cream boats. BOATS!

Delivering ice cream to hungry river bathers on Sauvie Island, complete with umbrellas and annoying music, just like the trucks.

Besides the absolute uniqueness and quality of the cart culture here, there is of course some drool-enducing food not to be missed coming out of good ol' brick and mortar buildings as well.

I can't even look at this sign without drooling.

There really are no words to describe Pine State Biscuits, so I guess I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

The "Reggie Deluxe". That's a biscuit with fried chicken, bacon, egg and cheese topped with sausage gravy.

Vegetarians! Fret not! You too can go into a biscuit-induced food coma as well. (I didn't get it this time around, but the mushroom gravy is pretty amazing. Just sayin'.)

The "Regina". A biscuit with an egg over easy, braised greens and LOTS of Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
Pine State Biscuits and some Stumptown coffee is the perfect breakfast to pad the stomach for hours of eating and drinking in the park and watching the Portland Soap Box Derby – another kind of derby altogether, but just as kickass.

But wait! There's more!

What's a trip to Portland without a stop at the one and only Voodoo Doughnuts? Normally, I am not a big doughnut person. Just, I dunno, a little too sweet for me.

But not on this day, not in this town, and not in this shop! Bring on the sweet, the overindulgent, the teeth-rotting combination of sugar on sugar! GIVE ME DOUGHNUTS!

A look inside the case. That's "The Loop" there with the Fruit Loops, "Grape Ape" has grape Pixi Stix on it, there's a "Dubble Bubble" doughnut, that triangular one is a cinnamon dusted "Blazer Blunt", back left corner is the "Memphis Maphia"– more on that one later.

Another shelf... there's an "Old Dirty Bastard" with peanut butter and Oreos, a "No Name" with Rice Krispies and peanut butter, a "Voodoo Doll" filled with raspberry jelly... and that "Memphis Mafia' again...

Jon and I bought a few tasty morsels.

The Bacon Maple Bar. DO NOT scrunch up your nose! Have you ever gotten maple syrup on your bacon during a pancake breakfast? If not, you should do it. Heavenly. Even better in doughnut form.

Portland Creme. Like a Boston Creme, but in Portland, and better.

And here my friends, is the Memphis Mafia: fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon sugar, covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips. Half of it is probably still sitting on our friends' counter because try as we might, this doughnut was impossible to finish without becoming an instant diabetic.

Yes, yes. There was some top-notch derby too.

Gotham Girls vs. B.A.D. (Bay Area Derby Girls) Photo by the Amazing Axle Adams/ Jules Doyle.

Gotham vs. Wheels of Justice (Rose City Rollers, Portland) Photo by the amazing Axle Adams/ Jules Doyle.

Gotham vs. Rat City (Seattle) Photo by the amazing Axle Adams/ Jules Doyle.

We definitively won all of our games, and gave the West coast a little taste of how we do derby back here in NYC. Great games all around and fun to watch, but I am glad that they were the last ones I'd be seeing from the sidelines for a while. It's back to practices and protein shakes for me, I finally get to play in a game next Saturday, and am looking forward to letting out 2 1/2 months of stored up hits out! Beware Bombshells!

And as for Portland, save me a spot.... I'll be back.

Jon made me do it. I swear.

(Don't worry Fa, I know you're reading... J'Ville is next!)

1 comment:

  1. Great addition to your blog. I want everyone of those donuts. I enjoy your photos and words, so delicious... YUM!!