Content by Simplicity

Last night, I was improvising my way home from a friend’s house in the Southeast Clinton neighborhood of Portland. The weather was bleak and gray as usual and I was feeling slightly nauseous (I’m suspicious that there may have been small bits of chopped capsicum in my Raita). However, I could not stop imagining how wonderful it would be to live out here- to have Whiskey Soda Lounge and Matchbox Lounge as my neighborhood bars and to have a little Health Food Co-op to load up on my newfound kale obsession. To get to walk and frolic everywhere in trendy Dolce Vita sandals and floral little dresses, sip apple cider vinegar drinks and blog on my front porch, and have potted plants and plum trees to water.

Who am I?

In all seriousness though, while I see myself in London/Paris/Stockholm/Munich/Dubai in my future, I’m down with having a mellow and comparatively simple Portland experience until then- I mean, what is the rush? I  just graduated college.

These past few days have reflected this newfound little desire- no fancy restaurants using truffles or pistous, but just some ethnic favorites and some home cooking inspired by all the fresh produce I need to use before it goes bad.

Sushi at Mio with my dear Saudi friend, Alia. Some much needed catching up on a sunny Portland afternoon

Grilled chicken sauteed with asparagus (very much in season), mushrooms, onions, thyme, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar

Kaleeeee Chips!!!

Then on Friday night, a delicious dinner with Yurop, Manuel, and Madoka at my very favorite comfort-food, family-like dining establishment, Arabian Nights:

Madoka: Chicken Shawarma over Bokhari Rice

Me: Essential Taboula, 2 Shish Tawouk skewers, and unpictured amazing amazing heavenly pita bread

Yurop: Chicken Shawarma over Hummus (I obviously jacked about half his hummus)

Manuel: Beef Shawarma over hummus

No joke, my people…Arabian Nights is hands down the best Arabic food in the Portland area (and gets better each time I go). Plus, the service is a perfect example of Arab hospitality- they provide you with free tea at the end of the meal, and they even COMPED my entire dinner as a graduation present.

Arabian Nights on Urbanspoon

***

As for Indian food in Portland, there aren’t many places which tickle my fancy as well despite the multitude of Desi eateries scattered throughout the greater metropolitan area. However, if I had to choose a favorite, it would be Dwaraka on SE Hawthorne and 40th- the food is delicious (and they have pretty legit South Indian fare as well, all at decent prices) and the people that work there are very, very kind and accommodating.

My friend, Kyle got the Aloo Saag Thali (which also came with a mango pudding dessert and naan)

Emily (who I went to India with) predictably got the Malai Kofta, which was also her favorite vegetarian fare when we were together on the subcontinent

Me: So predictable, chicken tikka obviously (with unpictured garlic naan and raita). Delicious, and a huge portion…I’m happy to say that I do have some leftovers to look forward to

Dwaraka Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

***

And on Saturday, Amalia and I hit up the Lake Oswego farmer’s market- and of course became incredibly inspired by the multitude of fresh produce, lavender scented candles/sachets/lotions, and mini fromage samples.

However, by the time we reached the booth for one of the local farms they were sold out of Italian Kale. Alors, I approached one of the flannel/rimmed glasses/apron-clad hipster-licious dudes working there and inquired about the lack of Italian Kale. He was apologetic, but pointed out the somewhat more exotic Russian Red Kale or bag of mixed braising greens which he insisted contained mostly baby kale. I asked which one he preferred (it was the mixed greens) and then we got in a nice little conversation about how he likes to mix them with olive oil and lemon juice, so I proudly told him all about my kale chips obsession.

What  a Portland exchange. (I know how obnoxious I must be getting with using Portland as an adjective so excessively…there’s just something hilarious and ironic for me to feel like I may genuinely be part of a community stereotype).

My end bounty:

Italian Parsley, Braising Greens, loaf of Upper Crust Bread Blueberry Crumble cake

Predictably, lunch was a produce-ful fest:

Baby kale chips baked in olive oil, sea salt, and chili flakes

With leftover chicken/asparagus, makeshift fattoush (parsley/cukes/tomatoes/sumac), and aubergine hummus. Next time, I’m adding red quinoa or bulgur because I was hungry about an hour later

Anyhow, tonight I’m going with a couple of friends to Bamboo Sushi, the only sustainable sushi restaurant in Portland. Very, very, very stoked!

What’s a food highlight from your weekend?
Where’s your favorite place to go for some heart-warming comfort food? 

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2 thoughts on “Content by Simplicity

  1. Good lord, that is an INCREDIBLE amount of houmous. I would take that as a challenge. I should also admit that my stomach rumbled out loud at the shot of the sushi, and that despite my adventure-chasing I’m also tempted by the picture you painted of plum trees and a front porch… maybe one day we will all be real adults after all?!

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