Peace out P-Town

Bonjour mes petits champignons!

I am finally back home sweet home in Marin County, California after six months of absence

My room has been rearranged and cleaned so well that I am afraid to start unpacking the many suitcases I have lined up in the hallway just to not mess up the immaculate job my mother has done at reorganizing it over the past few months.

Case in point:

Don’t make fun of my curtains…I think they were installed when I was in middle school or something…

So nice to be home and to not have to fret about sleeping with the fan on full blast next to my face since my house is always freezing

Since it’s been a few days since my most recent carbolicious post, I’ll backtrack a bit back to Portland:

This weekend was a meteorological miracle for the city of roses in which the weather soared past NINETY degrees Fahrenheit during my last couple of days, which of course resulted in a favorable return of my natural skin tone and some frolicking under the sun.

On Friday night, Anne, Amalia, and I wanted to have a classy last dinner somewhere where we can sit outside…the perfect solution: Veritable Quandary by the waterfront:

Amalia: HUGE Caesar Salad

Anne: Hawaiian Tuna with mango, radish, and cilantro and a DELICIOUS coconut milk simmered bed of basmati rice

Me: Wild Salmon with asparagus hazelnut strudel and a wild mushroom vinaigrette. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. The strudel was amazing, spears of local asparagus and chopped hazelnuts nestled inside of buttery, delectable, and flaky puff pastry. Success.

And for dessert, Anne was DYING for someone to split the chocolate soufflé
with…and well, who am I to say no to a dessert with chocolate in it?

This really was glorious, the chocolate of the highest calibre quality (I wish I knew what type it was) and the soufflé
soft, hot, and delightful- I should note this was my first time ever having soufflé so I expected the texture to be more cake-like

This was my first time having dinner at VQ (I had brunch here with Nazneen back in February), and while it’s pricier than a lot of Portland restaurants, the ingredients are of top-notch local quality, the service is impeccable, and the preparation gorgeous!

Veritable Quandary on Urbanspoon

***

On Saturday, Amalia and I woke up early to go fetch my father from the airport and head out to brunch

In the spirit of showing off to my father Portland’s food culture, I chose Tasty N Sons in North Portland as the venue of choice. As usual, there was a wait on this sunshine-speckled PDX morning, but nothing that a few mugs of Stumptown Hair Bender couldn’t remedy. Again, I’ve been to Tasty N Sons once before when my sister visited town back in January, but like VQ and many other Portland eateries, the menu changes seasonally (or tweaks rather)

What we ordered?

Amalia: Barbecue Chicken Hash with an over-easy egg

Me: Cast-Iron Frittata with nettles, caramelized onions, asparagus, and fromage blanc. Amazing…but I burned my hand on the skillet (yes, even though I was warned it would be scorching)

Daddy: Shakshuka (Moroccan tomato and red pepper stew) with baked eggs, Merguez lamb sausage, and grilled bread. This was also delicious (and the bread so chewy and perfect…I’m wondering if it’s Ken’s Artisan or Grand Central Bakery?) I’m normally not a fan of lamb or anything in sausage form, but the Merguez had a nice tinge of Moroccan spice to it without being overly gamey. The father was quite happy with his meal (and the idea of eating Shakshuka since my mother makes it at home).

We also got a complimentary dessert:

Biscuits with a strawberry compote and creme…also delicious, perfectly flaky, buttery, and satisfying (and a compote no doubt made of the freshest local strawberries)

Tasty n Sons on Urbanspoon

The rest of Saturday was spent packing, moving, scrubbing bathtubs and driving all my boxes of winter clothing/kitchen supplies/mirrors to my dad’s best friend’s house in NoPo which he so kindly has offered to store for me while I figure out my next POA (plan of action) once I return from California and India later in the summer.

Reasonably, by 6pm I was famished so the pops and I chose to have din at a nearby favorite (which we always end up at the night prior to a road trip): Dang’s!

Panang curry with Prawns and asparagus

Daddy’s very white arm in the background of some tender chili-coconut milk simmered beef

Dang's Thai Kitchen on Urbanspoon

***

After we gauged the tire pressure of my car and daddy did some tax-free suit shopping at Saks, I dropped him off at his hotel and headed to the Pearl to meet up with Yurop for a last night in town hang out sesh. It also happened to be the night of the Rose Parade and some other special event so the Pearl was full of school buses, road closures, and cop cars (which basically means it took me 45 minutes to get a dece parking spot…which ended up being behind a Ferrari Gran Turismo)

We chilled at Oba! for a few hours before I got EXHAUSTED and began the hassle of driving home (which let me note should usually take fifteen minutes but ended up taking TWO HOURS!) I got stuck in the worst traffic jam of my life at around midnight on the onramp to the I-5 south (all because of a stupid ONE LANE CLOSURE!) Not only was I exhausted and having to wake up at 5am to drive home, but I started to become extremely claustrophobic having no way out and no way of knowing how far the jam extended for. Finally after an hour and a half and many deep breaths and ginger altoids to prevent me from passing out on the wheel, I finally made it home, had a snack, and passed out for four hours before loading up my car and hitting the road!

What’s the worst traffic jam you have ever been in?

Favorite brunch food?

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