Feast Portland Tillamook Brunch Village: The Most Epic Brunch Experience of My Life


Now that I have slept an entire day following the four day extravaganza that was Feast Portland 2014; I am ready to start rollin’ out the recaps. I would also like to acknowledge how much I admire all the other Media/Blogger folk who were able to knock out posts while Feast was in session. The best I was able to do was an instagram or a tweet here and there so I could soak up the most of what this epic food festival in it’s third year running had to offer.

This year, Feast added a new main event to its roster of the usuals (being Sandwich Invitational, Night Market, and High Comfort) and it was the Tillamook Brunch Village in Pioneer Courthouse Square. First of all, adding a brunch event as part of Feast is not only genius, but absolutely necessary and the perfect way to end an exhausting albeit exhilarating weekend.

There was a Brunch Cocktail Competition, a plethora of brunch dishes being whipped out by some of the country’s finest Brunch Pioneers (aka chefs), an endless supply of cocktails/beer/wine/Stumptown coffee, an epic Bloody Mary bar, and a starting time of 11am (reasonable given how late most of us Feasters were partying the night before and double fisting milk cartons full of White Russians).

I arrived at 11:25 am since I did after all have to go home and change from my prior night clothes (which was a kimono, leather skirt and snapback-hardly “Brunch Clothing”) since I was up late at the Chefstable party the night prior nursing my Monkey Strong scotch induced drunchies with the most epic drunchie platter of all time:

Absolutely EPIC assortment of Drunchies from Lardo/Grassa/Racion
Absolutely EPIC assortment of Drunchies from Lardo/Grassa/Racion: From top left- Fried Chicken Slider, Patty Melt, Corndog, Herby tots, meatball in marinara, creamy mac.

When I first arrived at Brunch Village, I decided to make a beeline for a couple of brunch cocktails…you know to double fist while having to wait in the ever-growing food queues. I know I’ve already said “double fist” a couple of times in this post, but if you aren’t double-fisting at Feast then you aren’t doing Feast right. In fact, Alaska Airlines provided at the Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting wooden portable tray tables with a slot for your wine glass so you can essentially QUADRUPLE FIST while still having one hand free. There was also a wine glass lanyard provided by one of the wineries so you can even WEAR your wine glass. So ergonomically brilliant.

I started out at the Bon Appetit Cocktail Tent

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The three choices were a Meadowsweet Mimosa (made with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, sugar syrup steeped with foraged meadowsweet flowers, and Bolerno blood orange liqueur), a Frozen Ramos Gin Fizz (Hendricks Gin, pressed citrus juice, cream, sugar syrup steeped with vanilla bean orange flower water, and nutmeg), and the one I chose which was a Pimm’s No. 9 made with Milagro tequila, Bolerno blood orange liqueur, Madeira combined with mint, ginger, and Tamarind soda.

The next stop was Urban Farmer and Whole Foods’ absolutely epic Bloody Mary bar.

With so much to choose from I ended up sticking to chicken, olives and some Marshall’s Haute Sauce. Now that I had a Bloody Mary and a Pimm’s in hand, it was time to hit the food.

What I’ve learned from Feast this year is that you’ve really got to hit the popular stuff first, because otherwise it is almost guaranteed that they will run out…and if they don’t then their chef is a saint (I’m looking at you Rick Gencarelli for somehow still keepin’ the Lardo sliders rolling at Sandwich Invitational last Thursday).

I decided to start with the Franklin’s BBQ line. I’ve never been to Austin, where this BBQ hotspot is from but anyone who is a BBQ aficionado needs to know about Aaron Franklin and the sorcery this man is capable with when given a slab of meat. My friend Zoe (of Toasty Talk), insisted I hit this queue first citing that one bite of his luscious brisket will give even the hangriest and most hungover patron an inevitable “Brisket Glow.”

Brisket Glow indeed. Franklin’s BBQ ended up running out before 1PM so BOY am I glad that I got to get a slab of that- I think I would actually go to Austin just to have more of this brisket…it’s THAT good. Juicy, delectably seasoned and with just enough melt in your mouth fat- this seemingly simple breakfast taco was enough motivation for me to work hard at life so I can get rich and fly Aaron Franklin out to cater my wedding one day. I might need to wear a bib though given the amount of juicy spillage potential…but that’s a problem I’ll focus on later.

And what was the other infamous Feast queue?


Perhaps the most beautiful of all the dishes at Brunch Village, Los Angeles based Eggslut was clearly one of the other crowd favourites. By the time I got to it though, I was reasonably full so a group of us bloggers snagged one container to share (after we each took a go with the camera). That my friends, is kimchi fried rice- once you take your pic, you close the container and shake it up and enjoy.

While I did get too full to try all the dishes; here’s a sampling of what some of the other ones I did get to taste were:

What an event. I am incredibly impressed with how beautifully executed Feast 2014 was; there was not a single logistic forgotten and all the time, energy and creativity put into making this celebration possible paid off in every sense. There aren’t enough people to thank for what is truly one of the nation’s best food festivals- most notably Emily Crowley, Mike Thelin, Carrie Welch, Jannie Huang, Melissa Broussard, Carly Diaz, all the amazing hardworking ladies of Little Green Pickle (Chloe, Olivia, Frances, Brooke, Zoe) and of course the many sponsors including Bon Appetit Magazine, Travel Oregon, and Tillamook (see full list of sponsors HERE), AND the many volunteers who kept the wheels oiled throughout this past week.

If you know what’s good for you, you’ll snag tickets to the 2015 Brunch Village once they become available because believe me, this event WILL sell out even faster than it did this year.

Look at for my posts on other Feast Events from this weekend coming up in the next few days! Also check out all the food porn under the Instagram hashtag #feastpdx

DTB: The Down to Brunch Mentality

Brunch has been missing from my life for a good three weeks, a three weeks which I spent sipping prosecco and espresso in Rome and shopping and socialising in Finland. However, that’s all for the next post since I’m still a bit too jetlagged to download and caption more than five photographs in a post.

Anyhow, it’s a Sunday; and Sunday before 3PM in Portland can only mean brunch.

I woke up at 11 this morning still hazy from a combination of ten hour time difference jetlag and the after effects of yesterday’s Mississippi Street Fair (read: Boots at Prost). Fortunately, my #1 BBFL (Brunch Buddy for Life), Anne decided to phone me a couple of hours later…conversation as following:

Anne: Heyyyy…have you eaten?

Me: Heyyy…No. Have you?

Anne: No.

(semi awkward pause)

Anne: Do you want to eat?

Me: Yeah totally

Anne: Do you want to eat brunch?

Me: Uh yeah totally

Anne: Do you want to eat brunch with me?

Me: Yeah totally.

48 minutes later we end up at Sweedeedee, a delightful brunch spot on N Albina and Sumner which Anne discovered over the past couple of weeks.

Buns bigger than my face
Buns bigger than my face

The first thing I noticed besides the adorable homey atmosphere in this North Portland neighbourhood eatery was the tantalising baked goods case; most notably the size of the sweet buns.

The rest of the freshly baked goods including Sweedeedee's signature salted honey pie
The rest of the freshly baked goods including Sweedeedee’s signature salted honey pie

I regret not having taken a photograph of the menu; but in summary Sweedeedee’s menu features several breakfast plates (think a potato plate with smoked trout and eggs, corncakes, avocado toast with eggs, etc), several unique choices of sandwiches (such as a BLB with the second B being for beets), and fresh salads abundant with seasonal vegetables.

Anne’s favourite brunch dish in Portland: Corncakes, fried eggs, collard greens, bacon, and maple syrup

Anne briefly considered branching out from her usual at Sweedeedee, the corn cakes…only to reverse her decision and go with her old favourite. Luckily unlike myself Anne is not a member of the clean plate club so I got to help her out by having half a ridiculously delectable fried egg topped corn cake all to myself. If you’re looking for a dish which perfects the balance of sweet and savoury, this beats fried chicken and waffles, no doubt.

My choice: “Good Buddy” Salad: Braised beef, seasonal vegetables (think shredded beets, radishes, carrots, and greens) with a side of grainy toast

I on the other hand decided on a salad; mostly due to the fact that it was about a trillion degrees outside and I haven’t had vegetables since I was in Finland (mostly because I have not yet grocery shopped and have subsisted on a not-so-steady diet of European chocolate and Franziskaner Weissbier since I’ve been stateside). Don’t worry, mum, I’m heading to New Seasons to stock up on kale salad and Greek yoghurt as soon as I finish this post. 

Anyhow, the salad was delightful; a very fresh, satiating, and invigorating brunch choice tossed with a light tinge of vinaigrette and some fantastic grainy toast which I naturally doused in Cholula sauce.

Sweedeedee’s bright and bustling interior

I tried to take more photos, but until I get my new iPhone later this week, I kind of feel like an unsubtle loser for taking photos of starving strangers with an ipad mini.

Anyhow, brunch at Sweedeedee was absolutely fantastic and I seriously want to come back here every single day ever…but I guess it will have to only be weekend brunches from now on since I will be back to the employed life starting tomorrow.

Sweedeedee on Urbanspoon

A Guide of What You Should Wear Prior to Ordering Your Eggs

On a recent brunch trip to Simpatica (different than the one in the prior post of course), Anne and I spotted a fellow patron nearby who looked all too good to have had any semblance of fun the prior night. If this were Dubai, yes I would probably care to fit in a trip to the salon pre lavish four hour Ritz brunch buffet; but as this is Portland the absolute most effort I will put in is some grapeseed oil on my split ends and several cocktail rings to match my flannel of the day (or rather, the one and only flannel I own. It’s from Nordstrom if you were wondering).

This chick at Simpatica was in what I presume to be a Kate Spade Spring 2013 collection sheath dress sporting a Kate Middleton-esque blowout and a make-up job more pristine and immaculate than anything that has ever been done to my face (EVEN for a Saudi wedding). She was fork and kniving a strata ever so gracefully, sipping on a grapefruit mimosa, and making very dull yet polite banter with who I assume was her boyfriend. Or platonic date. One can’t really tell nowadays, can they?

In Portland, this is NOT how one does brunch. While I adore my Kate Spade sheaths and paying attention to my shade of lipstick just as much as the next woman; those details and choices of attire are strictly reserved for days in which the prior evenings were spent with lavender bath salts and Kiehl’s hydrating masks.

So, in the spirit of the very last brunch post I will do in a fair while (since my work schedule has now overtaken the possibility of Sunday duck confit stratas at Simpatica); here is a guide to what I constitute as acceptable brunch attire in Portland:

  • Flannel. It’s warm and easy and as long as you actually iron or dry clean it you can look somewhat put together and fit in with EVERYBODY ELSE. 
  • Glasses. I almost always wear my Warby Parker Huxleys to brunch. The only exception is if I am going to the Benson Hotel, but as all my Saudi family members have fled the Portland metro area this is no longer a prevalent brunch choice. So really, whether or not you need glasses you should still spend a handful of your disposable income on them because you attract a WHOLE OTHER dimension of Portland dudes when you do.
  • Cheap Mondays. I don’t mean to brag, but this is actually the one bullet point where I deserve street cred: As I am partially Swedish and spend part of every summer in Stockholm, I was wearing Cheap Mondays years before Urban Outfitters and thus the rest of America decided unisex skull-emblazoned skinnies were cool.
  • Toms…obviously. Not that I own any, but my friend Kelsey does and she’s cute and fashionable. I usually wear Tory Burch flats but that’s only because wearing pumps to brunch would be a violation of everything else I just wrote and I don’t own any other flats save my Vera Wang ones with the bling that are only acceptable in the Middle East.
  • Lululemon Yoga Pants…no one will even know that you slept in them and they are SO comfortable and still accentuate the assets. Besides, since winter began six months ago I stopped my uncomfortable habit of falling asleep in sequined dresses and now…yes…wear yoga pants to the club. But you wouldn’t know that because they just look like jeggings.
  • North Faces. I only do this if it’s really cold. Like as in so cold that I need to ask a platonic stranger to help me open my cardoor when it freezes shut.
  • Chunky Knits. I love to hide in them and they cover what could be potential sheerness on the occasion that I run out of Lululemons and have to settle for a much poorer quality of leggings.

And now a few pics from Broder and Simpatica Dining Hall; aka the two best places in Portland you can possibly go to brunch for (as I am sure you are already aware):

And Yet Another Preface to Brunch

My friend, Anne is ridiculously skilled at the art of non-abusive coercion, which of course may be one of the most valuable skills that one can have.

For example? This past July she managed to convince me to leave the comfort of my own bed and drive twenty-five minutes to a soiree in Northeast Portland by simply texting, “David made roasted vegetables.” Let me just say it takes true skill to be able to select exactly which words it will take for me to reconsider my seven previous “No’s.”

Another example? Brunch this past Sunday. In most circumstances, brunch would rank #2 on most preferable activities to be engaging in at 10:45 am on a Sunday; however this Sunday was a little different…

…So a slight preface: February has been a rough month with this Mercury retrograde PMSing all over my life. I spent a mini fortune flying to San Francisco at the beginning of the month hoping to spend my forty-eight hours catching up with several dear friends over flutes of Clicquot, glamorous brunches, Neiman’s shoe department, and at all my favourite spots in Marin but instead ended up violently sick watching a Shahs of Sunset marathon in my hotel room while sipping a flute full of airborne and sulking to my mother on the phone.

Then, upon returning to Portland I developed a cold, two third degree burns, a lost diamond earring, some online shopping mishaps, an exacerbated split end problem (which will be eradicated come the end of this week), and several other unfortunate turns of events.

Now yes, I realise I am veering a couple of lanes off topic, but the way I tend to cope with disaster is by distracting myself until I am so exhausted that I can fall asleep without the threat of a single thought to keep me awake. So in short, I have been going out a sprinkle too frequently to the point where I would have to shower and loofah-abuse three times in one day to maintain no more than one stamp per wrist.

Saturday for instance was such a night; I started off the night at an Honours Banquet event at my Alma Mater alongside my parents and several of my friends keeping it classy in pearls and Lanvin…and somehow by 1:26 am I was at The Silver Dollar talking to strangers about cyborg anthropology and my incredible luck with parking with Anne, Kelsey, Megan, and Erica.

2am eventually rolled around and we headed back to Anne and Kelsey’s apartment; proceeded to make really bland popcorn and cookies and phone calls and next thing you know it’s 4:30 am and a sleepover and since I am atrocious and phobic of sleepovers and in a pencil skirt I very unsubtly sneak out to go home, proceed to late night tweet about 4:30 am traffic patterns until I crash with my laptop still open somewhere in the vicinity of 5:05.

Then it comes. The text. Who in their right mind  that is not a parental unit or abroad texts at 9:55 am on a Sunday?


Anne: Did you make it home okay? Also was it your idea to make cookies?

Me: Yes and no.

Anne: My elbows hurt and I can’t find a single pair of matching socks. How are you?

Me:  I’m exhausted and depressed and want to run away to Finland. Is everyone still there?

Anne: Yeah. They are brushing their teeth. Get your ass over to brunch. You’ll feel better.

Me: Brunch? Seriously? What time and where? My parents might want me to do my taxes.

Anne: Like now. We are slowly moseying out the door.

Me: Too soon. Sorry. Still in pencil skirt have fun

Anne: We’re moving like an iceberg on xanax. Come.

Anne: 10:30 Simpatica. You washed your hair last night anyways!

Me: I live a half hour away and mascara still on cheeks so too soon have fun

Anne: Eye make up remover and your warby parkers take 17 seconds. You can show up at 10:45, we’re all in yoga pants and north faces and you won’t run into anyone attractive.

Me: Coming.

Fried Chicken and Waffles with Kumquat Syrup
Fried Chicken and Waffles with Kumquat Syrup (Kelsey, Anne, and Corina)
Cheeseburger with side salad (Megan, Erica, and I)

…And the previous weekend’s brunch at Clyde Common which for the record has tremendously improved since our first jaunt a couple of months back:

IMG_2792 IMG_2794 IMG_2799 IMG_2800 IMG_2802

For the record, Sunday brunch was a fantastic decision. None of us really talked to each other during the 45 minute wait nor while waiting for our food (except for Corina who was not present for the previous night’s events) ; we mostly all just scrolled through tweets on our phones and refilled our coffee mugs without making eye contact. However once our burgers and fried chicken arrived we all became quite lively and animated and extremely willing to provide one another with comforting words ,bites for bites, and insightful advice for our various emotional and physical ailments du jour.

Then I went to the car wash, washed off the last of my stamps, and went to bed.

And how was your February?

Squid Jerky and Mexi-Brunches

I spent a total of $15 last week*

*=does not include parking or petrol…only pertains to Sunday, November 4th-Thursday November 8th

For anyone of my age and habitat demographic, that is quite the achievement; that the only superfluous expenditures I happened to indulge in over the course of five days were on an order of Luc Lac Bo Tai Chanh, an accompanying tequila old fashioned, two spicy chicken tacos at a taqueria inside a Mexican grocery store on Alberta, and tips for each of those respective meals.

It had to be a calm week after the preceding ones; a jungle juice mixture of the neverending festivities that result from a mid-week Halloween, Anne’s birthday week, a Benny Benassi concert, an epic birthday party for my friend Peter which resulted with every single guest waking up with some remnant of red velvet cake on at least one accessory (or in my case a broken ring, missing pearl earring, and missing leopard print cardigan also tainted by remnants of artificially red-speckled cream cheese frosting), my first trip to Walmart, my first adventure at Dim Sum, and an even more desperate stash of sequin and lace embellished frocks begging to be dropped off at a dry-cleaner (recommendations are more than welcome).

In other words, by that Sunday we were all absolutely debilitated- a birthday Brunch at Beast had to be cancelled and instead I made fancy quesadillas for Anne and Erica while we watched The League with hydrating face masks and yoga pants. Hence our week off.


However, by Friday I was ready to ease back into socialising and spending some of that saved dough on Portland’s food and cocktail industry. Post-work, I headed to Anne’s house, entertained her with my insights about life as she steamed all her Kate Spade dresses and then headed over to deep Southeast (Stark and 81st) to meet my friend, Ben for dinner at Tanuki.

Tanuki is a fascinating place; I discovered post-dinner that it was recently one of the establishments featured in Adam Richman’s Portland Dining GQ article. Essentially, it’s a dark dingy den with some arcade games and television screens playing zombie porn and still-life blond-hair blue-eyed Korean cartoons with melodramatic captions. In addition, there is nearly no signage from the outside; you probably will need the light of your phone to read the series of textbook-page-tearout menus and the staff are way friendlier and more accommodating than Adam Richman implied in his article.

Oh yeah, and they also card you when you get in and make it quite clear that you will not find sushi or any of it’s relatives anywhere on the menu.

Tanuki’s main specialties are Japanese and Korean “drinking snacks” or Omakase (correct me if that’s the wrong term); and for the accompanying drinks there is an enticing selection of Japanese whiskeys, shochu, and sake.

Being a fan of whiskey, I started with a neat glass of Yamazaki 12 year as recommended by our server- simply said it was delightful with a smooth finish; no ice cubes or beer required.

As for the food; Ben and I decided to leave all choices up to the chef. At Tanuki, you have two options- to go the a la carte (aka boring) route or to select a price between $15-$30 per person and have the chef bring out a series of surprise plates; and of course since Ben is one of the few friends I have who does not appear to have any particular palate aversions we decided to go with the latter by selecting the $20 option.

I cannot really iterate to you in words nor pictures what happened over the course of the next two hours. It all started with a bowl of edamame and spicy kimchi and at some point I ordered clay pot of House Sake and Ben a second can of Hite (Thai beer, I think?) and next thing we knew the table looked like this:

Probably about 50% of the food they brought to us…most of it at this point 75% finished

From what I recall we may have received anywhere from 15-18 plates: Edamame, Spicy Kimchi, Ojingoh (spicy soy sauce squid jerky), Tako (simmered octopus salad w/mulberry nomi-su ginger dressing), Uzura nikkei (spicy cinnamon tea quail eggs), Wakame-su (mixed seaweed salad w/cucumber, lotus & special vinegar sauce), some sort of a squid/octopus stew, baked mussels and crab legs with an XO sauce, bacon/scallop buns (I think…), some sort of Oysters, some sort of a Clam and Pig Trotter soup, zucchinis and mushrooms roasted in nori butter, Miso Soup, and the finales of some sort of a Hamachi ceviche and Hangar steak.

Hamachi tataki~chopped spicy hamachi,cucumber,tobikko,crispy nori
Steak and Sake: A component of a champion supper
Hangar Steak

Delicious…all of it; I barely knew half of what I was eating but it was all a melange of my favourite flavours (spicy, umami, and a neverending array of meaty textures) and the entire atmosphere concocted by Tanuki was one of the most unique dining experiences I have had anywhere whether it was the bizarre cult films in the background, chasing squid jerky with a clay shot glass of sake, or the fact that I was spending my Friday night in a dingy speakeasy somewhere out near 82nd. Whatever. I love it; I’m taking all my adventurous friends here.

Tanuki on Urbanspoon


Post-Tanuki I called up Anne to tell her I was coming over to bum on her california king feeling like 10:30 was a little early to turn in for a Friday night. Anyhow, at some point around Burnside and 12th I became distracted by the prospect of a face paint party in North Portland and found myself taking a right on NE Grand. Anne berated me for two days to never ever not show up without warning again; I blamed it on my Blackberry then made it up to her by trekking back to North Portland on Sunday morning for a girl’s brunch with Erica and Brook at Autentica (just kidding, we all know how much I love brunch):

Erica, Anne, and I all chose the same dish…Brook took a walk on the wild side…
Enchiladas con mole rojo:
folded tortilla stuffed with chicken, served with iceberg lettuce, avocado, cream and fresh cheese

The mole here is delightful; thick and spicy and the ingredients are fresh and wholesome- yes, it can be hard to justify spending $15 on an enchilada when two nights prior we had been dining on nearly equally delicious $1.25 tacos eight blocks away; but this was brunch and brunch means lingering for a long time, eating stuff that has nutritional value, and telling entertaining stories.

Brook: Torta con agucate y queso fresco
mexican sandwich with avocado, fresh mexican cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato and spicy red chile sauce

Brook and her sandwich were having quite a hard time; at one point she gave up and it was torn into bits everywhere. I suggested a fork but I don’t think anyone heard me and I was too enamoured by the combination of my enchilada’s flavour and Erica talking about rock-climbing to bother repeating myself.

All in all, Autentica was good; it’s not necessarily my first choice for post-Saturday-debauchery replenishment, but definitely a solid latin-inspired brunch to knock off our Portland Dining List. Plus, I have a feeling what next week’s brunch spot is going to look like…the only hint I’ll give is that is starts with a Clyde and ends with a Common.

Autentica on Urbanspoon

Five Brunches Later…

Today Sunday Funday did not happen. Instead, I saved around $45-60, slept on three occasions, hit up the grocery store to stock up on socks, Listerine strips, and condiments (I can’t believe I just purchased socks at a grocery store…), read the ENTIRE Best Restaurants issue of Portland Monthly back to back, and paid off my entire credit card balance for all the damage that bloody peace of plastic incurred from my social-heavy lifestyle over the course of the past month.


I woke up in NE Portland at the abode of three of my good friends next to a San Pellegrino-less San Pellegrino bottle and my various tidbits of prior night bling neatly arranged on the adjacent coffee table. It had been night two of Halloween festivities and I had so wisely decided to be lazy and pull a “Kim Kardashian Goes to Yoga” outfit…in other words the sort of things I wear the 50% of the time when I fall asleep in something other than a sequined dress. At some point I couldn’t locate a coffeemaker so I stealthily snuck out of the house and drove back to my humble abode to brew an 8-cup pot, send a mass text to Sunday Funday participants hinting at the notion that this weather was really not conducive to gentrified location hopping, and then proceeded to go back to bed. Excuse any grammatical errors of the prior photograph. 


Erica and Anne are my Sunday Funday crew…sometimes additional participants join and sometimes Anne has yoga teacher training or bootcamp so it just ends up being Erica and I. Typically the day commences with gentrified brunch, ends at The Hilt and contains anywhere from two to five locations in between entailing anything from some sort of non-clothing shopping, a distillery tasting, fancy forms of caffeination,  hot yoga, craft cocktails or microbrews and of course foie gras in one format or another.

Now, enough with the words and let’s look at our beacons of Sunday morning glory from the past several weeks:

Ned Ludd, NE MLK Blvd

Brunch Menu
Bloody Mary & Orange Mimosa

Being the Bloody Mary enthusiast that she is, Erica claims that  Ned Ludd has the best Bloody Mary in all of Portland…and believe me, she has tried A LOT of Bloody Marys

Erica: Seasonal Vegetable Hash with poached hen’s egg and smoked trout
Me: Trout filet with charred leeks and cucumber/carrot salad
Absolutely exquisite.

This hidden gem on NE MLK is most certainly a new favourite between the light and innovative brunch fare and homely ambiance. The only complaint: They were sold out of way too many dishes by the time we got there…but then again it was probably our fault for postponing brunch until 1:30 PM

Ned Ludd on Urbanspoon

Tin Shed Garden Cafe, NE Alberta

Erica: Veggie Pesto Scramble with cream cheese and a buttermilk biscuit
Anne: Something with tons of gravy, bacon, eggs, sausage, and biscuits…
Me: Sweet Chix (Chicken Apple sausage scramble with brie and apple)

We wanted biscuits…and the line at Pine State was too long; this was nevertheless a deliciously hearty choice.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe on Urbanspoon

OttoSE Hawthorne

Beignets with caramel and berry preserves

Be wary; these warm puffs of irresistibility will put you to sleep…I took a three hour nap after this brunch.

Anne: Omelette with fresh vegetables and manchego
Me: Spicy Lamb Burger with Olive Pastiche

Otto is a darling little spot right up on Hawthorne near Castagna; there was no wait whatsoever and the food was fresh albeit a tad generic. The beignets were by far the star of the show; my lamb burger could have had more accroutements and I was not a fan of the bun: innards ratio (way too much bread…and not the freshest in my not-so-humble opinion)

Otto on Urbanspoon

MetrovinoNW 11th

Grapefruit mimosa and Espresso-infused Ramazzotti on the rocks
Anne: Pork belly confit hash with sherry cream and wine-poached egg
Me: Baked eggs with arugula, leek, spinach, pimenton-dusted feta, grilled bread

Metrovino recently launched it’s brunch service and such as was the case with Otto, there was barely anyone there when we came in at around noon on a Sunday. Anne’s dish was anticlimactic, mine was hearty but nothing to write home about; however that’s in no way to dis Metrovino. Their bar list is impressive whether it’s the libations or vast selection of wine flights- and for the record they do have a killer cheeseburger and an incredible happy hour both in terms of value and quality.

Metrovino on Urbanspoon

ImperialSW Broadway (At the Hotel Lucia)

Semolina Corn Cake: poached eggs and house smoked bacon, maple syrup
and Imperial barrel-aged hot sauce
Imperial French Toast: seasonal fruit, thickened cream, maple syrup
Coddled Eggs: spicy tomato sauce, warm goat cheese, fry-bread
Imperial Pastrami Hash with Poached Eggs
Fry-Bread: house chorizo and soft scrambled egg, spicy tomato
and avocado salad
Chocolate Ice Box Cake: hazelnut ice cream, candied hazelnuts, toasted meringue
Double Milk Flan: roasted peaches, peach sorbet, brown butter crisps
Sticky Toffee Gingerbread: caramel pudding, candied pecans, baked pears

Famed Portland Chef, Vitaly Paley’s newest endeavour is an absolute winner in every way possible. Imperial is located in the former Typhoon space at The Hotel Lucia on SW Broadway, finally bringing high quality modern American cuisine to downtown Portland. The restaurant is spacious and everything on the menu is a delectable choice. So far, I have only been here for drinks and brunch and while the brunch is delightful and accented with a tinge of Native American influence; I am more a fan of the drinks and salads. Per the recommendation of one of our bartender friends, Erica and I came in one night for some of the impeccable craft cocktails (they also make their own vermouth on site) and perhaps the best gentrified salad we have ever had (think kale with shredded raw vegetables, sunflower seed brittle, and a light goat cheese dressing). And the best part: the cocktails are relatively affordable for their calibre (think $7-$9)

For Brunch, all three desserts were on the house and the clear favourite was the creamy velvety flan. We have also heard through word of mouth that the burger and duck meatballs are to die for…which is why we are planning on going back tomorrow night.

Imperial on Urbanspoon

Anatomy of a Birthday Week

I just turned twenty-three, also known as the most anticlimactic age besides 34 or 47; however it goes without saying that this has been the most “climactic” birthday of my life (besides my 9th…what can I say I like to go hard on the soft years)

Considering that this may have been the first year post age five that I was not stuck in a summer cottage in Finland with only moose and baby reindeer as potential friends, I decided to make a sort-of-big-deal out of the fateful August day commemorating my birth and instead celebrate for an entire week…or month…plus according to my friend, Scott: birthday festivities only end when I say they do.

I am of course also ignoring any chronological ordering in this post and would like to keep it light on the wording. Among the locations frequented (though not all featured)- only Portland’s best: Gruner, Kask, Teardrop, Fish Sauce, Departure, Rontoms, Simpatica Dining Hall, Oven and Shaker, Andina, Riffle, Clyde Common, and Laurelhurst Market

Anne, Tace, Sapphire, and I hit up Sephora before my night out where I got to have my make up done for the third time ever. This was quite a learning experience as I don’t know ish about make-up.
With Sapphire and Erica at Departure pre-Couture; and that my friends would be the geranium-coloured Vera Wang number I’ve been saving for the occasion
With one of my best friends, Yurop at Couture. By the way, this is the first photo indicating that I was forced to wear a tiara meant for an eight year old’s the entire weekend…I do have scars on my temples
First set of homies; another ten or fifteen showed up later on
My sister will slaughter me if I neglect to mention that that is her Gucci bag…
I would like to thank Scott for texting me this photo the next morning at 9:30 am…I am up there as is vaguely shadowed partying with the cast of a television show…sadly my face may or may not be blurred out of the episode since I have no recollection of signing any waivers


The Next Day…

I woke up with my glitter eyeliner still intact and the tiara tangled in my split ends. As would be natural instinct, I lingered in bed for a good while prior to meeting up with Anne and David for a subpar lunch in a subpar restaurant followed by several hours of NW frolicking/bumming around with frozen pineapple and rose in Anne and Erica’s respective apartments (essentially westside apartment hopping). Since it was a good 102 degrees outside, I also took an ice bath in Anne’s bathtub while she so dutifully created a Facebook album entailing some of the fore-featured photographs

After Anne spent a good twenty minutes applying glitter to my eyelids, we headed over to Fish Sauce to see our favourite bartender in the entire universe for some chicken and skills

Picture of David…
And a picture of us…

Following our meat and libations, we headed over to Rontoms on the east side of town where I got to see my dear friend, Jahnavi and befriend a crew of people dressed in golf attire. I also got away with pretending that it was my 30th birthday and that I was wearing a tiara because it also happened to be my bachelorette party…clearly I was confused between having cougar or ‘girl’s night’ motives


The next day (also the day of my actual birthday) began with birthday brunch at Simpatica Dining Hall; a joint celebration with my fellow birthday-sharer, Kelsey:

My favourite power couple, Kelsey & David
Teres major steak (from Laurelhurst Market) with baked eggs
Duck Confit Strata
Bay Shrimp Hash
Truffled Frittata
Curried Fried Chicken and Biscuits
Prawn and Pesto Frittata
Fried Chicken and Waffles with Green Tomato Syrup
With my two brothers (cheesy much)?

Simpatica Dining Hall on Urbanspoon


Post Birthday Brunch: Erica and I ran (well, actually drove) back to Anne’s apartment for me to re-iron my cheapy fabric polka dot frock (I unconventionally wore a Swedish kimono as I did so…by unconventional i mean i used the arms to make it strapless since it was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit). After that and some coconut water, we walked down to the Pearl District to continue the day’s festivities at Andina:

Pineapple Sangria

Since Andina is awesome, I also got free dessert since it was my birthday (in case you have forgotten…)

The sangria was sweet and refreshing and had delightful chunks of pineapple at the bottom of the pitcher which really would have been fabulous had I not still been stuffed from brunch.

We then frolicked down the street to Oven and Shaker and continued our very deep and personal discussion regarding our small/medium/large baggage (if you have watched the HBO show, Girls then you should get this reference). By around 5:30, Erica had to skidaddle home to clean her kitchen or something of the like while Anne and I headed over to Riffle

If you’re into the libations at Kask and Clyde Common, this should be on your hitlist

Anne and I made a friend at Riffle; it was a guy four days older than me who happened to overhear us discussing the contents of my refrigerator. He was a solo-traveler mixologist from southern California who may or may not have matched us in degree of bougie-ness…in fact it was my discussion of having “No food except for expired foie gras and reindeer coldcuts,” that caught his intrigue. How flattering. We ended up trying his marrow bones and crostini then inviting him to dinner with us at Clyde Common:

The delightful as always menu
Seared sea scallops with squid ink, romesco, and tesa

If this were to be the last small plate I would have pre-death, I would have no regrets (in terms of small plate choices obviously)

Grilled steak with heirloom tomatoes, burrata cheese, peasant bread and padron peppers

Also impeccable; Anne and I even let our new friend taste it and we could tell he regretted getting full off of all those marrow bones he enjoyed at Riffle. Besides great food, we did well at striking up some riveting conversation- mostly the usual topics of discussion: dealbreakers and principles. New friend’s biggest dealbreaker was a girl who refuses to take public transportation. Obviously we are not meant for each other…

JOKES! I totally would take public transport if I didn’t live in the suburbs and have a lot of spare outfits to carry around.

Overall, it was a pleasant weekend. Anne gave new friend her business card (naturally) and we parted ways and wished him luck in his future endeavors.

What did you do for your birthday this year?

Do you travel/eat out alone? 

If you had to choose a “Last Small Plate,” what would it be? 

Anatomy of an Eastside Weekend

Friday, 5PM: Get off work, stop at Whole Foods Pearl District to stock up on frozen berries, kefir, and kale tahini salad; head home

5:58 PM: Shower and blowdry in 42 minutes flat- put on a pink/red/coral-hued dress…debate whether to wear flats (Vera Wang bejeweled peeptoes) or strappy pumps. Drive with the flats but bring the pumps along

7:00 PM: Pick up Yurop to drop off at the airport…decide to get dinner first- since I’m driving the choice is mine. Result: Bollywood Theater, a new chaat (Indian street food) eatery on NE Alberta

Yurop watching one of the Bollywood films playing in the background…though interestingly enough the music playing ranged from Gotye to 80s dance. Very Portland.
Pav Bhaji with a big ol spoonful of butter
Goan Shrimp Curry
Bhel Puri; cool, refreshing, and tangy
Channa Aloo Tikki
The star of the show: Chicken Kati Roll

Conclusion: Yurop’s new favourite restaurant in Portland…and quite possibly a contender on my top five. Even though this place was started by an American who spent some time in Bombay, the flavours and quality and authenticity is phenomenal and I don’t even have to worry about getting ill. Plus kati rolls are the ultimate drunchie…considering the NE Alberta/21st location I wouldn’t be surprised if this place started doing late night hours in the near future

Bollywood Theater on Urbanspoon

8:35 PM: Drop Yurop off at PDX, head back to Alberta area to meet up with Caitlin and Madison

9:00 PM: Sip on Cupcake and/or Gimlets and/or Stella, fix eyeliner 5-8 times

10:30 PM: Eventually more people come over…eventually we all go out…somehow get through the entire night reeking of Chanel (miniature clutch-friendly bottles of Coco Mademoiselle are the best thing to happen to humanity)

(unspecified time after 3AM): Get home having acquired somewhere between 8-12 new friends and a new bruise or two.

Saturday, 10:00 AM: Alarm. Coffee. Advil. Water. Bubble Bath. Probably wake up in a pink/red/coral dress. Put on a romper or some similarly unflattering outfit. Text 6-8 of my female friends while in the bathtub about brunch plans and abridged recaps of events that may have occurred between 10:30 PM- that unspecified time after 3AM

Noon: Acquire Madison, drive to Southeast for some good old Scandinavian brunch with Caitlin and Anne at Broder

Wait outside in the sun frantically sipping Stumptown and recounting hilarious events. Make comments on how each other person in our group looks SO MUCH MORE ALIVE; watch passerbys and make grossly detailed assumptions about their lives and the origin of their outfits

1:00 PM: Get to table. Hallelujah

Complimentary order of Abelskiver: Round Danish pancakes with lemon curd and preserves dipping sauce
Caitlin: Trout Hash with Walnut Toast
Me: Hamburgare a la Lindstrom- A Pearl Bakery brioche bun enclosed with smoked tomato aioli, Danish bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and a beef patty stuffed with capers and beets
This my friends is how you banish a headache.
Anne: Lefse- Norwegian crepes topped with fried eggs and stuffed with the stuffing du jour
Madison: Lefse as well…

Absolutely fantastic. And nostalgic since this may be the first summer of my life that I am not venturing back to the Father Land.

Broder on Urbanspoon

3:00 PM: Go home, take a nap (in unflattering romper or other outfit mind you), run the dishwasher, rejuvenate, decide to spend an obscene amount of time cleaning the dustballs inside my fan.

7:00 PM: Put on a silky summer dress and head back to Alberta…it’s probably someone’s birthday party and there’s probably the rest of my Cupcake (not the food) on Caitlin’s counter

12:45 AM: In the midst of the party, someone mentions they’re hungry, someone remembers that Pine State Biscuits is open for another fifteen minutes and voila, Caitlin, Madison, Sapphire and I are out of there faster than…(insert metaphor of choice).

12:56 AM: Gluttony at it’s finest…do excuse the grainy quality…as everyone knows among other things that no good pictures happen after 12:45 AM…

Sapphire (and probably Madison): The Reggie Deluxe- a biscuit stuffed with fried chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, gravy, and other gluttonous stuff.
Caitlin and Madison and probably Sapphire: Hashbrowns with gravy soaked biscuits
Me: Mc-something…basically a biscuit stuffed with the most phenomenal fried chicken of all time, deli mustard, pickles, and honey

Pine State Biscuits on Urbanspoon

1:32 AM: Get home and get in bed…it’s an early-ish night

Sunday: No brunch. THANKFULLY.

12 Noon: Head to Costco with Anne; stock up on Advil, razors, Clicquot, kale, and spinach…then proceed to have a $3 lunch for two (yes…that is the combined total):

Midway through eating was when I decided to take a picture. Can I hashtag this as trailer?

3 PM: Head to David’s house. It’s his birthday party and I’m one of the hostesses; proceed to help Kat makes cake balls, crush bread for breadcrumbs and wash leeks; did I mention this is a classy adult party?

David, the expert board assembler’s work: Venison dried cherry terrine, chorizo, smoked Coho salmon, three cheeses from Steve’s Cheese Bar
The buffet
And the more than elated and extremely kosher birthday boy with Filbert, the pride of the party

6:00 PM: Peeps start showing up.

8:35 PM: By this point my friends from college and my friends from work have formed deep bonds, exchanged numbers and made plans for future brunches/concerts/wedding invitation invites.

1:36 AM: Roasted root vegetable munchies ensue and it is then realised that everyone living in the house is no longer awake. It’s time to go home.

1:57 AM: Tweet something about nipslips, have a tall glass of water and remember to remove my mascara

Monday, 10:00 AM: Wake up, Skype parents, do laundry, text the crew for life updates

12:00: While in the bathtub agree to Memorial Day brunch plans at Tasty N Sons at 1:30 PM

1:26 PM: Roll like a G to Snoop Dogg through Nopo (North Portland), park next to a pimped out Cadillac, put my name down at Tasty N Sons, proceed to tweet to look preoccupied

1:55 PM: Anne shows up and we get seated at the barstools and thankfully we already know exactly what to order

Spring Vegetable Frittata: Feta, Asparagus, Winter Peas, Caramelized Onions and a Fried Ball of Feta
Moroccan Chicken Hash with harissa cream and over easy egg

Phenomenal as always. 

2:45 PM: Head home, take a nap

5:11 PM: Wake up from nap/anxiety nightmare about losing boarding pass at the Chanel counter at Duty Free, think it’s morning…then realise it’s…not.

6:00 PM: Cook myself dinner…caramelized onions with asparagus, ground beef, spices, tomato sauce and eat with corn wheat tortillas/avocado/pico de gallo/greek yoghurt/mexican cheese. How I am still hungry, je ne sais pas.

7:08 PM: Attempt to find clothes in my closet that can be classified as conservative and simultaneously worn in 110 degree weather. Fail immensely and head back to bed.

8:00 PM: Turn on TV for the first time in months to make up for any Monday night FOMO…end up watching the Bachelorette while simultaneously blogging and simultaneously having all the dessert items in my house in a plate (greek yoghurt with midnight moo chocolate sauce, Ghirardelli chocolate chips, a crumbled graham cracker and frozen strawberries)…I swear that’s the last time I’m eating this weekend.

9:35 PM: Good night, time for a new week…now that I’ve played hard…time to work hard

What did you do for Memorial Day weekend?

Do you tend to hang out with the same people weekend to weekend?

What do you wear to brunch?

The Mornings After

It’s summertime in Portland; the skies are clear and light pashmina shawls are worn not for temperature but to conceal some of the silky sundress induced nips (decipher as you will)

The sun sets late and thus prolongs the night. With the vast majority of my foreign friends being gone, I’ve been spending a lot of time daytime and late night frolicking around NE Portland with my work friends slash David and Anne (who have successfully integrated into the crew that is my work friends and their friends)- in parks, at the bachelorette pads and basements of friends, on patios, the sidewalk, and of course at brunch.

Caitlin has offered me multiple times to crash at her Alberta pad on those 3am nights when I insisted on going home to get my beauty rest (beauty…who am I kidding) because I had a brunch reservation to tend to in the morning. Yes, for some setting a 9am alarm for brunch sounds like a chore, but really there is nothing better than arriving to a classy PDX establishment on a brightly lit summer day- Matthew Williamson shades on (and kept on), one or two missing brain cells, and a glorious menu to pawn over…and then of course stories to recount.

So here I bring forth, not one, not two, but THREE epic Morning After Portland brunches; and I’m saving the best (and most epic of them all) for the end of the post.

The Country Cat

The Country Cat is in the neighbourhood of Montavilla, residing far out East on SE Stark and 80th. It’s an interesting dichotomy of a neighbourhood with a seemingly large immigrant population and cornucopia of ethnic grocers and eating establishments (everything from Ethiopian/East African to authentic dim sum hotspots). The particular stretch on Stark where it resides however is abundant with a few notable Portland establishments such as The Observatory, and then of course this homely Southern influenced brunch spot.

The menu…always the question of whether to have sweet or savoury
Anne: Cinnamon Swirl Challa French Toast
Dipped in Maker’s Mark custard with Winter fruit compote, clabber cream, & maple syrup
Me: Wild Mushroom & Fontina Cheese Omelet
Served with home fries
David: Shrimp and Grits topped with a fried egg
Kat: Smoky Bacon & Broccoli Hash
With two poached eggs & mustard cream

The Country Cat on Urbanspoon

Olympic Provisions (NW)

Anyone who knows anything about charcuterie in Portland (or perhaps the entire northwest) has heard of Olympic Provisions. Besides being Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, the two locations (the other being in SE Industrial district) also feature an enticing deli and full on restaurant. Since David decided to bail out on our brunch plans this week (for good reason…his grandma is in town), we decided to stay on the westside. After a mere five hours of shut-eye, I put on some shades, a floral romper (though I despise rompers) and my Alexander Wang satchel (to add a semblance of glamour to my diced start du jour) and headed to meet Anne…who predictably looked v glamorous in an entirely Kate Spade/Tory Burch ensemble.

Too many excellent choices…per usual
Anne: Breakfast sandwich with bacon,
two eggs, cheddar cheese, ketchup, arugula
Me: Daily Frittata stuffed with asparagus, gruyere, and sorrel with schmaltz-roasted potatoes, and very buttery toast

This was the most delightful breakfast brunch considering my physiological state; plus having had a rather jumbled day of eating on the day before (artisanal cheese plates, slices of bresaola, strawberries, pecorino fries, and several Boot Strap Bucks/El Diablos at Kask); this was the ultimate satiation.

Olympic Provisions on Urbanspoon

…And now, for the most famous brunch in all of Portland (and perhaps the Northwest)…I present to you Top Chef mistress, Naomi Pomeroy’s…


Just so you know, David, Anne and I had made our 10am reservation at this famed establishment nearly a month in advance. Beast has two brunch sessions each Sunday, one at 10 and one at 12 noon and then they have dinner Wednesday-Saturday nights with two nightly seatings. The brunch is a set charge of $35 and a four course surprise menu with never a single dish repeated. Despite having gorged on a Pine State Biscuit a mere 8 hours prior (that’s for another post) and having indulged in a mere five hours of sleep from another Alberta adventure, I was beyond the valley of stoked for this experience

My kind of place…
And…the surprise revealed

I love not having to stress about menu choices; in fact I will inadvertently shun any dining establishment with too large of a menu- I do not want to be given a choice; just give me what you’re good at, what’s in season, and what will be delicious (especially during the most debilitated classy meal of the week…I simply do not have the brainpower prior to carbs and Stumptown to make a coherent decision)

Also…David and Anne were quite stoked on not having to wait for me to photograph the food this time since we were ALL having the same thing

Course 1: Rhubarb Clafoutis with candied hazelnuts, whipped cream and maple-glazed bacon (I gave my bacon away to David)

While a delightful first course, it was a tad too sweet for my first taste du jour, but that’s really my fault

Course 2: Braised pork belly hash with maitake mushrooms, artichokes, turnips, asparagus and cauliflower, a poached duck egg and hollandaise

Yes, Beast is a pork-heavy establishment and I went in realising that as a non-pork eater I would have to do a little picking- but this course was perhaps the single most incredible brunch plate I have ever had. I have developed a new affinity for duck egg- yolkier and more velvety than that of the chicken, and an absolute divinity when drenching a hash of fresh local vegetables.

Course 3: Gathering of Cheeses from Steve’s Cheese Bar, Gathering Together Farm Greens, and an aged Sauvignon Blanc vinaigrette
Course 4: Chocolate Truffle Cake, White Chocolate Mousse, and Oregon Strawberries

As much as I adore a fancy, unconventional, and savoury-tinged dessert; at the end of the day there is nothing like a slab of high calibre chocolate cake. At this point I was ridiculously stuffed but as one should know, I am not one to leave  a plate in residence

Conclusion: Phenomenal; now I just need to find someone willing to shell out $75 for the dinner here (in my defence I’ll sacrifice two Laurelhurst Market suppers to compensate). Any volunteers?

Beast on Urbanspoon

What are your summer weekend routines?

Notes on Nonchalance and Five Unconventional Stress Inducers

Sunday is finally living up to it’s name. I’m taking a little walk on the wild side and blogging from my living room with the sliding door open and allowing some rays of sunshine to penetrate the underwhelming cocktail of nonchalance and exhaustion which has been the #storyofmylife for the past several weeks.

While I rant, enjoy the sporadic pictures of various brunches  munched on the past several weeks since Sunday is for brunches after all.

Lobster and Mascarpone soft scramble, smoked cippolini, chow-chow, brioche toast// at Irving Street Kitchen

This morning at the gym, Anne brought it to my attention that there is a likelihood that I am simply Vitamin D deficient. So, here I am halfway basking in the sun from the comfort of my own imported leather couch in an attempt to gather enough energy and stamina to go put on my new Oregon license plate, and then drag myself to Southeast for a Yoga class. I mean…I am already outfitted in my LuluLemon wunderunders and a Juicy hoodie so really all I have to do is walk outside to my car…and start it.

Smothered Southern Sunny Sides with Fried Chicken at Irving Street Kitchen

Nonchalance is comforting in some ways; it’s a safety mechanism that can negate disappointments or the emotional materialisation of lingering fears. However, like going out for 31 nights in a row, it gets stale since it also translates to a drastic dip in motivation, achievement of results, and social skills. Plus, what happens when you start to feel not so nonchalant about your nonchalance?

Bibb lettuce salad, Rogue blue cheese, Pink Lady apple, radishes, candied pecan (at Irving Street Kitchen)

Being non-nonchalant is exhausting (or maybe I’m only thinking that since I still haven’t made up for my missing Vitamin D reserves). It also means being excited and stressed out and having a hard time falling asleep because thoughts that evoke the aforementioned emotional states keep on recycling through like an LC student’s mason jar.

Eggs florentine with oven roasted potatoes at Mother's Bistro & Bar

Cool, now since I still have two more brunch pictures, I’m just going to go ahead and make a list of some of the unconventional day-to-day circumstances which stress me out:

1) Parking issues: Can be anything from having to park in the sketchy lot near work (which sometimes happens when the production crew of Grimm take over my usual parking lot), having to park in a parking garage alone (I have a fear of PGs), having to interrupt a happy hour/brunch conversation to refill my metre (which may ruin the vibe of the conversation by the time I return), and parallel parking while there are cars behind me

2) Not being prepared…for any and every situation. For instance, I carry several bags to work with me: one typically contains stuff like yoghurt/ginger tea/Emergen-C/vegetables so I am not tempted to go to town on our office staples (namely lots of nuts and chocolate covered pretzels). The other is usually my purse- if it’s not raining it’s my Alexander Wang satchel, otherwise it’s Jimmy, Louis, Marc, Miuccia…or if I’m feeling businessy my Burberry tote; and of course the purse has all the conventional people essentials (wallet/blackberry/Chanel stylo waterproof/keys/listerines/lipstick/qtips). Then the third is the everything else bag- namely extra garments/shoes/lotions/etc. I always like to keep my Kate Spade black satin heels on hand in case I have a sporadic platonic date and I always like to have my running shoes in the car in case a motivation to work it at the gym arises.You never know what’s going to come up! Life is unpredictable even on the most mundane of days!

3) Not having access to coffee. As much as I love my friends, they will all attest to you that I will never “crash” at their place…that is, unless they have a competent coffee maker and a bathtub to donate to me for 45 minutes in the morning (which shouldn’t be a big deal since I wake up several hours prior to the rest of the universe anyways).

4) Having to talk on the phone with someone I know. Please just text/bbm/skype-type…I have a fear of dropped calls plus it is just so incredibly awkward pretending to hear and understand what you’re saying through the poor reception.

5)  Eating: Having plans for two meals within close proximity of each other (which usually means I won’t be as hungry/able to enjoy the other one), the possibility of running into someone attractive when having had Lebanese garlic sauce in the past 48 hours, being out of meat and without time to get to a grocery store, spending $50 on a dreadfully subpar meal (that’s the equivalent of 20 meals from Bombay Chaat House), and the lingering paranoia that ensues when you eat something full of parsley in front of someone attractive.

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Scramble with sauteed spinach, asiago cheese, toast, and oven roasted potatoes (at Mother's Bistro & Bar)

On another scattered note, my lunch today was a whole-seeded New Seasons roll stuffed with avocado, chicken breast, mushrooms, mama’s lil peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, butter lettuce, roasted red peppers, and caramelised onions– which I think has also been helpful at decreasing my levels of nonchalance. Sometimes I forget how important carbohydrates are…which leaves me with the final brunch photo before I peace out to hold a funeral for my California license plates-

Stuffed Frittata: Open-faced omelet with cheddar cheese, potatoes, green onions, and sour cream. (Also at Mother's Bistro & Bar)

Do you take any vitamins or supplements? Have any recommendations?

What are some of your unconventional stress inducers?

Do you do brunch?