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
Then on Friday night, a delicious dinner with Yurop, Manuel, and Madoka at my very favorite comfort-food, family-like dining establishment, Arabian Nights:
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.
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.
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:
Predictably, lunch was a produce-ful fest:
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?