Outta Dodge

Last Thursday I finished up my work day a tad early and rushed home to finish packing. Then I pulled on my Big Girl Britches and called myself a cab to take me to LAX. I don’t usually travel by myself so I get pretty anxious about making sure I’ve got everything and can’t get comfy until I’m on the plane and it has taken off.

But I made it and landed safely at PDX around 8pm that night. And who was waiting at the gate for me? None other than hubs, who had to be in Boise the day before. So we planned to rendezvous in one of our favorite places: Portland. We go up  there every year for hubs’ birthday. Why Portland? Glad you asked.

Because it is delicious.

We hit up Deschutes Brewery late Thursday night for dinner. This was considered wild and crazy for me because we didn’t order our food until after my usual bedtime. I know. I’m outta control.

Housemade veggie burger with sweet potato fries and pickles.

The veggie burger was really good. The fries. Not so good. Unfortunately, they were cold. I was so hungry that I ate them all though.

Elk burger and lentil soup.

Pretty much the same thing happened with hubs’ meal, too. His burger was good but his soup didn’t have any of the shredded pork that they claimed was in it (and thus the reason he ordered it). I think we were both just happy to have something to eat at that point, though.

The next day we hit up one of our favorite places: Powell’s Bookstore. We spent a good 2 hours there and could have stayed the whole day. Thank god we were limited by space in our suitcases or we would have bought twice as many books (we got 16 but who’s counting?). If you haven’t been to this place and like to read, I dare you to go. You will fall in love. I know we did. It’s part of the reason we go back to Portland quite honestly.

My stack of books.

And despite the crappy weather (cold and rainy), we made it out to dinner that night. We actually met up with an old friend of hubs who he hadn’t seen in like 20 years. Since 5th grade. I’m totally serious. Facebook made it happen. As much as I dislike Facebook, it is kinda cool to reconnect with people from your past. Or just to gawk sometimes. But I digress.

We went to Andina–a Peruvian restaurant. I thought overall it was pretty good although I think they’d be even better if they pared their menu down some. If you are a potato lover (like me), you will most likely enjoy Peruvian food. Very potato heavy but in a good way.

Soup of the day: root veggies in a delicious broth.

I started with the soup and my main was a quinoa based dish.

The Incas referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains;" grilled market fresh vegetables on a bed of golden beet and local mushroom "risotto" laced with truffle oil.

I couldn’t resist the combo of mushrooms and truffle oil. Mmmm. And the boys seemed pretty content with their meat dishes.

A gourmet version of an iconic Peruvian dish; pan-seared duck breast and crispy duck confit served over cilantro-infused rice with red bell peppers, peas and carrots .

Cascade Natural Beef tenders wok-fried with onions, tomatoes, oyster sauce, garlic and ají, served with Yukon Gold "papas fritas" and garlic rice.

The next morning I got up to hit the gym before a colleague of hubs picked us up for breakfast. This guy’s wife gives tours of Portland to little kids so she offered to give us a walking tour. We got drenched and by the end of the nearly 2 hour walking tour, I was frozen but overall found it to be pretty interesting. I didn’t want to seem like a total freak in front of people I just met (although somehow I didn’t care the night before), so I  didn’t take any pictures of breakfast at Bijou Cafe but I had a good omelet with chanterelles and a side of roasted veggies. I heart chanterelles.

We cozied up in our hotel room at Lucia and watched football  (side note: what the hell Wisconsin? They are so going to kill us on Saturday!) while I regained feeling in my feet. Actually, I think we were both counting down the minutes until it was dinner time.  Giddy anyone?

All bundled up to brave the weather. Clyde Common is worth it.

I had on a tank top, long sleeve shirt, cardigan, fleece vest and a rain jacket. I am the queen of layering.

The real reason we go to Portland? To eat at Clyde Common. They should call it Clyde Uncommon–it’s uncommonly good. They don’t take reservations so we go early like old people. Hey, it works for us. We got there around 5:45 and snagged some prime seats upstairs. We had a great view of the kitchen.

View from above. Watching the chefs at Clyde Common.

This place is hip and mod (pretty much the opposite of us) and has a great mixologist on staff.

Look at my pretty drink: Point Lobos. AKA: tequila, lemon, egg whites and housemade orange-rhubarb jam.

Caught sipping on pear cider.

The first few dishes were our faves but everthing we ordered was made spot on.

Celery root soup with parsley.

Radicchio, chevre, walnuts and sherry gastrique.

Cavatelli pasta with mushrooms, shallots and thyme. This was freakin' delicious.

Grilled whole trout with roasted root vegetables and fennel vinaigrette.

Roasted pork belly with salad of chicories and a perfectly executed fried egg.

I didn’t try the pork but I hear it was pretty darn tasty.

Roasted brussels sprouts, beet greens and cardoons.

We didn’t have room for desert (we never seem to) and the meal, as usual, went by too fast (although we did outlast at least one round of diners in our area). But we immediately started planning our next trip to eat at Clyde Common Portland. If you find yourself in the Portland area, I highly recommend this restaurant. It is one of the best we’ve ever been to and has been consistently good for the 4 times we eaten there over the years.

The only real saving grace of coming back home to LA? The sun was out. We hadn’t seen it in 3 days so it was a nice change of pace. But I really do love getting out of dodge. Especially if it means heading to Portland.

Yogi says:

You must know that you can swim through every change of tide.

A big tide is coming our way soon.

What place do you love to escape to, even if only for a couple of days?



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7 responses to “Outta Dodge

  1. I love going to this state park here called Brown County. It’s a great place to hike and think…or not 🙂

  2. I usually travel alone, but it’s nice to have someone at the airport to watch your bags while you pee. Even better if it’s your hot husband and you guys get to escape for the weekend. What fun! What food!

    I’m not big on traveling, so I like to escape to my house and ignore annoying people. However, if I had the chance to go somewhere nice or hiking or whatever, I would be all about it 😉

    • I definitely take for granted having him there with me because I always have to pee before the flight. Always. So it was not a lot of fun to bring all of my stuff into the bathroom with me. Sorta felt like a contortionist fitting everything into the stall…tmi. Sorry.

      I’d love to go for a hike with you 🙂

  3. i love deschutes veggie burgers!

    hood river is about an hour away from portland-i love going there! (if you’re ever around here for more than a weekend, it’s a great area to visit-breweries, wineries, pretty scenery…)

    • I did the Mt. Hood marathon a couple of years ago and it was so gorgeous. It’s part of the reason we started hanging out in Portland. Brewery-hopping sounds like a great time to me 🙂

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