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Timberline Hike, Wine, and the Bite August 9, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Events, Excursions.
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Bite of OregonAnother weekend, another friend in town. Here’s a little recap of the things we did that I have not written about previously (I don’t think).

Friday we drove out to Hood and did a hike from the Timberline Lodge to Zigzag Valley. It was about 5 miles roundtrip (not including the little off trail climb we did to see some more views). The lifts are still running up at Timberline so it was interesting to see people in ski suits while we wore shorts and tank tops. It was kind of hazy on Friday so we could not see Jefferson or any of the Sisters, but the views of Hood were nice. Next time I want to hang out at the Lodge for a drink, but we had to hurry to make some wineries near Hood River on the way home.

We went to Mount Hood Winery first. The winery has only been open for a year, but the vines are over 20 years old. The wine was not all that impressive in my opinion, but the tasting room has awesome views of Hood and thre are loads of windows to look through. The patio is worth a visit as well.

I’ve written about Naked and Double Mountain before so I’ll skip those.

Saturday we went up to Forest Grove for sake and wine tasting. We hit the sake winery, Plum Hill and then Elk Cove. Elk Cove is actually out past Gaston but it is worth the drive to check out the grounds and taste wine. Five tastes cost $5 and be sure to spend some time sitting outside and looking out over the vineyards. Dinner Saturday night was at Vindalho, an upscale Indian restaurant on Clinton Street. The food was all right, but I’d take Swagat on NW 21st over it any day. And $4 only gets you one naan. The shrimp dish was the highlight.

Sunday we walked down to the Saturday Market. There is a guy there named Eric who does these super slow exposure photos that have words written on them in lights. Check them out if you are down by the market. Really unique! Then we took advantage of the $3 Bite of Oregon entrance before 1 PM. We sat and listened to live music and sampled Portland beers. I know I should have tried something new, but I couldn’t help but get the Koi Fusion taco trio. I have to say that Korean burritos and tacos were a genius idea and that no one does them like Koi Fusion. Yum, yum, yum. Kristin, who lives in Sacramento and is used to great food, was impressed.

Cinco de Mayo on Mississippi May 7, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars, Events.
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After a few different plans came and went, we decided to head to Mississippi for Cinco de Mayo. We started the evening off at happy hour at Por Que No? The placeis much smaller than I expected and rain kept the outside tables from being a viable option. But we managed to score a table after a short wait. The happy hour special is $1.50 off margaritas (and they are tasty- not a lot of sour mix, just lime juice), 50 cents off beers and tacos. Here’s a tip though, if you are doing multiple tacos, it is better to get a Brian’s bowl as it comes with all the taco mixings (plus additions like guac) and three tortillas. There is food to spare even after you make the three tacos.

After Por Que No? we headed a block up the road to Amnesia brewing. It was my first visit to Amnesia and I liked the vibe. The outside had a good amount of canine clientele, always a positive. We had a pitcher of the pale ale which was not the best pale in Portland by any standard, but a nice beer all the same.

The last stop was at Prost. Prost is a German beer bar where all the beers are, wait for it, German. They sell the beer in .3, .5 and 1 liter glasses. No tasting is allowed so you have to just hope for the best when you order something new. But the owner/bartender is really nice and friendly and the vibe is great. The sausages are pretty decent as well.

I was feeling a little sluggish on Thursday so decided I needed a nice recovery food cart luch. After reading all of the positive reviews on Yelp, I decided to go for Dosirak near PSU. Most of the people ordering food were regulars and the woman who runs the cart seemed to know everyone’s favorites. That sort of thing endears me to a cart. I got the teriyaki chicken lunch box for $6. It was easily enough food for two meals- chicken, rice (choice of white or brown), pot stickers, and a salad. Yum!

So another weekend approaches. I’m planning to do a bike ride this afternoon followed by dinner and drinks in NW. Tomorrow a run in Forest Park and then the festival in St. John and a party in Gresham. I’ll let you all know how it all goes down.

What a Weekend Part 2- Food Carts and Pig and Pinot April 27, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Events, Excursions.
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Saturday was Willamette Week’s Eat Mobile, the food cart festival. Portland food carts are awesome and this was an inexpensive ($8) way to sample a whole bunch of them in one place. Unfortunately the tickets sold out a week before the festival so most of my friends ended up missing out on the fun. The festival kicked off at 5:30, but I went for pre-game beers at Silver Dollar and Tugboat Brewing so I did not arrive until about 7 PM. By that time a few of the carts were already out of food and many of them had extremely long lines. The cart I most wanted to test was Koi Fusion, but the line was so long I was not able to. My favorites that I did try were Bombay Chaat House (Indian) and Flavourspot (waffles plus).  PBR and Wine by Joe were on sale and there was live music. Overall the event was a good time, but next year I am going to get there early so I can taste all of the food without waiting on line (I hear it did not get crowded until after 6 PM).

Sunday, Plum Hill Winery hosted a pig roast and flag raising in honor of the troops in Iraq. On the way out we stopped at Sake One for a sake tasting. Sake One is the only sake winery in the area. They do tastings of six sakes for $5. The staff are very knowledgeable about the sake making process and the different types of sakes. We lucked out because this week was Spring on 47 so we ended up getting 9 tastes for $8 a person. We were able to try draft sake which has a very different flavor than the bottles. My favorite is their Organic sake followed by the Silver. All are worth a taste though. And they have so many varieties that you can come back and not taste the same ones.

Plum Hill’s party was in full swing when we arrived. We just missed the honor guard and flag raising, but there were snacks, pig, cake, and plenty of wine to go around. $10 included souvenir glass, wine tasting, and all the food you could eat. We thought they were out of pig, but then we found the cooking area where the BBQ master’s were cutting off large chunks on request. Live music was provided and bottles of wine were on sale.

On the way back from the vineyard, we stopped at the Grand Lodge for a beer and to check out the space for a friend’s wedding. The Grand Lodge hosted a medieval festival over the weekend, but they were tearing down when we arrived. We did still get to see a few people dressed as pirates (are pirates medieval?) and in other olde timey garb.

So there you have it. A full weekend of fun in and near Portland. Now that spring is officially here, I plan to be getting outside more and will be reporting about my excursions.