Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#6 Highlight of Trip to Portland

The Food, the Food, Oh-my-Sweet-Aunt-Agripa THE FOOD.

There is many a bragging point the city of Portland, Oregon can print up and wave about. If you visit you won’t need to pump your own gas nor pay sales tax. There are possibly more bicyclists than motorists. OK most likely not the last one but it sure feels like it when your GPS interpreter (yours truly), malfunctions and sends the Little White Van motoring off on unplanned side streets, which are infested with enough two-wheeled motorists to make a van driver feel like a Lane Bryant rep at an anorexic convention. But hands down the most enticing selling point of the city has to be its cuisine.

My baby sister, whom we were traveling to see, works at Toro Bravo one of hippest-happeningest restaurants about the town. As misfortune would have it she was forced to work the night of our arrival, obliging the weary travelers two, along with sculptor-boy Matt, to make the pilgrimage and partake of some of the most scrumptious Spanish fare, this side of Barcelona. No lie, on our first drive-by at about 8:00 PM the line was out the door and clogging the waiting area, AKA the sidewalk out front, on a Monday night no less - heretofore only seen in Utah at Outbacks and Olive Gardens, during the 5:00 rush. If you are ever lucky enough to visit, there is plenty of Tapas and Paella to tantalize any pallet, but don’t miss the Salt Cod Fritters with Aioli, or the Seared Scallops with Romesco, and if you have room for dessert the Molten Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream is a treat.

Toro Bravo also manages to keep the Kid Lit link alive by boasting prints from our favorite bovine Ferdinand the Bull on it's walls. No we didn't get our own pics, but they are there trust me.

Having a restaurant in the family did not stop us from hitting various other eateries about the city, by all means, no. Of the assorted establishments including Dim Sum and pastry shops galore the other stand out has to be Pok Pok, where Thai food breaks with the standard Americanized version of itself and materializes in the sublime. If you go order anything you like, but it is pretty much all about the fish-sauce-caramelized BBQ chicken wings. Oh if only they did mail order.

Never fear, this will not be the last you hear about food.

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