Friday, October 19, 2007

la taqueria and a lemon crepe

I flew to San Fransisco last weekend for some much needed R&R. I would have gotten far more R&R had I not booked a hotel at the very top of Nob Hill, but at least I had a nice view of the city once I got over the wheezing caused by the near vertical climb to my hotel room.

Anyone who says that Portland has great food (I'm talking to you, Mr. New York Times) is mistaken. Portland has adequate food. Sure, we have a nice variety of restaurants, and yes, we have new restaurants opening up on every corner. There are some nice grocery stores, like New Seasons. But when I try to think of a food - any kind of food - that Portland does better than anywhere else, I'm left drawing a blank. And I haven't even traveled all that much, so all the amazing food I'm missing in places like New York or Chicago (let alone most of Europe and Asia) blows my mind.

And it's true, familiarity breeds contempt.

The best food of my trip was a plate of escargot from a little French restaurant across from my hotel, a place called Rue Lepic. The waiter was Chinese, the chef appeared to be Mexican, but the food was perfectly French. The restaurant decor was charming, as it had no attitude whatsoever and wasn't trying too hard, like most French restaurants I've been to. The escargot was served in a garlicky tomato sauce instead of the usual sizzling butter, and it was exactly perfect. No pictures, though.

However I did take a picture of my carne asada tacos from La Taqueria in the Mission District. Amazing!

I also stopped at a creperie in the Mission called Ti Couz and had a lemon & sugar crepe with Chantilly cream. It was the best crepe I have ever had.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What is wrong with America today

Speaking of hicks and processed meat products, Kevin (who can't resist buying new and disturbing junk food) purchased this at Winco last week:

That's right, it's "Jeff Foxworthy's HAM JERKY." When beef jerky just isn't hitting the spot anymore, or if your beef allergies keep you from enjoying a chewy piece of jerky every now any then, you can rip open a big bag of ham-flavored dried meat product and tear right in.

Thank you, Jeff Foxworthy, for making sure that ham is no longer shut out from the jerky industry. You saw a niche market that wasn't being exploited to it's full extent, and you filled it. With dried, chemical-laden pork.

I wonder if Jeff Foxworthy and Dwight Yoakam are friends? Or maybe - deadly enemies?

Tomorrow I'm going apple (and pear) picking in Hood River. Whenever I think about picking apples, or any other kind of tree fruit, I get the Frost poem "After Apple Picking" stuck in my head and then I start thinking about extended metaphors and symbolism and how awesome Robert Frost was, and then I want to read the poem all the way through so I go start looking through my books, and then I find a bunch of interesting books I'd forgotten about, and pretty soon I can't remember what I started looking for in the first place. So, I haven't really thought out what I'm going to do with all my apples yet.

And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.