Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Instagram GIVEAWAY

Hi friends! In case you aren't following me on Instagram (merecdavison) or missed yesterday's post, I have a pretty sweet giveaway going on! All the details below.

And spoiler, another great giveaway will be announced later today!!

Hey friends! If you know me in real life, you know I'm constantly singing the praises of Marissa. Well she just opened the SUPER dreamy salon Luminary on SE Division. (Right between Roman Candle + Salt & Straw - live your best life)

She's giving away the three pictured Aveda products PLUS a cut and blowout with her. All you have to do is follow me, luminary & comment below with your biggest hair concern. 

Even better: this Saturday the ladies at luminary are participating in the Division street fair. Stop in for bubbles + beach waves, and 20% off product. 

Giveaway closes Thursday at 9am PST. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

#ThursdayToursPDX {Picnic Outings}

Do you have favorite social media accounts for food recommendations? Ones you know are authentic, give honest feedback and the person has supreme taste? Steve aka Cart Whisperer is in my Top 10 of PDX influencers. His account and recommendations are the perfect combination of realistic living, with out of the ordinary preferences. From lunch bites Downtown to exotic Chef's Counter meals whilst vacationing, his recommendations are real. More real than J. Lo. He is also a super sweet and interesting person. Plus, a super-dedicated dad. His daughter, Elle, is also quite the foodie. I've met Elle at several events and she is a well-spoken, sweet and thoughtful person. They clearly have a very close relationship, and I even, gasp, like each other! Not your average pre-teen! 

It is such a treat having this dynamic team sharing their picks for a Portland Picnic. And over on Bakery Bingo Supermom Jannie is sharing her favorites for a day on the grass.

Grab your basket, read-up and go get your picnic on!

My love of picnicking started years ago when my daughter discovered the cheese counter at Pastaworks on Hawthorne (now Providore Fine Foods on NE Sandy). Shortly thereafter,Cheese Bar moved right up the street from us on SE Belmont and we were definitely in trouble. Whenever we decide to picnic, these two markets are top of mind.

Olympia Provisions and Chop are our go to meat choices. Their salamis are the perfect size for a small group. Our favorites include Curry and Finocchiona (fennel) because of the subtle flavors they add to a traditional salami. Another favorite is the Farmhouse Country Pâté from Chop. My daughter is a fan because of its mild flavor and pistachio nuts.

Both stores offer a wide selection of cheeses from around the world. I'm always up for a Mahon or caved aged Gruyere. I like the nuttiness from the Mahon and the gritty texture from the Gruyere. My daughter's palette leans toward something from Portland Creamery or a buttery Brie-something creamy and rich. If you';re not sure what sounds good-ask. You will get great recommendations and maybe discover a style you've never considered.

Pok Pok sodas are a household favorite if you're looking for something non-alcoholic. Both stores have a nice selection of beers and wines. One of my more unusual beer choices is the Indra Kunindra from Ballast Point. It's got a lot going on-coconut, cumin, kaffir lime leaf, cayenne and more (pairs nicely with the curry salami). If wine is more your thing, check out Union Wine Pinot Noir in a super convenient aluminum can.

Now that Providore has moved to a larger spot, they have added vendors inside the store including Little T Bakery. I recommend one of their baguettes or a slab of their amazing Focaccia. Rubinette Produce Market, also inside Providore, offers some of the most appealing and full-flavored fruits I have found. There's almost always a fruit or two on the sample plate. On my last visit, I found gorgeous blood oranges and sweet, perfectly ripened berries.

You need to finish off with something a little decadent and sweet, right?! Anything from Alma and Quin is going to be a nice end to a delicious picnic. New to us is The Chocolate Maker's Workshop. I got to sample a bunch of their products at Providore's grand opening. Pick up their blood orange chocolate bar- it's as tasty as it is beautiful. Picnics are a great way to sample some of Portland's best artisanal food offerings and enjoy a beautiful park, hike or your backyard. And if the weather isn't fully cooperating, both stores are great spaces to use for an indoor picnic.

#ThursdayToursPDX is a collaborative series between Portland, OR bloggers {Erin} Bakery Bingo + {Meredith} Martha Chartreuse. In a city filled with amazing restaurants, artisan experiences, and fantastic tastemakers the inside scoop is a must. We will be asking our friends and fellow bloggers for their recommendations and tips for all the City of Roses has to offer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New+Noteworthy {Nel Centro, TD Tacos+Tequilas, and The Feisty Lamb}

In Portland the East-side gets a lot of hype and praise for the quirky neighborhoods, amazing restaurants and overall charm. It is the happenin' side. That's not to say the west side doesn't have a pretty cool story. See what I did there?? Okay, Natalie Wood, tell us about the food!

Nel Centro
1408 SW 6th Avenue

When I first moved to Portland Nel Centro was my spot. It has an excellent outdoor space, a tasty menu and some excellent people watching. While not new, the Downtown staple in 7 years old! In a city where restaurants shutter daily, it is a reliable staple.

Must try: Meatballs in marinara, Roasted beet salad, the game room!
Things to know: Based in Hotel Modera, many of the dapper men are travelers and guests of the hotel. Be an informed flirter.

TD Tacos+Tequilas
Three Degrees Restaurant
1510 SW Harbor Way
Waterfront Walkway
Wednesday-Sunday 12pm-Close

Sunshine, Check. Chips and guac. Check, check. Watching boat reaches. Indeed! TD + Tequilas has what no other taco joint has. Location!! The unassuming pop-up is bringing a selection of grilled tacos and delicious cocktails to the Portland Waterfront. The location is right on the walkway and would be perfect after crossing Tilikum Bridge or boating on the river.

Must try: Chips and Guac, Mezcal Cocktail
Things to know: The seating is limited.

The Feisty Lamb
2174 W Burnside
Wednesday-Saturday 5-9pm
Friday-Sunday 9am-2pm

I checked out Feisty Lamb a few weeks ago for brunch and was blown away by the unique menu. With a South African base, there seems to be a strong influence from SE Asia. Think hearty British food with Indian and Thai pops. It is good. Really good. The space, right by Zupan's and World Market, has a quirky decor and lends itself to leisurely meals. The table next to us brought cards to play throughout the meal.

Must try: Crispy Jasmine Rice Skillet Fry with Pork Belly, Creamy espresso drink
Things to know: The service is SLOW!! We weren't hungover, hangry or in a rush. If you do have any of those symptoms, this is not the spot for you.