Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New + Noteworthy {Marmo, Shift, and Levant's Brunch}

This installment of New + Noteworthy could also be considered a love letter to gluten.With two tasty bruschettas, croissants, pastries and crouton loaded salads Marmo, Shift and Levant's Brunch Service are all offering up some of my favorite glutenista treats.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#ThursdayToursPDX {Pechluck's Outdoor Lunch Spots}

For this installment of #ThursdayToursPDX we are shaking things up a bit. Instead of featuring two bloggers today we are each featuring recommendations from Portland blogger Pech. If you know Pech, or read her fantastic blog, you know she is always provides the most thoughtful and thorough insight to just about everything. From blog posts to restaurant reviews every word is authentic, informative and extremely valuable. When we asked her to provide her recommendations for outdoor lunch spots she went above and beyond by offering restaurant and food cart suggests!! We decided to split them up and feature all of her amazing suggestions on Bakery Bingo and Martha Chartreuse!

Here we will be discussing food cars (including my personal favorite Kargi Gogo!) and restaurnts will be featured over on Erin's blog!

Outdoor Eating brought to you by Pech of Pechluck's Food Adventures
All photos courtesy of Pechluck Laskey
Food Carts!
As soon anyone asks me about outdoor eatings, I always think of food carts first. It's one of the very uniquely Portland things to do, visit a food cart pod. And, there are several food carts that are ONLY open for lunch in the downtown and PSU areas, so if you are open for lunch on a weekday visiting food carts is the first thing I recommend visitors to PDX as well as locals.
One of my favorite places to send people who are looking to eat outdoors and really experience Portland are in particular two types of food cart experiences, based on assuming you don't want to do a lot of walking to find a comfortable place to sit and eat after getting your food from the carts.

One option is to Experience a Museum and South Park Blocks.
On weekdays, after a late morning visit to the Oregon Historical Society (free admission for Multnomah County residents) I then suggest a walk in the South Park Blocks to find Haan Ghin, a Laotian little shack/cart right by the PSU Library at SW Park and Harrison. Both the Mii Gai (Noodles and Chicken) and the Laap Gai (minced chicken that you eat in lettuce wrap) are delicious, offering a medley of soft and crispy, sweet and spicy (not too much- you tailor it yourself) and savory.

Option two is to Experience Downtown Cart Lunch in Portland's Living Room.
It's fun to walk around between SW 9th and 10th and Alder and Washington to see the many types of food carts, as well as all the people watching as you watch people emerge from the various office buildings to get lunch at the carts. My favorites of the many food carts here include Kargi Gogo (I always get the khachipuri cheese bread and some khinkali dumplings), fish and chips from The Frying Scotsman, deep dish Chicago from Thick, cheesesteak from Steak Your Claim, a Hawaiian plate lunch from 808 Grinds, or any dish from Emame’s Ethiopian Cuisine. Walk 3 blocks southeast to Pioneer Courthouse Square and dine while doing more people watching in the buzz of Portland's "Living Room", You have just traveled the world in cuisine by visiting just that one block.

Honorable Mentions:
- Food carts in the evening: Tidbit Food Cart Pod or Prost

#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 14, 2015

New Experiences {Q2}

As I've mentioned before, my 2015 Resolution was to do, try, learn or experience something new to me every month. The first quarter of the year was focused on a lot of physical activities. For April, May and June the activities focused on emotional well-being and learning more about photography.

Salt Water Floating
Not where I went floating, but higher quality photos.

In April Erin invited me along to try out Salt Water Floating - a sensory deprivation vessel meant for relaxation and meditation. For 90-minutes I floated around in a blue chamber with twinkly stars in complete silence. I will be completely honest and tell you just how darn hard this was for me. I was alone, awake, without Netflix, music or Instagram and completely nude. For the second half I was incapable of sitting still and actually had a conversation with myself. Riveting stuff! What I learned is that relaxation for me needs to include a book, napping or binging trashy television.

A Day of Nothing
Casual times with Athena-Gram

The month of May was extremely busy for me. I had activities at least 6 nights a week. By the end of the month I was at an absolute loss regarding what I should do for my new activity. Finally, I realized the last day of the month was completely free of plans. Instead of scheduling a new activity I decided to try a 'day of nothing' and go with the flow that day. A day without commitments, activities, chores or a to-do list. It was actually really challenging for me. I woke up and had an impromptu lunch, but then struggled with how I would spend the rest of the day. I felt extremely guilty for not being productive enough. Since then I have tried to reduce the number of commitments I make and am allowing for more down time and flexibility.

Photography Classes

For Christmas my sisters and brother-in-law gave me a gift certificate to New Space Photography. I was able to take a two classes that helped me learn more about my DSLR and how to shoot in manual. Both Saturday classes, I took more than 10-pages of notes and have been practicing my skills more and more. So, in case you were wondering why the blog became more visually appealing in the last 6-weeks, thank the June activity!!

Any thoughts on what I should do next? Will July be the month I go to a bar by myself without a cell phone??