Then there was Portland
After we disembarked from the cruise ship in Seattle (a surprisingly easy process even though there were four billion people on the ship) we deposited the family in a hotel and left for a few days on non-cruiseship time in Portland.

Portland is scarily precious and cool and delightful and handsome.
The highlights include in sequential order:

Taco Stop!
Olympia (WA) Taco TruckAfter leaving Seattle we stopped in Olympia (where all the good music came from) for tacos at a taco truck that Mrs. Robot found on the Yelpernet. Delightfully porky side-of-the-road tacos.

Ace Hotel
Our Room at the Ace HotelThis is where we rested our heads when we weren’t drinking or eating. The hotel, like Portland, is scarily precious and cool. And adorable.
Each room has a theme of sorts and Mrs. Robot had requested one of the “cat” rooms. This is a room with a big cat on the wall. The desk clerk thought she had reserved it for us but when we got up there we realized we had the non-cat magician themed room. D’oh.
I called to confirm that in Portland, they didn’t call magicians ‘cats’ and if we were in the wrong room. Sadly we were and the cat rooms had turned out to be full. Minutes later a bellhop is at our door with a bottle of wine and a little note from the clerk apologizing that we didn’t get our cat room.
See: precious.

Very cool room and a very cool hotel with a Stumptown coffee in the lobby.

Bike Parking Spaces
Dammit. Stop it Portland. Stop being so clever.
Every now and then you’d come across bike parking spaces - simply parking spaces that had a bike rack and were solely for bikes.
Bikes. Everywhere.

Le Pigeon
10:11pmWe met up with our pals Shawn & Ken for dinner at Le Pigeon on our first night. Tasty. My meal was good, but the appetizer outshone the entree pretty majorly: foie gras bacon. I don’t really understand what it was. Foie gras on top of bacon? Wrapped? I don’t know. I’m not really sure I even noticed the bacon.
It was stunning. Stunning in that “Whoa. What just happened?” way.

Zombie Doughnuts
12:02amWe walked back over the bridge (it was a lovely night) and stopped off at Zombie Doughnuts. Delicious, possibly superb.
As good as Doughnut Plant? Could be.

Wine Dream
As mentioned on my other award winning blog, we stumbled across a small deli that had possibly one of the greatest wine selections I have come across. Was their wine selection as good as the foie gras dish or the doughnuts? That is a close call.

Rose Garden Wine
We ate a cupcake at some point that afternoon. We then grabbed a bottle of chilled rose’ and met up with our pal Shawn who took us up to this large rose garden park area to enjoy the sunshine and great weather. Oh, Portland. When you are sunny and warm, you are awfully pretty.

Sustainable Sushi
We had dinner on our second night at Bamboo Sushi. Their gimmick/raison d'etre is sustainable fish and the menu is a guide to all the best fish to eat from an environmental POV. Dinner was great. They have a great sake list (and Shawn and Ken know a bit about sake). All good.
What annoys me is that I don’t believe anyone in NYC is doing this. There was that controversy recently with that person from Nobu who said that they would continue to serve the highly threatened fish because otherwise you’d be disrespecting the traditions of Japan.

Am I wrong? Are the restaurants here in the city that are pushing sustainability?

Kenny & Zukes
9:17amCrikey. Unfortunately we only had breakfast here once. We should have eaten here every morning and evening. Crikey.
Breakfast. Mrs. Robot had eggs, pastrami, and a big-ass bialy. The pastrami was homer-simpson-droolingly good. I had lox and a bagel - as I almost did every morning. In salmon country? Eat salmon.
(crap, are they sustainable?)
Was the pastrami as good as the doughnuts or foie gras or the wine shop? Close. Almost.

F’n Food Carts
1:56pmThe food carts in Portland make me mad. They make me mad as I am writing this. If you ever want to go somewhere and suddenly feel that NYC is pretty lame: go to the food carts in Portland.
These aren’t crappy little food carts. I am not sure they are even carts. More like little campers or tiny houses. Unlike NYC, you can get stunningly good and fresh tasting food from them without waiting for two hours (we attempted to go by the shake shack yesterday).
Korean tacos? Tasty yet a bit messy.
Huge bowl of beef pho? Delicious.
Crazy Thai food. Korean. Tacos. BBQ. Pho!
Christ. My stomach is now growling.

How did this happen in Portland? Why couldn’t this exist in NYC? Is it simply a scale issue? Real estate?
Sure, we have a few star food carts (we go to the Vendys every year) but we need way more. We were there on a week day at around 1:30 and they were hopping but there weren’t the crazy long lines you get with, say, the Biryani food cart.

Why can’t I get delicious pho from a cart in NYC? Why?

Were the food carts better than the doughnuts or the foie gras or the wine shop or the pastrami? Possibly.

Portland! You were great fun!
Our New Album is Great

Shawn & Ken

That was it
We had to return to Seattle where we had a decent dinner and went on a funny ‘underground’ tour of Seattle (this is where we learned that Seattle’s founding fathers were idiots). We had to turn in our boxy little Mercedes Benz (oh, I love your boxy shape and straight lines) and go to the airport (where we had a disturbingly good sandwich).
We arrived in NYC and it was like 140 degrees outside. Oh, Big Stink. You make it hard to love you.

(truth be told, this isn't much of a blog post, but more of a "Stu: You might as well move here now". Also note that I didn't complain about the homeless kids that are everywhere. WTF west coast?!)

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