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Foodcult Business Trips: Portland Again?!

Some of you may remember Catherine’s roadtrip to Portland earlier this year, warranting a slew of epic blog posts. Since then, I think it has been decided that all of our travels have become informal Foodcult business trips. So, going back to school for spring semester, I took a road trip to Seattle to do my share of the “business”. Our road trip lasted for ten days, starting in San Diego, stopping a few cities on our way to Seattle, and then back down the Oregon Coast to California. You can say it was a trip of epic proportions… but that might be an understatement.

After spending a few days with friends in Northern California, we made our first stop in Portland, Oregon. (Warning: A few of the places that we happened by in Portland have already been mentioned in some of Catherine’s posts, but nonetheless, I promise it will feel like a completely different experience.)

I’m still waiting for Canon to develop technology to capture smells for the full effect, and then maybe we can partner with Willy Wonka so you can reach into the screen and just grab the food.

Until then, feast with your eyes my friends.

After hearing the amazing reviews for Tasty n’ Sons, it became an obligatory destination on our trip. We were seated along the front window— a slim fit, but any seat in the house was a coveted one. The food was excellent, as expected and made for a great start to our day.

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Erin’s Sweet Biscuits.

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Burmese red pork stew

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Potatoes Barava

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

During our visit to Stumptown, I experienced something of a coffee revelation, converting me instantly into drinking my coffee black. Previously, I made no differentiation between different types of coffees, coming more from the tea scene myself (you know, I’ve got something of a ancestral background in tea being Asian), but Stumptown changed things. The Hair Bender roast was amazing — a medium roast that had a chocolatey and rich flavor. I felt that a veil had been lifted from my eyes, tasting for the first time the complexity of flavor and depth in coffee. Thank you Jesus. One of my greatest regrets was choosing not to buy Stumptown coffee beans.

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Screen Door: Soul Food

Nestled in a quaint neighborhood, Screen Door already held a small line by the time we arrived for its opening at around 5pm. We found ourselves both excited and ravenously hungry for the comfort that soul food promised to our empty bellies. How was the food? See for yourselves…

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My Rye Ale.

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Low Country Shrimp and Grits

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Fried Chicken

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Screen Door Plate: Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Beet Salad, Jambalaya, and Corn Bread. Yum.

My Screen Door advice to you? Order the Screen Door plate. It is a great way to get a taste of several dishes on the menu at once. Personally, I felt like having an entire order of a certain dishes might have been overwhelming, and having instead balanced portions of a variety of different tastes really helped to balance things out.

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Thus ended our brief stop in Portland, whom I found to be a kind and faithful friend — one who spared us from the agony of taxes and left us with warmed hearts and happy bellies. Thanks Portland, you were great.

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Road Trip Munchies Part 3 (Final): Voodoo Donuts

At last, here is the conclusion to our Road Trip Munchies, Portland edition.

Our last stop in Portland was none other than the famous Voodoo Donuts.

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The have quite the interesting decor.

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And the most interesting menu that honestly tells you next to nothing about what kind of donut you’re getting yourself into.

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The four of us decided to order a dozen so that we could try a bunch of different ones. After sampling a bite of each one, here are a couple of our favorites:

The classic Voodoo Doll definitely had to make it on our list. Not only is it morbidly cute, it has jelly/blood filling and was quite fluffy.

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To the left of it is the Old Dirty Bastard, with chocolate frosting, oreos, and peanut butter drizzle. Looks pretty cray..and indeed it was. It was too intense for us. The Loop that’s right below it was actually not too bad…I did have a bite of it a day late when the fruit loops were stale..but I bet it would be pretty good fresh.

Now onto the unanimous favorite…the Maple Bacon Bar

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You wouldn’t expect such a simple thing to be so delicious but it really was. The bacon was very crispy and complimented the sweetness of the maple so well. Thank God we decided to get two of these because we were practically fighting for more bites.

We also really enjoyed the Portland Cream. It’s a simple donut with chocolate icing filled with Bavarian cream and is apparently Portland’s signature donut. The other ones we tried were more for the novelty of the names or because they sounded interesting. The Mexican Hot Chocolate, French crueller and Chocolate coconut are just a few that I also enjoyed. All in all, it was just fun to be able to visit this famous food place and get a taste of Portland’s eclectic style.

I wish the rest of our epic road trip was as exciting in the food-arena, but I would be lying if I told you we didn’t spent the rest of our trip eating a good deal of fast-food and at not-so-fantastic diners and hotels. This concludes this series of Road Trip Munchies.There will hopefully be another one in the near future. Pauline and I are dreaming of Food Cult business trips in the future which I think would be the best thing in the entire world.

Stay tuned for our coming food adventures!

– CP

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Road Trip Munchies Part 2: Tasty N Sons

After our YOLO oyster shots at 11am, we finally got seated at our original destination–Tasty N Sons. It was recommended by one of my friends who,when I asked what type of cuisine it was, could only say “It is a very unique tasting experience”–and indeed it was. They carried a very limited menu that contained dishes with Korean, Italian, Middle Eastern, and other ethnic influences and flavors.  After observing the menu for a while, and being informed that they do everything family style, we decided to start off with their sweet biscuits with blueberries.

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Sweet Biscuits from Tasty N Sons (Photo by Freddierick John Photography)

They were…amazing. I rarely give dishes 5 stars, but these biscuits were simply heavenly, with a slight crisp on the outside but strangely light yet biscuity on the inside. The blueberry compote wasn’t too sweet, and the whipped cream on top was slightly denser than your common whipped cream. This is all to say that all of us were gawking about these sweet biscuits long after we had devoured them, and even remember them to this day.

Next was the veggie frittata, filled with brussel sprouts, sweet potato, and many other delicious veggies I can’t remember, topped with a couple fried tater-tots.

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Vegetable Frittata from Tasty N Sons (Photo by Freddierick John Photography)

I personally thought it was just okay, but the others loved it. Probably because I’m not much of a vegetarian girl…I like my meat.

The Shakshuka was quite delicious though. I had no idea what it was, but apparently it’s a popular Middle Eastern dish that is originally from Tunisia. It’s pretty much a slightly spicy tomato stew with eggs cracked on top, and to be eaten with toasted bread.

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Shakshuka from Tasty N Sons (Photo by Freddierick John Photography)

It had a lot of complex flavors and ended up being my favorite dish (outside of the sweet biscuits of course) 🙂 I’m going to try making this myself soon…

And at last, we got the “Polenta & Sausage Ragu with mozzarella & over easy egg”. I personally liked this one too, probably because I really like polenta, but I’ll admit it kind of tasted messy with the sausage. Almost chili-like..but we still finished it.

Polenta & Sausage Ragu with mozzarella & over easy egg from Tasty N Sons (Photo Credit to Freddierick John Photography

Polenta & Sausage Ragu with mozzarella & over easy egg from Tasty N Sons (Photo by Freddierick John Photography

At the end of it all, our amazing meal at Tasty N Sons made it to our “Top 3 Highlights” of our road trip. If you’re ever in Portland, you have to check this place out. I hear all of the rest of their brunch menus items are amazing too.

Stay tuned for the final part of my Road Trip Munchies: Portland series! Our last stop was one of Portland’s iconic food locations 🙂

– CP

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Road Trip Munchies (Part 1.5): Portland Alchy

Alright, I personally expected to drink a lot more in Portland than we did, but we actually kept it pretty minimal. Went to Deschutes “public house” brewery for dinner the first night. We got the beer sampler with 6 different beers.

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Thanks to our wonderful beer-snob friend, Becca, we were educated enough in beer-ology to taste the beers in increasing order of IBU’s. AKA, we tasted the beers from least hoppy to most hoppy. This way, our palates wouldn’t be overwhelmed with hoppiness in the beginning and we would still be able to taste each following beer.

I personally favored the Hop Henge and Rise IPA (yes, I’m an IPA girl). Hop Henge had a very fruity aroma and taste to it alongside with some hefty hoppiness. Rise IPA was much less hoppy and had a strong caramel aroma and taste to it with a good body. The Human Sacrifice Imperial Stout (brewed in honor of the Mayan end of the world) was also quite good, but I’m not much of a stout drinker so just a couple sips was good enough for me. We ended up getting a huge growler of it though to bring home to Becca, who thoroughly appreciated it.

We also got some of their food at the brewery, including an Obsidian Stout mac & cheese, pear & goat cheese pizza (our fav) and a salad with hoppy dressing. ALl of it VERY good, and obviously delicious when paired with the beer.

The next morning, while we were actually waiting an hour and a half for our table at Tasty N Sons (see next post!), we went next door to get oyster shots!

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(Photo credit to Freddierick John Photography :])

Okay, it honestly wasn’t our intention to drink at 11am, but it happened. In my defense, I thought their “oyster shots” were going to consist of a raw oyster drizzled with some sauce that contained a tad bit of alcohol…I didn’t know it was literally a shot of alcohol with an oyster at the bottom. I’m not alcoholic, I promise.

Either way, it was quite an experience. I chose the shot with chili infused bourbon with lemon. Others got shots with chili-infused vodka or tequila. It was savory and pretty spicy, but also a little confusing…we weren’t sure whether to chew the oysters or just swallow them whole. That’s okay though–they made for a YOLO moment on our trip haha.

Stay tuned for part 2 🙂

– CP

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Road Trip Munchies: Portland (Part 1)

It has been a long-time dream of mine to go on a road trip with friends–as my frequent drives commuting San Jose and San Diego don’t quite satisfy that desire. This past winter break, I FINALLY had such a privilege to do so all the way to the hipster-haven of Portland, OR! Over a course of 7 days, we drove from San Jose to Sac to Redding to Portland, then back down to Gold Beach, OR via the gorgeous coastal route of the 101, and finally back to San Jose. Thus, here’s some snippets of our food adventures throughout Portlandia.

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Portland is known for having a plethora of foodtrucks/carts. They rest in little “pods” throughout the city, and each pod can vary in size. The first one we visited was one of the bigger ones, taking up the edges of a decently sized parking lot. They had everything from Indian to Mediterranean to German food, as well as a huge variety in Asian food including Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Unfortunately, most of the carts/trucks were closed since it was New Years eve, but I ended up coming to this quaint little sheish kabob one and grabbing some lamb shawarma.

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The wrap was pretty good, not very oily at all and the meat was tender. The lamb was a little too gamey for my tastes and I could have used a tad less lettuce. If I go back to Portland again, next time it won’t be a holiday, and my mission will be to try as many of these food trucks as possible.

Our next stop was the famous Stumptown Coffee Roasters!

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I do love coffee, but since I can’t really handle caffeine, I don’t drink it a whole lot unless I get decaf. Thus, my palate for coffee still needs some developing. BUT, man this coffee was good..haha. I ordered a decaf cappuccino, and ok, you can take a moment to admire the pretty latte art…

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Quite nice isn’t it? Yes, anyway…it was so smooth and consistent. Not bitter at all, with a nice caramel-y rich and slightly sweet flavor. Yums..

There are so many Stumptowns in Portland, and I was pretty confused when I was looking on yelp for other good coffee shops in the area and found that ALL of them had 4-5 stars. I wasn’t sure if Portland yelpers were just extremely generous with their star-giving, or if crappy coffee just didn’t exist in Portland. I soon found that practically every coffee shop and/or restaurant serves Stumptown coffee since it’s so accessible and of such good quality and taste…thus..you can’t really go wrong.

This concludes part 1 of our Portland yummies 🙂

– CP

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