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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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San Francisco Adventures (Part 2)

After resting at some random dimsum to-go place, we trekked back over towards Market, and walked what seemed like 50 blocks in 20 minutes—even making our way through the tenderloin district after the sun had set (aka not a good idea). All this was to make it to Sightglass, another legit coffee place we wanted to check out. If my phone wasn’t almost dead I would have taken pictures of the interior since it was so nice. High ceilings, 2nd floor seating overlooking the 1st floor, and lots of nice wood. They also had a cool coffee roaster and two really nice espresso machines, one of which is called the Slayer. According to a friend, it’s a hand-built machine that costs about $20,000. When I asked our barista what’s so special about it, however, she just replied “It’s just a really awesome machine”…thank you very much.

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Ordered a cappuccino. It was just alright. The first sip was ridiculously bitter but afterwards it was a little better. I tried some of Esther and Becca’s pour-over coffee and it was too watery and too fruity. I watched the barista do the pour-over and it wasn’t very professional. She poured all the water at once and walked away as the coffee dripped through resulting in a watered down cup of coffee vs. pouring the water slowly and evenly like the barista at Four Barrel resulting in a coffee with a good body. Sad to say that we were all disappointed with this place 😦

Afterwards we headed back to the tenderloin for some good ol’ soul food at Farmer Brown.

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Thomas and I shared the shrimp and chicken jambalaya. It was definitely the best jambalaya I’ve had. Most other places drench it in a bunch of tomato sauce but this wasn’t at all and was packed with a lot of flavor and spice. I also got to try a bit of their meatloaf with sweet mashed potatoes and a carrot and kale salad. So. Good. Needless to say, by the end of the meal we were a bunch of happy campers.

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And last but not least, we took the BART back over to west Oakland to go to The Trappist, the #1 beer bar in California and ranked #17 in the world. Becca knew one of the bartenders, Ray, so we got to try a bunch of different beers. They have a lot of interesting ones…including stouts made with hot chilis adding significant spice, to those that taste yogurty and fruity. I’ve discovered I’m more into darker beers, and ended up sharing the Gouden Carolus Noel (which also happened to be their strongest one) with Tom.

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Served in a glass with a golden rim…I felt so classy. It had a slight smell and taste of licorice and went down real smooth. I’m pretty sure now that I’ve only tried good beer first, if someone tried to feed me a budweiser or coors light, I would gag.

I’d say that was a pretty successful trip to the city. Excited to go back again and explore more places!

Peace out

– CP

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