Portland from the Aerial Tram

Last month I had my yearly doctors appointment at OHSU. I was seeing a new doctor at the Women’s Clinic and had never been to their main location. When I made my appointment the scheduler told me that instead of parking “up on the hill” I could park on the south waterfront and take the Aerial Tram up. Of course that option sounded the most fun, so I went for it! I snapped a few quick photos on my iPhone because the views are just incredible from the tram. Next time I’ll make sure to bring my good camera with me!

Brunch @ Tusk

Tusk is one of my favorite Portland restaurants. I even have it listed on my “Portland List“. Tusk is known for it’s locally sourced and seasonally aggressive menu that updates often. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan when restaurants update their menus seasonally, as it allows me to continually try different menu options without getting bored. Everything about Tusk is just special though. From the vegetable-driven middle eastern menu, to the over-sized portrait of Keith Richards above the bar (which I am borderline obsessed with) and the bright white decor with brass fixtures – Tusk is truly a gem and not to be missed.
My sister was just in town visiting last weekend and I surprised her with a visit to experience their brunch (I’ve only ever had their dinner). She’s already plotting how she can get back down here to experience another meal.
whipped feta, herb tehina, seeds, almonds
plums, date syrup, almonds, whipped cream
queso oaxaca, spicy tomato, squash, nigella seeds

Saturdays are made for brunch

It’s true. Saturdays are made for brunch. It’s also best to bring along a few good friends and order a few mimosas while sitting out in the sun. It’s definitely the best way to kick of your day (and the weekend)! This past Saturday we brunched at the NW Olympia Provisions location. It was a date with laser potatoes… and eggs benedict… and kielbasa for the table… I’m already looking forward to next Saturday. Just gotta make it through the week.

Dinner @ Teote

Luke had sent me a link for Teote a few months back. It looked delicious so we added it to our ever growing list of Portland restaurants we want to try. A few weekends ago, after a long afternoon of house cleaning, we cleaned ourselves up and ventured over to Teote for dinner. Just walking up the street to this place you can’t help but get excited at the sight of all the bright blues, yellows and oranges that decorate the outside of the restaurant. We placed our order at the front counter and then made our way upstairs to grab a table, a cute little romantic table tucked away by the upstairs corner window.
Teote features a Latin-American cuisine with an emphasis on healthy and gluten free eating, which is quite refreshing when you eat out a lot like we do! We found the food to be quite unique, fresh and full of flavor.

The arepas (Venezuelan-style corn cakes) and the fried plantains were by far my favorites (looks for them in the photos below).

El Diablo
Carlton Farms pork belly in a red chili maple sauce,
topped with pickled onions, verde sauce and queso.
Black beans, rice, cabbage salad, salad,
fried plantains and queso served with a buttered arepa 

Dinner @ Grassa

Last week we decided to drive into the city for a date night. When I say drive into the city, I’m talking about like 5 miles or so, haha, hardly a drive. We had been craving something fresh, something local, something Portland-y. We landed on Grassa. Owned by the same folks that operate Lardo, we knew we’d be in for a treat since we’re both huge Lardo fans.
When you step inside Grassa you get the feeling that you’re in a small, yet upscale cafeteria – complete with lockers on the wall, communal seating and an open view of the pasta kitchen. It’s chaotic yet comfortable.
The food at Grassa is the definition of handcrafted comfort food and fresh ingredients. I had the Spaghetti ‘Aglio Olio’ and Luke had the Carbonara. Both were fantastic dishes. We had a side of garlic bread along with some beer and house red wine (tip: if you don’t like the limited beer selection, you can order a beer next door at Lardo and bring it over to Grassa). Our total dinner came to just around $30, pretty awesome for a Friday night out on the town. We’ll definitely be back here soon!
bucatini, pork belly, fried egg, pecorino
Spaghetti ‘Aglio Olio’
garlic, chili, olive oil, grana, bredcrumbs

In PDX: Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

This place. Is amazing. I might even go as far to say that it’s some of the best Vietnamese food I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot… The coconut curry? The best! My only regret is that I ordered a 2 instead a 3 on the spice level (that goes up to 4). What can I say, I love a little kick. Anyways, if you live in Portland, please try it out – you won’t be disappointed. Just be prepared to wait in a bit of a line, it’s worth every bite though.

^ Dinner is always better with your favorite friends ^

Dinner @ Grain & Gristle

A few Saturday nights ago we tried a new-to-us restaurant. We sat on the couch for about an hour clicking through list after list of Portland restaurants and just couldn’t settle on anything. We wanted somewhere different, somewhere we’ve never been before. So we chose Grain & Gristle.
We were seated outside and we had a fantastic server. She explained the menu, gave us recommendations and always had a smile on her face. And after we finished our meals, we were very glad we chose this place – because it was plate-licking delicious. Seriously. I should also add that we had a total of four beers, two appetizers and two entrees – the total came to just barely over $50. Pretty good if you ask us!

^ Messy hair, don’t care ^

Doggie Dash

This past Saturday we took part in the Doggie Dash, a fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society. Over 4,000 dogs were at the event. It started downtown on the waterfront, took us on a path over the Hawthorne bridge, to the east bank esplanade, over the Steele Bridge and then back to the waterfront; a walk totaling 2.5 miles. It was so much fun for a crazy dog lady such as myself to be surrounded by so many dogs. Our little pup did exceptionally well and kept pace the entire time. We we’re kinda worried because of her short little legs, but she was a trooper. She even looked like she enjoyed it! We made sure to give her a few extra treats afterwards.
The weather on Saturday was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. It was one of those days that make living in Portland so worthwhile. It was one of those days that make Portland my perfect city and that you don’t mind dealing with the rain and the gloom in the winter because this day was perfect. I think Portlanders really appreciate a good weather day more than anyone else. Because when it’s nice outside, you better believe we take full advantage of it.
– Photos © Holly Carman –

Lovejoy Bakers

A couple of weeks ago Luke and I had a lunch date at Lovejoy BakersThis place quickly became a favorite spot to grab a (delicious) sandwich when I started working in the pearl district almost 4 months ago. I find myself coming back here often for lunch, it’s that good. If you’re in Portland and want a good sandwich, come here.

I had the mascarpone and fig jam
and Luke had the cubano

Being a tourist in my own city

One of my favorite bridges in town (and there are lots of bridges in this town) is the Broadway Bridge. It’s very bright red and you can walk up a steep set of stairs to walk across the bridge to some incredible views of the city. This past Sunday Luke and I took a walk up the steep steps and I snapped a ton of pictures (what else is new, right?!)! Here was our view:

I hope you enjoyed these views of my city!