Busy, busy, busy

I’ve been working non-stop at my “day job” and training for the “Run Like Hell” 1/2 marathon so I’ve been neglecting my blog. I’ve been eating at a few places and taking some pics. I hope to get my photos organized and have enough time to collect my thoughts on all the awesome restrauants on the Portland area!

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Touchdown’s BBQ

After running errands last Friday afternoon, I decided to hit up the food carts on SW 10th & Washington.  I was standing around trying to decide what I was in the mood for, and a couple of construction workers were raving about Touchdown’s BBQ.

The woman working inside was the sweetest owner of a cart I have encountered since starting my blog.  I was a little limited on my choices since I don’t eat meat.  If I did, I would go for the pulled pork or BBQ chicken.  Instead I got the macaroni and cheese, the candied yams, and a corn muffin.

The macaroni and cheese was okay.  The cheese reminded me a little of Velveeta.  But after eating Screen Door’s Macaroni and Cheese, nothing else compares.  As for the candied yams, I knew from the name they were going to be sweet.  But even someone like me who has a whole set of sweet teeth thought it was overboard.  With the corn muffin, I ended up lucking out since she literally was pulling a batch out of the oven when I got there.  And she topped the muffins with a mixture of honey and melted butter while saying “I only use the REAL thing!”.  I almost wish I would have ate this meal during my carbo-loading phase pre-marathon.  Even though in my opinion the food was okay, her enthusiasm for making it made my dining experience that much better.  The food was made with love and I was glad to give this food cart a shot.

Zeus Cafe

I felt like going out for breakfast this morning so I headed a few blocks from my apartment to Zeus Cafe (http://www.mcmenamins.com/1622-zeus-caf-at-crystal-hotel-home).  It was semi-busy, but not to bad for a Saturday morning/afternoon.  I sat at the bar which gave an awesome view of the kitchen/hotplate:

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Seeing how clean and how effeciently the space for the kitchen was being used was a treat.  I ordered the “Stark St.Skillet minus the bacon.  It was eggs with potatoes,pepper jack, tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and a side of toast:

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It was smothered in cheese and quite good.  My only complaint was the portion was a bit smaller than I like.  I ended up also getting a strawberry scone that I neglected to take a picture of.  As for the service, I was lavished with attention by the wait staff without it being overbearing.  For a chain, I love the variety of McMenamin’s.  Every bar has a different experience.

Little River Cafe

The morning after running Vancouver, I went for a walk along the Waterfront.  While on my way back, I passed Little River Cafe (http://www.littlerivercafe.com/).  I was eying the muffins and decided to get a raspberry chocolate-chip muffin while waiting for my order:

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There wasn’t really that much of a top to the muffin and it was a little dense.  I prefer my muffins (and most of my bread products) as fluffy.  There were quite a few chocolate chips in the muffin to make up for it.  For my actual breakfast I gotthe “Williamette Scramble” which is sauteed potatoes, brocolli, peppers, and onions topped with scrambled eggs and cheese with a side of toast:

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I didn’t taste any cheese on my dish.  Even without the cheese, it was still alright.  Nothing to really write home about.  But I love walking/running along the Waterfront so it’s always nice to have places to try.

Sugar Mama’s

The morning before Vancouver, I decided to get some pancakes to continue my carbo-loading.  Instead of heading to Nob Hill or the Pearl, I went a few blocks east to Sugar Mama’s off of SW 13th & Alder.  I got my food to go and had a LONG wait.  But I’m not faulting the restaurant being that there were only 2 people cooking for a packed place and their kitchen is almost as small as the one in my apartment.  I’m actually impressed that they can cook all that food in such a small place. I went with one of their specials which was the strawberry pancakes:

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There were also chunks of strawberries in the batter.  They also included some whipped cream, butter, and maple syrup in separate containers.  The portion was generous and made with love.  They were good, but weren’t great.  And since Sugar Mama’s is also known for their pastry treats, I decided to get a cinnamon roll as well:

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It was the same story with the pastry.  It was good, large, and made with love but not great.  And after this meal, (and a Qdoba Burrito for lunch with a lot of pasta for dinner) my glycogen levels were high enough to give me energy for the 26.2 mile race the morning after.

K.A.C Thai Fusion

To begin my carbo-loading before the Vancouver Marathon last Sunday, I went to check out a new place that opened where River’s Edge Cafe used to be.  I went in the middle of lunch hour and it was semi-packed with other people checking out the new place.

I ended up ordering the sweet and sour stir fry with tofu.  At first I thought $8 was a little steep for lunch pricing when I’m used to food cart pricing.  But the portion was quite generous for a lunch portion:

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It was sweet and tangy with the tofu perfectly pressed and seared.  And it definitely kept me full until dinner.  The only mild complaint I have is that I fail to see the “fusion”.  Last I knew “fusion” means it’s a combination of different styles of cuisine (i.e. Mexican-Korean, Italian-French, etc.).  I’ll definitely return for dinner in the near future when they get their liquor license.

Veggie Grill

After Carl’s Jr closed down in downtown Portland, I saw a new restaurant being built in its place.  Veggie Grill (http://www.veggiegrill.com/) just opened a location in downtown Portland on May 31st.  And since I had time to kill before going into work last night, I decided to stop on by.

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They have a selection of Americanized “Mexican”, “Asian”, and “Down-Home”, salads, sandwiches, and platters.  Every single thing on the menu is vegan.  So instead of not having anything to choose from or have 1 or 2 choices, I had a VERY large selection.  I was a bit nervous since they really didn’t have a specialty such as Mexican, Asian, etc.  As some of my acquaintances and Gordon Ramsay on “Kitchen Nightmares” pointed out, it’s hard for ANY restaurant to do many different types of cuisines well.  I took a chance and got the “Carne” Asada sandwich with sweet potato fries:

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It was a bit on the spicy side as promised.  But it has a little sweetness to it.  I suspect that there may have been concentrated orange juice in the sauce.  The only negative was that it was a pain to pick up without getting a mess all over.  I have a weakness for sweet potato fries and these were what I expected.  A little sweet from the potato with a little salt and crunch.
I’ll definitely have to come back to see if this place can really pull off more than one type of cuisine…