Tag Archives: restaurants

Wisconsin

In December, we had the shortest trip I’ve ever taken to Wisconsin. I was able to see a good amount of Brian’s family and spent some time with mine, but seriously short (basically less than two days per family).

The flight out started with us seeing Pedro the Lion at Mississippi Studios. Great show! But we definitely were out a bit late for a 4 a.m. flight to Chicago.

Pedro the Lion!

Switching between families, we managed to swing by Madison just long enough to check on our duplex and get bloody marys and walnut burgers at the Harmony. Seriously last second so we didn’t have time to give anyone a heads-up. But I got a walnut burger with fried onions, sooooo good as always.

The Harmony has the best walnut burgers.

Also seriously last second, my sister scored four tickets to Hamilton in Chicago. It meant that we drove to Chicago, back to Wisconsin, back to Chicago the next morning, but needless to say, so worth it. I was skeptical that I’d be amazed by Hamilton because of how much everyone has been raving about it. It was as good as everyone told me. My only complaint is that I can’t go see it again due to how hard it is to get tickets.

Hamilton in Chicago

Fantastic few weekends.

Still talking to one another.

Last weekend, Brian and I celebrated our anniversary at the Salishan. The Salishan is starting to become a tradition, I think. When we walked into our room, Brian had a dozen red roses and a bottle of our favorite wine of all time waiting for me. I changed into my new dress and we sat by the fire, drank the wine and talked. I finally was able to give him the Midleton whiskey I carried all over Europe. I think he was more impressed by all Gretchen and I had to go through to get it to him than by the whiskey itself (well, no, he tried it this week and I think he’s more impressed by the whiskey now).

We ate dinner at the Salishan steakhouse (what a beautiful view) and then went to the lounge to see a band – Beth Willis, who turns out to be from Portland. Funny, I’ve seen her there three times now and didn’t realize that. On our way back to the room, she complimented me on my dress! Fun. I was pretty tipsy then though. Something about following a good amount of wine with whiskey. Hm, who would have thought?

New dress

This weekend is Brian’s birthday, so we started it off by going to Sweet Hereafter with Laurie. Sweet Hereafter is the new place opened by one of the guys from Bye and Bye. We got there just in time to be able to sit for dinner, it was completely packed. Good!

Last night we went to Mississippi Studios to see Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter (seems to be a themed weekend). We had been playing 2 player Ms PacMan across the street and left so we wouldn’t miss the opening band – man, what a mistake. I am still trying to think of a band I thought was worse in all the years I’ve been going to shows, there has to be one, right? Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter were awesome though – I would go to any show they do (but skip the opening band after last night).

Tonight is Brian’s birthday proper so we will do some more celebrating.

Next weekend is the Portland Marathon and my cousin Nicole is running it. Looking forward to cheering her on!

More Neighborhood Goodness

Filing this under Things-That-Really-Don’t-Need-To-Be-Walking-Distance-Thank-You:

Grain & Gristle is opening in the space left by the mercado next to Podnah’s. It’s a collaboration between the chef from Ned Ludd, a restaurant I’ve only heard great things about, and the owner of Upright Brewing, which producing very interesting and unusual beers. I’ve wanted to visit Upright at Left Bank, but their hours are extremely limited.

It looks like it’s going to be a great pub, and I’ve gone from being super worried about that corner (when the mercado went under and then Podnah’s announced it was leaving as well) to being really excited about it – Pok Pok is opening a restaurant in the Podnah’s space, and now this pub is going in here, and Tiga is a pretty nice place too.

Love my neighborhood.

Not so neighborly, a new restaurant and learning to ride.

The neighbor I don’t like (and boy do I have a lot of reasons) is having a rummage sale today in his front yard. I’m having ethical debates with myself about it. I really want to run out and warn the poor people that are buying his crap that the velvet furniture has sat outside in the rain for the last few months (they use the velvet furniture to sit outside and smoke and drink). I’m going to be good and not do it, but I do feel really sorry for whomever buys the furniture, can you imagine what creepy crawlies are in it?

In other news, I ended up walking up to Alberta St twice yesterday. Once for a good wander and once to go get some drinks and dinner with Brian.

We decided to try out Branch Whisky Bar. It is in the location that Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill was originally, and I believe the man who owns Branch was the former chef for ASOBG. Really like the feel in the place altogether, and our waitress rocked. The have (unsurprisingly) a lot of whisky, including tasting trays (yowza!). I didn’t want to drink whisky with my meal, so I tried a Rye beer by Upright Brewing (the brewers in Left Bank).

I’ve tried two of their beers now and really have like both of them. This one was unusual – Brian said that it reminded him of Duchess – and I don’t know if I’d want to drink it all night but I really liked it. Brian got a whisky (can’t remember now which one) which was an Irish single malt.

We had burgers for dinner which were very tall, featuring house-made bacon and what appeared to be house-made pickles – both pickles for the burger and a pickle spear on the side. The side dish was potato salad, which was very good – not a mayo potato salad, which I can’t stand, but a homemade German potato salad. It was all very good, and too much food for me (even though I kinda finished the plate). After dinner, I tried their whisky sour. Super awesomeness – both Brian and I liked it even better than my whiskey sours. Definitely will wander back here again – the food menu is very limited (I think the burger was the only thing on it that appealed to me) but I’ll be back for drinks for sure.

Today, we get to go to Polish fest, I’m super excited. We are going to take the bus there so we don’t have to worry about driving back. It will be my first time aboard Max! Wish me luck. I haven’t been able to pick up my bus pass from PSU as it goes onto your PSU ID and mine doesn’t have my picture yet. Will try to write about all this tomorrow, if I’m not distracted.

Alright, better go study. Am sure you are all going to tire of hearing me say that!

Damned if you do

We were waiting for some friends outside of Toro Bravo and I decided to go look at the list of shows coming to Wonder Ballroom. There had been a very well-dressed man in a suit who had been waiting outside just as long as we had. I started reading the shows the shows to Brian that I thought he might be interested in seeing, and just as I was about to say it, the gentleman in the suit said to me “Oh, you guys should go see the Damned!” heh. Made me laugh – and if I wasn’t a student again (and hence cash poor) that would have been the one show I’d want to see (well, I’d think about Skinny Puppy too). I still have vinyl of the Damned, how funny I could walk now to go see them.

Still haven’t figured out who the dapper man in the suit was, but it’s those sorts of random things that make me really happy! Oh, and Toro Bravo, yum! Can’t wait to go back for more tapas, what a great restaurant with amazing service!

Random updates

Just because I forgot to post this last Wednesday, I’m going to post it now. It’s been nice to use this website to look back at the bands I’ve been seeing.

Laurelthirst has some great bands who play there, and Brian hadn’t been to Laurelthirst yet, so we had to go. We went to see Dolorean for their last Wednesday night Laurelthirst show. I knew the place fills up as the show starts, so we went early to get dinner (early being 5 p.m.). Laurelthirst’s food is really good – they currently win for my favorite Portland veggie burger (Portland veggie burgers tend to be either soft [blech] or sweet [not so much my style]). They also have good beer :)

Dolorean is great live. Brian had told me that I’d hate them, so I didn’t listen to them for a long time. I really like them though (take that, Brian! I’m contrary!), and the show was really cool. The place was completely packed too – people sharing booths and everyone looked like they were having a good time. Al James, the singer, said they were taking a break from live shows to work on a new album, so I’m really glad we went out that night.

There’s something really awesome about being out at a great bar on a summer night listening to a band and drinking beer that just can’t be beat.

Last night, we were supposed to go to Clay’s for dinner, but when we go there, we found out they are only open Wed-Fri. At that point, we were both hungry and kinda feeling like eating out, so we wandered over to East Burn (why’d they change their logo?). I got to try a beer from Upright Brewing, which is a new brewery in the Left Bank building. Farmhouse Ale was quite good – it tasted like a Belgium, and was fruity. Looking forward to trying some more of their stuff. Didn’t hurt that apparently all beers are $2 on Tuesdays at East Burn. Fun. We want to walk there some night and try some of their infused gins.

This was followed up by heading to Laurelhurst theater to see Pixar’s Up. Up was good, although it made me cry thinking about Brian’s dad. Also managed to swing by Beulahland, which I had been missing. It’s probably a good thing that Beulahland isn’t walking distance for me because I’d be there waaaay too much.

Alright. Sorry about the randomness – had a bout of insomnia after a bad dream at 2 a.m., so I’m scattered today. Which is why I’m not working on fixing the layout here.

Surprise out-of-town guests for lunch

Whew, lots to write about and little time. Just a quick note to say that if you are a GL alum, I just had a surprise email from Dan Clarke to say he was in Portland. After a quick phone call, I was outside on the sidewalk at Jake’s eating lunch with him and his awesome wife Marianne. Their son lives in Seattle, and he has an aunt and uncle in Medford, OR, so they were heading back from visiting them.

A nice surprise, although I’m feeling slight lethargic after a caesar salad topped with freshly blackened salmon (mmmm) and a Ponzi pinot gris. Feeling a little spoiled today and great to see them!