Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seattle & Northwest Trip Notes #2

We took a side trip down to Portland when we were out in the Pacific Northwest. If Seattle is really hip, Portland's terminally hip.

We started off with dinner at Clyde Common (in the Ace Hotel) - very hip, long common table, very local food, very dark. I was going to start with a beet and roasted Delicata squash salad (my trip of roasted squash: I made Delicata rings at Dave's house Monday, and we ate roasted squash at Serious Pie Tuesday, then squash again in Portland Wednesday), then have a pork terrine, and a half order of wild mushroom pasta. But they were out of the pork, so I had a full pasta instead. Which was a good thing because even the salad was sort of rich, the vegetables roasted in oil and set atop what was called a yogurt vinaigrette but was really more like the richest of Greek yogurt mixed with some garlic, and maybe more oil. So good to not eat pork, too.

I only had one glass of wine because I thought I'd have an after dinner liquer, and maybe cheese or dessert. I biked 20 miles earlier that day, following my brother out to work on the Burke-Gilman Trail, and back again, after breakfast at a mall with a book store called Third Place Books that I thought got Neil Gaiman to speak on Halloween. They're actually entering a contest to get him. But Clyde Common was out of the liquer I wanted - it was some type of local flower, not elderflower, but something like it. Our server was nonplussed that I turned down the thyme-flavored one he suggested - I said the pasta had had a good hit of thyme; he must've been implying that it was the perfect thyme-i-ness - but tough, so I'm a rube. Instead we shared a dessert - an apple tart with a little scoop of house-made vanilla, and cheddar cheese in the crust.The next morning's coffee ordering at Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel was even stranger. The line was out the door, but the expediter-order-taker guy was being vigorously chatted up by the young woman ahead of us in line. The other barristas were shambling around aimlessly. The blond stoner dude who took our order was thrown by me first ordering a large press coffee, and then, after he handed me the cardboard cup, asking for it in a china cup - the for-here coffee's only one size, different price. And Mark prefers his mocha in a to-go cup. I handed the guy a $10 bill, and he never rang us up, or handed me change. I asked how much we owed and he handed me the $10 back, and said he had to think about it.

When we got back to Seattle, our friends there laughed about the hippies in Portland, and countered with stories of similar "Northwest" attitudes at a bagel place in Seattle.

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