Monthly Archives: June 2007

Happy Birthday

Mom!

I hope you have a great day full of cards and presents and pampering and being taken out to dinner.

However, since I didn’t do any of those things, I’m counting on others to fulfill my obligations.

Happy birthday. I love you!

(presents to follow – I promise.)

In Review

Restaurants

1. Pirate’s Tavern

I love the concept. I love pirates, I love vegan cuisine – how could it go wrong?

That was the question I spent most of the evening asking myself. First of all, the menu was waaaay too worried about appeasing all the meat-eating pirate-lovers that might venture in. Almost every single dish was “meat” in quotation marks – and while I like a good veggie burger as much as the next person, there are so many food items that don’t need “meat” or even meat sans quotes to be tasty.

The service was terrible. I think our server was stoned. And even though I had a lengthy conversation with her about my food allergy concerns (mushroom-allergic people don’t do well with vegan cuisine), I still nearly died. Well, not actually, but my food, although mushroom free in theory, must have been cooked with shrooms, because I had some breathing difficulties.

And seriously, if you are a pirate restaurant, and you have a section on your menu devoted to rum drinks, it really ought to feature more than “shots of rum” and “rum and coke” – those are neither exciting, nor interesting. And your rum selection? Pathetic. I have a better selection at home (most of the time).

The decor? Did you even change anything from the last restaurant? No? You just added some Disney posters and some lame “funny” pirate flags? Hmmm….no wonder your Halloween-store reject decorations seemed so cheesy.

The food was actually good (I had one of the few “meat-free” dishes, the Tostadas & the architect had the chili AND the jambalaya with cornbread, which he loved), but due to my inability to breathe after finishing it, I have to give you three thumbs down (one extra thumb for Captain Hook, who was truly appalled).

2. Encanto

I was very much looking forward to this visit, because I was excited about its proximity AND about the New Mexican cuisine – I know the chef is from New Mexico and have read that he knows his chilis.

However – I know this is going to make me sound snobby, but when the host comes to seat me wearing ripped jeans and a faded, stained shirt, it doesn’t say to me “we are so hip that we don’t care about how we look, it’s all about what’s inside, man….” Instead, what I hear is, “we’re dirty, we don’t really care about cleanliness, so watch out for roaches!”

The service was pretty bad. However, because our appetizer was so slow in coming, we got free chips. Which were fine. The appetizer of beets and cheese was amazing. The drinks, once they made their way the 10 feet from the bar to our table – magnificent. The sangria was terrific. My rum drink was awesome (take that, Pirate’s Tavern).

The food? bleh. I had the completely forgettable something-or-others. Hmmm….the architect had rellenos. I had the….crap. What did I have? Oh yes, enchiladas.

I had read some Citysearch reviews before going, and many people has said that the food was bland & over-spiced. I did not understand how that paradox could exist. But it did. And it was weird. In all fairness, the next day, the left-overs were pretty good – you know, once those spices had time to get to know the food. Spice isn’t easy, people….it needs a courtship period before going all the way with the food. You can’t sprinkle some cayenne and hot peppers on teh food five minutes before serving and expect goodness!

So – to sum up….if you don’t care about service, this a great place to go for drinks and appetizers – but I wouldn’t plan on eating dinner – unless you get it to go and keep it for a day or two before diving in. Now that it’s getting pretty nice, go for the outdoor seating, their amazing drink menu, and the beets (and the excellent chili salsas & dips).

3. Trebol

Although this is not what I necessarily have in mind when I think Mexican food, it was excellent.

The restaurant itself it great – I love the atmosphere. And the service? Excellent. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Our water bottle (a reused wine bottle) was kept fresh, our server was prompt, friendly and knowledgeable, and everything happened as quickly as one would hope.

I started off with a wonderful martini – gin, white wine, mint & somthing else….it was amazing! I’m usually not a fan of gin drinks – I’m more of a “put some cold gin in a glass, and that’ll do” kinda girl, but this was good! Makes me think that gin may have a place in my Pink Zebra.

But, I digress. We weren’t terribly hungry, so we skipped the appetizers, but did receive three (why three? why not two? or four?) homemade corn tortillas with two sauces – a spicy green and a smoky red. The tortillas and the sauces were excellent. Muy bien, even.

The menu was a bit sparse for a picky eater (no beef, pork or seafood for me. Also no shrooms) so I ended up with the tamale of the day – which was a chicken tamale with a different kind of masa, so instead of the firm corn outer-layer, it had the consistency and texture of grits.

They were fantabulous. I was blown away.

Then, because he is evil, the architect ordered dessert. I said no, and then said “well, okay, one bite” and then ate half. I only stopped at half because I was afraid that if I crossed that line, I might get stabbed.

We ordered the lemon empanada that was served with lemon ice cream with sugared lemon zest. There are no words that can describe how wonderful it was. I actually kind of wanted to marry the person who made that dessert. It was amazing.

It is not the place to go if you’re looking for down-home Mexican food – burritos and enchiladas and the like, but it’s a wonderful upscale version of all your classic favorites – and done very, very well. Three thumbs up (I’m still using Captain Hook).

Maybe tomorrow, we can have book reviews. Now that I’ve finished a couple new books (new to me, obviously), I am re-reading the Harry Potter series in anticipation of next month’s book release.

Need Children’s Clothes?

ha! I sure don’t. ha ha ha! breeders.

Oh, wait…that wasn’t the message I was going for….what I meant was, if you need some children’s clothes that are both fun and educational, I suggest shopping at Biome 5. This is a project a couple of friends have been working on, and I think it’s a good, fun AND cute project (if you’re into that whole “kids” thing).

So – check them out. Buy something. Or not. At least look at it though (it would make an excellent “new baby gift” *cough*brad*cough*).

not dead yet

I promise.

So, first I would just like to say ACK!

You may or may not have noticed that posting has been light lately. It is not because I have nothing to say. Au contraire! It is because my brain has exploded and dripped out of my ears.

I am busy at work. And that hurts my poor little head. And then, I am busy elsewhere. And that, apparently, hurts my body.

I have restaurant reviews (Encanto, Pirate’s Tavern & Trebol).

I have a broad, generalized complaint about Portland (it is, so far, only the 2nd thing I don’t like about this city – right after the large amounts of dark that happen in the winter).

I have book reviews (The Satanic Verses & A Good & Happy Child)

I have exercise reports

I have overheard interesting things on MAX!

There is the garden report (actually, just to save time, the garden report is: the neighborhood cats were not repelled by the cat-repelling stuff I bought, my garden is now a litter box, and nothing is going to grow in there).

There are pictures that have been taken and need to be shared. Although not as many (that aren’t pictures of the cats) with the new camera, because we have instituted a new “never go anywhere scenic” policy at home. Also a “who are you and what are you doing in my house” policy because apparently we’ve decided that being married means never seeing each other.

So many things! Where to start? Not with pictures – since they would need to be downloaded.

Hmmmm…..I’ll start with the diet/excercise update.

I am down over 7.5 lbs since starting WW on 5/30/07. I have another weigh-in tomorrow, and am confident that I have continued to lose (I am confident because, like a freak, I weigh myself every morning). Also, the architect and I signed up for Pioneer Organics delivery, and it is so worth it. The fruits and veggies are awesome, and having fresh, organic produce delivered to my house 2x month makes it a lot easier to eat the good stuff.

Also, I did a 4-mile run on Saturday (Run for Congo Women). It was a good run, very well-organized (also very casual). My only complaint is that although the organization was great, the communication about the organization was not.

It was not one of my better runs – It took me 51 minutes, which is a craptastic time. However, I did a 5-minute 1st aid stop (my feet decided that blisters were the new look for summer) and walked most of the last mile, so it wasn’t terrible considering – just a disappointment.

Sunday a friend (who also did the Run on Saturday) and I hiked through Forest Park. We did about 8.5 miles, and got completely dumped on. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that wet from rain before. We had a great time, anyway.

Yesterday after work I went running downtown (again, with that same friend who is quite the motivator!). I only ran for about 25 minutes, but could have gone further if my feet hadn’t been so gross.

Today I am not running. I rode my bike to work instead. It’s all part of my plan to lose my ability to walk by the end of the week!

So – fitness and diet wise, things are good. I’m pleased that I’ve been able to keep up with that even when stressed out. I think that’s an excellent sign. I went shopping on Sunday because I was starting to look like an Olsen twin (with the oversized clothes, not the anorexia) and am overjoyed to be in the smallest size I have worn in 10 years. I am not overjoyed that, after discovering that I am indeed a size 10 again, that I just grabbed a pair of jeans off a shelf because I liked their wash and only after getting them home realizing that they were Gloria Vanderbilts with skinny zipper ankles circa 1985. They will be going back. I am thrilled that my new pants that I am wearing today are a little baggy and that in another month or two, I might be into the single digits. Those are some numbers I haven’t seen since the beginning of my Freshman year of college.

I will try to get the book & restaurant reports out soon. I’ll work on composing my “overheards” as well – because really, they are conversations that should be shared with the world.

I have shoes that need to be shared. Also, I think there are shoes that need to be purchased.

Oh – and one more thing. The results of my interesting medical tests came back last week, and it turns out that there’s nothing wrong with me. So, that’s good, then. I’ve been reminding the pain that it doesn’t exist, and so far that’s been working out pretty well. My plan is to exercise my body into submission (which actually has been working, I think) – so I’m well on my way this week!

What’s up with you?

My tumor is angry

Not that I actually have a tumor. That is just the affectionate nickname that I have given my whatever-it-is that’s wrong with me.

I went to the doctor yesterday and had one of the more amusing medical tests. Seriously. There were pop rocks. No results yet, of course, although I’m sure my doctor has the results. He’s just not calling me (something about a three-day rule maybe).

Last weekend’s camping trip was good AND needed. The mosquitos enjoyed their all-you-can-eat buffet (seriously – scores of mosquito bits make sleeping difficult). I enjoyed the solitude (the architect doesn’t count) and the outdoors.

It rained most of Saturday evening, but it doesn’t matter. It was good. Pictures soon.

AND – speaking of pictures, look at our new toy!!!Canon XTi

Isn’t it pretty? Expect a dramatic increase in both quantity and quality of my photos. (Which, in the interest of honesty and fairness and disclosure and all that, must be made clear that most of the good photos were taken by the architect.)

I have a project in the works that necessitated a new, good camera, and the architect is a bit of a camera-phile as well, and really, who doesn’t need a digital SLR? So, our new family baby, the Canon XTi, is most welcome.

There are so many things I’ve dropped the ball on telling you guys, and now I don’t remember what they are.

Things have been mega-stressful lately, as my tumor can attest. I have been reading my bloggy buddies, but have not been commenting…so sorry. I keep thinking that if I “get through this week” all will be better – but I’m not sure that’s true. So, I’ve changed it to “get through this summer.”

In happy news, I have baby beets, baby spinach & baby lettuce. In addition, my bell pepper plant has one good sized baby pepper and several new ones, and my jalapeno plant is covered with mini-peppers. The tomatoes and cucumbers don’t look good, and my cilantro is still dead. My sage, oregano & rosemary are happy, the onions & carrots have yet to appear, and my wildflowers are sprouting up all over the place. That’s it for the gardening report. Thank you to Margaret for the dog-hair tip. If you see any angry dog owners talking about a stealth dog-shaver, don’t point your fingers at me!

Now – back to work, I suppose.