Saturday, September 26, 2009

aren't everyone's vacation pictures of food?

Vacations are the best, right? I'm happy to be back and all, but deeply jealous of the Portland Farmers Market. It eats pieces of crap like the Logan Farmers Market for breakfast. Not to knock Logan. It does what it can and it's a darn sight better than the pathetic excuse that Thanksgiving Point used to roll out when I lived there. Not so in Portland--I could easily bankrupt my family in one visit, and the shocking disgrace of it is that it would all be food.

We're not much for chain restaurants. We do visit them, but when the option is there we'll usually choose an independently-owned place. It's more fun and you typically get better food, we've found. So we had a good time picking places to eat that helped us feel like we had really left Utah.

AJ's Restaurant in Mountain Home, ID
Those nice people paid for half of our surprisingly good breakfast buffet.

Banning's in Tigard, OR
The stuffed hash browns are like the crack cocaine. The rest of the food is standard diner fare; hearty, good, unsurprising but totally satisfying. They serve a five-layer chocolate cake that is crazy.

Breakfast was the waffles at our hotel. I'm googly-eyed about them. Lunch was salami, cheese and fruit in the car before we went to the zoo. Fred Meyer in Tigard sells manky Havarti, if you were wondering.
Manzanita Seafood in Manzanita, OR
Terrific clam chowder and the best fried cod we had the whole trip. The woman serving us was very nice to our kids, bringing them milk and crayons and free chocolate cupcakes. Not fancy, but everything we ordered was good. (Edited: John dissents, claiming that his tuna steak was not nearly as good as the one I cooked him a couple of weeks ago. Flatterer.)


Pears from some vendors at the farmers market, blue cheese from the Rogue Creamery vendor.

Russian Banana and Rose Finn fingerling potatoes from a farmers market vendor. They were peanutty and scrumptious.

Chicken from the Manzanita market. Their meat department was really sparsely populated.

Sunday we stayed home so as not to cause our manservant to labor and all that jazz. My mom made sure to ask me Saturday night when I called whether I had visited the grocery store to make Sunday dinner. She wanted to make sure I wasn't sowing any wild oats, I suppose. Boy, wouldn't her face be red if she saw the huge bottle of liquor I brought home! Kidding. I did look for some more vodka to do another batch of vanilla beans, but all I saw were aisles and aisles of local wines. Good for you, Oregon! I admire your pluck.

Tillamook Cheese in Tillamook, OR
The cheese was good. Duh. There's a reason it sells so well. I got a grilled cheese in their little cafe thingie which almost made me weep with joy. The clam chowder less so. I suspect the use of canned potatoes. The ice cream and fudge are great.

Norma's Ocean Diner in Seaside, OR
We were lured in by the siren song of a purported Sunset endorsement. Great clam chowder, the rest of the meal was totally unremarkable. And the fish for the fish and chips was dry dry dry.

Pot roast. Pot roast is good for your body.

Bread and Ocean in Manzanita, OR
Crumb Brothers they are not. The sourdough was wan and anemic, which made me cross because I had bought it especially to go with the crab we got from . . .

Jetty Fishery in Rockaway Beach, OR
We caught the Dungeness crab ourselves. One was a three-pound monster and the other was only two. The people cooked them up for us and we tore into them like cave men. I also had a fantastic raw oyster and another that had been grilled over the fire, thanks to some lovely old men who were sitting around the fire with us. So very good. You may be shocked and educated to know that the raw oyster was not very much at all like the one I ate in the Chinese buffet.

Wednesday night we had a hot dog and marshmallow roast on Cannon Beach, which I highly recommend. Totally worth all the sand in the food.

Taco Shark in Seaside, OR
Mediocre Mexican food. No Ricardo's this.

Thursday night was leftovers, in an attempt to lessen our garbage output for the next day (our last). We ate a mess of ice cream.

Bread and Ocean again for their meh Pain au Chocolat. Not impressed, but I'm such a dink that I'd go back one more time and try their baguette.

Camp 18 in Elsie, OR
Overpriced but good. My Reuben was fiercely tasty. They're really into wood there.

McDonalds in Pendleton, OR
The kids needed to get their wiggles out, so we succumbed. Hateful, as you can imagine.

I'm seriously in love with the waffle machines at the Comfort Suites hotels.

Garden of Eden in Eden, ID
Truck stop food. Pretty good. Very sick by that point of being in the car.

And now we're home! The animals were all well-fed and happy to see us, and while we were gone a neighbor boy pulled a drowning toddler from a car that had gone off the road into a canal and saved her life. I love this place.


highdeekay said...

Welcome home! I loved your travel-by-food-log.

I have to say that I had one of those waffle-machine waffles at our hotel in Nashville on Thursday and it was disgusting. After three bites it went into the garbage. I'll have to try Comfort Hotel.

tipsybaker said...

I think Portland is my favorite city, for food and everything else. I want to go buy some cheese, now, and some potatoes and maybe make a pot roast.
Your trip sounds great.

All8 said...

Oh, yum! It all just looks and sounds so good.