What a HOOT! I've lived a bunch of places, and visited more, but after two years here I am SO in LOVE with Portland funkiness.
If you haven't heard, we Oregonians are a bunch of tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, Prius-driving granolas who believe you should be able to decide when to kick off and how, IF you want to smoke (and grow) pot, and wear dreadlocks even if you're white. There is a local bumper-sticker that reads, "KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD." My Oregonian countrymen do a FINE job of it. :)
I'm a Foodie. I did not achieve this girth through Kraft macaroni and cheese and coke. I love, love, love cooking AND eating.
I'm from Seattle, and my most recent stint there was nearly 25 years, so I had fertile ground to develop my tongue.
Portland is so different! TINY restaurants - NO RESERVATIONS - LONG LINES. The operative word here is 'locavore' - chefs only want to cook with ingredients from a 100 mile (or less) radius at many restaurants.
Wildly experimental fusion.
Tonight, we went to Salvador Molly's with our neighbors across the street. Now, let me explain. They're both Indian, and they LOVE spicy food. We went to a party at their house two weeks ago, and Chandrani had made a habanero dip that she said was really spicy.
I cook a lot of very spicy food, and I EAT a lot of very spicy food. I cook Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, and I like HEAT. I was married to a Bengali for 12 years. I know hot food.
I had one tiny Tostito with a bare dab of that dip, and I was over the sink with my eyes streaming, drinking buttermilk shots, and hoping I didn't spew in front of thirty people.
Chandrani and her husband Madhur, and my husband were eating it and enjoying it.
So, tonight, we go to Salvador Molly's. The menu is so eclectic as to be a paradigm of eclecticism.
A menu that includes flavors from South American, the southern US, Africa, India, Bali - it goes on.
This menu is not exactly the same as what they're currently serving, but gives you an idea. We had a Nigerian rice dish that I seriously could NOT discern what spices were in it - and I'm pretty damned good at copying recipes from ethnic restaurants.
So see up in the left hand corner of 'Small Plates' where it lists 'Great Balls of Fire'?
Chandrani and Madhur had told DH about those. After the habanero dip, I didn't even want a TASTE. C & M said they could eat ONE each, and then they were on fire the rest of the night.
DOOD - DH ate SIX. He didn't even break a sweat. He got his picture on the wall. There was a table of three young doods behind us and they were clapping - then THEY tried. No beans! lolz!
And I brought home not one, but TWO little boxes of food from my Pampas Chimichurrie Steak - WAY too much food, but WAY fun. :)
I gotta go tuck my six-baller into bed - nn!