took a cab across the river to cascade barrelhouse and met up with mthgeek and winterene. i mostly knitted and watched others drink crazy sour beers. i did try one chocolate raspberry and one cocoa gingersnap, both of which were pretty strange in the realm of beers i've tried. from there, we walked to hawthorne street and had an encore helping of potato champion, plus a margherita pyro pizza. the pizza crust was perfect, hot from the brick oven on the cart. winterene also let us try his whiffie - a deep fried empanada-like, lard-crusted pie, this one stuffed with four kinds of berries, and his chocolate banana scone. the whiffie was strangely addicting. i'm glad that i only had the one bite of his, since i could've easily eaten a whole one on my own and squandered the space in my stomach that i was reserving for other things.
we walked down hawthorne from about 12th street to about 39th, stopping for browsing, shopping and eating. we were drinking french press coffee at a shop called Hazel Room, which was attached to a little arts cooperative, when suddenly an event sprung up around us. there was apparently a launch of a jewelry line to aid women involved in human trafficking/prostitution -- we got to hear three or four speakers on the subject, including a guy who's running for mayor, for about 45 minutes. again, got a bunch of sock knitted while passing the time.
managed to disentangle ourselves from the gallery/coffee/reception and wandered into a candy bus. A woman apparently bought this small school bus off of craigslist and decided to refashion it as a candy store. you walked into the bus, and there were shelves and tables of candy. it was mimi the candybus' first anniversary, and we decorated a cupcake in her honor. from there, we wandered down the street to waffle window, and had the best brie/bacon/basil belgian waffle, ordered from a little window in th side of a cafe.
eventually, we were hungry enough for dinner and followed yelp's advice to chiangmai, a small, unimposing thai place that specializes in northern thai cuisine. we ordered four entrees and ate about 3.5 between the three of us:
- Sai oua pork sausage - handmade, well spiced without being spicy, plus some sticky rice, mint and peanuts
- Gang om - marinated, flavorful beef stew, with more sticky rice
- Pad Thai - best ever. it was wrapped in a super thin egg omelet, which meant getting a bit of egg in every bite, which i think can get lost when the egg is cooked in. the balance of flavors was just right for me - not too sweet and not too fish saucey. the tofu was flavorful and cooked well, and everything just came together perfectly.
- Khao Soi - an encore from last night at Pok Pok. This one was spicier than last night's, and the chicken was served on the bone (though it fell right off the bone with tenderness). The broth was warming and comforting, and the noodles were fresh, with a good balance of fried to soft.
one of the best things about portland is that all of this food over the course of the day probably cost as much as a regular dinner in boston. you really can eat well and cheaply in this city.
i made it home around 9, laid in bed, and eventually convinced myself to get up and pack. left the hotel this morning at 445am, grabbed a bucket of day old donuts at voodoo, and hit the airport. this was a much needed break from reality for me. i think it's going to make the rest of the semester fly by, and we'll see where that leaves me once the dust settles.