Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summer Staycation, Part I

Spring started late and when summer started to show we were deep in wedding planning. With Portland's short summers, we were afraid we wouldn't get to enjoy much of it this year. We were completely wrong.

We like to stick close to home during the summer months, opting for vacations when the weather isn't so perfect. So on a random mid-weekday we decided to go be tourists in our own city, hopped on our bikes and headed downtown.

From Pioneer Square

We had a couple things in mind, including a possible mid-afternoon cocktail at the top of this building, but we let the day unfold and ended up elsewhere.

Sage Hotel

Something we did plan on was to hit up two food carts we've been wanting to try. First was The Whole Bowl.

Whole Bowl

So healthy, so yummy. Wish we worked closer to one of their carts, it's exactly what a healthy lunch should be - filling and cheap. Everything was well executed from the texture to the beans and rice to the ripeness of the avocado. Only disappointment was the canned black olives. Another bonus was The Whole Bowl's cart concept - 1 item done well, an easy to decipher menu board and only 1 item served in only 2 sizes! Kudos to you Whole Bowl.

However, if we had known how filling it was, we might have taken it to go and gone a much unhealthier route and had a Hawaiin Loco Moco a couple of the other carts were selling. Hey, we're on a staycation, nothing healthy should be consumed!

One cart we did hit up that we wished was not only close to where we worked, but parked out front of our house was My Daddy's Sausage. Unlike the helpful, happy and well cared for Whole Bowl cart, this cart's menu was confusing, poorly displayed, had no prices listed and the girl was irritated we interrupted her game of Angry Birds to go fix us one of her Daddy's Laotian sausages. The minute she handed off the sausage we bolted for the riverfront and happily dug into this fantastic sausage.

Mike Infront of My Daddy's Sausage Cart

My Daddy's Sausage

The pork mixed with lemongrass, green onions and Laotian spices sausage was stellar. Topped with tangy green papaya, spicy mayo and a green chili salsa, it was delicious. We were now ready for a cooling cocktail and started walking back to where we locked our bikes when we spotted this beauty - Ono Shave Ice. Hawaiin Shaved Ice - Yes! Please!Ono Shaved Ice Truck

We were looking for something refreshing and sweet and when we saw a father stop off for a simple snowconed shaped sweet for his daughter and when said daughter was handed a plastic flower boutique shaped cup with a mound of shaved ice covered in red syrup as big as her head, we were sold!

Shaved Ice Cup

We ordered 1 Shaved Ice - Hawaiin Style with 3 flavors (Blue Hawaiin, Mango, and Guava). Hawaiin style includes topping the humungous pile of syruped shaved ice with adzuki beans, mochi bits, sweetened condensed milk and a scoop of ice cream. We opted for no ice cream, but everything else.

This thing was hard to share to say the least. We tried to alter 1 person holding and eating for 1 block and then the other person holding and eating for the next, but we soon just pulled off to the side and dug in.

Shaved Ice Up Close

Ono's shaved ice was so good we decided to forgo a trendy cocktail and instead met friends for happy hour at one of our favorite summer time patios at Bernie's Southern Bistro.

Bernie's Southern Bistro Patio

We enjoyed the summer sun and garden setting while sipping on Lynchburg Lemonades and Mojitos, snacking on cornmeal fried okra, deep fried pickles, buttermilk fried chicken salads and sweet potato fries. Ahhhh summertime.

Deep Fried Pickles

Sweet Potato Fries

Not yet in a food coma we decided to bike off our fried feast with a beer up the road at Prost, a German beer hall.

Front of Proust

We contemplated getting something to eat at either the Mississippi Marketplace food cart pod connected to Prost or just order some German food from the bar, but we decided we wanted to continue snacking, so we hopped back on our bikes and headed for a late night of chips & salsa and some ping pong before heading home, not feeling full at all from a day of staycationing.

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