Browsing Tag

Favorite Restaurants Around the World

Brunch, Food, Oregon, Portland

oso market + bar: oh-so thankful for friends

November 30, 2013

Earlier this month, we bundled Lucie in her little beige sweatshirt and bright yellow leggings and set out for Saturday brunch with friends at Portland’s newly opened Oso Market + Bar.

After all the meals around the world, there’s still nothing like breaking bread (or splitting charcuterie plates, as it were) with people we’ve known since childhood.

“The Six of Us” are three couples who have palled around for decades (since grade school in several cases), and considering we’re only hovering at three-decade mark in median age, that’s saying a lot. Darian, Rebekah and their daughter Ashlynn were home visiting Oregon from transplant life in Nebraska, and Ryan, Sara and their daughters Genevieve and Madeleine made the hour drive up from Molalla. As part of our Portland reunion, “The Six of Us + Offspring” planned to start our day together at Oso Market + Bar, where Ryan’s brother Jason is executive chef.

Ryan, Ted, and Lucie with Oso owner Holly Johnson

“Spanish Brunch!” boasted the clever little shop sandwiched among the trendy taverns and tasty restaurants of the Central Eastside Industrial District. The bright orange chairs popped against sidewalks of Portland cement, and blustering fallen leaves chased us in the front door. Lucie slept contentedly, bundled in her blanket, oblivious to the cold and the commotion. Continue Reading…

Argentina, Buenos Aires, Destinations, Food

Hidden Treasure in Buenos Aires: Jueves a la Mesa

November 21, 2013

At home in Portland, Oregon, I love to grow and shop for fresh produce, cook in my own kitchen, share meals with friends, and advocate for sustainable, nourishing food systems.

On the road, few things are better than visiting farmers markets around the world, discovering outstanding restaurantstaking cooking lessons from wonderful teachers, and meeting people who also possess a penchant for celebrating the unadulterated joys of food.

During our four week stay in Buenos Aires during the sweltering hot summer months of February and March, we managed to find a clearing in the haze of steak and pasta: a breath of fresh air at a closed-door-dinner hidden in a nondescript apartment building in our neighborhood.

Jueves a la Mesa, Thursday at the Table.

Red wine runs freely in Buenos Aires, but cool, clear water and bright vegetarian food on a hot summer night gave traditional Argentinian fare a run for the money.

Our friend Kaylea was visiting us from Oregon, and booking a spot at the mysterious un-restaurant seemed just the kind of adventure we were looking for. There is no publicized address. No walk-up table service. You must make reservations ahead of time, and only then do you receive directions to the hidden meal prepared and hosted in the owner’s home.

We three headed out into the night, following instructions to reach the gold-knobbed door to the lobby and the dated elevator leading up into the unknown… Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Places, Food, Landscape Architecture, Thailand

The Travelling Soul: In Search of the Northern Thai Spirit at Tamarind Village

December 7, 2012

The most beautiful glimpse into Lanna culture came from an unexpected turn down a lantern-lit walkway. After admiring handicrafts and tasting our way through local dishes during a warm evening wander through Chaing Mai’s Sunday Market street stalls, Ted pulled me aside.

“What’s down there?”

A bamboo grove lit by spotlights and floating lanterns beckoned us onward, away from the noise of the street and toward the promise of a grand discovery. The flags said something about Travelling Souls… Continue Reading…

Destinations, Food, Zanzibar

Flavor on a Dime, Luxury on a Dollar: Favorites From A Dozen Days in Zanzibar

November 16, 2012

During our dozen days in Zanzibar, we managed to find delightful meals, new friends, comfortable accommodations, and perfectly pulled espresso shots, some for the price of a few pretty pennies, others at cost of shiny gold coins. For those planning a visit to Zanzibar, enjoy our mini cheat-sheet of favorite activities in Stone Town and beyond, and for those of you reading along for armchair travel, enjoy the peek at life on this colorful island. I so wish we could’ve packed you along in our suitcase!

Colorful Street Food – Fodorhani Gardens Night Market
Favorite fare: Coconut potato soup with fry bread dumplings: 1,000Tsh ($0.62 +/-)

This outdoor market on the Stone Town waterfront crawls with visitors looking for a bite and vendors looking for a mark. Strike one on the grilled octopus (especially compared to octopus later in the trip), but absolute home run on the coconut potato soup Ted learned about from a friendly fellow named Ahmed.

Freshly-squeezed sugar cane juice; grilled octopus and seafood galore Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Places, Food, Zanzibar

Tasting Zanzibar: Dinner in Stone Town at Emerson Spice Hotel

November 4, 2012

We found ourselves at sunset in Tanzania, making that upward, upward climb, not pursuing Kilimanjaro’s summit, mind you, but following the wooden stairways winding skyward to the rooftop restaurant at Emerson Spice Hotel in Zanzibar.

My hopes for spice revelations in Zanzibar briefly went up in smoke after our disheartening spice tour…but the flavors and atmosphere of a magical night at Emerson Spice high above Stone Town’s skyline effortlessly resurrected the romance of our East African dream. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Feature Trips, Food, South Africa, twoOregonians Tour the Cape

Local Food + Pink Martini: Dinner at the Veg-Table

September 16, 2012

We were out driving around the Cape of South Africa, stopping from time to time to ask residents what they might recommend, explaining that we love finding small scale producers and local food. The next thing we knew, a woman in Sedgefield was scribbling down a phone number for a fellow named Brett. “Give him a call,” she said.

And oh, we are so glad we did.

On a Wednesday night, we pulled off the rural road and our car headlights illuminated the promise enchantingly hidden in the woods: “Veg-Table Private Dining Room.”

Love the sign. It loosely translates to, “This way for slow, cow-friendly food”

Down the dark drive, we pulled up to a little cabin, lit with candles and filled with music swirling through the rustic rooms and drifting out the open doors… Crackling open flames danced on the hearth and smiles crossed our faces as we were shown to a tiny table adorned with antique green and white fabric and perfectly mismatched giraffe figurines. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Food, Lebanon, Musings

Flavors, Friendships, and Top Meals in Lebanon: A Visit in Review

September 3, 2012

It’s fair to say that our Lebanon experience was shaped by two main factors: the overwhelming kindness of friends, new and old, and the mouthwatering flavors of Lebanese food (and drink!).

This is one of those posts entirely dedicated to fellow foodies and free spirits: to Jodi and Wade and Megan for taking us to t-marbouta on our first night in Beirut, to Lindsay and Samantha for hosting us for a rooftop dinner high above the frantic city, and especially to Jimmy and Madeleine for leading us directly to their favorite spots and top meals in Lebanon: some in plain sight, others hidden away where we’d never have found them on our own… In town, in the countryside, in restaurants and around kitchen tables, Lebanon won our taste buds and our hearts.

Small Town Lunch in Rural Lebanon
Zahlé Blvd, Zahleh, Lebanon
“Perfection in a chicken sandwich” from the Daily Travel Journal notes. Freshly grilled chicken, a mouthwatering combination of seasonings and spices, homemade pickles (see the crazy purple color below!), perfectly wrapped pita with sesame seeds, and chefs with killer-sharp knife skills.

Continue Reading…

Argentina, Buenos Aires, Destinations, Featured Places, Food, Musings, South America

Cosas Ricas: The Best Little Bakery in San Telmo

March 30, 2012

This post is mostly about an unexpected friendship in a new neighborhood and a love affair with my husband, with my life, and with the best cake I’ve ever had (and eaten, too).

Ted and I packed up our bags and headed out the door in the wee morning hours back in early January, prepared to fly off into the unknown and spend the year creating a life together in the midst of continually new circumstances.

When we paused six weeks in to settle into an apartment for one month’s time, little did we know the joy the awaited us down the street and around the corner… Continue Reading…