Saturday, August 2, 2014

Date Night at Olympic Provisions

A few weeks ago, I was in the mood to try a Portland favorite - Olympic Provisions. Since this is a "meat" place, I knew it wouldn't take much to convince Dylan to go. We ended up having the perfect summer date night in SE Portland at the bar, overlooking the open kitchen.

We started with charcuterie, since this is their speciality. Olympic Provisions charcuterie is served in many Portland restaurants so we decided the Chef's selection of five meats was the way to go. Let the experts pick their favorites, right? We both loved the spice of the chorizo.The charcuterie board also came with some tasty pickled vegetables too. Did you know they have a Master Pickler? 
For dinner, I ordered something vegetarian, which I thought was funny. It was gnocchi with lemon, scallions and some other yummy flavors. The sauce was creamy and those little potato dumplings were cooked to perfection. Dylan had the braised beef short rib and it fell off the bone. This seems to be a staple on their menu but they change up the set depending on what sides are in season. 

The SE location is in an industrial area, but the inside of the building is comfortable and nice. It is an open concept with lots of windows and high ceilings. There were couples, families and larger parties dining. Even a classy looking group of men for a bachelor party. :)

There are two Olympic Provision locations, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They describe the locations "as siblings, sharing the same lineage but each has their own identity." I just love that.

Our next visit will probably be for brunch at the NW location because we have heard it is just as lovely in the mornings as it is in the evening. Of course, if you can't make it to a restaurant, Olympic Provisions sells their goodness in many local stores - Whole Foods, New Season and Fred Meyer.

Olympic Provisions (Southeast)
107 SE Washington Street
Portland, Oregon

Olympic Provisions (Northwest)
1632 NW Thurman Street
Portland, Oregon

open lunch, midday and dinner | saturday & sunday brunch | see hours online

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cider Cocktails for Cider Week!

I am a cider fan.

And now there is a WHOLE week in Portland dedicated to cider. This makes me happy. You know what else makes me happy? Cider cocktails at St. Honore Boulangerie with my girlfriends. With all the incredible ingredients being used in cocktails, the St. Honore team decided to use their creativity to mix up some fun cocktails but without the liquor. It is a great concept if you are an establishment that doesn't have a liquor license.

The Midnight Paradise was my choice and I could have had five of joke. The delicious ingredients are Finnriver Farmstead Cider, Lillet Blanc, sweet orange vinegar, elderflower syrup and orange peel.

We tried these cocktails at the newest location on SE Division and I learned they have a happy hour menu served from 4:00pm - close. St. Honore is a bakery so naturally they have beautifully baked treats and fresh savory breads. Lots to choose from on the menu! Kelsey tried french macaroons for the first time and these little cookies were extra sweet since they are made with real apple cider.


Check out one of their three locations in NW on Thurman Street, in Lake Oswego or on SE Division Street. 

open 7 days a week | 7am - 8pm (or later) 

*this was a hosted event, but all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chowing down in Bend

We joined the crowds and headed to Central Oregon for some Memorial Day Weekend fun in Bend. The great thing about my parents having an RV is the ability to take impromptu trips and this was definitely one of them. It was just four of us this time - my mom, dad, brother and me. 

Bend has grown into really fun town with lots of outdoor activities, restaurants and our family's favorite...breweries. We had every intent to participate in the full Ale Trail but opted to only visit about half them, including 10 Barrel BrewingWorthy BrewingCrux Fermentation Project and Good Life Brewing. 
After a weekend of drinking, we decided to soak up the beer by trying a popular brunch spot before the ride home. Chow prides themselves on their simple approach to food by sourcing products locally and practicing sustainability whenever they can. This eclectic converted-house has ample outdoor seating and a small outdoor garden. 
We waited outside with the Sunday brunch crowd but stopped by Backporch Coffee Roasters for lattes and americanos. When it was time to order, we started with a Pumpkin & Ginger Pancake to share and followed with our own entrĂ©es. I went with the obvious choice - Eggs Benedict. It was their daily special with pork, blue cheese hollandaise sauce served over brioche. Also, the Chicken Fried Steak exceeded expectation and I was pleasantly surprised at their version with caramelized onions and mushrooms. 

If you find yourself in Bend this summer, stop in at 10 Barrel for a pint of their seasonal sour beer and walk over to Chow for lunch. 
1100 NW Newport Ave
Bend Oregon 97701
open 7 days a week | 7am - close 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tapas at Ataula

It was my month to select the restaurant for the Supper Club and I went for tapas! I love tapas and family-style dining because you can try so many different dishes. Ataula may not be the best place to go starving because the small plate prices add up quickly, but, sort of the nature of tapas. None the less, it was delicious and I would go back in a second!

We tried several dishes, including the potatoes bravas which required intensive prep time. Our server told us all about the hours of prep it takes for these beautiful little fried potatoes and I devoured them in less than a minute. Of course I loved them, but wished they were topped with an egg like many other tapas places do. The paella was also tasty and the largest dish we had that evening. They offer a couple different varieties of paella and we went for the most traditional.

Last, we ended with dessert, which I don’t always order at restaurants. It is not because I don’t LOVE dessert, I am usually just way to full. There were donuts on this menu, so naturally, I looked to my friends and asked if they wanted to share. THANK HEAVENS we did because it came with FOUR donuts. I was thinking it was going to be these little beignets, one-bite guys and no, we got four wonderful cinnamon and sugar donuts.

Overall the service was great and the food was creative and delicious. Ataula offers all kinds of specials so I know if we go back again, there will be something new to try. I wish I could carry on about the cocktails but my I.D. was M.I.A so no drinks for me.  I swear, I am never carded until the time I DON’T have my license. Figures.

Ataula is located on NW 23rd PLACE, which is not actually on NW 23rd Avenue but tucked back off of Thurman Street. 

Check it out for yourself...and please, let me know how the cocktails are! 

1818 NW 23rd Pl
Portland, OR 97210
dinner tuesday - sunday 4:30pm - 10pm | sunday brunch 10am - 2pm 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Izze Sparking Juices & Basil Beef Bowls - #izzefriendsday

Since I missed out on the Friendsday event last month, Izze was kind enough to send the party to me! It was awesome…Izze sparkling juices and a meal came right to my door step. Obviously, I couldn't leave out my boyfriend and brother so I invited them to my “friendsday” event. Since two boys is never enough (and our meal served four), we invited my brother’s roommate too. My friendsday quickly turned into “boysday.” It was all good until we got to the DIY crafts. Just wait.

Our chosen meal was the Basil Beef Bowl. Yeah yeah…I would choose a meal with basil. It was very tasty and easy to make. I really liked the quinoa instead of my usual, brown rice choice. My ONLY recommendation for this recipe is to cut the yellow onion in half. We followed the recipe exactly but once the onion was chopped up, I knew I shouldn't use it all. I sauteed them all anyway, added it to the quinoa and instantly regretted it.

Also, I was only able to marinate the beef for about 30 minutes but it still had great flavor.

The meals sent from change weekly and are designed for two people. Our order was doubled since we had four people. Below is the list of ingredients sent (based on two servings).

2/3 cup quinoa
1/2 cup peas
10 ounces flank steak
3 carrots
1 yellow onion
1 lime, divided
2 scallions
1/2 bunch Thai basil
2 cloves garlic
4 packets soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons Sriracha, divided
1 teaspoon honey

The Izze sodas were a fun touch and a special treat for the meal. Go figure, we all agreed that they would taste great with vodka! Not necessary on Wednesday night so we stuck to the already delicious, virgin Izze sodas. My favorite was grapefruit, very refreshing. 

Now for the DIY extravaganza.

Little did I know, the included crafts from Brit Kits were for necklaces and bracelets. I thought it was awesome because the boys could give their beautiful finished products to their girlfriends…winning points with their ladies, it is a no-brainer.  Not to mention, it meant I ended up with two necklaces. I loved every minute of it and have accepted the fact that DIY projects NEVER look like the photo. Well, the boys wanted it to look like the photo so you can only imagine the commentary throughout the crafting. It wasn't as easy as they expected but each of them ended up with some, well… finished products. Thanks Brit Kits for the awesome crafts, such a neat concept.

The best Wednesday night I have had in a while...a nice midweek treat to cook up a meal with friends, drink some yummy sodas and craft away! 

*This is a sponsored post, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I have been Tilting it Up.

It is always fun when I find a Portland restaurant that my boyfriend craves more than me. He can't get enough of it and there is no arguing I love it too. Tilt isn't a new restaurant in Portland but they have a newer location in the Pearl District. Our first stop was back in December and I think we have indulged four or five times since. It is just like they built for the American Workforce.

They are known for their massive burgers, biscuits and pie. The neat part about the Pearl District location is the bar side with beer and craft cocktails Personally, I can't get enough of their breakfast sandwiches on the house made biscuits with a side of bacon, cheddar tots. Yes...bacon and cheddar with fried potato. No, do not come here for healthy eats because temptation will get the best of you. It is made to order and served hot!

Other tasty dishes are the The Big Tilt, Mad Andy and the Tilted House Fries. You can seriously have gravy on anything you want. Next time I am not walking out of there without ordering a cinnamon roll covered in gooey goodness. It is huge and requires a partner to share it with but it will happen.

Even if you aren't hungry but looking for a fun, casual atmosphere, I would recommend Tilt Bar for drinks. It is an upbeat atmosphere and great for watching a game, socializing or playing ping pong if the table is open.

Check out either location at Swan Island or in the Pearl District and COME HUNGRY!

1355 NW Everett
Portland, Oregon 97209

3449 N. Anchor St. Suite 200
Portland, Oregon 97217

check their Web site for hours at each location | happy hour daily 3 - 6pm at all locations 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

So, I can't take credit for this yummy cookie recipe. Typically I find a couple different recipes I like and then make them my own, but since this was my first time baking red velvet cookies from scratch, I found one to follow almost exactly. The Cooking Classy blog is where I found these red velvet crinkle cookies and I am really happy with how this Valentine day treat turned out.

Now, the only changes I made to this recipe was substituting almond milk instead of regular milk, left out the white chocolate chips and I used a little bit more lemon juice since I had extra from the full lemon. 

I do recommend using all the food coloring to keep the cookies vibrant in color. If you don't have regular food coloring, icing color works too. I tested it since they offer icing color in several different shades at any craft stores. Last, do exactly what she recommends with cooling the dough and buttering your hands to roll into balls. In fact, I used canola oil on my hands and it worked great!  

Finally, make some cute Valentine tags, bag them up and deliver to your loved ones!