June 29, 2006

Wild Abandon (2411 SE Belmont St.)

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Ansley is moving away. I am sad. We go to a new restaurant to soothe our sorrow. We cry with Wild Abandon. Or rather AT Wild Abandon. Kristin says the air smells like Russian Olive Trees. The patio is beautiful and not so crowded. The service is painfully slow, but we have a lot to talk about while the clock ticks. I eat pork loin stuffed with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts in a port wine sauce, with smashed red potatoes in between stories of jealousy, psychosis and clandestine affairs. We talk about the good times of singledom in Portland and how Salt Lake City doesn't have as many cool places as Portland. Not even Trader Joe's. But then we talk about how there are lots of nice men there and perhaps Ansley might meet one and how she has four (!) job interviews one day after applying on line for nursing positions and how it will be a good move. My stomach is satisfied and the selfish part of me is sad. But Ansley will take Salt Lake with Wild Abandon and have fabulous adventures to share over dinner when she visits. I can't wait.

Wild Abandon on Urbanspoon

June 25, 2006

Mo's (195 Warren Way, Cannon Beach)

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I think I have to move out of Oregon or risk getting kicked out by what I am about to write. I don't like Mo's. Their food is not good. On a scale of tastiness ranging from hospital food to the best gourmet restaurant in Portland, Mo's hovers right below cafeteria food. Granted, I do not usually eat seafood, so when I go there, I don't get their famous clam chowder. But I would think that if they are so good at making clam chowder, that their culinary talents might spill over into other dishes, at least a little bit. I ordered pasta with grilled chicken. What I got was a mess of overcooked fettucine with a glop of thick, white sauce that I'm pretty sure was a variation on the chowder base they sell maybe with some gelatin added, with a pile of flavorless, stretchy cheese and some slices of grilled chicken that hadn't been cut all the way. No onions. No garlic. No seasonings of any type. The salad was like cafeteria salad: crisp, browning and watery.

The only reason to eat at Mo's is for the view. But you can walk right out on Tolovana Beach and get an unobstructed view of the ocean that supercedes any view you get at Mo's. There are so many good restaurants in Cannon Beach. Mo's is not one of them.

June 22, 2006

Bella Faccia Pizzeria (2934 NE Alberta St)

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The view of Alberta Street is perfect from the front tables of Bella Faccia Pizzeria. Lots of hipster men with square glasses, longish hair and bags slung over their old-sweater covered shoulders. It's a good thing it is a good view, too, because we waited an hour for our pizza. Sitting in Bella Faccia for an hour, smelling the garlic, the onions, the cheese, the smells so pungent tickling my nose and instigating saliva streams in my mouth...well, I became desperate for the pizza to be in my mouth. So when the pizza finally got there, we all devoured it messily and immediately. I don't remember now what kind we got. I think one had chicken on it. It doesn't even matter. The smells were such glorious foreplay that the pizza itself was devoured in a frenzy, leaving me wanting more. That was my one night-stand with a pizzeria.

Bella Faccia Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

June 20, 2006

Parallel 45 Wine Bar (8294 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin)

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A guy named Kirk (http://www.myspace.com/kirkduncan), with an unshaven face, slightly unkempt hair and a content look on his face, strummed his guitar while singing ballads in a Ray LaMontagne-like style. My friend Alishia and I ate bread dipped in basalmic vinegar and herbs and I ventured into new territory with the seared ahi. There was a cool breeze on the lake right in front of us and the sun was going down. It would have been romantic, minus Alishia. All the same, it was a great atmosphere, deep food with a light taste that enlightened my soul. They have a good selection of wine, if alcohol makes you happy. Their water was fantastic and the waitress smiled a lot. I'm going back to listen to the guitar guy. And maybe to try something else new, too.

Parallel 45 on Urbanspoon

June 3, 2006

Lizzy Dishes on Location in Minneapolis

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My friend Heidi invited me to visit her in Chaska, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. I had never seriously visited Minnesota, just a couple of one night stints in campgrounds during road trips. But this trip, I got just a taste of what Minnesota is REALLY like. Well, as much as you can in three days, anyway.

Minneapolis is way cooler than I expected. We went to dinner at Chino Latino (2916 Hennepin Ave S), which was hip and yummy and expensive and fabulous. Just look at the outside of it! They serve Latin-Asian fusion food. We had smoked salmon sushi, empanadas, portobello satay and tacos. I know, strange combination, but all SO delicious!

The dark rooms, loud music and brightly colored lights made me feel like I was 19 again (but a hipper, cooler 19 than I actually was in 1992).

Other places to note in Minneapolis: Punch Pizza, the lakes, the new Trader Joe's (making it a city that I could live in, if I was adventurous enough to take a giant leap across the country), and the sculpture garden. I will be back to Minneapolis sometime soon, to visit or live. Haven't decided which yet.