The Best Day

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Today was by far the best day I’ve had in a very long time.

Now that I’m not working (separate post coming soon about that), the day started slowly.  Mr. Won’t Run slept later than normal and we weren’t up until about 7:20.  I thought about hopping back into the cozy, warm bed after he left but decided to put my contacts in, brush my teeth, and take Koko for a short walk.  I’m glad I did because we were greeted with this beautiful sunrise.

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I figured I would head to the grocery store to get that errand out of the way early, but when I was walking Koko it appeared that the roads were still a bit icy so I decided to put it off until the afternoon.  In the meantime, I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled on the couch with the laptop, played a few episodes of Fixer Upper (#shiplap), and Koko snuggled up beside me.

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I finally decided to hit the shower and when I got out Mr. Won’t Run texted saying he was taking a half day and asked if I had eaten lunch yet.  I hadn’t, so he came home and we ventured back out together.  We’ve been watching The Fung Bros so my Korean husband had a craving for some real Asian food.  We drove by Boke Bowl but there was no available parking close by so we decided to keep going and hit Double Dragon, but I missed the turn so we decided to keep going into Sellwood and try Jade Bistro & Patisserie.  FYI, Siri pronounces patisserie like “potty spree”, ha!

We started with Steamed Hum Bao with barbecue pork, and please note the red stamp.  On our way to lunch Mr. Won’t Run was asking me where we had the good hum bao and I told him I had no recollection of ever eating hum bao in Portland.  He was like “no, remember, they put the red stamp on it, you know, the red stamp” but that did nothing to jog my memory.  He mentioned it was in Southeast and the only Asian place I could think of over there was Jade Bistro but he wasn’t sure that was the place.  But, it is.  Now it’s kind of a joke… “you know, the red stamp!!”  It’s also a running joke that my memory sucks.

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He got the Beef Noodle Soup (pho), we shared the Fried Coconut Shrimp Skewers, and I had the Beef Salad.

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You guys, this beef salad is everything!  I could eat it every day and be so happy.  The meat was perfectly cooked and the “spicy lemongrass roasted rice dressing” was my favorite sweet + spicy combo.  The fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and lettuce made it taste so fresh.  Oh, and it’s gluten-free, so if I ever have to give up gluten I can take comfort in knowing I can still eat this salad!

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After lunch we walked around the neighborhood checking out the shops.  We went into Columbia Sportswear and they’re having a great winter sale at the moment – you’re welcome.  Then we hit the antique shops.   First up was Sellwood Collective, and then Raven Antiques & Military where I really wanted this gem for our wall, it’s perfect, right?

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I do love that old cash register from 1900 though, if only I had a place for it.  And an extra $650.

We also checked out Rusted Rooster Antiques, and if you’re looking for dishes/china this is the place to be!

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We also stopped at Savory Spice Shop but I didn’t snap any pictures.  Basically any spice you can imagine is there and you can buy bulk so however much or little as you want, and the gals working were extremely nice and helpful.

The next obvious stop was the Hurry Back Ice Cream food cart!  They make their Philadelphia style (no eggs) ice cream in that tiny little cart and you can get it in a cone or on top of brownies or pie!!  We went with the pie.  Mr. Won’t Run had the apple pie with a scoop of Madagascar Vanilla and a scoop of Cinnamon, and I had the cherry pie with a scoop of Cardamom Chocolate Chip.  So delicious, and the owner was so helpful and fun to chat with!

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And then… WE WENT BOWLING!!!  I don’t even remember the last time I went bowling, I’m pretty sure it was when Mr. Won’t Run and I were dating, so 10+ years ago.  I was on track to win the first game but we messed up and he rolled the very last frame of my turn and he got a strike, so we called that whole game the practice round.  He won the next two and I’m attributing it to my lack of arm strength, I’m only good for one game apparently.  Oh yeah, and I totally B I T . I T .  Not sure how it happened, but I lost my footing on the last step so I instinctively took a step forward but that was over the line and those lanes are SLICK!  I went down hard onto both knees and almost bashed my teeth in on the edge of the gutter but thankfully my hands got there before my face.  It was hilarious!  Mr. Won’t Run was really sweet and came over to help me up, I’m really not sure how he wasn’t doubled over in laughter.

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Today… it was spontaneous and unplanned and spent with my favorite guy.  It was perfect and felt like the good old days of dating.

Mr. Won’t Run’s job keeps him pretty busy and he works weird schedules so sometimes there are days our schedules just don’t match up and we don’t get much quality time together.  On the occasional day where he’s able to take the afternoon off I could never join him because of the day job, so now that I’m not working for a while I’m hoping days like this will make up for the evenings and weekends that we don’t get to see each other.

I’m looking forward to more days like this.

Speaking of…

You guys, I have so much I want to blog about but so little time and it’s driving me crazy!!

ACCIDENTAL XXX

First off, if any of you subscribe via RSS, there were apparently some links to porn that showed up a couple of posts ago. It was supposed to be a super exciting Instagram photo of LA Fitness, I swear! No idea how that happened and I’m so sorry. Many thanks to Carla who I recently met at Indulge for letting me know, nothing like accidental porn to kick off a new friendship!  I’ve embedded some Instagram photos in this post as well to test it out and see if it happens again, so let me know if you see anything weird!

PIP’S ORIGINAL

Speaking of indulging, it’s no secret that one of the best places for donuts in Portland is Pip’s Original, and on Sunday night I found out that another gal and I won A FREE YEAR OF DONUTS!!

Pip’s partnered with PortlandNW.com and Rusty Rodas (<– handsomest golden ever!) for a giveaway on Instagram, and now I get a free dozen each month for the next 12 months.  I’m so excited to binge on those little donut babies! Then my belly will look like I’m pregnant with a little donut baby. #worthit.

The always classy Pip’s is also donating $200 in each of our names to Northwest Animal Companions of Oregon, a non-profit (and as far as I know, no-kill) animal rescue serving the local Portland/Vancouver metro area. Donuts + animals = winning!

We interrupt your feed to bring you this special news update: Rusty: hey ma! Me: yeah buddy? Rusty: let’s announce who won free doughnuts for a year from @pipsoriginal in the giveaway we announced with @Portland! Me: good idea buddy! Rusty: can I get a drumroll or something please? ………… The winners are: @willrunforpasta and @mellyjg82. Me: don’t forget to mention that @pipsoriginal is also generously donating $200 in each of the winners’ names to Northwest Animal Companions of Oregon, a non-profit Animal rescue you volunteer with. Rusty: and they get free doughnuts for a year! Me: yeah pretty sure we already mentioned that. Rusty: well that’s a lot of doughnuts so I’m just saying we should say it again. Right? Me: good call buddy #conversationswithrustyrodas #doughnuts #donuts #whyarethere2rightwaystospelldonuts #communitynotcompetition #pipsrules

A photo posted by R U S T Y R O D A S™ (@rustyrodas) on

 

THREE DAYS OF RAIN

Speaking of animals, you have through this Sunday 6/21 to see a Blutbad and a Zauberbiest on stage together! Grimm stars Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz are staring with Lisa Datz in Portland Center Stage’s production of Three Days of Rain.


I saw it a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It’s a rather minimal play in that there are just three actors and one set with two looks (an apartment in Greenwich Village). The first act is set in the 90s with the actors portraying brother/sister/friend, and the second act goes back in time to the 60s with them portraying three of the parents. It was really interesting to watch the kids in the first act as they find a journal one of the parents kept and we get to hear their interpretation of what the entries may have meant based on what they knew of their parents, and then to see the parents in the second act and find out the real meaning behind those entries.

It makes you question what you know of your own parents, why they are the way they are and how they got that way, and if we had kids I’d also be questioning how well they know the real me. It was really fun to see some of my TV favorites in person and in different roles. If you’re looking for a date night idea, be sure to check this out, tickets are still available here, but hurry before they’re gone! One of my favorite news anchors – Reggie Aqui with KGW – did a fun interview with Sasha and Silas here:

DINER LIVE

Speaking of date night, if you need a special last-minute idea to splurge on, this Thursday The Oregonian is celebrating Diner 2015 with a new interactive dinner series. You can buy tickets here to eat at the winning restaurant in one of three top categories, but the catch is you won’t know which restaurant is the winner until the day of – surprise!!

SPEAKING OF

I didn’t start this post with the “speaking of” idea, it just kind of happened.  Hopefully I wasn’t too obnoxious 😛  I hope you’re having a good week, let’s get together for donuts soon!

A photo posted by Sarah (@willrunforpasta) on

The Nose Knows – Cyrano at Portland Center Stage

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Portland Center Stage was kind enough to offer me two complimentary press tickets to see their new show Cyrano and I gladly accepted.  Mr. Won’t Run and I love the theater!  Sadly, at the last minute he couldn’t go with me, but I wasn’t going to let not having a date stop me so I ventured out on my own and I’m so glad I did, I thought the show was wonderful!

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The only association I have with Cyrano de Bergerac is the 1987 movie Roxanne with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah.  I was almost 9 years old when that came out and I don’t even remember when or where I saw it, but that vague memory of Steve Martin with a big nose, offering his poetic words to someone with a smaller nose, all for a girl, was the gist of what I remembered.  I went into the show not knowing the full story, and while the ending may have beautifully broken my heart a bit, the lead up to it was filled with singing, swordplay, and shenanigans.  Everything you could ask for in a show, right?!

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I thought the cast (all from Portland and Seattle) did an amazing job and I was totally swept away into the story.  The funny, sweet, tragic story.  I don’t want to give it all away if you’re not familiar, or only partially familiar like I was, so I won’t tell you more except that I absolutely recommend it!

Did you know Cyrano was a real person in the 1600s?  Apparently he really was known for his words, his dueling, and his nose!  Even Roxane, his distant cousin, was a real person, although the romance was invented by French playwright Edmond Rostand.  Cyrano de Bergerac was his fourth, and most celebrated, play which debuted in 1879 in Paris.

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I thought this translation was beautifully done and it made me long for a time when words meant so much.  Now it’s all LOL, IDK, BTW, CUL8R… about as far from poetic as you can get.  I think that’s why I like Downton Abbey so much too.  Words (and full on sentences) can be darn sexy, don’t you think?

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The 2015 version put on by Portland Center stage is a new adaptation by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner.  They stay true to the original story but update it with some modern prose.  About the translation, Hollinger has stated “language that is alive, that wakes the ear up, is more important to me than strict adherence to poetic form.”

Language that wakes the ear up…  yes, more of that please!

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Wanna wake up your own ears?  You have through May 3rd to see the show!

Grab your tickets here, and if you need a date I’ll go with you!

Want to read another Cyrano review?  Check out what fellow Portland Blogger Pechluck had to say!

Pssssst!  Hey GRIMM fans, check out what’s opening May 22nd: Three Days of Rain starring Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz!!!!  OMG!  I mean… be still my beating heart, I am breathless with sweet anticipation.  Seriously though.  Seriously.  Who’s going with me?

Portland Food Map {Google Maps}

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If you are a foodie, living in a foodie city, you probably have a never-ending list of restaurants to try.  I have that list, and unfortunately I kept it in my notoriously unreliable memory and would immediately forget the name of that great place I heard about.

Back in October I finally decided there had to be a better way to keep track of them all, and how cool would it be to plot them on a map, and then it dawned on me…

Google. Maps.

Did you know you can create custom Google Maps?  It’s not just for directions anymore!

I’d love to write up a tutorial for you, but at the moment there are two versions of Google Maps, and I don’t know which one you’re on so I’ll just point you to these: for Classic click here, for New click here.

I am a visual person so the map format appealed to me A LOT!  I can see at a glance where things are located, the contact info is right there as well as a link to the website, and there is a spot to enter notes so I can remember who referred me to that restaurant or post a link to the article I read that made me want to go there, and I can write my thoughts on the place afterwards.

You also have a lot of options for the pins you can use to mark places – they can be different colors or different icons.  I just went with the standard red pin and those are restaurants we still need to try.  If I marked it green it means we’ve been there and would recommend it, if I marked it yellow it means we’ve been there and it was fine but didn’t really blow us away.  Now, if it’s marked with the light blue hiking people, that means we love it, we’ve been there multiple times, we’d be sure to take an out-of-town visitor there, and we’d walk 500 miles if we had to.  Not really, but you get my point – so far that’s just Blue Star Donuts, Lardo, and Pine State Biscuits.  We haven’t hated anything, but if we ever do it will probably be a tornado symbol or something, ha!

I have been able to help out a few friends too when they ask me where they should eat.  If they tell me they’re going to an event at Keller or the Moda Center, I can look up the map and see what’s near those locations.  If I’m heading into Portland to check out a new shop, I can see what’s nearby, and maybe alter my route to hit up something (donuts!) close to where I’ll be.

Here it is, my EAT ALL THE THINGS map of Portland, let me now what I should add:

(No idea why the map isn’t showing up right, just use your mouse to move it around and see the pins hiding behind the list, or open in a new window.)

Google Maps is also a lot of fun if you’re vacation planning!  We’re planning one for this Fall and I have LOVED using Google Maps to plot out where everything is, I even have a separate map for each day with the tentative itinerary and route.  More to come on that fun stuff!

What do you think about Google Maps?  Yay?  Nay?

What’s on your walk-500-miles-for-it list?

The view from OHSU {Portland, OR}

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I have lived in Oregon for almost 18 years, but today was the first time I have had a reason to go to OHSU.  You can take the aerial tram, which I plan to do someday just for fun, but today I drove myself up the hill.

I used the Maps app on my iPhone and freaked out a little when it started telling me to look for parking because I’d have to walk the rest of the way to my destination.  I ignored the nice Maps lady and kept driving – since, you know, there was a road – and thankfully it spit me out right at Kohler Pavilion where I needed to be.

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Why was I at OHSU?  Don’t worry, nothing serious, I was just taking the OHSU Labor and Delivery tour so I’d have the lay of the land when working with doula clients delivering there.  I’ve heard good things about OHSU, but I was really impressed with some of the info I read:

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I am so glad to live near a place with some great labor and delivery options that most hospitals aren’t willing or able to provide.  If we do have kids, I would absolutely look at delivering here.

I needed to go up to the 7th floor of the Kohler Pavilion, but I was a little early and when I got on the elevator I saw that there was an atrium on the 9th floor so I decided to check that out.  The 9th floor also happens to be where the aerial tram station is, and the view is pretty nice.  The Mountain wasn’t “out” today (and it would be a little more to the right of this photo), but it’s still a pretty view:

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Thanks to this favorite camera apps post from Kevin & Amanda, I had just downloaded 360 Panorama app, and figured this was the perfect place to try it out for the first time.  Just click and drag the image below to the left or the right to rotate the picture.  It’ll be like you were standing exactly where I was, seeing exactly what I saw.  So cool, right?!  What do you think?

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You can also click here to see it bigger in its own window which is pretty cool.

How’s that for a random post?  Hospitals and photo apps!

Fogo de Chao {Portland, OR}

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There’s a new kid on the block in Portland!

The Brazilian steakhouse (churrascaria) restaurant, Fogo de Chão, opened a location on 6th Avenue a couple of weeks ago and I was invited to their grand opening dinner to get the full experience for myself.  I was able to take Mr. Won’t Run which is good because he likes meat, and this place is all about the meat!

Before I get to the meat though, let’s talk about the drink, the salad bar, THE CHEESY BREAD, and how to Fogo.

The Drink

While waiting for our table we hung out in the bar and tried their signature cocktail, the Caipirinha, which also happens to be Brazil’s national cocktail.  It’s made with lime, sugar, and Cachaça (an alcohol made from fresh sugarcane juice that has been fermented and distilled).  I had read that Cachaça is like a sweet rum, and I’m not a huge rum fan, but this drink was delicious and now I’d like to go drink them on a beach in Brazil!

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The Salad Bar

So, this is not your regular lettuce and bacon bits type of salad bar.  There are 30+ options to choose from, including fruits, veggies, cheese, and full-size bacon, no bits here!  And meat, yep, meat at the salad bar.  It’s pretty perfect!

This is just part of one side of the bar:
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Lovely cured meats and cheese:
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And in case you need more meat and cheese (who doesn’t?):
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I didn’t want to go too overboard with the salad bar since I knew there was more to come, but everything I did have was great: fogo-de-chao-pdx-07

THE CHEESY BREAD

When we got back to our table with our salads, the cheesy bread arrived.  You guys, I’m telling you right now, you want these babies!!  Apparently it’s a Brazilian cheese bread called pão de queijo, and after the first one I basically wanted to shove them all in my mouth chubby-bunny style!  So cheesy.  So chewy.  Soooo good.  And I hear they’re gluten-free too!

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Some traditional Brazilian side dishes also arrived: crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas.  All delicious!  But a little out of focus, sorry.

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How to Fogo

Now let me introduce you to the Gauchos!  And their meat!  Their meat on skewers!

There are 16 different types of meat available, and the gauchos are really the chefs, they grill the meat and then walk around the restaurant carving it up as needed.

How do they know you want some meat?  There are handy little coaster type cards on your table, one side is green and the other side is red (you can see a little of the red side in the picture above).  When you have the green side up they’ll stop and offer you some meat.

They must have green-side-up sensors because it never took them very long to notice our card.  When you want the meat onslaught to stop, you just flip your card to show the red side, chow down on what you have, then flip it back to green to resume the meat-palooza!

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And we can’t forget dessert!  Mr. Won’t Run had the Key Lime Pie which we both thought was just okay, but we love Key Lime Pie so we’re pretty picky about it.

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I had their signature dessert, the Papaya Crème, but sadly, I wasn’t a big fan.  Mr. Won’t Run loved it though and thought the papaya flavor punched you in the face.  I thought it was bland which is so weird, Mr. Won’t Run just thinks I don’t know what papaya tastes like.  he might be right.  The serving seemed a little “off” too, a giant goblet on a dinner plate, but that’s just me being picky again, ha!  It’s definitely a great crème , really smooth, but it’s a large portion, so plan to share!

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I’ve heard rave reviews on the other dessert options so I’m excited to go back and try the Flan, Crème Brule, Molten Chocolate Cake, Grilled Pineapple, and more!

If you’re looking for something different I would definitely recommend checking out Fogo de Chão, such a fun atmosphere and good food too!

Fogo de Chão
930 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR  97204
503-241-0900
(menu)

Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30-2:00
Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 5:00-10:00 / Fri, 5:00-10:30 / Sat, 4:30-10:30 / Sun, 4:00-9:00

Find a location here; you can like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter too.

Read more reviews from Portland bloggers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!

(Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal I was invited to as part of a media event with Little Green Pickle for the grand opening of their client’s new restaurant.  As will always be the case, all opinions are completely my own, completely honest, and I wouldn’t be telling you about it if I didn’t like it and think you would too!)