Friday, August 28, 2009

Portland Je T’aime – Part 3, Day 2 & 3


Friday Night – Tears of Gin

After an early fun filled Friday of Hawthorne, Castagna, and Pok Pok, we met up with fellow wedding friends in the Pearl district for some microbrews.  Since, I wasn’t particularly interested in gaining a beer gut on this trip prior to a wedding, I avoided anything more than a pint or taste at each sitting.  Yes, I am a vain beast. 

After the brew, we ran over to Teardrop lounge for something a little more of my style…or so I thought.  The best way to describe Teardrop lounge is confusing.  The cocktail list and creativity is obviously there.  The bar program rocks.  The crowd?  Weird, but I guess that’s not their fault.  I was thinking more true PDT/Bourbon Branch/Violet Hour type and Teardrop was so much more open, inviting (in a bad way, to dudes that wear shiny dark dress shirts) and louder.  I guess I miss exclusivity.  Yes, I am not only vain, but I am kind of a cocktail snob. 

Anyways, I got there and ordered my usual, The Liaison (miller’s, grapefruit, splash of lillet blanc on tall glass w/rocks).  From there, three of us started to bitch about almost everything and almost nothing – you know, the usual bar conversation.  We then started talking and drinking rye whiskey and bourbon.  I proceeded to have a bartender’s choice (with Ransom gin) and big glass of Rock Hill Bourbon (one of my favorites).  After that, we were doneski. 

Pics (not so great):

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Saturday Morning – Market Envy

The cool thing about Portland is that is boasts two markets on Saturdays, an arts and crafts seller market and their big farmer’s market.  Wanting to make the most of my day, I got up super early to get to the farmer’s market and then segue to the arts market.  The only thing in my way was roughly a two miles of walking.  This is not something people should attempt after a night of gin and bourbon.  I did get 7 hours of sleep, which for me is a super satisfactory amount.

The Portland University farmer’s market on Saturday is dauntingly big.  In fact, stall for stall, I’d say the size is larger than the San Francisco market.  It’s also a helluva lot more festive.  In contrast, the Ferry Building market seems to be a calmer, peaceful and classy sort of affair(though holiday weekends are always a guaranteed shitshow), but the Portland market is like a big produce shopping block party.  There’s cooking events, a main stage for a band, and dedicated seating for eating from vendor stalls.  It’s wild and ridiculously fun.  The one thing I will say that the University market doesn’t do better than the Ferry building, is specialty, diversity of produce and abundance of unique varietals.  Items are much more cut and dry in Portland and there is a lot of overlapping between vendor offerings.  This is probably thanks to the planning that CUESA does.  A+ for them.

Market Pics:

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I wasn’t really jealous of anything I was seeing at the Portland market, but then I saw something amazing… something SF clearly had no answer for…

The REGGIE from Pine State Biscuits.

Behold the magnificence:

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This sexy beast of a sandwich is what Pine State Biscuits calls their Reggie Deluxe.  Inside of it holds the true belief that dreams can come true:

Egg, Cheese, Bacon, Fried Chicken and Sausage Gravy inside a biscuit. 

What brilliant sick mind came up with this?  If there was ever a need for the Food Hall of Fame, he would be first ballot.

Since the arts market is not food related, I choose to completely ignore it.  It was nice to look at, but I was bored after 10 minutes of browsing. 


Saturday Afternoon: Saturday Happy Hours, They Exist!

One of the more notable recommendations for the Pacific Northwest was Happy Hour on Saturdays.  I’m from Boston, land of the worst Happy Hours ever.  Boston doesn’t allow alcohol discounts, so that essentially ruins any chance for the hour to contain any chance of happiness.  This can be likened to sleeping with Christina Hendricks (my most current object of red-headed affection) without getting to touch her.  You suck antiquated Boston.

In Portland, they not only have Happy Hour, they have it on Saturdays and they post menus for it online.  Friggin sweet.  Basically, we went to Ten-01, which was well recommended for their happy hour.  We ate a cheese plate, a charcuterie plate and a ton of oysters.  I also downed their version of a Pimm’s Cup in all of maybe 5 minutes.  However, I was slightly disappointed I didn’t order and eat the chorizo burger.  DAMMIT.

All this good food took place about an hour before we had to be at a wedding.  Personally, I don’t trust that any wedding that I attend to provide a quality wedding dinner, so I often don’t bother thinking about it.  It the dinner ends up pretty good, then that’s just a cherry on top of a sundae.  You want a great wedding dinner?  Just return the ring and the dress and book Jean Georges for a night.  That would be a dream.   

After our happy hour drive by Ten-01 (want to thank Ten-01 for getting the goods shucked and served so quickly), we made it to the wedding with in the nick of time – cutting the wait time for the ceremony to about 8 minutes.  The entire wedding itself was nice, efficient and fun - almost run like a Tom Brady two-minute drill.  Considering there was a Chinese family involved (yes, my fellow Chinese people run on their own time and schedule where 20 minutes late is known as on time), it was an act short of a miracle. 

I might of left out some bars and microbreweries like Deschutes, but all in all, it was an awesome rocking time in Portland.  Hope you guys enjoyed the recap.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hot Food Porn or Hot Pornstar Food?

Found these randomly… not sure if this is relevant, but since this blog is called Hot Food Porn, it would be interesting to see how a pornstar (super hot Aria Giovanni in Hollywood Tuna Cooking 101 videos) cooks food.  Because the relationship between food and the porn industry is practically as tight as meat and potatoes.

I’m seriously in the belief that Aria should take some personal lessons from myself.  Someone needs to set this up.  It would be strictly for her informational purposes.  I mean I’d really get nothing out of the deal other than the satisfaction that I am teaching a person some necessary life skills.

I posted the videos below with some commentary and though I may be hard at times on Aria (no pun intended), I will say she has a very watchable quality with or without the spectacular boobs.  She, in a pornstar inaccessible way, feels like an every woman trying to teach a man some super simple basics (which she may require help with as well) so that he doesn’t look like a talentless dickwad to his significant other.  The fact that Aria knows some of the basics shown here already probably puts her in the 70 percentile of women who know how to cook in her generation.  This is probably a sad truth. I will say that Aria was infinitely more watchable than 75% of the shows on Food network.  If someone had half a brain, they’d give her some lessons to polish some skills and put her on her own cooking show.   And, if someone had miracle worker hands, they’d let me be the person giving her the lessons.  The effort to cook and do it somewhat properly is quickly catapulting Aria on my favorite pornstar list, if there ever was one.

Onto the videos:

Pasta Sauce

She probably could have used some meat in that sauce.  No sexual reference intended, but if she seared some meat and deglazed with wine, it would have been a better sauce.  And she needed to run her pasta through some cold water to stop it from cooking…I doubt a hot girl like Aria would be impressed with anything other than al dente.  I’d definitely say this is infinitely more enjoyable than watching Giada…


Hard Boiled Eggs

Aria here has the timing and science pretty right on with the boiling eggs, she even explains how to avoid cracking the eggs and applying cold water to stop the heat from over cooking the egg.  A+ for effort Aria.  Probably her best video.  Her wardrobe selection also gets an A+.


Egg Salad

Her egg dicing technique leaves something to be desired here, its pretty much of the Rachael Ray variety.  I think this is where I could really help her.  Her mixing technique however is unmatched,  truly the work of a champion.  Plus points for adding capers because the brine really makes the egg shine.


Fried Egg

This must have been her first video, but its also one of the most revealing.  I’m not talking about her boobs, but rather the fact that she took a metal spatula here to a non stick pan.  I was really disappointed when I first saw this, but she seems to get better at the other videos.  So I must say, I give her credit for not giving up and continuing her cooking drive.


“Omelette” actually a scramble

I think her producers really screwed her here when they decided to call this segment “omelette.”  Clearly this is a scramble.  I give her props for the consistency of the eggs and her beating technique, but she really loses me by not cooking with butter here and practically forgetting to salt.  SALT and BUTTER, the cornerstones of cooking.  I almost wanted to stop watching.  Almost.


Grilled Cheese

Once again, there is a lot of disappointment with the lack of butter.  Aria obviously looks like a very healthy girl, so she needs to know that natural butter is better for you.   But, I suppose a gal like that is likely worried about the fat content.  I will give it to her for putting tomato in her grilled cheese and for doubling up the slices.  Because there’s no dicking around when it comes to my tomato in my grilled cheese.