slide in to Portland

Partying it up with PhotoShop after a trip to Portland. Check out the nice things I found underfoot. And overfoot. One of these photos is the actual color of my boots….

Sometimes you really need to look down. This is what I found on a plaque on a Portland sidewalk:

We, the citizens of Oregon, recognizing that the future health and well-being of our state depends on the strength and diversity of its people, stand together to celebrate the uniqueness of cultures, lifestyles, ideas and abilities that unite us as a community.

Makes me feel a little better about some of the icky that’s been floating around in these dis-united states of ours. I hope that once this election cycle finishes we can get back to being the actual United States. Portland was, however, a little slice of heaven and a break from all election coverage. And of course a lot of beer and food.

Three of us found an adorable place in the Burnside neighborhood of Portland called Slide Inn. Named after an inn owned by the chef’s family when he was a child, Chef Eugen serves American and German cuisine focusing on (of course, this is Portland people!) locally sourced organic ingredients. But what really thrilled my non-dairy gluten free daughter were the wide variety of items that she hasn’t been able to eat for years without severely inhibiting her digestion. Chocolate cinnamon french toast! She’s ready to move. Apparently Chef Eugen’s wife eats a restricted diet, so he cooks for her as well as the rest of us. The menu is diverse, and everything was absolutely delicious. I recommend a shot of Chef Eugen’s homemade ginger syrup in your coffee every morning.

Slide Inn is on a residential street a block from one of the hip breakfast places in Portland that we weren’t willing to wait 90 minutes to try. And thank heavens they had that crazy wait. Because Chef Eugen is a gem. Not only does he do all of the prep, he does all of the cooking, all of the serving, all of the clean-up and he makes everything from scratch. And because I asked, he very kindly has shared his recipe for his homemade ginger beer with me and you.

Chef Eugen’s Slide Inn Ginger Beer (in his own words)

9 cup water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup ginger ground
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon dry yeast

Add the tartar, lemon juice, water, ginger,sugar into a pot and boil for 1/2 hour, turn down to a simmer once it comes to a hard boil. Cool down slightly and refrigerate. Let the temperature drop to 75-80 degrees and stir in the yeast. Place a lid on the pot and let the fermentation process begin. You can let it stand for as little as 3 hours or overnight.

I usually do it overnight so that I have a full day of letting it ferment. I like to start the fill process in the morning so that the process can fully complete. The liquid then get’s strained and filled into glass bottles that have a pop top on them. Fill them no higher than 3/4 so that when you burp them the ginger beer will have the space to rise. Place the bottles in a dark room or at a minimum no direct sunlight.

Open the bottle caps carefully and slowly, never fully open them as they will literally explode in your face. When burping the bottles never point the bottles in your or anyone’s face. If you want a sweeter ginger beer repeat this process for 2-3 days, otherwise 1 will do it. Once you have released or burped the ginger beer 3 times you can refrigerate. The colder the refrigerator the less fermentation happens.

*Remember; if it’s not cold enough the fermentation process will start up again, the more that happens the more it will cause gasses to build.

We managed to fit quite a few meals in between walking as many neighborhoods as we could. If you go, here are a couple more places to try. If you find something else that’s great (especially if it’s not in the guide books), let me know.

Keep in touch,

red hills market

Red Hills Market in the wine country south of Oregon. I got dinner to go for 14 people from pizzas, to salads to sandwiches and a whole lot of tea for $150. The food was amazing and the destination was worth the trip.

kopi coffee

In the Burnside neighborhood, Kopi Coffee makes spicy coffees (try the ginger latte…the bomb!) and teas and serves a unique and really delicious brunch menu. Great things come in small packages.

ruddick wood

Ruddick/Wood: yes it’s Newberg which Oregon’s wine country, but it’s Oregon, so I got the beer. And for heaven’s sake just stop fussing and get the fries.

New Seasons Market is everything a local grocer should be. The Portland version of that other national brand.

New Seasons Market is everything a local grocer should be. The Portland version of that other national brand. I got more than a few meals here to take back to my cute Airbnb.

what do you call the foam on the beer?

photos courtesy

Since I saw this new product last week I’ve struggled with whether or not to make public this rather embarrassing experience. What the heck….it’s Monday and I can always use a laugh on Monday.

My restaurant experience began in high school at what was then Marriott’s Great America serving fast food at Burgers on the Run. The greatest skill I learned there was how to shove a plastic wrapped brownie into my costume and get it to the back patio without my manager catching on. Then for years I worked all kinds of office jobs until my late return to college at the age of 23 when I began work at my second restaurant job at the original Good Earth Restaurant in Cupertino, next to what had once been Apple Computer’s first office. I worked there for a year collecting my tips in coin, cleaning up smeared banana from the backs of booths, explaining to irate customers that I hadn’t forgotten Junior’s milk and that I would bring it as soon as I set down the 4 plates I was currently carrying. Then Scott’s Seafood, one of San Francisco’s then best seafood restaurants, opened a location in downtown San Jose near where I was attending college. I was thrilled when they hired me as a server and a little nervous having so little real dining room experience. Providing really excellent service was top of mind every time I approached a table.

An extremely attractive young couple was seated in my station one evening shortly after the restaurant opened for business. I took their drink order….she’d like a glass of wine and he’d have a bottle of beer. When I returned with their drinks, I set the wine down first, smiling at the woman, then held the beer in my left hand and the chilled glass in my right being careful to keep my fingers away from the rim. With all sincerity I turned to the handsome young husband.

“Would you like head?”

Seriously. Then I’m sure I turned several shades of purple and tried to stammer out some sort of explanation, which went completely unheard due to the peals of laughter coming from both husband and wife. Luckily they were laughing. I managed to finish pouring the beer and made a quick exit to regain my composure.

Well apparently it was a good question, albeit poorly worded. Beer with foam, or what I deftly referred to as head, is desirable according to beer aficionados, so much so that Norm Architects of Copenhagen created a device to deliver perfect foam for Danish design company Menu. It’s called a beer foamer. Logical.

In case you were wondering, this couple became two of my dearest friends in college and tried at every turn to get me to repeat the question when they brought friends with them for dinner.

Hope your week is off to a good start!