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.

wait….cats and coffee?

I was planning to tell you something about the psychology of color today, then I got another email in my box about yet another cat cafe. So I’m forsaking science for frivolity for the moment.

what it is

Every time I hear the term ‘cat cafe’ I just kind of shake my head and wonder. It’s not that I don’t care for cats. They are lovely and I’ve owned a couple over the years. I definitely prefer my dogs if given a choice, but it’s never occurred to me to combine any pet with a cafe as a thematic element. The craze has been in my peripheral vision for a few months now, so today I did a little research. It’s real and it started in the far east according to my sources (wikipedia). Taiwan was the first location of a cat cafe, followed by about a zillion in Japan where most landlords don’t allow pets and most businesses (apparently) have very stressed out, introverted employees who prefer the company of cats. If you check the crowd funding sites, both IndieGogo and Kickstarter have several cat cafe projects looking for funding all over the world. And the handful of cat cafes that are already up and running in the US are all claiming to be firsts of some sort.

why it is

Whereas in Japan the cats are permanent residents of the cafes, here in the US they seem to be mostly adoptable. And with all of our health department requirements, the cat/human play areas and food service areas must be separated. But once you’ve purchased your food and drink you can take it into the cat play area. Some places charge an hourly fee to spend time with the cats, many require a reservation, and all limit the number of people that can be in the cat area at any one time. Cat Town in Oakland ( which claims to be the first in the US) opened in late 2014 and works with Oakland Animal Services to adopt out shelter cats. Cool coffee mugs are a bonus.  Up in Portland, Purrington’s, the ‘first cat cafe in the northwest’ opened January of 2015 and even serves beer and wine. And sometime this spring, KitTea is scheduled to open in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley. They will work with Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue to adopt out their feline friends and their schtick will be tea.

it’s real

So yea, it’s real. Cat’s and coffee (and beer and wine and tea) are a thing that is growing in the US. And now that I’ve done a little research I’ll quit smirking. I’m a huge fan of saving shelter pets rather than buying from a pet store or breeder. So if I can get a great cup of tea and save a furry critter, I’m on board. Guess that’s really not so frivolous. Maybe I’ll be the first to do dogs…..want to partner up?

Keep in touch,