Nope, not that kind of book tour. Not yet, at least. I took some time off of work last week and early this week to work on the book. I have a hard time focusing in the house, as I am easily distracted when there are other things to fiddle with, so I figured getting out of the house would be a good idea.
Last Friday I had an eye doctor’s appointment and after having my pupils dilated I figured I wouldn’t be very successful at typing, so I stopped to grab breakfast at Paradox Cafe. Paradox was the first place Jim and I ate when we came to Portland the first time. They have remodeled and expanded since then and so long as I brace myself for the stink of bleach on their water cups (?) I always have a great meal there.
I always enter with good intentions, but order the exact same thing– French toast! Their French toast is made on thick slices of Texas toast which are chewy and substantial, just the way French Toast should be! Being the day before Valentine’s Day, they were offering a special sweetheart’s French toast, topped with a berry compote, bananas and walnuts. Being the fickle maple syrup consumer that I am, I opted for the special, along with a side of their delicious tofu and my favorite raspberry-apple juice.
They marinate their tofu in some magical marinade and then grill it. It’s very simple, but delicious.
Once I was seeing more clearly, I wandered down the block and across the street to Opposable Thumb, a gallery and cafe, to get some tea and spend some time with my trusty (and crusty) kitchen notebook and the old laptop.
They have a very nice space, open and modern and it was a great place to hipster watch and put in a few solid hours of work.
For Valentine’s Day Jim and I went to another spot on the same street. It’s actually our favorite date spot, a bar called The Blue Monk. They have a jazz theme and lots of blue lighting. They also have a lounge downstairs with live music, but Jim and I tend to hang out upstairs. It’s a comfortable spot with friendly staff and a couple of vegan meal options. Having a couple of vegan options in Portland doesn’t impress most, but it’s the quality of their vegan options. Jim and I come back again and again for their Coconut Curry Polenta, which is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. This time Jim went with the polenta, I got the Saffron Risotto and we split. And I forgot to bring the camera! But if you live in Portland or visit it, I highly recommend swinging by there for some amazing food. They also clearly label the vegan items on their menu. They have some killer bruschetta as well.
On Monday I had classes. I’m normally not able to hang out on campus during the day, so I miss out of the joys of student life, like listening to freshman boys reenact scenes from the Family Guy where they pretend they are pooping or loud-mouthed activists shouting about God and the end of times out on the park blocks. The upside was that I was able to try out some of the food at the student union.
There is a fake Mexican food place in the food court area and after a brief perusal of my options, I decided to get a burrito. The burrito had black beans, sauteed portabella mushrooms, lettuce, pico and fresh guac. I purchased a fruit bowl on the side.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either and with Chipotle two blocks up the street, I will probably head over there when I want fake Mexican, but it’s nice to know there are options.
That evening yo tengo un examen de espanol. I’m only in 102, so forgive the lack of past tense, we’re just not there yet. East met West with my pre-class soy-based coffee bubble tea. Yum.
I love tapioca, so I can drink bubble tea daily. I always forget how full I feel after drinking it, it’s like a snack and beverage all in one!
Today was my last day off before heading back to reality. Jim needed to work on my car, so he took it with him to work, and I laid low and hung out around the house working on the book and some homework. With the opportunity to be at home all day, I continued to tweak my Pain au Chocolat recipe. C’est délicieux! Flaky, buttery and with just the right amount of chocolate, after many not-quite-right attempts I think I have it down.
Can you believe we are over half way through February? It’s insanity! I hope you are all having a great month, even though it’s quickly escaping us!
Squirrel’s Vegan KitchenGo back in time to my original blog: Squirrel’s Vegan Kitchen!
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