Travels With Sunshine
Due a series of family things and odd timing, I have been bouncing all over creation for the past two weeks, including short vacations to Montreal and Portland, Oregon. The downside of which is that I haven’t had much opportunity to cook or update this blog. Le sigh. However, I took pictures of some of the random things I’ve had on my travels and jumping around, and here are some of the highlights.
Poutine. I was in Montreal for a couple days, so of course I had to try the famous poutine – fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. However, it took a while to find a place that did a vegetarian version. I found La Banquise – which does more than 30 styles of poutine and makes a vegan sauce which can be substituted on any of their dishes. I got La Taquise, which added guacamole, tomatoes and sour cream to the standard mix with the vegan sauce. It was delicious but insanely heavy and filling. I only made it through half of the dish and was stuffed and this was after a three hour walk in the park – share with a friend is my recommendation.
Torta with Potatoes and Nopales. In Portland, a land known for microbrewies, I needed something beyond standard pub-fare. And I found a place doing highly recommended Mexico City-style guisados called Mi Mero Mole. I ordered the nopales-potato one in a torta, which turned out to be a giant roll with guacamole smothered on the inside, filled with the guisado, and then covered in cheese. It was beyond delicious – one of the best Mexican dishes I’d ever had. And it was the perfect level of spicy for me. Pair with a margarita of course.
Toasted White Chocolate and Roasted Strawberries ice cream: Seems like an odd flavor for ice cream, but a local ice cream place in Portland was doing five berry flavors for July (berries locally grown, of course) and so I had to try it. This was the single scoop, believe it or not, and was incredible. It had been ages since I’ve gone to a local ice cream place, and damn, it was good.
Beer! So much beer over the past couple weeks. Montreal and Canadian beer is no slouch for the record. They do a number of good red ales in particular which I liked, and St. Ambroise is a solidly good brewery that makes a number of different styles and is fairly ubiquitous in Montreal. Portland, of course, is the microbreweries capital of the US. I visited 4 microbreweries, and tried beers from several more. My favorite was Rogue. I’ve had Rogue beers out here in DC, but their brewhouse beer menu had three pages and I had two sampler trays there. They even had mead, which was good. So if you are in Portland – go there.
Song of the week: Creep by Postmodern Jukebox. My best friend introduced me to Postmodern Jukebox, which reinterpret songs in old-school styles. This is a version of Radiohead’s Creep in a old-school blues style and I heard it at a blues club in Montreal before the band started to play. It gives me chills in the best possible way.