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.
nopales torta
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.
ice cream
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.

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