Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coffee, Calimari, Cookies and Chicken Taco

Peter and I take amazing walks. It's part of how we feed our natural traveler's spirit when we're in between trips. I've decided to start including a diary of our walks here on my cycling blog, because, well, it's my blog and I thought it might be fun to record and share them.

It's about a 30 minute walk to downtown from our house and just before you get to the bridge across the Willamette you walk past Water Avenue Coffee. We decided to stop in and try out the Pour Over Coffee, a very Portland experience. The barista was dressed smartly in a button down shirt, tie and apron and explained that we had two choices for our coffee, an African coffee, that was richer and had tea overtones and an El Salvador coffee that was lighter with hints of tobacco. We said, "One of each!" First, he ground the coffee and then poured hot water through the filters and into the carafes below.

Then, he took about 3.5 minutes to carefully, methodically, pour hot water through the grounds. As he poured and we watched, he explained in some detail, the intricacies of pour over coffee and the particular types of coffee that we had chosen.
When he was finished, he swirled the coffee around and poured us a cup of each. We sat down for our taste test, sipping and switching and sipping some more. We talked about how fun it would be to take my brother and his fiance here when they come to visit next month. Eventually, we decided that Peter liked the El Salvadorean coffee best and I liked the African coffee best which worked out nicely.
As we left I said, "You know, that is a characteristic I really appreciate in my fellow man," speaking of the very knowledgeable, very zealous barista. "What do you mean?" Peter asked in response. I said, "To love something that much, to be passionate, almost to the point of obsession, so that it is obvious to anyone who comes across you that you love something so." Peter said, "Yeah, it's amazing to see someone who loves what they do as much as he does."

I was very excited to be able to wear a sundress today and Peter got this nice picture of me with the river and the city in my dress. Proof of sundress weather in Portland in April. Yahoo!
"I'm really craving calamari!" Peter had announced before leaving, so after getting downtown we headed over to Berbati's Pan for a plate of fried calamari with feta, olives and green onions. We'd never had this before on our downtown walking adventures, so it was fun to try something new.
Next, we walked to the Pearl and stopped at Pearl Bakery for chocolate chunk cookies. We used to live in the Pearl District and after finishing our cookies and we talked as we wandered around the neighborhood how it was one of those things in life wear the reality didn't live up to the dream. I think people who love Europe wish that we could have what they have with long afternoons sipping espresso or drinking wine while sitting in wicker chairs around bistro tables surrounding the piazza. I know I was wishing for people young and old going for walks before dinner, or meeting up for ice cream for an afternoon snack. Unfortunately, we found that once we got to the Pearl that the sidewalks were nearly as empty as the sidewalks in the suburbs. The only people you saw out were the dog walkers. Within 9 months of moving into our loft, we were out looking for houses. We also got tired of having to pay money to sit outside. It's nice to be able to go out on the back patio to drink your coffee and eat your cereal in the morning...for free.

Continuing on with our snacking we stopped at Cha! Cha! Cha! for tacos; chicken for me and shrimp for Peter. I did a masterful job of splashing avocado salsa all over my cardigan and dress, but, for the most part, got myself all cleaned up in the bathroom. Whatever is left we'll just say is adding to the "patina" of the dress. Sure, that sounds good.
Next we wandered up to the NW 23rd area, where there are many, many more people out enjoying their neighborhood. We went up 21st, down 23rd, admiring the cherry blossoms and planning what we wanted to do about dinner. Peter had mentioned ceviche which sounded good to me. We have an agreement in our house that we must go out for ceviche. We tried to make it about 6 months ago and after eating it Peter was in such a panic about food poisoning that he very quickly set about getting both of us drunk. You know, to kill the bacteria. Reminiscing about this night we both had a good chuckle, but in the end we decided that a couple of bahn mi sandwiches sounded the best.
So, we wandered back into downtown, and over to the cart pods where we purchased 2 sandwiches for 5 bucks.
Then, we made our way back across the river, across the train tracks and back up the hill to home. I changed out of my sundress, built a fire, and we enjoyed our sandwiches to the pop and snap of a real wood fire in the backyard.

No comments:

Post a Comment