happy hour drinks

Girl’s Pint Out

…And ironically, none of us girls actually ordered beer!

Saturday evening I headed out for the evening for my first official “Blogger Meetup”! I organized it awhile ago because I’ve been wanting to meet some of the Portland bloggers that I read every day and follow on Twitter.

The meetup was at one of my favorite Portland restaurants: The Sapphire Lounge. It’s in the trendy SE Hawthorne area and they have an excellent drink menu and really, really good food. The service has always been stellar at The Sapphire. All around it’s always been a fun experience going there.


It was a really nice Fall day in Portland. It sprinkled a little bit during the day but it wasn’t raining much, so that was good. I was glad I got to the Sapphire a little early because it got really crowded really fast!

The other Portland bloggers that joined me were Kalin from I’m an Eating Machine! and my friend Ember from Tigress Fitness. I’ve been wanting to meet Kalin in person for ages. She cracks me up. If you haven’t read her blog, I suggest you do. I suggest this post–it had my rolling on the floor. Kalin is Klassy.


The Sapphire is such a cool place with a retro vibe. It’s the perfect place for intimate conversations.

Ember is the friend that I helped with swimming earlier this year in preparation for her first sprint triathlon. I’m really glad that Ember and I are becoming friends. We ran in the same circles for years but never really “met” until recently.

I love meeting new people–especially when we have tons in common. I’ve successfully met and became friends with another blogger and had a great time! I’m glad this second attempt was also a success.

Did I mention that the drink menu at The Sapphire is extensive? It’s an impressive book of all sorts of drinks to appease anyone’s craving. Their specialties are in the whiskey or martini department but don’t let that deter you if that’s not your thing. They have excellent wine too.

This time I ended up ordering the Nina Simone: Pomegranate & Grand Marnier with something sparkly in it. Mmmm. I loved this drink! It has become my new favorite drink at the Sapphire.


We’d made it there for the happy hour menu but my favorite dish isn’t on the happy hour menu. I decided to go for it and just order it: the butternut squash enchilada.


I love this dish and someday I’d love to try and recreate it at home. I’ve ordered something similar at other restaurants but they were never as good as this one. Ember and Kalin both ordered the Meze plate from the happy hour menu: hummus, tzatziki and tapenade with warm pita and cucumber. It looked really tasty.

Ember, Me, Kalin

We all got to know each other better and talked about running and triathlons, food and other things. Before we knew it, two and a half hours had passed. I’m so glad we all met!

QUESTION: Have you met any online people in real life?

Opus

Thursday night I had the pleasure of meeting up with Carbzilla! Tiffany took the train from Seattle to see some friends and a play and invited me along.


After work I had a quickie dinner at home of leftovers and then met her at a bar downtown for a pre-show drink.


We met at The Gilt Club in downtown Portland. I’ve been wanting to try the place for a long time but was rather intimidated by their menu. Just to give you an idea of their menu items:

  • Chicken liver toast with olio verde, arugula, and onion agrodolce
  • Duck liver mousse with cherries, pistachios, and pancetta
  • Elk tartar with duck fat french fries, duo of mustards, herb salad
  • Pan seared foie gras!

I don’t know if I’m that brave yet! Maybe someday. Tiffany ordered the Burrata: a ball of cheese with basil seed, basil puree, petite flower salad, grilled bread.


It was a very attractive presentation. We were both expecting the cheese to be warm, but it was ice cold. The flavor was super mild. Neither of us were too enthused about the seeds in the gelatin–that was a little weird.


I had a few pieces of the crunchy bread with the cheese spread.


For my adult beverage I ordered the Laura Palmer. Not just because I like lemon and it sounded yummy but the name was just awesome. Who Killed Laura Palmer!


Creeeeeepy….


But tasty!


After drinks we headed to Portland Center Stage for OPUS. I’ve walked by the theatre a million times but I’ve never been inside. Now I want to see tons more plays here! What a beautiful theatre.

Portland Center Stage

“Ex-violist Michael Hollinger trades in his bow for a pen in this a tart and witty chamber piece about the politics and passions that threaten a classical string quartet. In front of an audience they’re pitch perfect but behind the scenes the Lazara string quartet is coming unstrung- all on the eve of their first televised performance for the President of the United States. There’s sex, there’s drugs, there’s…chamber music, but the real rewards lie in Hollinger’s insights into the balancing act of drudgery, machination and volatile genius that make a seemingly effortless performance possible.”

It sounded intriguing when Tiffany invited me and I said yes.


It was such a good play! I had an amazing time.  The place was packed. I never noticed that I sat for 100 minutes without an intermission. It was an engrossing story, the acting was convincing and I felt every range of emotion they inspired. I laughed, I cried a bit, I felt sad for the imploding relationships.


There was a moment at the crescendo where the entire audience gasped in unison. It was a really powerful play and I had such a good time! It reminded me how much I like doing things like this. I need to do more in the arts like I used to.

Funny, I see now how much my life because about TRAINING and RACING. Running, training for Hood to Coast, training on the bike, thinking about a triathlon…all fun things but totally time consuming. Fitness can take over your life and it’s easy to let other hobbies go by the wayside. I need to remedy that.

I had a great Girl’s Night. Michael went out with a friend for pizza, Keno and the Blazer game. I think my night was better! 😉

QUESTION: Do you go to plays very often?