Lardo

Shiny and Bright

Saturday I made it to the gym!!! After being snowed/iced in for two days I braved the drive and made it. My little car would not have made it out of our street –which was a sheet of ice–but the Subaru did great and once I got on the main streets it was clear.

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It felt SO good to get to the gym! I hadn’t been since Monday. I was also slightly sore still from Thursday’s at home workout. Squats and kettlebells ALWAYS get me.

At the gym I did some light body weight/ab stuff, went through a circuit of the weight machines and then did 27 minutes on the elliptical. It felt awesome!

Then home to clean up and get ready to go on a date. Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to spend some time with the little dude so we could go out to lunch and possibly get a Christmas tree.

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The roads were decent but sidewalks were super icy still. We ended up going to Lardo on SE Hawthorne for lunch. It’s been years since I’ve been there. The place was packed when we arrived. We ordered and then sat outside in the covered and heated patio area.

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We both got the Block 15 Sticky Hands IPA. For lunch Michael got the Grilled Mortadella:

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I got the Lardo Egg Sandwich, smoked pork belly with a runny egg and cheese. It came with a hash brown patty on the side.

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Michael got an order of their “dirty fries” –fries with cheese, porkΒ pieces and pickled peppers on top. I nibbled on some. I didn’t love the fries. I did enjoy the pickled peppers, though!

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We talked about getting a Christmas tree. We both had concerns, obviously. Logan is almost 9 months old (on the 22nd!!) and he is an ACTIVE little boy already. He’s been crawling for two months, standing for a month and he’s already “cruising” (walking while he holds on to things like the coffee table). He also goes right for all the things he shouldn’t have and big, sparkling, blinky Christmas tree would be a bad idea.

We talked about getting a small tree and putting it on a table, that didn’t really seem feasible, because we a) don’t have a table that would work and b) he could probably pull that down too. I floated the idea of getting a tiny living tree (something I’ve always wanted to do) and putting it on this one tall side table we have in the living room. So we went to Lowe’s to check it out and found the small living trees.

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For about the same price as a large Christmas tree we got the living tree. It’s small and the needles are super spikey! That’s the only downside. But I like that we can plant it in the yard somewhere after Christmas and it doesn’t feel like such a waste.

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It’s okay, it does the trick. Next year we’ll go all out and it will be great! And Logan will be old enough to “get it”.

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Saturday night we were supposed to go to the Milwaukie Solstice Festival and then some friends were coming over for dinner but our friends were sick, I was still under the weather and we just didn’t feel like going back out. So Michael made dinner for us instead and we just chilled.

He made French Onion Soup!

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Here’s the recipe:

Dinner was great!

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We missed the Winter Solstice but we did manage to go to Peacock Lane this year!

I told Logan we were going to see sparkly Christmas lights. He giggled:

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We met up with a friend of mine who has a baby about 2.5 months younger than Logan. Peacock Lane was PACKED! You could barely walk there were so many people. But the babies loved the lights!

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I’m really looking forward to Christmas this weekend!

50 Shades of…Plaid

The night before my century ride, Michael and I went to a party hosted by Yelp. I’d recently been added to the Yelp “Elite” membership (I have no idea how…did I sign up and forget?) and they hosted an invite-only party with food and drinks. It was called 50 Shades of Plaid and you were required to wear some plaid.

I was excited to go to my first party and our friends Tiffany (former Carbzilla) and her husband were going too. The party was the after party for “Feast“–the foodie event of the year here in Portland. I was soΒ heartbroken when I found out Franklin’s BBQ came all the way from Austin to participate! Had I been able to afford the spendy admission prices I would have been there! Maybe next year.

Some of the local businesses at the Yelp party were: Ninkasi (YES!), The Heathman Hotel and Restaurant, Pine State Biscuits (a restaurant I’ve been dying to try for a long time), OBA! and lots of local wine and distilleries.

Michael and I met Tiffany and her husband at Lardo on Hawthorne for a snack and to catch up. It had been awhile since the four of us hung out. Lardo has been on my list for awhile. I wasn’t overly excited about what Michael and I got. We ordered the Pork Belly sandwich with their famous fries (supposedly cooked in duck fat with rosemary and parmesan shaved on top). The sandwich ended up being a BLT essentially. Not that I dislike BLTs or that this wasn’t a good one, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. The aioli sauce had a strong flavor of lemon to it, which I found odd but kind of refreshing at the same time.

Tiffany gave me a bite of her Italian meat and cheese sandwich that had spicy peppers on it and it was fantastic! That’s definitely the one to order.

For the beer, I had their Boneyard “Armored Fist Double CDA“. Boneyard Brewery is my current obsession. If I see anything by them in a bar, I order it–even though their IPA is my favorite. Of all time. Favorite. Love. Love. LOVE. What was this Double CDA? It’s an “Imperial Cascadian Dark Ale. Basically? It’s a Black IPA. Which I’ve never really had before. But I tried it at Lardo and enjoyed it quite a bit. Despite it’s dark color (which usually scares me off of a beer), it was the super hoppy citrus flavor I know and love from Boneyard.

I got a half-pint of the beer with our dinner and then we went over to the Yelp Party. It was at the YU Contemporary Art Center just off Belmont, a block from the Cascade Brewing Company. I’ve never been to this location before but it was a really cool space. The invitation to the Yelp party recommended that we eat beforehand, because the lines for food are long and the food at the party are just tastes, not meals. Hence, we split a sandwich at Lardo. Honestly? I probably could have skipped Lardo and been just fine having the snacks at the Yelp party.

We got to the location and the line snaked around the building. It was so cool! Everyone had some variation of plaid. Some people went ALL OUT. I saw one guy with plaid pants, a plaid shirt AND a plaid hat. He was awesome. And check out this girl:

Dang. I forgot my magenta wig at home! Although, it would have clashed with my plaid skirt, I think.We got inside and the place was awesome. The building was very industrial yet very old. I liked the vibe. There weren’t any chairs or tables, really, so the restaurants that were there were spread out and you just kind of grabbed food and hung around.

It was a SEA OF PLAID!

The place was crowded but never felt too crowded. The first place we got tastes was Smokehouse 21. They had little tiny sliders and the most amazing deviled eggs I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously, I must figure out how to make these things. They were your typical deviled eggs but they had some kind of spicy sausage sliced on top of it that added so much flavor and really good spice to it.

The sliders were good, it had some sweet and spicy pickles or peppers on them that I quite enjoyed. The next taste we got was from Pine State Biscuits. It was a teeny tiny biscuit sandwich thing. It was really cute. How did they make their biscuits bite size like that? So how was it? Unique. The biscuit itself was exceptional. In between the two biscuit halves was a slice of pork and some apple chutney. It was a bit strange but in kind of a good way. It was like eating a tiny piece of apple pie with a slice of pork in it. Sounds weird, right? But it worked.

(I apologize for the not great photos. I had to turn my camera to auto mode instead of manual and use the flash because it was so dark in there.)

The next taste I got was from The Heathman. I loved the lamb but wasn’t that impressed with the beans or the rest of the dish. They should have just served the lamb shoulder with the sauce.

The above picture was from the OBA! table. The sample was a tiny enchilada with potatoes and ham with a delicious, rich, spicy mole sauce and a shrimp salsa on top. I did not get a good picture of the tine enchilada because I just ate the crap out of that thing. It was excellent. I would definitely go to OBA! and have a normal sized one.

So far, the highlight of the night was: 1) The Deviled Egg, 2) The Mole Enchilada and then:

3) ICE CREAM. Courtesy of What’s the Scoop? Ice cream shop. Ice cream has always been one of my favorite things (and trigger food that I couldn’t eat for a few years because I loved it so much) and I’ve definitely had some good ice cream in my life. Tillamook is pretty amazing. If you ever visit Oregon, I suggest a visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. But this is the first time I had ice cream that blew.my.mind. It was creamy and flavorful with unique and tasty flavors. And it was made with Nitro!

I had a bite of their Strawberry ice cream….that had habanero pepper in it. Wowza. It was creamy and rich, sweet from the strawberry with some chunks of fruit in it, and as it slid down my throat, that’s when the burn started. It was a tingly, nice after spice from the habanero. I say it again. Wowza. Strawberries and peppers? Sign me up.

Michael got the Bourbon flavor (it was vanilla with chunks of toffee and a bourbon after taste to it) which was good. A friend got the Spiced Chocolate Tequila, which was unique. I got the Mint Chunk and the guy sprayed some marshmallow on top of mine and then used some flame to toast the marshmallow! What a presentation. It was by far the best mint ice cream I’ve ever had and I will most definitely be making my way to their ice cream shop very soon!

Now, for the beverages! Ninkasi was one of the businesses there and it was cool that they were handing out full bottles of their beer instead of just tastes. Michael and I both got one of their seasonal beers when we first got there. I already knew I liked it (I have some in my fridge, in fact). I had one.

Carb-loading for my Century! πŸ˜‰ But really, the star of the show ended up being the local vodka distillery and the St. GermainΒ liqueur. It was made with elderflower blossoms. I loved it. They mixed it with a soda that was at the Yelp party (I didn’t catch the name). I ended up having two samples of it. The first was mixed with the cucumber soda. It was like a vodka tonic with cucumber. Delicious. Refreshing. The second was mixed with a pink lemonade soda. I liked that one quite a bit too.

Michael and I had so much at the event. It was my first Yelp event and it was cool to go there and meet some new people and try some local food. I strongly urge all of you to check out your own local Yelp events and give it a try. It was a blast!

QUESTION: Have you been to a Yelp event in your town?