Ninkasi beer

Birthday at the Beach

Historically we spend my birthday in the snow. We’ve gone to Bend many, many times, Sisters once and Mount Hood. Usually the snowshoeing is fantastic in January! Unfortunately this year the snow levels in the mountains were nearly non-existent.  Many friends that went to Bend or Mt. Hood to snowboard or ski complained about the lack of snow. So this year we skipped the snowy-birthday and went to the beach instead. Maybe we just needed a change. We got a Groupon Getaway for a hotel in Lincoln City. I love Lincoln City. It’s one of my favorite beach towns in Oregon (Rockaway is my first).

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I was excited to try something new for my birthday and to also experience Bella’s FIRST beach trip!

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Funny enough, she seemed to prefer just rolling around in the sand! It was very odd and totally hilarious. She scooted, rolled, rubbed and flopped around in the sand. She was one dirty girl after this weekend. She didn’t like the super soft sand by the surf and she seemed scared of the ocean so she didn’t venture into the water, which was probably for the best because it was pretty cold.

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Lincoln City is a good beach town for flying a kite, which we didn’t do this time. The wind is just perfect for it. We got lucky this weekend. The weather was perfect–around 50 degrees, clear blue skies and not too windy. The first day we went down to the beach was a bit cold but the following days were not bad.

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We walked around quite a bit on the beach. Because Bella’s recall is about 80% we didn’t take her off leash, but we had a super long leash and let it all out so she could run around and have some semblance of freedom. She seemed over-stimulated most of the time which meant she didn’t bark at all the strangers on the beach or the dogs on the beach, which was good!

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Hopefully when she is a little older and more trained she can be off leash and go nuts with the other dogs!

After spending the afternoon on the beach we went over to Chinook Winds, the casino at Lincoln City. I’ve never played there before and wanted to check it out. It was super crowded for the holiday weekend but I squeezed in at the roulette table and gave it a try. I ended up walking away with double my money! WOOHOO!!!!

Robyn's Birthday

Robyn's Birthday

Finally it was dinner time and we went to Humble Pie Pizzaria. It was a little hole-in-the-wall joint with some old hippies in tie-dye making some damn good pizza. We got it to go, made a stop by the local grocery store that had a walk-in beer fridge and then went back to the room so we could hang out with Bella.

Robyn's Birthday

It was pretty darn good pizza. And there’s just something great about eating pizza and drinking beer in a hotel room. 🙂 We called it a night because we were all pretty tired by this time. Even though we don’t really let Bella on the bed at home, we did in the hotel. She did really great. She slept in her crate at night and didn’t bark too much. She had to have a few time-outs when we first got there because she’d bark at the sounds outside, but it only took a few time-outs and she got it and was great the rest of the weekend. I was happy that her first “vacation” was a success. Now we know we can take her other places with us!

It wasn’t that late but I was super tired and that Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA hit me fast and honestly, the sound of the ocean outside your bedroom just makes you relaxed and sleepy. Why don’t we go to the beach more often??

Cornmeal Crust Pizza

Run. Do not walk. RUN to your local movie theatre and see “The Cabin in the Woods.”

Over the weekend, Michael and I had a date night at the movies. We went to the Laurelhurst Theatre here in Portland. It’s an old movie theatre with food options. You can get your typical popcorn movie theatre experience, but they also have pizza, salads, wraps and beer. It was our first time going to the Laurelhurst and we’ll definitely go back. The theatre has small tables throughout where you can eat your meal. We got there late so we didn’t get a good seat with a table so we skipped the pizza and salads (which I kinda wanted) and shared a small popcorn and we each had a beer. Going to the movies with a beer is awesome.

I had no idea what Cabin in the Woods was about other than my brother recommended it and it was a horror movie. I was so pleasantly surprised and shocked at what the movie was. I kind of liked going into it with no idea what to expect. Most movies are pretty predictable these days. The movie was AWESOME. I won’t give out any spoilers, but trust me that you should see this movie! What a pleasure!

Since we skipped the pizza at the theatre, we were on the hunt for dinner afterward. Unfortunately, it was prime time on a Saturday night and everywhere had a line. We tried a pizza place near the Laurelhurst and there was over an hour wait. No thanks. We ended up at Dove Vivi. It was a little hole-in-the-wall nestled between a Plaid Pantry and a laundromat. It was hard to find but once we did we saw the line of people! This place was popular!

First off, the staff was wonderful. That alone says a lot about a restaurant. They were all pleasant and nice and the service was fantastic. That goes a long way for me. We didn’t have to wait too long for a table even though the restaurant was completely packed. A table opened up outside and we gladly took it.

They had a decent drink menu but I stuck to the Ninkasi Total Domination beer because that’s what I had in the movie. It was hoppy and bitter, just like I like my IPA’s. Since I had been “detoxing” since our Texas vacation, I’d been refraining from drinking alcohol for nearly two weeks. I just didn’t want those extra calories. Our date night beers were the first I’d had in awhile and wamboozled me a bit.

We poured over the menu and I was intrigued by many of the pizza options. What to order? What to order? Michael and I finally agreed to do a half and half. Settled!

The first half was the night’s special: The “Coppa” which was mozzarella and provolone cheese with Italian cured ham, sliced green olives, and fresh tomatoes chopped up. It was salty and savory.

The other half was what I wanted: the “Goat Cheese” pizza. It was pizza with gooey mozzarella and creamy goat cheese with rosemary, tomatoes and green peppers. I LOVED my half of the pizza! The goat cheese was so creamy and flavorful. The huge chunks of tomatoes must have been roasted or marinated in something because they tasted outstanding as well.

Apparently this place is a deep dish pizza place only. The crust is made out of cornmeal and it’s thick and crunchy, like a crispy cornbread muffin. It was seriously fantastic. I don’t know that I’ve had cornbread pizza crust before. I want to find a recipe to try it at home!

The pizza came out in a cast iron skillet. It was a neat presentation. The one thing that was a tad disappointing was the size of the pizza. It was pretty tiny for the amount we paid for it. There were three slices of both types, so only 6 pieces totals. I guess it’s “artisan” so that means smaller. Kind of a bummer, but the pizza was still really, really good. I ate one piece of my goat cheese pizza and one piece of Michael’s Coppa and I called it good. Yes, I wanted my last piece of goat cheese pizza but I restrained myself (yay leftovers).

QUESTION: Have you ever had cornmeal crust pizza and what recipe did you use? Did you like “Cabin in the Woods?”