I wanted to share a meal I had recently with you all. If you live in the Portland area and are looking for a delicious, affordable meal, check out Nudi in Woodstock.

Nudi is a place I’ve wanted to try for awhile but things just got in the way of those plans. Recently I was meeting a friend for a pedicure at a fantastic place in Woodstock, Pure Nail Bar, and we decided to meet up for lunch first. I had assumed that Nudi was a noodle/ramen/Pho type of place but it was a lot different than I expected.


First, the inside of the restaurant is super classy looking and decorated nicely. The outside of the restaurant looked kind of dumpy and run down but once you are inside it’s very nice. Don’t let the exterior scare you off. Second, the menu is large and diverse. If you aren’t feeling noodles, there’s tons of other options including lots of vegetarian and vegan options. There were also many gluten free options.

I got their iced tea to drink and it was the best iced tea I’d ever had. I have no idea what kind it was; the flavor was subtle and not too sweet and it had a slice of orange in it.


My friend Star met me for lunch and we decided to order a few appetizers and share them for lunch. The first was the Asado Bun. I imagined it being a small bun, like a bao bun but it turned out to be huge! It was fried bread with sweet pork belly, lettuce, red onions, jalapenos and herbs. Star and I split it. The pork was melt in your mouth soft and super sweet.


So flavorful! Next up Crab Rangoon. It had Dungeness crab meat stuffed in wontons with cream cheese and a sweet & spicy dipping sauce. These were to die for. I rarely eat fried foods so this was a real treat. I’d say this was the favorite dish for both of us.


Next was the fried tofu with crushed peanuts and a similar dipping sauce. I was not a fan of this one as much. It was okay but nothing special and the tofu didn’t taste like much. I think it might have been better with a peanut dipping sauce, maybe…


We decided to splurge and share a dessert. We ordered the Pumpkin Flan. It was gluten free and it came out looking like a work of art. It was steamed pumpkin with coconut milk flan and coconut sauce. It was the texture of flan/custard and it wasn’t sweet. There was a hint of sweetness from the coconut and pumpkin but it was barely there. It was a very unique flavor and it felt like a healthy treat as opposed to a huge calorie bomb like chocolate.


It came in the pumpkin skin and you just scraped it out of there. We shared the dessert and it was the perfect amount for the two of us to have a treat.

All in all the restaurant was a joy. I enjoyed the food and want to go back and try their ramen and noodle dishes. I think this would be a great restaurant for a date night, too! Dark interior, classy decorations and excellent music. 🙂

A few weeks later I met my friend Robyn here for a lunch date! Once again, got the amazing iced tea and we both ordered a soup. I got the Tom Yum Ramen. It came with ramen noodles, beef, veggies and an egg. I’d been craving Ramen (like real Ramen, not the 59 cent package!) and this hit the spot.


I’m a huge fan of Tom Yum soup, so this was good. The only downside was that the ramen noodles were really soft. I would have liked them a little more well-done I think. Other than that, it was tasty and a nice lunch date with my friend.


The Quest for the Best Burger in Portland – Part 3

Swimming. The love of my life. Swimming cures me. Swimming heals me. Swimming calms me. It’s an amazing activity and I can’t stress it enough. It’s pretty much my answer to anything that ails you. Back pain keeping you from working out? Swim. Ankle or knee pain keeping you from running? Swim. So I took my own advice on Wednesday night and went to the pool after work.

The yoga I did on Tuesday did wonders for my back! I felt so much better. In fact, I didn’t have to take an Advil on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure if I was going to work out at all on Wednesday, thinking I would just rest but I felt good so I decided to swim. It wasn’t an intense swim–I just swam for 50 minutes. No HRM, no clock watching; I didn’t pay attention to how fast I was going, I just listened to my body and swam. And I felt GREAT. I felt even better afterward.

When I got home Michael was cleaning and prepping his bike for the Portland Century. He spent a good five minutes trying to convince me we should go out for burgers. You guessed it: I gave in. He knows I am weak-willed when I come home from the pool and I’m famished!

The Quest for the Best Burger in Portland – Part 3

I decided we were going to Toast. We’ve been there once before for breakfast. I remember liking the food but it’s been so long since I’ve been there I don’t remember anything specific.

Toast is a a cute neighborhood restaurant in SE Woodstock. It’s a surprisingly good restaurant with trendy food in a suburban area. The menu and food seem more like something you’d find in SE Hawthorne.

The restaurant is quaint and pretty big. Business we slow when we got there. I ordered the specialty beverage of the day:

Basil and Lemon Vodka Gimlet. YUM! And holy moly was this drink strong! It smelled like Lysol. Not a good combo–but don’t let that stop you because it was incredibly tasty. The lemon was strong but not bitter and the basil was fragrant and an interesting addition.

The waiter was super friendly and helpful. He brought us both a small snack of chopped cucumber with basil to eat before our entrees arrived.

The place is really cute. Patrons can draw art and hang it on the walls. It reminded me of my high school days at Beth’s Cafe

We both ordered the burger. It came with caramelized onions, cheese, whole grain mustard and mayo on toast. You can add additions to make the burger your own. For my burger I got the Aged Gouda cheese (Michael got white cheddar) and we both chose the fresh green beans for the side. The green beans were delicious! They were roasted in garlic and olive oil, topped with red pepper flakes. Best beans ever.

I want more of those beans!

The burger arrived with toast instead of buns. It was kind of a surprise but ended up being one of the best parts of the burger.

The burger may look huge but it was small. The perfect size. I absolutely loved the combination of gouda and caramelized onions. Best flavors ever! The mustard aioli sauce was a good addition.

It was medium-rare. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years and when I started eating meat again I ate it very well done. How far I’ve come that now I prefer my meat medium rare. I loved this burger. Michael liked it but didn’t think it was better than Slow Bar or Laurelhurst. If I could make the running a tie I’d put Toast in second place with Laurelhurst. I loved the flavors and the buttery toast was a cool presentation.

Yummiest burger I’ve had in awhile. Now that I’ve rediscovered Toast, I can see us returning a lot and trying the other dinners. The pork shoulder and polenta is calling my name. So where does Toast rank?

Burger Quest Ranking:

1. Slow Bar

2. Laurelhurst

3. Toast

4. Gruner

5. Foster Burger

We still haven’t made it to some of the other trendy places that supposedly have great burgers. So far the quest has been a delicious one!

QUESTION: How do you like your burgers? What are your favorite toppings?