Of milkshakes and donuts

Last week I spent a number of days in Portland, Oregon for a day-job-related conference. What a nice city! And what a nice dining scene there!


The first meal I had in town (and, admittedly, no fewer than 4 subsequent meals) was eaten at Burgerville, the Portland area’s fast-food-with-local-ingredients-and-amazing-milkshakes-restaurant-chain. Luckily for all there was a branch no less than one block from the convention center. I had a fried fish (halibut, I think) basket with fries and a fresh (Oregon-grown) strawberry smoothie to wash it down. I would drink many more of these strawberry drinks in the coming days: another smoothie, a lemonade, and at least two milkshakes. I learned it is not always wise to drink two of these milkshakes in one 24-hour period. But, live and learn, right? Anyway, my dining companion, J, had a bacon cheeseburger with a slice of Tilamook and some pieces of local pepper bacon. Not to mention locally raised beef in the burger. Very nice all around. Even the spicy black bean veggie cheeseburger I had the next day was just the thing.


The next morning I woke up all refreshed (thanks to the three-hour-jet-lag) and headed off to Chinatown to see the Chinese gardens. It was just one city block stuffed with ponds and koi and gazebos and shaded walkways like the ones we saw last time we were in Beijing at the Summer Palace. Anyway, there was a tea house there so I sat for a black tea “flight,” supervised by a very zen fellow who showed me how to work the funky tools involved in brewing three mini cups of tea without a (western-style) strainer.


The next morning I headed over to Voodoo Doughnut because no self-respecting donut lover can go to Portland without trying their very weird flavors. And to be fair, the donuts themselves are very good too, but it’s the strange flavors that I suspect keep the crowds coming. Suffice to say I couldn’t decide on any one of their options so I asked for the random dozen, pictured above. There were donuts in their coated in orange tang, one in grapeade dust, and a couple sprinkled with colorful cereal pieces. Wow! You really can’t eat more than one of any of those at a time. So I shared with my co-workers that day– hope you all enjoyed them (I know you did especially, J!).

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