Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Last (2) Supper(s)

Here I sit, coffee in hand on a Sunday morning, reminiscing about my last 2 meals at Pok Pok before their one month closure...

The lovely M and I went over to Pok Pok on Thursday. She had never been, and was leaving town Friday afternoon for California. It was our last chance to enjoy the pleasures of Pok Pok Version 1 (at least her last chance, read on, faithful reader, for more). We ordered nearly everything on the menu (save of the roasted bird). We had:
  1. Khao Soi Kai (Chiang Mai-style chicken noodles in a milk coconut soup topped with crispy yellow noodles, shallots, pickled mustard greens and served with a hot chili paste)
  2. Khao Man Som Tam (Papaya Pok Pok served with steamed coconut rice, sweet shredded pork and fried shallots)
  3. Muu Sateh (pork loin skewers marinated in coconut milk and turmeric, grilled over charcoal and served with cucumber relish, peanut sauce and grilled bread)
  4. the special, who's name I didn't get down (it consisted of pork ribs and a couple of dipping sauces)
  5. another special, a grilled ear of corn on the cob with white soy sauce (whose name I also didn't get)
  6. We each had a Cha Manao (Thai iced tea with fresh lime juice)
M and I both really enjoyed our meals, but agreed that the ribs were the weakest in the group. Not bad, just not as strong as the others (there is a bit of a discussion right now on about these ribs, btw). I really wanted to get the khao niaw mamuang (the mango, coconut milk, and sticky rice dessert), too, but it wasn't on the menu. Was that ExtraMSG I saw chowing at the next table?

I am really going to miss Pok Pok in August. Where will I have my birthday meal now?!?

So, it's Saturday, M is in Cali, and I'm doing chores around the house, laundry, sweeping, and the like. Then, the most lovely idea occurs to me, hit Pok Pok one last time before they close...

I call Miss Tasty, Smooth Melon, Scoop, and Cheesy T, and get only voicemails, so I head down alone. I can only imagine that they are kicking themselves right now. Since it is only me, I limit my order to one item, my fave, Khao Man Som Tam. I must say, this is the best order I have ever gotten. The meat was incredibly moist and flavorful, and the fried shallots on top were quite crisp, creating a lovely juxtaposition of textures in my mouth. That, and a Cha Manao, and I couldn't have been happier.

Now for the painful, painful Pok Pok-free month of August.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Music

A lot of you have been writing in and asking "Hey T, you have impeccable taste in music (and are attractive and modest, too). What are you listening to these days?"

Well, friends, here is a list of things I've put on my iPod in in the last month. I'll also put a little score (from 1 to 5) and maybe a brief comment so you know what I like.
  • Ms. John Soda - "Notes and the Like" - 3/5
    Good but not great. If you wanna hear a great Ms. John Soda album, but up "No P. or D." German Electro-pop.
  • The Raconteurs - "Broken Boy Soldiers" - 2/5
    Not getting much play. I much prefer the older Stripes material.
  • The Angels of Light - "The Angels of Light Sing 'Other People'" - ?/5
    I haven't given this enough of a chance. Great cover, and from Young God Records, so it has some potential.
  • The Unicorns - "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?" - ?/5
    Again, needs a few more listens. I've been meaning to check out this lengendary band for a while. It's on my list of things to do today.
  • Low - "The Great Destroyer" - 3/5
    I really wanted to like this a lot, but find it only allright. Lots of great press, and I like it, I just don't love it.
  • CocoRosie - "La Maison de Mon Reve" - 3/5
    More of an interesting listen than something you go back to again and again. Interesting songs and found sounds, and some truly haunting vocals.
  • Thom Yorke - "The Eraser" - 4/5
    This one is growing on me. I really enjoy 7 or the 9 songs. The other 2 still haven't found their way into my heart. Imagine the most electronic of songs from Kid A, and then imagine an entire album of those songs, and you've got "The Eraser"
  • Couch - "Figur 5" - 4/5
    Instrumental German rock, with a touch of electronic tossed in. Great tunes and melodies. Somewhat repetitive in a very good way.
  • Beirut - "Gulag Orchestar" - 4/5
    interesting CD, lots of eastern European sounds, but coming from Zach Condon, a 19 year old kid from Albuquerque.
  • Destroyer - "Notorious Lightening and Other Works" - (3?)/5
    I really wanted to love this. I've been digging "This Night" and "Streethawk" a lot recently. This EP is a full band reworking of 6 songs from the keyboard heavy "Your Blues." It deserves a few more listens, but the older (and newer) stuff is treating me better.
  • Three Mile Pilot - "Three Mile Pilot" - (2?)/5
    I picked this up on the strength of and MP3 I'd dowloaded last year, 'On A Ship to Bangladesh.' That song is the true highlight of this 5 song EP. Not the the other tracks are terrible, they just pale in comparison to 'Bangladesh' (which you can download free from Epitonic, BTW).
  • Oval - "94 Diskont" - 3/5
    Very early example of glitchy IDM. These guys manually scratch and draw on CDs (most notable some Aphex Twin), recorded the skipping playback, and the work them into ambient beauty. Not the most exciting listen, but fascinating and enjoyable nonetheless.
  • Tapes 'n Tapes - "The Loon" - 3/5
    Good, straightforward indie rock. A little cliched, a little predictable, but a totally enjoyable listen.
And that's it. Any questions of comments, let me know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Best Food Yet

One of the best things I saw on my trip to Atlanta...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Simpatica Sandwich Sunday

My oh my, what a lovely Sunday... I'll skip the World Cup wrap up, as I'm sure you've seen the results elsewhere, and focus on eating...

CC and MA head over to watch the game, and bring ingredients for breakfast sandwiches... English muffins, eggs, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and butter. And, a big container of great orange juice... Mmm lovely.

After the game, my house is heating up, so we head to Sagittarius for a few beers. We also have chips, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and cheese fries. So satisfying.

Then, I meet up with M for a glass of wine at Basta's. She has Soave, I have Lugana. The Soave is much better.

M and I then meet up with CC, MA, Smooth Melon, Miss Tasty, and "The Belly" at Simpatica for their Sunday sandwich night. So good! We drag along some wine, a 2003 Puligny Montrachet (the producer escapes me at the moment) and a bottle of 1997 Thomas Pinot Noir. We also order a 2004 Thomas Leithner Gruner Veltliner "Loess" from Austria. I like this quite a bit, although the rest of the table isn't convinced.

Here are the sandwiches we had. Many were shared...
  • Pulled Pork
  • Pork Chop on a Waffle
  • Chicken Salad
  • Ham and Brie
  • Salmon Cakes
  • BLT
  • something else
I thought everything was very good. Choice of fried gnocci or cole slaw on the side.

If anyone can fill in that last blank, please do (I think that it was Smooth Melon's sandwich)...

Allright, that's all for now. More later.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dog Day Afternoon

When I saw "World's Largest Hot Dog and Bun" on the web site for Pioneer Courthouse Square's web site a few months ago, I was interested. It'd be overstating the truth to say that I was excited. But mildly interested, certainly so. If nothing else, it afforded me the opportunity to get out of the office for part of the afternoon...

I roped MA from the office into attending, and M agreed to meet me there as well. 11:30 in front of the Starbucks. Scoop from EP was there, too, but somehow, I missed him (sorry buddy!).

I bike over from the office, roll up to the square, and lock up my bike. Up the stairs to meet M. We head down the steps again to take in the wonder that is the World's Longest Hot Dog (WLHD from this point on)... I've substituted 'longest' for 'largest' because it is more accurate. Largest implies a proportionally correct 100 ft long dog, which this was not. Longest implies a regular girth dog, just stretched to 100 ft in length. At any rate, we get down to the WLHD, just to find out that my camera is out of batteries. We head to Rite Aid to remedy this problem. Back for a few photos, and then on to eating. Only problem is that the line is stupidly long. We agree not to wait.

In summation, yeah, it was a long hot dog. And, as the first paragraph says, interesting but not exciting. Now on to eating...

Seems like we should stick to the dog theme today. M argues for Hot Dog on a Stick in the mall. I've never been, there are apparently some special hats? As we make our way down to the mall, we run into MA from the office, who wisely councils us to go to Good Dog Bad Dog instead. I have a hard time choosing, and eventually make the wrong choice of the Oregon Smoky with grilled onions and garlic. A little bland, I should have gotten the hot Italian. M gets the mild Italian, and MA, um, I forget... I know it had grilled onions and some cheese on it. I think. We all get beers and sit outside on a lovely Friday afternoon...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Kelly Point Park

Yesterday afternoon, I biked out to Kelly Point Park. It didn't look like it was so far away on the map I had. It took me about 90 minutes to get out there. I did have to stop once and pump up one of my tires, but beyond that, it was all riding. Columbia Slough Trail, Peninsula Crossing Trail along Portland, then on a trail along Marine Drive, up to Kelley Point. Along the way, I had the lovely opportunity to see where our Spanish containers arrive (Terminal 6).

On the way home, I felt like I deserved a beer. I mean, it had ended up being a longer ride that I expected. A little back story is in order here... M's mom is in town. It appears likely they will, at some point, hit the Kennedy School. I know I am pretty close to the St. John's Pub, so I bike over there. Kind of an intentional Couvade Syndrome of bad dining. I get the Hammerhead Ale and a burger. I am also able to fill up my water bottle there, which is nice, since I am more or less out.

Which reminds me of another story... If the city is going to spend the money to put up a park, and the money to plumb and build water a fountain at the Smith Bybee Lakes Trailhead, it would be nice if it worked...

Overall, great ride. I was out for close to 3 and a half hours. I'm sure I'll do it again soon (but I'll bring more water next time around).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pretty in Pink

I met up with M last night for dinner and drinks. I wore my new pink shirt with jeans. When I show up at her apt. at 6:30, she is also wearing a pink shirt and jeans. Weird...

We go to Wilf's. I get the burger. The menu claims "It's Great!" It is, in actuality, merely OK. M gets the chicken Caesar. Lettuce looks a little wilty. She makes me try one of the croutons. There are made from old cinnamon toast. What is that about!?! Also, super bad jazz band, who we talked about mercilessly before realizing the lady at the table next to us (clearly in earshot) was the drummer's girlfriend. Ouch!

We hit Saucebox afterward for a few more drinks, and a little more food for M, who couldn't stand to eat much of the salad.

Then to Voodoo for dessert. Spinning the proverbial roulette wheel, M asks for whichever doughnut is the freshest and newest out of the kettle. It ends up being a gigantic apple fritter. I get the blood filled. Neither of us are able to finish.