Portlandia.

Two of my good friends moved to Portland in the last two years, so I’ve visited about six times. I had never been to Portland before Summer 2015, but I did watch the show on IFC. Things I love about the city include the easy access to the outdoors – beautiful hikes, waterfalls (Multnomah Falls!), and just clean air. I also enjoy the many many mom and pop restaurants, some that are even worth the 1-3 hours waits.  Here are some photos I took during my visit (when it wasn’t pouring rain!)

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From Top to Bottom:

Sauvie Island Bridge

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch

Green Tea Service at Behind The Museum Cafe

Cacio e Pepe at Grassa

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Brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel

I had a lovely brunch at the beautiful Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel for my mother’s birthday.

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous from the striped ceiling to the champagne glasses. The service was top notch as well. While the food didn’t wow me as much as dinner usually does at the Polo Lounge, I still think the tortilla soup and lobster rolls really shined.

They have a jazz band on the patio for brunch, but I think the best room to sit in is the large room with booths.

From top to bottom: tortilla soup, scallops, smoked salmon hash, and summer sorbet dessert.

The Polo Lounge
9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Sandwich of the year

Once upon a time I was really hungover in Vegas and my friends has already left to White Castle. I took matters into my own hands and had brunch by myself at Giada. The Lemon Pesto Grilled Cheese is insane. The side of arugula salad is a nice fresh touch to the heaviness of the sandwich.

Giada is not overrated. Giada is not overrated. Giada is not overrated. You just ordered the wrong thing. 😉
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Clinton Street Baking Company – NYC

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I took a weekend trip to NYC last week to visit family. Our first stop was Clinton Street Bakery on the LES, which I chose because I live on Clinton Street in LA! Love it.

The wait was an hour (!) which I would never ever do in LA but thought what the heck. The restaurant couldn’t seat more than 30 people tops. We went across the street and grabbed coffee then ran a couple errands and finally almost 2 hours later were seated.

I ordered the Farmer’s Plate (soft scrambled eggs, house Rosemary sausage, farmhouse Bobolink cheddar, herb roasted tomatoes, and sourdough toast.) It was exactly what I needed after the initial shock of the freezing cold < 30 degree temperature. Not 100% sure any meal is ever worth a 2 hour wait but this was pretty good.

I also ordered a size of house made pickles – yum! Nothing like fresh pickles on a Saturday morning.

Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
http://www.clintonstreetbaking.com

La Brea Bakery Brunch

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I live right down the street from the new La Brea Bakery (and cafe!) and had a lovely brunch there a few weeks ago. I ordered a vegetable frittata (cremini mushrooms, white cheddar, blue cheese, tomato, spinach, blue potatoes, grilled scallions) which was WAY too much food for my own good. But definitely delicious and flavorful.

The restaurant has a wood fired pizza oven with bar seating a la Pizzeria Mozza. It was almost torture having to watch them being made when I knew I wasn’t about to indulge in one.

My friend had the blueberry ricotta pancakes which were fluffy and light. Especially for pancakes. I’m not much of a pancake eater so I always wish I could just order one (which I probably could)! But I’m usually more of a savory breakfast person. I’ll definitely be back as their bakery selection is extensive/overwhelming/gigantic.

Stir Market

Stir Market is a new little Joan’s on Third-esque eatery. It’s partially a food shop(pe) and also a restaurant/wine bar.

I had the Moroccan Baked Eggs (merguez sausage, organic eggs, tomatoes, chickpeas, peppers, with grilled bread) and a soy latte (Intelligentsia Coffee). The dish was delicious and hearty – perfect for a cold day. As someone who doesn’t eat a ton of meat I could’ve done without the sausage since I only took two bites. Perhaps I’ll request it without next time. The space has high ceilings and is very inviting. It wasn’t too crowded on the Friday morning I stopped by but I imagine it being quite popular on the weekends. An outdoor patio is located out front and they are dog friendly.

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The Patio on Goldfinch – San Diego

I’m realizing I had a lot of brunch this weekend and I’m okay with that. The Patio on Goldfinch  is a cute place with a patio (obviously) and a very dog friendly patio it is. I ordered the crawfish cake benedict and the slightly sexist named beverage “man-mosa” (Rittenhouse Rye, Citrus, Angostura Bitters and Champagne). Both were very freshly made and delicious.

My friend ordered the breakfast pizza which was large enough for two people and extra creamy. I’ll definitely be back to try their Bourbon Dutch Pancakes and/or Grand Marnier French Toast!

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