Tummies were grumbling as we cruised into Portland yesterday afternoon. We knew we had to finally try the Butcher Shop at Laurelhurst Market. This restaurant came highly recommended for providing the highest quality ingredients in town. During the day the butcher shop offers sandwiches and soup to patrons and at night opens the restaurant up for dining.
Lucky for use, our timing was perfect to snag one of their mouth-watering concoctions before dinner service started and we showed up on right day for their famous Tuesday Special. Tuesday offers a fabulous fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, Frank’s Hot Sauce, all on an amazing roll, which I obviously devoured. We also ordered their #6, a delicious hot steak sandwich complete with provolone and peppers and onions that was equally as delicious. Laurelhurst Market responsibly features all natural, hormone free, antibiotic free meats from local farmers. Our amazing lunch with drinks and a bag of chips was an affordable $20 even.
The menu for the restaurant looks splendid as well and is on our immediate list to try.
I am so exciting to be driving down to Portland for another important conference on sustainability. Not only is this sold-out event dedicated to, Women Reshaping the World, but it is being held in such a vibrant city that embraces a green lifestyle. The conference is being hosted by the International Living Future Institute allowing for brilliant minds in the green building movement that are creating and seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues to come together. This incredible forum for learning and networking formats will provide visionary design methods, innovative technical information, and the motivation needed to achieve meaningful progress toward living aware.
Many of you may remember that we went down last autumn for the amazing EcoDistrict Summit which is one of the world’s premier annual conference dedicated to urban sustainability. During that awesome event we were not only able to listen to inspiring speakers like Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, but we were also able to network with city officials, designers, innovators and an array of other like-minded people who are pushing boundaries for greener cities. In turn all of those amazing individuals and no doubt, the attendees of the Living Future Conference, are creating a greener way of life for communities spread around the world and link us together.
During our last visit we stayed at The Nines Hotel, a lovely and luxurious LEED Silver Certified property in the heart of Portland. We dined at their amazing organic/local/sustainable restaurants Departure and Urban Farmer, as well some others around town like Pok Pok and Bamboo Sushi which are some of my favorite restaurants to-date. On this trip we are resting at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a block or so from, The Nines. While the property is not LEED Certified, its service is spectacular and it offers a plethora of luxurious green amenities. For shopping, the Pearl district was full of amazing boutiques like Woonwinkel that we will be sure to stop in on during this trip, as well as search out new shops on the scene.
Stay tuned, we will have a lot more coming on the Living Future Conference and being green throughout Portland.
Ba Bar, is a fabulous restaurant serving up flavors of southeast Asia’s street food. Ba Bar believes, and we have to agree, the best food is simple and made fresh daily. Chefs Eric Banh and Dung Doan bring big flavors from the sidewalks of Siagon to Seattle with fresh, local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.
We arrived at the restaurant around 8 PM on a Saturday night and had a short wait for a party of six. We hung out in their bar area that overlooks the restaurant and sipped on a pleasant, dry, and reasonably priced white wine from the local O’Shea Scarbourgh winery called, Rebel. It wasn’t long before we were kindly escorted to our table by the window and our meal was underway.
Our large party dined on two of the specials they had that evening, the Banh Cuon and the Halibut Collar and both exceptional. The unbelievably delicate and delicious paper-thin noodles of the Banh Cohn filled with ground Carlton Farms pork, wood ear mushrooms, minced shallots and fresh herbs with a side of a fresh noodle and bean sprout salad. The Halibut Collar was perfectly light, flaky and flavorful. Also on our table were their crispy frog legs that were delicious and didn’t taste like chicken, they tasted better than chicken. The Combo Vermicelli is overflowing with local, sustainable ingredients like grilled Draper Valley chicken, white prawn, grass-fed beef, crispy imperial roll, cucumber, rau thom (Vietnamese herbs). The food and every encounter with the knowledgable and attentive staff was exceptional.
The restaurant itself is on the south end of 12th Ave in Seattle. The building is well done with big windows letting in great natural light to highlight the industrial, but cozy interior. No one can figure out when these guys sleep either, the restaurant is open from 7 AM to 2 AM Sunday-Thursday and then 7 AM to 4 AM on Friday and Saturday nights. We have yet to try their morning coffee and pastry bar, but it is on our immediate list of things to do as well as their Kung Fu Karaoke nights and Friday night movies. Go, support this fabulous restaurant, their friendly staff and the purveyors of Ba Bar’s local ingredients.
I relish getting out of the office and dropping in at one the many sustainable, organic lunch spots in the City, but even more so I savor a healthy lunch from home, put together just the way I like it. Because of the frightening news and links on the danger of BPA in plastics and in the lining food cans, the sole way I am going to store my delicious meals is in glass. After searching and deliberating on different products in the marketplace, cost, and quality we purchased Pyrex® glass storage containers for the home and the office kitchen.
The 10 piece Pyrex® set we have has an array of functional shapes and sizes, each individual piece can be used for baking, cooking, microwaving, serving, and storage. You can heat, cool, or freeze the containers as well as clean them in the dishwasher. The plastic lids are BPA free and the nonporous glass won’t absorb any funky smells. Another reason we chose this product is that it is made in the USA and comes with a 2 year limited warranty. The website lists the price at $35, but we picked our’s up at a Macy’s One Day sale for $17 + tax.
Pear At Pike Place Market is an adorable market and deli on the north end of the famous Pike Place Market. It is perfect for a quick and fresh salad or sandwich from the deli. The sandwiches are made to order with bread from Grand Central, Essential and Macrina Bakeries and all of the meats are roasted in-house and are hormone and antibiotic free.
The selections of sandwiches they offer range from classic to inspired. Because of its decadence, I usually will feast on the Salumi Palermo if I am able to split it with my lunch partner. It is constructed with a selection of the famous Salumi salamis, roasted tomato oregano spread, mozzarella, Mama Lil’s peppers grilled on olive bread and it is amazing.
More regularly I opt for their Market Salad with mixed greens, tomato, blue cheese, spiced pecans and balsamic dressing with a cup of their hot homemade soup. The house soup selection is rotated daily, some of my favorites are the Italian Sausage Minestrone, Tomato Bacon Basil Bisque, Potato Arugula, Cream of Mushroom, Butternut Squash with Sage, and Vegan Vegetable to name a few. We love this spot for a quick, quality lunch on-the-go.
I picked up these amazing locally made donuts from Mighty-O for a morning meeting at our office. I tend to avoid donuts for the often negative stereotype, the lbs. it can add to my body, and just because I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Oh my, how I have been wrong. Might-O’s, delicious “O”s are not only made with organic ingredients, but they contain no chemical preservatives, no hydrogenated oils ( trans fat), no coloring or artificial flavors, and no animal derived ingredients, which make them cholesterol free. Their donuts are not greasy or too overly sweet and go perfect with a hot cup of organic coffee. I am not saying these are “healthy,” but if you are craving a donut you must have a Mighty-O. Make it easy on yourself and order ahead of time for your next breakfast meeting.
Price is $16 for a dozen.
Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe is a fabulous spot with a big commitment to the environment, community, and the food they serve. The bakery uses free range eggs, locally sourced ingredients, RBST free dairy for their scrumptious pies, muffins, scones, and cookies. I always choose Irwin’s for preservative free baked goods for my morning business meetings or a lazy weekend morning. They partner with local vendors in the City that share their same ideals for the goods they don’t make themselves. One of them, that happens to be my favorite coffee roaster, Stumptown Coffee, is served in a mug if we want to hang out by the fire or compostable container if I am on-the-go.
All 3 locations collect donations for local food banks, as well as supporting local charities and auctions. If that isn’t enough, each cozy Irwin’s is decorated in art from local artists that need a home to display their pieces.
One of my favorite lunches to grab on the run is the salad sushi roll at Whole Foods. Their on site staff rolls these veggie packed delicious rolls fresh daily.Whole Foods is consistent, has high standards on the seafood they use, and sells the rolls pretty reasonably at $8.
Frida Tacos is a quick, simple, delicious restaurant that takes pride in making their Mexican food from scratch with fresh ingredients. We just happened to stumble in there at the start of their 2PM Taco Happy Hour after touring Griffith Observatory. We were starved and over ordered an array of tacos and a burrito. The plates of food were served quickly by a friendly staff and were full of flavorful tender meat that melted in your mouth. Their impressive selection of salsas ranging in heat from their salsa bar was the perfect topping to every dish. While their ingredients are not organic or at least they don’t advertise that they are you can taste the freshness and they do use biodegradable servingware. All around great lunch and we will definitely be back next time we are in town.