Seriously, when did we get 11 months into the year? How are we so far into fall and I’ve barely even noticed? I suppose the usual work, friends and life have been keeping me busy, but so busy that I haven’t had time to sit down and recollect anything since the Labor Day weekend trip to Allium? That seems absurd.
I guess it could have been the tail end of wedding season. I spent a chunk of September and October celebrating and shedding oh-so-happy tears (huge wedding crier here) as dear friends walked down the aisle, pledged their love and commitment to perfect companions and turned the page to new chapters of their lives. There were wedding showers, epic Vegas experiences, adorable grooms and breathtaking brides. Time spent catching up with people who feel like family, trips home (or as close to it as I get these days) and attempts to make up for lost sleep with early bedtimes and later weekend wake-ups.
Somewhere amidst all of the fun and chaos I managed to make my way to a pretty great place in Portland. The day after the fourth and final wedding of the year, my boyfriend and I decided to head into downtown Portland to have lunch and rehash our favorite parts of the weekend. My friend Tes recommended a place in the Pearl—Irving Street Kitchen. She’s the kind of gal that’s sort of effortlessly cool, in the know and has pointed me in the direction of a ton of other legit Portland spots (Nostrana, Park Kitchen, Higgins, etc.), so we were of course going with her suggestion before we left town.
Brilliant call. We were dragging after a long, eventful night that wrapped up a couple of jam-packed months. But the place’s warm, welcoming, wooden booths managed to perk us up, wrap us in their arms and make us momentarily forget that we had a three hour drive home ahead of us.
We had what I’m calling the brunch of all brunches. A breakfast of champions—if people were to call tired, dehydrated, sleep deprived couples who spend a near awkward amount of time considering the menu champions, that is. A mimosa with some sort of berry (huckleberry?) puree got me started, and a spicy, incredible looking Bloody Mary raised the boy’s brows before the shared plates we finally decided on followed. The Bibb Lettuce salad with Rogue Blue Cheese, Braeburn Apple and Radishes came first, followed by Draper Valley Fried Chicken served with Smoked Tasso Jambalaya and Sunnyside Eggs. Oh and then there was that order of Onion Rings with Truffle Aioli dipping sauce. Yes, I said fried chicken and I also said onion rings. (I did mention it was a late night, right?) Was it indulgent? Yes. Was it an over-ambitious order? Maybe. Was every bite of it amazing? Hell yes.
We left maybe a tad sluggish but psyched to have gotten a taste of Portland before heading home, where funnily enough, our first save the date for next year’s wedding season was waiting in our mailbox.
P.S. I'm playing with Picasa, hence the collage above, and it seems to have eaten my old, basic photo editing program. I'm experimenting with how to make the photos sharper once they're uploaded. In the meantime, this group of shots at least gives an idea of what the brunch of all brunches entailed, albeit a blurry one.