|* People of Portland: You realize this looks|
like a big wang, right? Yeah? Just checking ... *
I started typing up my full five days in Portland, and realized that it would basically be a novel. So here's part one, and part two will come up tomorrow. I know, I know, you can hardly stand the anticipation. But try.
One of my big problems with travel is eating in airports. The food is usually not that great, it's insanely overpriced, and vegan options tend to be sparse. I usually try to pack a snack or even a meal (like a sandwich and fruit and such). But sometimes I just forget. And then I'm stuck trying to find decently priced, decently tasty vegan food in an airport, which is no small feat. Our layover to Portland was in the Denver airport, which has a few acceptable options. This time I went for Itza Wrap Itza Bowl. It's got mixed reviews, but I didn't mind it. Sure, it's not the best thing I've ever had, but it's right up there for airport food. I got some kind of asian-ish bowl with tofu and peanut sauce. Then I doused it in sriracha for good measure, because everything is better doused in sriracha.
Regardless of food issues, we made it to Portland with most of the day ahead of us before any conferring began. My colleague (read: a grad student in my research group), Michael, and I decided to wander the rough streets of downtown Portland, just to get acquainted with the area. Here are some things we saw along the way:
|* Michael was convinced this was a man. That might|
be why he has trouble with the ladies ... *
|* These utility things were all over the place. They all look like|
giant red hands. You know you want to high-five one. *
|* Kittens playing with lasers? AND wonder woman? Too cute! *|
|* Why must you be so popular, Voodoo Doughnuts??? Curses. *|
I didn't read the plaque, so I'm not really sure what this about. But it's a tiny elephant standing on a big elephant. What could be cuter?
We also got to make a few trips to the famous Portland foodcarts. My first trip down there landed me at Ziba's Pitas, at the suggestion of a friend from the conference. I've never had Bosnian food, and I figure there's a pretty good chance that I never will again, so I had to jump at this. I tried to get a photo of the lady in the cart, but she was so busy making all of our food, that I didn't want to distract her. I got the tikvenica plate, which is a delicious little bread thing filled with zucchini along with cucumber salad and ajvar (grilled vegetable sauce). The lady was very helpful in describing all the vegan options, and she even made me a pile of cucumbers without the sour cream sauce.
The whole meal was delicious, but the star was definitely the ajvar. It was so delicious that I wanted to get a gallon of it to bathe in. I am preparing to embark on a quest to make this dish at home, and when I do it will be along side every meal I eat for months, I'm sure. I cannot describe how good this stuff was; English simply does not have adjectives appropriate for it. Just trust me. And if you're ever at SW 9th and Adler around lunch time, get some. You won't be sorry.
|* Ajvar, I still dream about you. *|
Has anyone else ever had this Bosnian dip? Does anyone know how to make it? If you tell me, I'll be your best friend. I promise.