Photo a Day – JULY


© Stacy Alexander – 2013

I struggled with using this photo today.  Apart from the fact that it is a good food photo and that the food itself was outstanding, the staff at the restaurant where we ate this delightful vegan cuisine was so rude that I really don’t feel like promoting their fare.  I really don’t like to say negative things about restaurants unless they REALLY deserve it.  I was in the restaurant business for many years, however, and know that a rude staff can ruin a dining experience.   Leaving a negative review is an ethical  dilemma,  for sure.  Harlow, located at 3632 SE Hawthorne Boulevard here in Portland, is a lovely venue with old Vs. new decor, comfortable seating….a light, airy space.  Their food is absolutely heavenly…hands down, some of the best food we’ve ever eaten.  However, their staff was so incompetent and downright rude that the 5 of us who ate there yesterday will probably never go back.  Pity, that, because we spend a good deal of money eating out, and once we love a restaurant, we return time and again.  I guess the people who run this place have not yet learned that good manners and good business go hand-in-hand….and that snobbery has NO place in the restaurant business.  C’est la vie….

Hey Diddle Diddle……


I have just consumed fiddlehead ferns for my dinner.  I lightly steamed them for just under 5 minutes, then flashed them in a pan with a wee tiny bit of butter and garlic, gave ’em a squeeze of Meyer lemon and sprinkled them lightly with pink Himalayan sea salt.  They were incredible!

Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fiber.  They are harvested wild by locals here, and in France (probably other countries as well, but these are the only two that I know of…) They are expensive, delicate and don’t last long, so I anticipate them all year long and revel in their delight for about a week….maybe two…every spring.  They are delicious….sort of taste like asparagus, only better.

Simple pleasures are the best.

More Food Cart Goodness in the Neighborhood….

If you recall, yesterday, I wrote about the food carts on Division Street just a half block from where we live.  Today, we went back.  This time, there was a jazzy little honky tonk group playing guitar/bass, banjo and fiddle in the beer garden.  They called themselves, “Closely Watched Trains.  They  were exquisite.  The group consisted of two women and a guy.   They sang really well.


Thoroughly enjoyed them as we had our foreign fare.  I had an East Indian vegetable korma.

My entreé was a delicious selection of garlic, potatoes, carrots, green beans and other veggies floating in a sea of mustard-colored, coconut-creamy curry.  It was served, overflowing, on a bamboo plate with rice and warm naan.  John picked up the “Lotus Plate” from a Venezuelan cart.  They gave him a plain Arepa, which is  the native bread of Venezuela.  It is made from  ground corn, water and salt, formed into a plain fried corn pancake.  It is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and delicious on all sides.  He also had a shredded cabbage slaw-like side and fried plantains.  There was something else on his plate, but what, exactly, it was, escapes me at the moment.  He loved it.  I tasted the Arepa and loved it and the rest of it smelled delicious.  

When we finished, we crossed the street and walked 1 block to the new cart in the hood, “Salt and Straw Ice Cream.”  It was to die for delicious!


We tasted the pear and blue cheese, which was also delicious, and look forward to trying each of the flavors before summer’s end.