Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dude, Where's My Pond?

One of the few good things about our dinky apartment is the view. We easily have the best view in the entire complex, or out of any apartment we've ever been in before.

The above shot was taken from our balcony, May 19, 2010. TLC (The Lovely Cynthia) remembers taking it because of the rainbow that day. Our pond is beautiful. Frogs, ducks, geese, a beaver dam, and NO mosquitoes.

Just a few weeks before this picture was taken, there was a large rainstorm. Now I'm not talkin' about a typical Portland rain here...more like the flooding rainstorms I experienced in Brazil that wiped out their dirt roads. A very curious thing happened during that storm; the flow of our pond changed directions. Instead of westbound, the water started flowing east. Maybe there was another event that triggered the change in flow (maybe the beaver dam broke?), but that was definitely the day things changed.

It STILL moves east. And as a result, our pond has changed slowly over time. Almost a full year later (taken May 15th, 2011), here's a picture of our pond. Same balcony, same rainbow in the picture.

Tragic. I'm almost on the verge of  getting out there and starting my own dam. Maybe I can get the apartment complex management to lower the rent due to the eyesore out the back window? Heh, prob'ly not.


Apparently there are fifty licks in the average ice cream cone. Now to solve that mystery for Tootsie Pops...

I've mentioned the flavor-intensive ice creams from Fifty Licks twice on this blog, each time we went to the Food Cart Festival. Recently, we discovered our favorite ice cream from a food cart is now available at the grocery store! Yipee! Now we're absolutely hooked. If you're at a Whole Foods or New Seasons in Portland, pick some me, it's worth the 6 bucks.

The three oh-so-cute boxes above come from our three favorite flavors:

Coconut Lemon Saffron Sorbet: it's the vegan offering from Fifty Licks. Not only is the coconut milk flavor extremely decadent, it also somehow adds the rare spices cardamom and saffron in a perfect blend. It's quite the experience.

Tahitian Vanilla: vanilla ice cream the way it was meant to be enjoyed. If you've ever said the phrase "plain vanilla" you must repent and experience the complexity of taste that vanilla can offer, courtesy of this box of happiness.

Caramelized Apple: This may be the family favorite. Fifty Licks takes apple cider and reduces (via boiling) down to a sticky caramel syrup. Add in cream, sugar, and eggs, and that's all this ice cream needs. It's caramely, it's sweet, it's tart from the apples. Fifty licks isn't enough...get two scoops.

FYI, The other flavors Fifty Licks makes are Maple Bacon, Passion fruit Szechuan Sherbet, Stumptown Coffee, and Slabtown Whisky (though you won't catch me trying the last two).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eat Mobile 2011

Eat Mobile 2011! After last year's successful outing to the food cart festival, going this year was a no-brainer. How was it?...let's say that choosing to go next year will be a tougher decision. The ticket price doubled this year and yet it still sold out which means next year, it'll cost even more. Plus, the lines. Oh heavens, the lines.

If you expand this pic, use a magnifying glass, put your nose against your monitor, and squint really hard, you might be able to see where the entrance to the venue was. The line looped around for 4.5 city blocks. Last year we walked right in, but this year it was a 45 minute wait just to get in.

Still, there were some great changes this year. There were 40 carts instead of 30, plenty of free Vitamin Water for everyone, and more variety. Here are some of the better carts:

Slice Brick Oven Pizza - Arugula on a pizza? Only in Portland. Tasty stuff.

Wet Hot Beef - These guys don't excel in naming food carts, but they made a great roast beef sandwich. I'll have to pass by their place one of these days.

Garden State - The reigning two-time winner of the Judge's Choice award fell this year. The sample above (I'm at a loss of what to call it) was a culinary victory...but it was a very subtle combination. Subtlety doesn't win awards.

Eat This! - yeah, that's what the cart is called. I was SO excited they were at the festival because I've been talking them up to TLC for ages. They make flatbread sandwiches in amazing combinations...I tried one a year ago that had chicken, peaches, and caramelized onions. Not only that, but the flatbread is made AFTER you order. Incredible showing from Eat This!

Brown Chicken Brown Cow - This place specializes in steamed burgers. I've wanted to try this for quite a while now and it was worth the wait. Regrettably, Eat Mobile 2011 was the cart's last day of business.

Lardo - Geez, I wish I had a better picture than this. This was the unanimous favorite of our group. A wonderful pork slider on ciabatta. I may have to go here on my birthday for a follow-up.

Not pictured but definitely enjoyed: Whiffies Fried Pies (brisket, apple, and berry), Flavourspot S'mores Waffles, Fifty Licks Ice Cream, and a cornucopia of free Soy Joy bars! Woo-hoo! Viva la Food Carts!