Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Farmers Market at Portland State University

My morning started at about 9:50am. I meant to leave earlier since the Farmers Market starts at 8:30am but I had to wait for the bank to open since I couldn't make my transaction through the ATM. After I finished my business at the bank, I walked down Lovejoy from 23rd to 12th and down 12th to Everett. I had heard about Caffe Umbria via word of mouth, then had a look at their website and decided I had to try it. It was a good mile and a half to two mile walk from the bank so I built up a good little appetite on the way.

I walked in and had no idea what I wanted. I decided to observe a little first then make my choice. It was nice to see that it was run more like a cafe' in Italy than that of a Starbucks. I chose to have a cappuccino and a biscotti to go. I have to say that it was quite good.

I took my cappuccino and biscotti and headed down Everrett so I could catch the Streetcar to the South Park blocks at PSU. The Streetcar was standing room only. Lots of people heading to the Farmers Market or to the Rose Festival, which started this weekend, but I will save that for another post. Since this was my first time to the Farmers Market, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been to other Farmers Markets before, but I had heard that this one was one of the best.

When the Streetcar dropped me and the crowd off, I couldn't help but stop to look at the beautiful greenery around me. The South Park blocks and the PSU campus are some of the prettiest places in Portland proper. It's so many blocks of tree-lined streets. These streets are also lined with Churches and museums. It's called the Cultural District.

After taking a few pics, off I went to explore the Farmers Market. It was pretty crowded. I guess I wasn't expecting such a big crowd, but it was a beautiful morning and the good weather brings Oregonians out.

One of the first booths I saw was the Pearl Bakery. I love this bakery! Last year I popped into the bakery and had a fig panini and it was absolutely delicious. I've been a fan ever since. I bought a few pieces of bread and decided I'd find something there at the market to spread on my yummy fresh baked breads. I know fresh-baked bread is not such a big deal to some people, but I used to live in North Dakota where fresh-baked bread is nonexistant, so I always consider it a treat.

I was overwhelmed by the wonderful aromas that filled the air. This is defintely a place to bring a healthy appetite. I wasn't planning on buying much since I planned to spend a good part of the day walking around downtown and the Rose Festival. But there was so much temptation! From gourmet popcorn....

to more bread, all kinds of bread!!

Grilled sausages...oh, these smelled so good!

Fresh veggies...

Colorful flowers.....

This one brought a smile to my face. I love Calla Lillies!!

Just look at these beautiful strawberries!! They were delicious!

Yummy pastries. This pic is a little blurry but this was as close as I could get. This pastry booth was jam packed with people.

Fresh herbs....

OK, enough of all that, it was time to find some spread for my bread! I came across some mango pepper jelly and champagne mustard. Both of which were quite tasty, but I decided to keep looking.

Then I stumbled onto this.....Lavender Jam...whah?? It peaked my interest, so I tasted some and it was just perfect! I bought the Lavendar Raspberry Pear jam, and let me tell you, it is as good as it sounds, even better!! It's made by Sundance Lavender Farm in Salem, Oregon. They had so many different flavors, all infused with lavender.

To go with the beautiful fresh-baked bread I bought.

It looked like everyone had a good time. When there's good fresh food involved, who doesn't??!!

After I finished making the rounds at the market, I headed for the Rose Festival, but I'll save that for another post. I got hungry after so much walking around so I figured I'd have lunch at the Pearl Bakery in the Pearl District on the way home. It's a pretty inconspicuous place.

Unfortunately they no longer had the fig panini, so I picked the tuna sandwich. It didn't look like much, but it sure was tasty. It's described as White Spanish tuna, dill aioli, romaine and dijon on pistolet. The bread looked like somebody's backside, but I didn't mind, it was good!

Then I hopped on the Streetcar and my last stop before going home was Alotto Gelato. My favorite gelateria in all of Portland.

I had pistacchio, gianduia, and fresh banana. The perfect way to end my afternoon!

It was a perfect day. The only thing missing was my Ale, but I always carry him with me in my heart :) Next post, Rose Festival.

Caffe Umbria
303 NW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

Pearl Bakery
102 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

Alotto Gelato
931 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking a Stroll in my 'Hood Northwest Portland

We had such nice weather this weekend that I decided to take my camera with me when I walked to church this Sunday. Here are just a few sights of my beautiful neighborhood. This is just outside the church.

This next picture was taking from Couch Park looking down 20th St.

Random shot of some beautiful flowers on 20th St.

I love this condo building on the corner of Irving and 20th. Very Spanish style with lots of character.

So many beautiful flowers are in bloom all over Portland.

Just one of many big beautiful homes that Northwest Portland is famous for. The founding fathers of Portland built their homes in this neighborhood.

Did you know that Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, is from Portland and he named lots of the characters after streets in Northwest Portland. Quimby, Lovejoy, etc. Yep, interesting fact.

Stay tuned for more sights around Portland. I plan on going out (as long as the weather is good!) and taking more pics of the different sights and Portland haunts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pazza Inter

Amala! Pazza Inter! This is for you baby. I love you!

Inter Wins the SCUDETTO!!!!! Forza Inter!

After dominating the Serie A for most of the season and building an 11 point lead by February, Inter stumbled and then almost crashed before pulling out its third straight title Sunday with a 2-0 win over Parma in the last game of the season.

Last year it was Materazzi that made the 2 winning goals, but this year it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic or as the Interisti like to call him "Ibramacadabra". He scored 2 goals in the second half to clinch the Scudetto.

I know my beautiful Italian must be thrilled out of his mind right now. He was so nervous when we spoke on the phone yesterday that when I asked him where he was going to watch the game, his reply was, "I don't want to talk about it. I'm scaramantico!" (scaramantico meaning superstitious) Not wanting to jinx the game, he preferred to stay silent. I'm not so superstitious, so I just had a good laugh about it. Of course, I have to support my Italians team, so I woke up bright and early Sunday morning to watch the match on the Fox Soccer Channel. I think I was more nervous about my Italian being upset than what was actually happening on the pitch. I'm just so glad they won and my baby is happy. A great win on a beautiful Sunday in Portland (it wasn't so beautiful in Parma. It was pooring down rain!)


Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Amore Mio!

Tanti Auguri Chiquito Lindo! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you. I hope you had a wonderful day with your family. Sending you big hugs and lots of kisses from Portland. I miss you!