I'm just going to venture a guess and say that after having been exposed to all of that Vegas crap you feel slightly hungover, no? That's how I feel just recapping it all.
It was a lot to digest, and I should know. We lived through it. That's just one reason why we came home feeling in need of an excessive palate cleanser.
Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful time but I don't think anyone can spend four days in Vegas and not return home feeling like they need a an extra hot, and extra long shower.
Us? We came home wanting to cook. We were inspired in the desert for all sorts of reasons; for the colors we saw, the food we ate, and the sounds we heard. We came home willing and ready to roll up our sleeves, slip on the Dansko clogs, and make our triumphant return to the kitchen.
We ate a tremendous amount of food on our trip with many highlights. However, we left Las Vegas feeling like none of our meals were complete or solid the entire way through. Something always felt missing either here or there, and it should be mentioned that we're not entirely picky, but rather forgiving people in most circumstances. In our ideal world, a complete experience in Vegas would have required:
Our server from Daniel Boulud Brasserie
The notoriety of Lotus of Siam
Food and presentation from B&B Ristorante
And the plush, romantic, cozy feeling of Bouchon
Funny thing is, we've had plenty of seamless meals in Portland; no need to mix and match a perfect dining experience like a discombobulated Mr. Potato Head. It just seems to happen here, and very naturally too, might I add. Not just at fancy places either, but at our pizza joints and bakeries, our coffee shops and supper clubs. This city just has so many gems, so many places where people take the best of what's around them and pour their hearts and souls into their food, and you can see it and taste it in everything from the moment you open their door, to the moment you shut it behind you. I think our problem with Vegas was that we were drawn in by the bright lights and big names of the big city and carried too high of expectations, only to return home re-embracing the reality that we live in a culinary paradise right here in our backyard, down the street, across the bridge.
Oh, Portland. Ah, Home. It's good to be back in your arms, beneath your skies, tucked and spooned within your crooks and crevices. We missed you. We missed so many things about you. Things we find familiar; things we love; things we can't live with out:
So yes, we came back home hungry. Hungry to create new signature dishes; hungry to up the ante at the cafe; and hungry to partake in both the eating and serving of the best food Portland has to offer.
I'd like to end this post with a closing recognition that we (those of us that do have the great fortune of living here in P-Town) are so freakin' lucky, as well as with that palate cleanser I promised you. Here's two Saturday specials that were inspired directly from our trip to that notorious Nevada Desert.
Green Noodle Peanut Salad
chilled soba noodles with edamame, haricot verts, sugar snap peas, matchstick peppers, and scallions, served with a lemongrass peanut dressing
I suppose the Resurrection of the Fiume means more exciting, new flavors to come, as well as the reopening of the Bike Thru Window. More details to follow soon when we've gotten all [most] of our sh*t together.
Thanks for bearing through the Vegas recap. Now on to Spring and all things clean, green, and renewing.*
*And if renewal to you means a bottomless cup of French Press and a double fried egg sandwich with caramelized onions then you've come to the right place!