From the Portland, Ore., airport, a short walk to the Tri-Met MAX rail depot is a great way to see the town. The tickets can be purchased from the vending machine and are only $2 for senior citizens for an all-day pass. No one checks if you purchased a ticket because it’s on an honor system, but most folks are pretty honest and buy tickets.
The most difficult thing about taking the MAX was figuring out which way is mauka and makai and we took the rail in the wrong direction several times before we got it right. Easily marked, the rail goes north, south, east and west!
The Portland Farmers’ Market was a delight with the freshest rainier, black pearl and sour cherries for pies from Kiyakawa Orchards. The summer berries from various farms like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries as well as peaches, nectarines and plums made me want to buy a whole container of them! But alas, I resisted and only bought rainier and black pearl cherries to take along with us on our road trip to Walla Walla, Wash., for some wine tasting.
Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant: Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant was recommended by one of the retail store workers so we took the MAX and with our trusty map, after 45 minutes of going on the wrong rail, finally got to the restaurant. Their special for the day was Copper River Salmon roasted on a cedar plank, with blackberry Beurre Rouge (from raspberries) sauce, which I ordered and thought I was in seafood heaven. The very professional and helpful waiter informed us that other great dishes included Alaskan halibut cheeks, pan seared piccata style with capers; Dungeness crab and shrimp-stuffed salmon with cream cheese and Brie cheese; and the pan seared surf clams breaded with panko, which is what Jim ordered.
Jake’s dessert menu was as great as the other courses as the chef took full advantage of the seasonal summer fruits. The Chocolate Bag was filled with chocolate mousse, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, topped with fresh whipped cream and served with raspberry coulis; and their Oregon three- berry cobbler contained marionberries, raspberries, blueberries and served with ice cream.
Portland City Grill on the 30th Floor: Former Hilo residents and friends, Vivian and Charlie, took us out to Portland City
Grill on the 30th Floor. Even at 6:30p.m. it was still daylight and the views were spectacular!
We ordered from their shared plates menu and had an ample amount to eat: Kung Pao Calamari with bell peppers, onions, peanuts with a spicy hoisin ginger sauce (it was delicious!); Black Tiger Shrimp Tempura with half of the plate with a ginger-plum sauce and the other half smeared with hot soy mustard sauce, each contrasting the other; seared rare yellowfin tuna with kim chee, tropical fruit salsa and hot soy mustard; a Deluxe “rice” roll with no rice, but instead tuna and wild salmon rolled in creamy crabmeat with nori.
As we all enjoyed our dinner, I could not help but watch a constant line of people outside a building a few blocks away. I asked Charlie what that line was for and he informed me that it was VooDoo Doughnuts. I could not believe the popularity of these doughnuts and still have not had any, but at the end of our trip, could not help but notice a few people carrying large bright pink boxes of VooDoo Doughnuts on the airplane ride to Los Angeles.
Jacob “Jake” Lewis Freiman opened Jake’s in 1892, but a flood in 1906 destroyed the original restaurant, he rebuilt and Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant moved to its present location, 401 SW 12th Ave. at Stark Street in Portland.
VooDoo Doughnuts started with two friends, Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tress Shannon, who wanted to start a business together, but had never made a doughnut before. So they went to Pico Rivera, Calif., a suburb in Los Angeles, to learn from some doughnut masters. There are over 50 varieties of doughnuts to choose from. Their signature one, the VooDoo Doll Doughnut, is shaped like a doll, filled with raspberry jelly, topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake in its heart! Their creative names like Tex-Ass Challenge doughnut equals six regular doughnuts, and if you eat it in 80 seconds, you get your money back. It sound like a diabetic attack waiting to happen!
Congratulations Lori Kong of Aloha Lehua Café in Pahoa town who just celebrated her first anniversary at the beginning of the month! Lori opened her doors on July 1 and has participated in many contests and food events throughout the year with her very popular Hawaiian nachos, made with homemade wonton chips, kalua pig, lomi salmon and the chef’s secret sauce. On Aloha Lehua Café’s special one year celebration, the Hawaiian nachos was selling like hot cakes at half price!
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