There ought to be a word for food tourism (besides "food tourism", or heaven forbid "gastrotourism", which I bet is what the word is. (Well, if I go look it up now I'm just going to have to think of another opening gambit.)
In any case, I want to share some more food discoveries I made while "in the field", if you will. My trip to Oregon! last weekend was not intended to be a gastrotourism (blech!) jaunt at all. The point of going to McMinville was my friend Titania's appropriately fairytale wedding (on the summer solstice under the apple tree in her grandmother's backyard, a harpist, a horse and carriage, a guided meditation, yoga on the lawn before the ceremony, ice cream sandwiches and pink champane after. Uh-mazing). I went there with no preconceived notions, not even knowing I was heading to the heart of Oregon wine country...!! as in, even the hippie grocery store with seven kinds of agave syrup (I do not exaggerate) sported a wine tasting and a a guy playing an acoustic guitar. Oregon, in a nutshell, is wine, coffee, live music, and men determined to abstain from facial hair grooming ('homeless chic'?). Also, as it turns out, some pretty delicious deliciousness.
If you do visit McMinnville OR - stay in the quirky, haunted Hotel Oregon where all the rooms have names like "The UFO Room" and "The Coaches Room" (mine -- inspirational bios of local football coaches handpainted on the walls). Have a drink at the rooftop bar around sunset. Kill an afternoon eating hot gougeres and tasting all the 'Big Fire' wines at R. Stuart & Co. Winery, which I loved not just because they are named after one of my songs. I went home with a bottle of the Big Fire Pinot Noir in my suitcase: Blackberrylicious, easy and dark at once, smooth, I dont know how to describe wines. Bistro Maison (two words: pommes frites) is a great great, light, airy, pleasant place to have lunch and feel like you actually stopped off in France for the afternoon. Oh, and the Red Fox Bakery next to the hotel is where you wanna go in the morning with your paper to eat a just-from-the-oven "cinnamon snail" pastry. I saw one of the cute young women on staff pull an actual red wagon full of baguettes up to the door and I deeply regret not taking a picture.
Wow. Well, that was pretty much all the space I allotted for this post and I haven't even gotten to Portland yet, where the real gastrotour-Oh, I can't do it - adventure took place. Basically I found myself with several hours to kill in Portland before my flight home, and two die-hard 'foodie' companions, who had already mapped out that afternoon's itinerary: Bunk Sandwiches for lunch, and Voodoo Donuts for dessert. I went along for the ride.
One rail journey, one bridge, one park, and then through these winding empty streets and abandoned buildings we bravely marched in search of sandwiches.
We joined the other hopefuls lining up for lunch.
Then we had lunch. Pulled pork sandwich on toasty buttered bun with pickles and chips. Tasty, tangy, satisfying. A little dare I say it too greasy. I didn't need the mayo, but then I rarely do.
Voodoo Donuts is most famous for its 'Maple Bacon Bar' (rectangular donut iced with deeply maple frosting and crowned with a strip of bacon) but I couldn't do it. This is the 'Marshall Mathers' Donut: a modest offering from the 'cake donut' menu (they also have a 'raised donuts' for the Krispy Kreme types) with vanilla frosting and yes, tiny eminems. Voodoo is a hole in the wall with no seats, but the magnificent Stumptown Coffee two doors down makes a perfect eating location. (Warning: not even this delicious, fully charged cup could lift my food coma.)
So, there you have it, Mouse. Another beautiful destination wedding with pleasant unexpected fringe benefits. Traveling is great. But, as they say, home is where the Hart is:
This pressed sandwich (the famous pernil (pork shoulder), sliced pickles, home-pickled onions, provolone, chipotle mayo ), made by you and the Boyfriend and served toasty warm to me at the Mouse House with black beans and rice, trumps it all. Next to it, 'Bunk' is, well, just that.