Sunday, February 19, 2012

Donut Destination: Sandy OR

Silly me. When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I used to blow right through Sandy on my way up to Mt. Hood. That is until one trip my ski buddy asked, “Do you mind if we stop at Joe’s Donuts?” I could tell by her polite-yet-firm tone that this was a rhetorical question, and that stopping at Joe’s was definitely on the agenda.

Since that day, it’s rare that I drive through Sandy without hitting this scruffy red-and-white checkerboard shop. On winter weekend mornings, there’s often a line of skiers and snowboarders out the door. However, the line moves quickly, and you can be back on your way in about 15 minutes.

Ok, so what is it about these goodies that make people hell-bent on hitting the slopes actually pull over? I’m not quite sure, but I’ll offer this: Joe’s Donuts has taken straightforward favorites like maple bars, old-fashioneds, and apple fritters to the next level. Their versions of these classics do seem lighter and more flavorful. Even the icing is tastier. All this adds up to a superior donut-eating experience. The folks at Joe's sum it up best on their website, where they refer to themselves as a “nationally acclaimed donut paradise.”

Funny, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to put the word “donut” and “paradise” in the same sentence. But in this case, it seems to work.

Joe's Donuts
39230 Pioneer Blvd
Sandy, OR 97055
(503) 668-7215

Monday, February 6, 2012

For the People - City State Diner: Portland OR

During the winter, venturing out often means venturing in warm, inviting places that serve food. Don’t get me wrong — I like a good snow cave as much as the next person. But when the chill is on, it’s tough to beat a cozy local place with character where you can get a bite to eat.

So last Saturday morning, after dropping the car off at Les Schwab on Sandy Boulevard for some tire maintenance, I went in search of food. Lucky for me, I came upon City State Diner on NE 28th and was immediately taken by its clever indie name, it’s cool retro vibe and its no-nonsense breakfast menu. The staff was a collection of Portland hipsters — but friendly, service-oriented hipsters that actually acted like they cared.

In true diner fashion, I stuck to the basics and ordered a scrambled egg, a pancake and a cup of decaf. Besides being tasty, it was a pretty good deal — the bill came to a whopping $5.25.

And yet another reason to visit ...

City State Diner
126 NE 28th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232