Monday, April 28, 2014

Triple Header: Burrasca, Vino & Crema Coffee
Portland OR

I love when I can get my all my culinary cravings met on one city block.

That’s what happened the other day when I had a hankering for good Italian food, but wasn’t up for the whole sit-down restaurant experience. So I Googled PDX food carts and up popped Burrasca, whose specialty is Florentine fare. It had several rave reviews online, so off I went.

Special of the Day

Located at SE 28th and Ankeny, Burrasca is nestled in a little corner of the world that I know well. Vino, one of my favorite wine haunts is right next door, and Crema Coffee and Bakery café is just up the street – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back to Burrasca…

When I arrived, several self-declared Burrasca fans were already hovering around the food cart, eagerly awaiting their dishes. The group insisted I get the tagliatelle with beef ragu, so I heeded their advice. While placing my order, I slightly mispronounced the pasta, and chef/owner Paolo Calamai cheerfully corrected me: “Italians pronounce every syllable: “ta-GLI-a-TEL-lee”. So, I got a mini Italian lesson, too.

Tagliatelle with Beef Ragu

I couldn’t resist having my pasta with a glass of wine, so I took my plate of tagliatelle and headed for Vino, which welcomes Burrasca patrons. Being a Burrasca fan himself, Bruce at Vino suggested a red that perfectly complemented my meal. The pasta was delicious, and the wine made it that much better.

It only seemed right and proper to top off my lunch at Crema – just a stone's throw from Burrasca and Vino – where I scored a sidewalk café table, and enjoyed a cappuccino while basking in the midday sun.

And although I lucked into a sunny day, weather does not have to be a factor with this convenient trio of places. Burrasca has an outdoor covered area, while both Vino and Crema offer indoor and outdoor seating, which means all three locales can be enjoyed rain or shine.

113 SE 28th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

137 SE 28th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

Crema Coffee and Bakery
2728 SE Ankeny St.
Portland, OR 97214

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Food for Thought #3

It is better to travel well than to arrive.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Bus with a View: San Francisco CA

The view from the Golden Gate Transit stop

Blogging about San Francisco is kind of like writing about the Beatles. 

Much has already been said.

However, during a recent visit, I did enjoy a “new” experience  I took Golden Gate Transit across the world-famous bridge. A friend dropped me off at a scenic stop just south of the toll booths. From there, I took a plush, north-bound bus (the #4 to be exact) loaded with well-heeled commuters to the Manzanita Park and Ride in Marin, where another friend came to retrieve me.

I must say, it was quite an efficient way to cross the bridge at rush hour – and not a bad way to enjoy the spectacular view.