Thursday, January 29, 2015

Portland Restaurant: Milk Glass Mrkt

What: Milk Glass Mrkt
Where: 2150 N. Killingsworth Street
When: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-7pm
Honeys Heart: The cuteness

Before I started my new job, Katie and I decided we needed to take advantage of the last few days of my flexible schedule with a lunch date at Milk Glass Mrkt.

Milk Glass Mrkt is half market, half cafe. The menu features breakfast, brunch, small plates, beer, wine and "cocktails".

Everything was so cute. Now I know how to use our empty Bulleit bottles.

It was the last day of work before our holiday breaks so a "cocktail lunch" was in order. We opted for the Cava Special Cocktail ($7) with cava and a touch of quince syrup.

The lunch menu isn't very extensive but even so, we were having a hard time deciding what to order so we agreed to split a sandwich and a salad.

Here's the Moroccan Salad ($8) with kale, carrots, and chickpeas in harissa vinaigrette. The flavors here were good, but those pieces of raw kale were really big and kind of difficult to cut/chew. We don't love salad enough to feel good about putting that much effort into eating it, so this dish left us feeling a bit meh.

We also ordered The Swell sandwich ($9) with a fried egg, proscuitto, roasted red peppers, provolone and fresh basil on ciabatta. This had a lot going on, both flavor-wise and mess-wise, but we both liked it better than the salad.

Our total bill came to $15.50 each, definitely a pricier lunch date for us (don't tell Adam and Doug!), especially when we weren't particularly overwhelmed by the food. However, the place is seriously so cute and those cava cocktails had produced a nice little midday buzz, so I don't think either of us really cared.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thailand Trip 2014: Where to Drink in Bangkok

In my last two Thailand posts, I shared some general observations about visiting Thailand and documented the best things we ate. We also did a fair amount of imbibing throughout our honeymoon (duh, we were on vacation) but after we left Bangkok, our options were significantly more limited. That's why I'm going to share our favorite places to drink in Bangkok... and add that if you're anywhere else in Thailand, hope you like Chang!

Mikkeller Bangkok

Doug and I visited Mikkeller's San Francisco location last summer, so when Doug realized that they also have a location in Bangkok in addition to their flagship locations in Denmark, it was a given that we would visit. (I'll also again recommend that you read this NYT Magazine piece about the founder of Mikkeller and his twin brother who owns another of our favorite breweries, Evil Twin Brewing.)

Let me tell you, Mikkeller Bangkok is not easy to find. If it hadn't been for this guy's very helpful blog post, a readiness to walk down lots of dark residential alleys, and the promise of air conditioning on a 90°F night, we never would have found this place.

I can only imagine what it must be like to come to Mikkeller when you've been in Bangkok for longer than two days (like we had been). It was like a little slice of hipster USA.

There were 30 taps featuring house brews and guest taps and between the two of us, we ended up trying a good amount of their selection. Mikkeller brews just a handful of their own beers in Bangkok: a pilsner, a brown, a pale, and a wit. The best was their Sukhum' Wit. It was a good balance of sweet and light, perfect after our long, humid trek out to the tap room.

However, the best and most unique offering was from Danish brewery To Øl. The chalkboard in the bar called the beer "Split N' Lick" Oreo Imperial Stout and after a bit of research (yay wifi!), we concluded it was the Goliat Imperial Coffee Stout that was being poured through a randall of Oreos. This heavy dark beer exploded with sweet, chocolately coffee flavors and was so, so good. Any Portland breweries want to attempt to recreate this? Cuz we'll be there ASAP.

Khao San Road

A couple of years ago I had a gig writing hotel blurbs for Travel + Leisure. One of the cities I covered was Thailand (go figure) and I distinctly remember writing about a backpacker-friendly B&B in the Khao San district. I remember thinking that it sounded like a really cool area, if not a little sketchy. I don't know why then, when Doug and I were actually in Thailand, that it didn't come across my mind that we should check out Khao San Road until our last night in Bangkok.

I can't believe we almost missed this place! What started in the 80s as a street that housed a few cheap guesthouses for backpackers has turned into a bustling neighborhood with bars, cafes, massage parlors, and food and clothing stands every few feet- and lots of lots of tourists.

Khao San Road proper was just crazy- basically Thailand's version of the Las Vegas Strip with way less fancy hotels and and way more dive bars, some with signs like this:

We much preferred Soi Rambuttri, a horseshoe-shaped street that runs parallel to Khao San Road. It's a little quieter and has lots of bars with tables that face out to the street so you can enjoy your drinks while people-watching.

Soi Rambuttri is also where we found this fun little VW bus-turned-bar (apparently a popular thing to do in Thailand, as we would come to find out) which featured cheap cocktails and it's very own chihuahua.

Cheap Charlie's on Sukhumvit Soi 11

Soi 11 is like Khao San's much tamer, more refined little brother. The street is a favorite of expats with some tourists and locals thrown into the mix too and it's super easy to get to as it's just a block or so down from the Nana BTS stop.

There are lots of little bars and clubs nestled along the road but our hands-down favorite was Cheap Charlie's. Cheap Charlie's is a cozy little shack of a bar with a few bistro tables and stools scattered around its perimeter. It's been open for almost twenty years now and the drink prices certainly reflect its name. We're talking 60 baht ($1.80) for a Chang and 70 baht ($2.15) for a vodka soda.

Charlie's doesn't serve any food but there are lots of street food options on Soi 11, including stands selling delicious pork satay, boat noodles, and pad see ew. 

Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

Bangkok is known for its bevy of opulent rooftop bars whose prices tend to hover more around US prices than Thai prices. We knew we wanted a fancy night out, but also didn't want to blow our whole daily budget on a round a drinks. 

After doing some research, I came across Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. With its great happy hour specials and panoramic views of the city, it seemed like the perfect choice.

Happy hour is from 5-7pm and includes 2-for-1 drinks. That meant that Doug and I had to get the same cocktail, but that was a small price to pay.

We started out with two Thai Mojitos (350 baht or $10.75) made with Thai rum, lime juice, mango, and Thai basil.

For our second round we tried the Shining Sun (375 baht or $11.50) made with pisco, tamarind, pomelo and lime shrub, mango, pineapple, and a dash of absinthe.

These were the best cocktails we had in Thailand and while they were definitely on the pricey side compared to most spots we had been frequenting, the views from the bar were worth it.

That's it for my Thailand recaps! Whether or not I actually get to one about Kuala Lumpur remains to be seen... but don't you want to know all about a Malaysian speakeasy, the most delicious iced coffee/tea hybrid, and Doug's near-death experience? Okay, fine. I'll work on it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cocktail Recipe: Lavender Bee's Knees

For the past couple of years, Kel and I have created a cocktail calendar to give to family and friends for Christmas. Except this year we didn't- probably partly because I was too lazy but mostly because I figured no one would notice if we didn't. Wrong about that one!

Due to popular demand (aka a handful of people asking if they had to buy their own calendars this year), Kel and I are once again planning to make calendars for Christmas. And we're being proactive by making one cocktail a month instead of waiting until November to make seven or so of them in one sitting (yes, we did that once). 

This month's cocktail: Lavender Bee Knees, recipe courtesy of Gastronomista. It's super simple to make and probably one of our favorite cocktails we've made ever... and that's saying a lot!

We're using it as our April cocktail, but I wouldn't wait until then to make it. 

Lavender Bee Knees
- 2 oz Aviation Gin
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey: 1part water)
- 3 drops Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
- dried lavender sprig for garnish

You can buy Scrappy's Bitters at several Portland retailers including the wonderful The Meadow on NW 23rd.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Portland Restaurant: All-Way

What: All-Way
Where: 615 SW Broadway Ave
When: Daily 11am - 11pm
Honeys Heart: All-Way Burger

Having grown up on an island north of Seattle, I don't have nostalgic feelings about In-N-Out Burger. But based on my handful of visits with Katie in California, it is definitely something I wish we had easier access to - but on the other hand, maybe I'm glad we don't! Luckily (for better and worse...), we have an awesome diner serving up "In-N-Out-esque" burgers daily.

Peter Bro of Broder has taken over the former Red Coach space (which it occupied for 55 years), leaving the pleather red booths and old time-y feel, to serve quarter-pound patties on homemade buns with special sauce, housemade pickles, butter lettuce, and cheese. Tomatoes are served seasonally and bacon can be added for $2.

 Though we were originally pining for a milkshake, they aren't currently on the menu (though they did say they could make a chocolate or vanilla shake) and instead opted for some cocktails made with All-Way's housemade soda. Such a good decision! We got the bourbon with ginger soda and gin with lavender soda ($5 each). I want that lavender soda for sipping on the deck this summer!

Burger options include the All-Way which starts with one patty and can be sized all the way up to a 4 Way. The menu also features fried chicken, fish, veggie burgers, salads, and more. 

I went for the All-Way ($4.50) with onion rings ($3). The onion rings were extra crispy, but I did steal quite a few of Adam's shoe string fries. The two of us probably could have shared one side instead of getting both! 

Adam chose the 2 Way ($5.25) with a double patty and cheese. Definitely a little more filling if you don't think a quarter pound will cut it, but with the fries ($3.50) it seemed like plenty to me! 

Everything was awesome and it definitely satisfies a burger craving. Even though the prices are already reasonable, the happy hour is from 3-6pm and definitely worth checking out. With the purchase of a drink- which are only $5, the HH menu includes $1.50 fries and onion rings, $5 chicken wings, and $1 off all burgers and sandwiches. Yes please! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Portland Doughnut Shop: Pip's Original Doughnuts

What: Pip's Original
Where: 4759 NE Fremont Street
When: Mon - Sun 8 AM - 4 PM
Honeys Heart: The Dirty Wu

There are a couple famous doughnut shops in Portland - ahem Voodoo and Blue Star - and I have tried both, but hands down I would choose Pip's over any other Portland doughnut shop. I like that their doughnuts are mini, made to order, and simple. A warm bite with fresh sweet and salty toppings and a sip of a latte is heaven.

Pip's is owned by Portland locals Nate and Jamie Snell and its menu currently has six doughnut topping options, five flavors of house-crafted chai tea lattes, and coffee locally roasted by Extracto Coffee Roasters. We ordered a dozen ($5.95), which can include any combination. We chose four of The Dirty Wu (nutella, raw honey, and pink himalayan salt), two Nutella and Sea Salt, two Maple and Bacon, two Raw Honey and Sea Salt, one Pineapple Bourbon, and one Cinnamon Sugar. That's right, we ordered the entire menu. 

To compliment the fresh, warm doughnuts, we also ordered lattes. Tip: no matter the size, they're the same price! Except the Chai teas. The cups were adorable and the warm, frothy latte was exactly what I needed with our plate of sweets.

Basically, you should go to Pip's as soon as you can and get The Dirty Wu, or if you want to keep it simple I would highly recommend the Honey and Sea Salt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Portland Happy Hour: Aviary

What: Aviary
Where: 1733 NE Alberta Street
When: Mon-Fri,  5-7 PM, "Classy Mondays" all night in the bar
Honeys Heart: Bread and Bagna Cauda 

Arriving 15 minutes early to meet a friend for happy hour at Aviary left me three options: Sit in my car and probably look at Instagram, walk around Alberta, or just go in the second they open (at 5pm) and drink wine. I obviously went with the last option. 

The restaurant was empty. Granted they had only opened 30 seconds before, but I felt like the first one at the party and it's awkward because no one you know is there yet. Oh well! Happy hour is in the bar so I made my way to the back. 

I was the only customer, so bartender Corey had plenty of time to put final touches on the bar and hand me menus and offer suggestions. Corey turned out to be a critical part of our quiet Aviary experience. He was super helpful with happy hour menu suggestions, wine picks, and ultimately partaking in our poor driving stories - he didn't share his own, but he did laugh and act like ours were interesting. He also learned how instead of saying "another" to me when my wine glass is empty (which I will almost always say yes to) that he should say "you're good, right?" Good job, Corey! 

Starting out with generous $5 house wine pours was not only appreciated, but gave us time to ponder the menu. Sarah (friend from college, not sister) and I ultimately settled on the tempura green beans ($6) with a curry sauce. Be sure to mix it all up to get the sauce on the beans!

We also kicked things off with the Brussels sprout nachos ($5). Brussels sprouts are so hot right now and I'm digging it. These were odd - not sure Sarah was a huge fan - but I still liked the concept. The Brussels sprout leaves acted as the "chips" with a mole sauce, cojita cheese, and a couple other things. 

Last minute I added a $2 oyster and was pretty happy about it. That's a good price and it was tasty. 

After another round of wine and sufficient holiday updates, we decided we were still hungry. Corey recommended the slaw dog ($5) and at this point I think we were doing whatever Corey recommended food/drink-wise so we went for it. The dog is house-smoked, accompanied by a pickle, and topped with a papaya slaw. I loved that the bun was classic and soft - super good!

After some additional catch up, mostly covering the latest from the Bachelor premiere (that's important, okay), and maybe another glass of wine, we ordered the pulled pork sliders ($5). Sadly I forgot to document, but this has the papaya slaw as well with some sriracha and was a generous portion. Definitely a little spicier and heartier. 

We might have also thrown in the bread and bagna cauda ($2). I mean, only $2 and the description sounded pretty great. Bagna cauda is a warm dip from Italy made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, some kind of cream, and I heard something about tomato oil (or something). Regardless, I would recommend it. If you order something off their dinner menu this is complimentary so keep that in mind! 

Aviary also features a $6 happy hour cocktail which that night was bourbon based. The trotter n eggs ($5) was also highly recommended.

Overall we had plenty of food and three drinks each totaling $26 each (plus tip). Not bad! I don't know that everything was incredible but it was really satisfying and unique compared to many hh offerings. There are definitely items I would go back for. Plus everything was fairly priced and the service was great!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sweat & Sip: Portland Rock Gym & Uno Mas

What: Portland Rock Gym
Where: 21 NE 12th Avenue
Honeys Heart: V0 routes

Surprisingly enough, this summer we got hooked on Revocycle, one of our "Sweat & Sip" stops, and haven't branched out much since then - so we're long overdue for another installment in this series!

Over the holiday, my sister kicked my butt at the gym, bouldering, and snowshoeing and after her visit I was inspired and reminded of how fun the rock gym is. I love when a work out doesn't feel like typical gym time where you're talking yourself into staying on the treadmill or skipping the last set of reps, because, well, who cares? Or maybe that's just me?

Anyway, bouldering is awesome because all you focus on is getting to the top of the wall and then once you're up there, you decide if you're close enough to the mat to just fall because your arms are so tired. Or maybe that's just me again?

The Portland Rock Gym (PRG) has a room for bouldering (where you don't need belay skills) as well as taller walls with auto-belays and belay routes for partners. They also offer climbing classes, private lessons, yoga, and a small gym.

We opted for a day pass ($15 + $5 for shoes) for bouldering, but the auto-belays (tried on a previous visit) are fun and I want to do them again sometime. The bouldering routes are marked with tape and the easiest are the V0. The difficulty level increases as the number goes up and despite our efforts we weren't able to complete all the V0s we attempted, but we did have some success!

This is the only rock gym we've tried so we would welcome other Portland favorites or recommendations! If you're interested in exploring this gym - which began expansions this week - check out their rates and hours!

What: Uno Mas
Where: 2337 NE Glisan Street / 1914 W Burnside Street
Honeys Heart: Surtido taco

Uno Mas got a brief shout out in one of Katie's "5 in 5" posts, and it has since become one of our favorite taco places, right up there with Porque No?

After rock climbing we stopped by the West Burnside location. We started with Totopos y Guacamole ($5) that was enhanced with an assortment of Uno Mas salsas available to add to your tacos.

On Saturdays and Sundays, Uno Mas features breakfast tacos in addition to their existing menu until 3pm (through the winter, 1pm in the summer). We tried the Huevo con Choizo en Salsa Verde ($2) which was good, but I wouldn't choose it over the Surtido ($2), a Katie favorite filled with chorizo, chicken, and beef. I opted for one seafood taco, the Majo de Ajo ($3.75) with rockfish and garlic lime marinade. Though it was good the Surtido was the overall winner.

After our fitness, three tacos seemed like a good idea but we would have been good with two. Plus our arms were tired and holding the tacos was hard. Seriously.

Also, sorry there's no sip to this post. We could have had some margs (they're pretty decent there, but not as good as PQN) but we were trying to be healthy. Sorta.

Sweat & Sip:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Portland Food Cart: Fried Egg I'm in Love

Where: 3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
When: Tues-Fri 8:30 AM - 2 PM, Sat-Sun 9 AM - 3 PM
Honeys Heart: Yolko Ono

It is a guarantee that Adam will order the breakfast sandwich when we go out for brunch. If there isn't a breakfast sandwich on the menu, he orders the necessary ingredients and creates his own. So for his birthday in December, we braved the cold, crisp air and headed to Fried Egg I'm In Love, a Hawthorne food cart focused entirely on breakfast sandwiches.

I went for the Yolko Ono ($7) with a fried egg, homemade pesto, parmesan, and a hand-pressed sausage patty. It's not what I had planned to order, but it's their "signature dish" and the guy in front of me ordered it and seemed like a regular so it had to be done. 

Adam went for a the heartier Egg Zeppelin ($8.50) with two eggs, two homemade sausage patties, two slices of Tillamook cheddar, and Aardvark aioli. Right up his alley! He was hungover from holiday party fun the night before and this hit the spot. 

We topped off our order with a $5 large mimosa. If you're going to wait outside in the cold you may as well have a drink. 

A couple other tempting options included the Sriracha Mix-A-Lot ($7) sandwich with a fried egg, seared ham, fresh avocado, tomato, havarti cheese, and sriracha and the 'Rito Suave ($7.50) burrito with two scrambled eggs, choice of protein, Tillamook cheese, avocado, and zesty cart pico. Reasons to return I suppose! But preferably on a warmer day...