Archive for December, 2007

A really bad meal

8470177p1.jpgOkay, I’ve been sitting on this post for a few days. I’m not a food critic and I don’t want to bash a restaurant after only going there once. But when you take your wife to a special place on her birthday that is supposedly one of the elite Portland dining experiences and you have to surreptitiously spit food into your napkin twice, because it is so unappetizing, well, it just doesn’t seem right.

I’m speaking of the “legendary” Genoa (their quotes, not mine) on SE Belmont. They serve a 7-course meal for 80 dollars. There are a few choices on the main courses, but you basically have a very limited menu to pick from. I wasn’t really into the lack of options, but that’s what they do, so I’m not going to complain about that.

It’s just that almost every course was bland and just mediocre. At no point in the 7 courses did either my wife or I exclaim something to the effect of “wow, you gotta taste this”. In fact, we were more likely to sadly admit that it wasn’t worth sharing. It almost became comical. The courses are small and we left food on almost every plate for lack of interest.

The service was very good and it’s a nice intimate space. But for the price and the reputation, it was a major disappointment. Luckily, we were able to use a gift certificate to pay for the meals, but even so I feel ripped off. If I had had to pay over 200 bucks (including beverages) for such a unappealing dinner I would have been furious.

Again, I’m not a food critic and I don’t want to trash Genoa, we’ve only been there once and maybe they were having an off night. It’s just that a number of people have asked us excitedly how it was and we had to lamely reply that it was actually bad. The place has a really good reputation – how is that possible? I see some mixed reviews on CitySearch. Are they just stagnating, cruising on that reputation? Have they gone downhill in recent years? Has anyone had a good meal there recently?

A little birdie with a guitar pick told me…….

What are you doing tonight? A little birdie with a guitar pick mentioned there may be a little performance by a couple of individuals who put together a group and have been practicing like mad this past week. It may include this guy and this guy and this guy (great songwriter and musician.) Knowing about these individual’s other projects gets me excited to see them get together. The little birdie also told me where they may be playing. I’ve never been there, but hear they offer “DJ’S, STIFF DRINKS, POTENTIAL FOR ONE-NIGHT-STANDS.” Excellent for New Year’s eve.

Things we’d do for New Year’s Eve in Portland (if we had a sitter)

A guest post from one Wacky Mommy, blogger at large:

Don’t you think my husband, Steve (aka Hockey God) and I should be going out for New Year’s Eve? Me, too! Well, my mom doesn’t and that’s why she said she can’t babysit. Something about “New Year’s Day walk with my friend at 9 a.m. — if you can come pick them up before that, but I don’t think you could, could you, you’ll be too hungover, loser…” etc.

And babysitters? Ha ha ha. Teenagers nowadays, they’re all, “I don’t have any money for Starbucks, an iPod Nano, beer,” yet they are unwilling to babysit, mow lawns, walk dogs, pluck chickens, whatever I require them to do, for real, cash money. A pox on you, teenagers. I need you to work for me so I don’t have to.

If we could go out tonight here’s where we could go:

1) Pause, for dinner and drinks.

2) Mary’s

3) Dancing Bear, no, BARE

4) Magic Gardens

5) Any of a variety of strip clubs which make Portland what it is today: out of control and a little skeezy. Not that I’m particularly yearning to go see nekkid women, but the point is, that’s what I want to do more than anything now that I know we cannot. I want to get drunk with my husband and watch nekkid women gyrate and shove money at them. Blame it on Little Miss Honey Butt, the girl and her husband, Slim, love the dancers.

6) Alternately, we could do something classy, like go out for a fancy dinner at the Heathman and stay the night in a swank room.

7) There’s always the Jupiter Hotel.

8) Or the Viking Motel, if you’re on a budget. Heeheehee.

9) The Alibi, for karaoke and foofy drinks.

10) Someone just said something about a hockey game, sk8ing afterward, bring your sk8s!!!, blood on the ice from Seattle getting beat up, etc. but I wouldn’t be interested in that, so much.

Happy New Year, y’all. Enjoy it for us, would you? We’ll be home with a bottle of champagne and two kids who refuse to sleep.



From Steve: I have no idea why my wife is suddenly interested in the nekkid dancers, but I guess it’s because we had drinks with Little Miss Honey Butt and Slim last night, and they, being so much younger and hipper than us, made it sound so fun. But still, for my money, there’s nothing like the New Year’s Eve Portland-Seattle tilt, followed by a few turns around the ice — one of Portland’s longest standing family NYE traditions — then home by 10 and in bed by 12:01. Am I old or what?

Where (and what) in Portland?


All major credit cards accepted. But for what? And where? (Dieselboi, you’re disqualified from this one, and I think you know why.)

Mighty Ninja Rock

You have an order. A command. An absolute must.
The next time that Fist of Dishonor are playing in Portland (which would be Sat. the 19th at Dante’s) You.Must.Go.See.Them.

Ninjas motivated by the Power of Rock. The band is comprised of five ninjas – who throughout their set, must battle with various foe – on stage martial arts battles, flaming swords, gymnastics feats such as arrows being shot with the feet from a handstand position, and of course the rock. Half comedy, half musical performance, half acrobatics (yup – the ninjas are so mighty they have three halves) their show last night at The Ash Street was one of the most entertaining live performances I’ve seen in a long time.


And so I echo their kung fu battle cry…

Never Trust a Samurai!
Never Fight Fair!
Never Put Shuriken in Your Underwear!

Podnah’s: The *best* breakfast place you’re still not eating at

I know I said it before – but it bears repeating: why wait in line for breakfast elsewhere when you can waltz right into Podnah’s and get a table right away?

I woke up this morning with a craving for ham, grits and eggs. And not just any grits – Podnah’s grits. So I gathered up my stacks of unread newspapers, jumped in the car & walked into a place that was entirely empty, save for one woman sitting at a table by herself.

But, wait! I know that woman! So I ended up dishing it over grits with a friend I’d been trading emails with for weeks about having lunch ‘sometime’, and stashed my newspapers away for later.

We both don’t understand why more people aren’t adding Podnah’s to their weekend breakfast rotation. Even though we always order the same dish (she’s also a ham, eggs and grits fan), we hear great things about the smoked trout hash. Or the biscuits and gravy. And while the menu’s a small one – surely you don’t need to have your choice of eggs benedicts and/or scrambles every weekend, do you?

Maybe people hear ‘Podnah’s’ and only think ribs (or smoked prime rib. Or brisket. Or whatever.) Maybe people don’t want to have to serve their own coffee. And maybe it’s okay that there’s always plenty of room for me.

Except…I want to know that I’ll always be able to get grits, ham and eggs when I want them. Or that, one day, I might veer from my usual and get to try the smoked trout hash instead.

So whatever your hangup is about Podnah’s and breakfast, well – get over it, will you please? They’re now open from 9 am to 12 pm Saturday and Sunday only. They don’t have the breakfast menu on their website, unfortunately – but VJ’s got the update on some of the new menu additions here.

Side note/best sight of the day: the tow-headed toddler with the cherub cheeks clapping and crowing and bouncing in her seat when the order of biscuits and gravy was set down in front of Dad. There’s nothing like training those young’uns early, is there…?

Updated for those asking in the comments:

1469 NE Prescott St
The #8 bus stops mere steps away, no less…

Shopping for new licence plates

Gearing up to shed my Texas plates in my eager plight to become a full-fledged Oregon resident in 2008, I read this article in the Oregonian and have my eye on the new “Share the Road” plate. I love the irony in it. Shouldn’t I just shed my car all together? I really hate driving my car in the Portland city limits anyway. I only really have a car since it moved me up here…and only keep it because it does come in handy when I need to escape to the mountains, visit the beaches, or even give my friends and their bikes a lift when it’s cold and wet.

Despite owning a car, I’m glad I can spend an extra $5 dollars on new plates toward keeping me safer on the road as a bicyclist. This new plate shares it’s cost with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Cycle Oregon. I know it’s only a little bit of support, but every little bit can help.

For a complete list of Oregon license plates, and how you can get one too, even if you have a license plate already, check out the website.

Grand Central Bowl – Is it cool or does it suck?

The new and improved Grand Central Bowl had its grand opening recently. I’ve heard grumblings both pro and con on this re-opening (there’s a lively discussion over at the Merc’s blog site). Granted, I haven’t been there yet (even though it’s a mere three blocks from my place of abode), so I can’ comment. Still, doesn’t stop me from speculating, does it?

Save Interstate Neon – gaining support

In the past two weeks, the topic of saving Interstate’s neon signs has gained some support and attention. I have been in contact with REACH, the organization working on the redevelopment of the old Crown Motel who have stated that there is currently no plan for the Crown Motel neon sign and that at this time, it will be demolished when the rest of the hotel goes down. After contacting them, they got me into contact with a couple of neighbors who agree with me that we should try and save the sign. Since then, I was contacted by the Oregonian telling me about a piece in last week’s inPortland section and that Portland Architecture had taken up the cause. They even have a quote from TriMet stating that the preservation of the sign is in the original contract. Also, REACH representatives believe the history of the hotel as not being “neighborly” me be reflected in the sign and is not appropriate for low income housing. Today, I read in the O, another article stating that Sam Adams is now involved and trying to find a solution.

I wonder if all of this discussion is a result of blogging? hmmmm.

Bring the Champagne! UPDATE: Cork It.

UPDATE: Unbelievable…the bigots got their injunction.

But for the day after New Years, not just the Eve of. One week from today expect lines out the door of the Multnomah County building, as gay and lesbian couples are finally able to file for their domestic partnerships all across the state. Sure – it’s not the full marriage rights that most people would like to see – but it’s still a hard won victory.

There is however, one more obstacle in their way. Friday morning, there is a hearing in regards to the Alliance Defense Fund’s lawsuit against the Secretary of State over invalid signatures on their petition earlier this year. It’s a truly last ditch effort where they are required to prove that they will be ‘irreparably harmed‘ if the domestic partnerships occur, which if course is ridiculous, but still scary nonetheless. I’ll be watching for updates online throughout the morning.

For those few weeks in 2004 when Multnomah County was allowing marriages, I drove past the building everyday, and as newlywed myself, it made me cry to think of all these couples finally being able to enjoy the joys of that union. I think I’ll plan to have some Kleenex in hand when I drive back into work next Wednesday morning.

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