Update: this restaurant is closed. 🙁
Blue Olive is a Mediterranean restaurant located on NE 46th and Fremont in the Beaumont neighborhood. Besides being a cool neighborhood, this is a wonderful restaurant. Run by two delightful brothers, the food is a wonderful blend of Mediterranean/Persian flavors.
If it’s nice, sit in the back patio. And we always end up ordering one of the platters for two. The variety is fun, you won’t go hungry, and the lamb is amazing.
Update: there are now entrances on the Northeast and Southwest corners of Lone Fir Cemetery
I recently took a walk south down E. 21st in search of parks, and had high hopes for the Lone Fir Cemetery. This is an older cemetery in central Portland that could also double as a park. Unfortunately, I also discovered that all the entrances are on the south side of the cemetery, making our northern approach problematic. We walked the northern length of the cemetery, gazing in at the old trees and headstones. We ran out of time and weren’t able to work our way around to the entrance on the south (also maybe on the east?) side.
While on this walk, my walking companions and I found an amazing bicycle/camper combination that was most amazing. As it was sitting in a parking lot along our way, we walked around it, commenting on the many interesting features. The box for a 24 pack of Coors was stored on top, bananas were visible through a small portal, the gears and balancing were intriguing. As we were starting to hypothesize what the bicycle machine might be used for, a small hatch slid open and a tired voice emerged. We were disrupting someone lodged within the narrow confines of the vehicle. Oops! Apparently the party bicycle vehicle servers as a sleeper too.
Update: the Casba has turned into the Kasbah, a fabulous lunch spot.
We just moved into a beautiful new office in Oldtown Portland, and there’s a new coffee shop for us to explore. More later about our previous coffeeshops further up in Northwest Portland.
Coffeeshops are important for us because we like to have one-on-one staff meetings outside the office sometimes, plus there is a great appreciation for caffeine in this office. So far, the drinks have been fine, if not amazing. The Mediterranean theme is nice, although I have focused more on bagels with cream cheese. I will check out the baked pasta dishes sometime soon. However, my co-worked had himself some Turkish coffee yesterday, and managed to accomplish three days work in one afternoon and then go home and weed the garden.
The coffee shop ambiance isn’t bad — there are tables inside and out and the staff are super nice. However, it’s definitely a table/chair environment — no sofas or comfy chairs to lounge in.
I also love watching a few people hang out in the morning at the outside tables — they often look supremely relaxed while not making me feel like too much of a loser for being at work.
Spring weather is starting to hit Portland, and after spending some time at the gym, we went for a late evening (for us) walk through the Pearl. I’ve heard many a wonderful thing about Via Delizia on NW Marshall and 11th, but I finally took the opportunity to sample their gelato (gelati?). I had a two scooper of creamy something and chocolate, and I’m proud to say I ate the entire thing (including cone) without any disasters. The gelato was excellent, and the staff lovely.
Also, both Tanner Creek Park (my favorite Pearl park) and Jameson Square were lovely after dark. While the Pearl neighborhood still feels a bit sterile to me, the warm spring evening was a great time to wander about.
I love the Rose and Thistle. Neighborhood bars are a great thing, and the Rose and Thistle (NE Broadway and 23rd) is a lovely place to comfortably have dinner or hang out. I am also a huge fan of gardenburgers and fries, and the Rose and Thistle does an excellent job of both. Everything is done just right, and my request for extra pickles is always met. I also adore the staff at the Rose and Thistle, even when they are busy.
There are also some other cool things on the menu at the Rose and Thistle, including some more traditional Scottish fare. The specials also tend to be wonderful, particularly a pork chops they had recently. My love of their gardenburger means I usually have to sample the other dishes via friends and family, but I don’t think any of us have been disappointed. Even when we’ve eaten there a couple of nights in a row…
I’d love to know more about the history of the Rose and Thistle — there are some intriguing articles posted on the walls, and it sounds like I have missed the former beloved (and perhaps crusty) owner prior to his departure to the big haggis in the sky.
Every year around this time I wonder about the stinky trees. There are some seriously stinky trees in Portland — rotting fish and something worse wafting on the warm spring breeze. I think I’ve heard that some of them are ginkos, and that maybe we’ve made the situation worse by planting trees that are all one sex. The stinky sex, apparently.
The first time I encountered a stinky trees was on NW Hoyt between 20th and 21st. At first, I was concerned it was me, and then that someone was using the super stinky fish fertilizer. But no, it was coming from the sky! Now I notice the smell in many places throughout Portland, and I suppose I should view it as merely a sign that Portland is in the midst of spring.
Ben and I swung by the Mulch in the Gulch event yesterday at 17th and NE Clackamas, and I had an absolutely fabulous crepe. I’m not entirely sure who the crepe makers were, but I hope that they will appear again. We were there the first part of the gathering and failed to find anyone about recycling our spare dryer. Then again, I was struck shy at the time, and didn’t do a good job of chatting with strangers. However, the neighborhood overall seems very friendly and I’m sure that we’ll get to know more folks over time.
I continue to thoroughly enjoy Broadway Floral, who had a lovely selection of plants!