I was craving for the comfort that only a good glass of wine and a soothing bowl of brothy braised meat could provide me to combat the chilling effects of a late Fall Pacific Northwest drizzle. I couldn’t decide which to eat, so I made both: a batch of oxtail pho and a classic ‘pot au feu’, France’s version of a boiled beef dinner. I arranged all the ingredients on my counter and began cooking. I came to the quick realization that both were very similar; each dish featured meats being braised for long periods of time with similar spicing, the main difference seemed to be how each culture finished their dish. The Vietnamese serve with basil. mint, bean sprouts and rice noodles while the French with potatoes, cabbage and root vegetables. …
“Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”
My poor wife was suffering through a terrible cold. The kind that pretends to go away for a day, fooling you into believing somehow you survived the worst. Then comes back with a debilitating vengeance that makes you wonder if it will ever end. I felt so sorry for her. She laid on the couch, snugly wrapped in two jackets, not noticing Beau bouncing next to her. Her chapped nose raw from constant blowing and rosy flushed cheeks. She whispered in a soft feeble voice, half begging for chicken soup. I made her a quick and easy Vietnamese chicken soup (chicken pho) to heal her and help forget her woes….
OK, it’s about time I wrote a little about the fabulous food mecca that Portland is. I haven’t lived in a city where my three main food groups, beer, coffee and pork belly, are so revered and celebrated. Scan the guide books and prepare to be amazed by the sheer number of breweries and coffee shops listed. If you look further you will soon notice how many restaurants prominently feature sexy shots of pork belly in action. You could spend your days driving down countless streets and numerous neighborhoods and still never fully see everything this amazing city has to offer. Whether you want traditional brick and mortar restaurants or the most imaginative food carts and street offerings… Food is everywhere!
Here is a partial list of where we’ve been in our quest to live life to the fullest, Bacchus Style!