Saturday, August 13, 2005

You should have been here then

I have to admit this trip north is more than a “culinary road trip”. It is also a family vacation/check out real estate trip. Sometimes trying to do everything is a frustrating experience. On day one we check out downtown Portland. The one unique place we checked out was Powell’s City of Books. Large and complete are the keys words. The food section alone is the size of some small bookstores. One section dedicated to barbecue was about ten by ten feet. I was in heaven, until I got that feeling you get when you eat a whole pizza and think “I ate too much”. Too many books too many choices.

We also checked out Whole Foods, Sur La Table, and Buffalo Exchange. No excitement, we got that In SF. My kids wanted to check out Pioneer Place Mall. Kind of like any other mall, but stacked up layer cake style instead of meatloaf style. We also visited the Portland Zoo which was the bomb. I thought I would blog about the zoo food or the mall food but couldn’t bring myself to do it.
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zoo food makes me sleepy

There were a couple of food blog possibilities but we ran into the “you should have been here then” routine. Westeren Culinary Institute's Restaurant Bleu offers a five course meal for $15; they were closed this week for semester end. The revived downtown section of Vancouver offers a farmer’s market that is open on Sunday (we leave Friday) and is about to open on daily basis (next week). Next trip.

And that’s when we went to Little Italy’s Trattoria in the afore mentioned downtown section of Vancouver. It had been recommended by a friend of my daughters as a cool place to eat. It was the totally non corporate place we were searching for. Ok, technically they are a chain because they own two but trust me this is not corporate. As soon as I saw the murals on the outside and was heartily invited into the brick walled, red table clothed dining room I knew I was in the right place.
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My daughter and I both chose the Pizza Napolitano. She the classic Margherita and I the Quattro Satgione (four seasons) with one quarter each sausage and olives, spinach, mushroom, and plain cheese. This is how pizza should be made!! My son had the meat Calzone with pepperoni, ham, and salami. I managed to sneak a bite before he polished off the huge portion, damn good. The wife had Fettuccine Di Davide with roasted garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, green olives and fresh tomatoes, Molto Buono!
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Pizza Margherita
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Quattro Stagione
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Calzone
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Fettuccini Di Davide

Sharon our waitress was gracious, has a genuine smile, and made us feel at home. We chose the the Defeat by Chocolate (Sconfito dalla Cioccolata) for dessert. Image a soft, hot chocolate cake with molten chocolate center that you dip fried sugar puffs into. A chocolate fondue on steroids. Can’t forget the wonderful cannoli my wife had been yearning for.
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Defeat by Chocolate
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cannoli

About this time the chef/owner Ida Cuomo-Jones (pronounced Ee-da) stops by the table and jokingly asks “who’s out here causing all the trouble and taking pictures of my food?”. Introductions and what’s a blog explained, we lavish her with deserved praise for her restaurant. I wish I could move this restaurant to my neighborhood.I'd be their best customer. You should have been here now.

3 comments:

Amy Sherman said...

Those pizzas and the canoli look amazingly good! You can't have too many good Italian restaurants...

Cate said...

Those pizzas look amazing! Given my penchant for cookbooks, it's a good thing I live nowhere near Powells - sounds like that would be a dangerous place for me!

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