Started with our NoPo date night at DiPrima Dolci. I was so excited to finally try their Fri/Sat night menu. Traffic was threatening my great mood, but I didn't let it get to me--I had a date. We get to the bakery (restaurant, for the night) and it's busy enough, but there were plenty of tables. We ordered a bottle of Allegrini Valpolicella and the chef's choice antipasti. I was hungry, but not starving, and ready to enjoy a peaceful evening of dining. The antipasti was delicious. It was pretty simple--cured meats, cheeses, olives--but paired with the delicious homemade bread, it was perfect. Shawn ordered the chicken parmesan (surprise, surprise--it's his favorite), despite the fact that a meatball lasagna was on special. I ordered the spicy shrimp with artichoke hearts over linguine. Given the two items I mentioned besides my shrimp, would you think to order shrimp? I mean, most of the menu consisted of your basic, NY-style Italian dishes--meatballs, pasta, lasagna, chicken parm. Shrimp? I ordered wrong. The dishes came out and I immediately knew it. My shrimp were overcooked and not at all spicy. The artichokes were pretty good, but not enough to make up for the lack of flavor in the shrimp and pasta. Overall, very disappointing. Shawn, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed his meal. I think if we go back it'll be just for antipasti and some wine.
After dinner we moved down the street to Yetti's, our local wine bar. It's a very casual atmosphere--not pretentious in the least. And best of all, when I walked in, they were playing Belle & Sebastian. Then it was the Decemberists. The music has been consistently good at that place. Love it. There was also a couple on what appeared to be a first date at the table next to us, so that provided a little extra entertainment. Just a warning...if you are on a first date and we are seated close to you, bet on the fact that I'll be trying to catch pieces of your conversation. I'm just saying...
Saturday was a very busy day. I decided after my 8 mile run that I deserved to eat Mexican food. I met a few gals from the gym for dinner at Casa Colima. I wasn't expecting much going to a restaurant in the middle of Hillsdale shopping center, but I was pleasantly surprised. While it's not the best Mexican food I've ever had, it's hardly an Azteca. I ordered the pork carnitas plate and was shocked by the amount of meat on my plate. I feel like I barely touched it. It was very tender and flavorful...even better on Monday when I ate the leftovers.
I ended my evening meeting Shawn and our local dive bar, George's Corner Tavern. Ah, George's. I can finally sit in there for more than a half hour since Portland bars went smoke free. This isn't the kind of Portland dive bar that has been overrun with hipsters and hangs on the dive bar thread, simply by reputation. It's right off the MAX line on Interstate, if that helps to describe it. This is the kind of place that you see a nicely dressed man sitting next to an old, grungy man in a leather jacket...because that's who was there Saturday. And rap, country, and metal rotate on the jukebox. And, in jest, a customer will pull a knife on another customer, be told that there's only love in here, and still be served a whiskey. Ah, George's. Oh, we also won the free trivia game while we were there.
Our Christmas gift to Michael this past year was to take him out to dim sum and buy him new knives from Fubonn (best knife I've ever owned for a mere $3.98). So where did we go? Clearly Wong's King Seafood Kitchen on SE Division. My god the food is good there. We waited for a little over a half hour, which isn't too bad for a Sunday. The best thing about dim sum is when you sit, you eat. This was Shawn's first experience. While it wasn't a bad one, I don't think we'll be going back anytime soon.
Amazingly enough, we were able to eat dinner that night. I was still pretty full, so I didn't eat much. I made vegetarian chili, which was delicious and will fortunately enjoy quite a few more times as we barely made a dent in it.
Of all the things I said I was going to do this weekend (eat out, clean, run 8 miles, go grocery shopping, make bread), the only thing that wasn't accomplished was the bread making. Good thing we got a $2 off coupon from PGE for a loaf of bread from Ken's artisan bakery. We got the country brown. I'm getting good, but it'll be a long time before I'm Ken's-good.