As all Portlanders know, we have the best summer weather of just about any city in the world. At least we all think so. It's a great town to be in when the sun is out and it's warm. My theory is that we're so deprived of warmth throughout most of the rest of the year that we all appreciate it that much more and it brings a new energy to the city. Pasty white legs made their first appearance this weekend during the first warm, sunny weekend of the year. My dad had excellent luck and had planned a trip down to see us this weekend. Not even knowing the weather, we managed to plan to go to the perfect restaurant for a warm day, Russell Street BBQ.
I had been to Russell Street once before after last year's Race for the Cure Health Expo. My good friend and fellow foodie Eve-Maridy is the event planner for the Expo and my organization bought a booth there last year, which I was in charge of. I remember it being good, but I was so tired, I don't think I fully savored how good it truly is. Besides serving some of the best BBQ I've ever had, I really appreciate their commitment to using all naturally raised meats, and featuring local beers (a difficult task in this town, I know). Gluttonous as it was, I ordered the meatapalooza. For my 3 meats, I chose the pulled pork, pork ribs, and housemade hot link. I should've been more selective with my sides, though. I got the mess o'greens, which were good, but a little cold, as were my fries. I don't really know why I ordered fries. Shawn's coleslaw was much tastier and went with the food better.
The meatapalooza:And then Shawn had to order the cheesecake with berry compote. And I had to help him. With homemade whipped cream, too!
Sunday we decided to continue the BBQ theme after spending the day in the park reading. Alberta Park is quite a beautiful and relaxing place to spend the day, by the way.
When we got home, I went to go make the spicy Asian wet rub for our chicken thighs and discovered the chicken had gone bad. I made a last-minute run to New Seasons, where luckily the whole chicken legs were on sale. Using the Test Kitchen's recommended double bank fire, our chicken turned out perfectly. We grilled up a couple of zucchini and skewered onions, as well as some Japanese short grain rice. We paired it, perhaps incorrectly, with a delicious Pinot Noir from Pudding River that we picked up at Indie Wine Fest. Perfect meal to end a perfect day.Tonight, given the rapidly changing weather, I am making up a pot of white bean and chicken chili for dinner tomorrow since I have boot camp until 6:30pm. It's my first time making this type of chili, but it tastes good so far. Throw a little cilantro in it tomorrow and sop it up with a nice roll from DiPrima Dolci, it should be another delicious dinner. And, if Juan Carlos asks, I used 1/4 of the oil to make it by using a little trick I learned from my Test Kitchen Light Recipe cookbook--use less oil by throwing the lid on your vegetables to soften them up, rather than relying solely on the oil to do the job. Works like a charm and still gives it some depth.