Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Getting to Know Portland, one Cafe at a Time.

I have to admit that it has been difficult getting to know this city with a little one in tow. Her nap schedule doesn't allow us to be out for more than about two hours or so at a time, and she is also pretty vocal about whether or not she approves of what we are doing! In the past, I always enjoyed going into the city (whichever city I was in) alone, walking around town, browsing in shops, getting tea, etc. I could spend all day out, and never got tired of exploring and walking around. I also LOVE to eat out, and like to go back to the same places and develop relationships with the people who work there. Having worked in restaurants for several years, I just love the bustling environment, the smells, etc. When I was single, in particular, I scrimped in other areas of my life so that I could eat out.
Now that we have a mortgage payment and a child, it is much harder to get around the city and become familiar with the neighborhood shops. But about once a week, I go out for breakfast with Amelia. I always order coffee, a side of bacon, and a side of sourdough toast, which costs from $5.50- $6.50. Maybe I don't get to really experience each restaurant's specialties, but I can afford to go out, and I think those three things do really give a you a good picture of the quality of their food. I sit and share with Amelia while she hams it up and charms anyone who will look at her. I love getting out of the house without having to go to Target! My goal is not so much to try every cafe in town, but to find a handful where I can keep going and look forward to seeing the people there.
A favorite so far is a place called Fat Albert's, who uses all "real" food- real butter, maple syrup, etc. They buy coffe from a roaster a block away, and are always very busy, even on weekdays. The staff there is like the stereo-typical diner-- older, gruff but efficient women who at first seem like they can't stand you. But after a couple of visits, they know Amelia's name and actually smile at me once in a while. I much prefer that to those younger, eager to please servers who are working so hard to charm me into leaving them an extra buck-- although I do feel for them! And Amelia and I have a nice time together, both thankful for an hour or so out in public.
Here is a very quick video I took. Just a view I have over and over again as I take Little A out.


ShackelMom said...

Looks like fun! she's such a cutie! Sounds like a nice morning out. So, do you sort of see though the chirpy, enthusiastic smiles of those young, eager servers? :-)

Megan McMillan said...

Mmm, sourdough and coffee. I have wonderful memories of having that very same cafe breakfast with you many times!

That Amelia, she's a lovely charmer : )

Congrats you guys on the new city, new job, new life!

Anonymous said...

Yes, good ideas on how to get oriented to a new place! Sounds like fun.

Gretchen said...

There is something luxurious about breakfast out. It's my favorite meal out. Love the video of Amelia. She really is a ham and knows it! =0)